I tried to fall asleep last night full of nervous excitement after one of our late night ‘so how would this work…’ sessions. We have four scenarios to plan for. a) We sell the house at auction in October and Ben has a job by then b) We sell the house but Ben has no job c) We don’t sell the house but Ben has a job d) We don’t sell the house and Ben has no job. Try as we might, which of these scenarios we are faced with mid-October is beyond our control. We have to prepare for each. But we may as well focus on the best case scenario as the worst, because whatever happens, we will deal with it, when the time comes.
For us the best case scenario is actually b) although a) would give us more security and more options. It’s b) that we can get excited about because in that scenario we will have no reason not to try to make the move to France before Christmas. But we have to be sure that’s what we want. And we did wobble. We hashed out the logistics of first moving to the Midlands and then how we’d get over to France, and it sounded like the craziest thing we’d done yet: buying a large enough car, putting everything into storage, figuring out the best available temporary base, how we’d spend our time, where we’d eat, and bathe and sleep, where I’d give birth, where we’d register as our address for postnatal check ups, getting a fast-track passport, booking a last-minute car ferry, booking last-minute flights, booking a last-minute removals van, organising a last-minute baby naming and leaving party, Ben loading up and driving the car to the new house in France, leaving the car at the nearest train station, getting a train to Toulouse and flying home, me meeting him at Birmingham airport with three kids, a pushchair, a car seat and a bag.
We admit this would be us rushing, and WHY would we want to move into a big, empty, cold, unfamiliar house, with a two week old baby, a 2 year old and a 4 year old? Wouldn’t we want a nice easy Christmas, recovering, and move in the new year? The thing is, Christmas. Christmas gives us the perfect impetus to make the move happen straight away. If the baby is really overdue or either of us are poorly after the birth, we won’t have any choice but to stay for Christmas, but in that case we wouldn’t feel we’d allowed a magical once in a lifetime Christmas pass us by. We wouldn’t be sat glum on Christmas morning, feeling underwhelmed in the middle of the biggest anti-climax ever, wishing we’d have just gone for it, imagining the Christmas that could have been, if only we’d sprinted to the finish line.
We arrive in Alas, with nothing but a car full of essentials, and maybe a cool bag of food for the first 24 hours. After a quick sweep, we set up the blow up bed and hunker down in front of the wood burning stove and listen to the kids gleefully running around the other 6 rooms and zooming up and down the hallway on our middle floor. With the arrival of the moving van we exchange the blow up for our real mattress, and I get to hang Christmas lights and decorations to my heart’s content. We’ll go and buy a fridge freezer, and a cooker of some sort. Christmas dinner might not resemble Christmas dinner but we’ll have a cracking cheeseboard and the local sparkling wine we discovered on my birthday back in April. We’ll wake up excited, disbelieving, we did it! This is ours. We’re home. We are free. And new year’s morning will be the most beautiful dawn we have ever seen. It begins.