Tonight, I am sad, and it seems that I'm not the only one. My shoulders are creaking with a tension that has remained undetected, but building up over the last month or so. It hurts to stretch, my tendons giving themselves up like wounded serpents uncurling, my heart is too tender.
I am off to Wales tomorrow morning, to see my Mum and my sister. My Mum is coming out of respite care tomorrow, where she has been for two weeks whilst some exciting renovations have been done on the house. So now my Mum will have her own specially adapted bathroom, so she doesn't have to go to the day centre for a bath or to get her hair washed. And her bedroom is bigger as well. So I am going to help my sister clean and put back all of Mum's bits and bobs, and make it all new and nice and homely for her.
I always have a lump in my throat and a tension in my heart when I know I am about to embark on a trip home. The last time, at Christmas was so terrible, I feel I'm only just about getting over it now. But without the strain of Christmas festivities and the brief return of my absent father, I am hoping for a much calmer time.
I shall be endeavouring to blog whilst I am there, now I am in ownership of a new swanky mobile phone with pen, keyboard and just about everything but the kitchen sink on there. It's just figuring the damn thing out, that'll be the interesting bit.
Yes, tonight I am sad, inconsolably so. The kind of sad that makes me wish I was a dog, so I could sit on someone's kitchen step whining mournfully at the moon. So someone would throw me a bone. But I'm not, and they aren't, and so in the morning, I'll finish packing my red Habitat trolley with partly clean, partly dirty washing, run through twenty to-do lists in my head simultaneously, make the train with just enough time to spare, and go back to the place of so much memory, so much loss, so much..muchness. And I'll become another Clare, I will be born again into a different world, one I feel so comfortable in, and one that is so alien.
So, see you at the other side, when England is but a mist following the back end of a train carriage, Brighton, a haze I left behind.