We have let our house fully furnished to a lovely young couple. Our most cherished items have been given to friends and family. Some things we want to hold on to but cannot take because of lack of space are being kept for us by our friends.
Yet, despite all this, there has been a mountain of things to dispense with. We have made countless journeys to take things to charity shops. I have gone to the dump so often that the workers there must think I am called Stig. Mountains of trivia, continents of unwanted gifts, vast deserts of keep-sakes we never really wanted to keep, steppe-loads of special items, oceans of cards and books, canyons of crap. Why on earth did we collect all this?
Even on the last afternoon, when I optimistically believed that we had almost completed the grand clearance, I was driven to throwing out a few cherished items, essential clothing and, most frustrating of all, my recently purchases of Miles’s Tea and jar of Patak’s Brinjal Pickle.
I headed out for the airport with three pairs of trousers and one pull-over. And I call myself an Englishman. Janine sat in our room at the Holiday Inn and threw out a forest load of paper and enough jewellery to fill a bazaar.
But next morning, when we awoke we realised that our month of frantic panic was over. All we had to do was have breakfast, write some Christmas cards, nibble a quick lunch and then be driven to the airport.


About Martin Lake

Martin Lake lives in the French Riviera with his wife. After studying at the University of East Anglia he worked as a teacher, trainer and company director. A serious accident shattered his arm and meant that he had to rein back his work. He decided to concentrate on writing and is now writing full-time. He writes a wide range of fiction. His main interests are historical fiction, short stories and fiction for young adults. Martin has a series of novels 'The Lost King' which are set in the years following the Norman Invasion of England. They concern Edgar Atheling, last representative of the ancient English royal dynasty and his fight to regain the throne from William the Conqueror. Martin has also published 'Artful' the further adventures of the Dodger and 'Outcasts' a novel about fall of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. His latest novel, 'A Love Most Dangerous' is about a maid of honour who becomes the lover of Henry VIII. Martin’s work has been broadcast on radio. He won first prize in the Kenneth Grahame Society competition to write a story based on 'The Wind in the Willows.' You can get the collection, 'The Wind in the Willows Short Stories' from Amazon.
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