It is Thurs­day morn­ing, 8 o’clock. With a huge water­mel­on in my back­pack and a full shop­ping bag hang­ing at the han­dle­bar, I cycle through Gilling­ham on Freddy’s bicy­cle. I deliv­er the big bag at the char­i­ty shop halfway, but the mel­on is com­ing with me to work. It will be part of our farewell lunch with the PhD students.

In the recent weeks, the nor­mal rou­tine of work­ing and liv­ing has slow­ly but sure­ly been tak­en over by the spir­it of mov­ing house. Where pens, books and peanut bowls used to move freely through the house, they are now care­ful­ly cat­e­go­rized and put in the appro­pri­ate box. There are also few­er options if you want to put some­thing down, because most of the fur­ni­ture has been sold or giv­en away, just like my bike. The fur­ni­ture that was not so hap­py, is mer­ci­less­ly trans­formed into fire­wood by Fred­dy … Our out­door fire­place is work­ing overtime!

We will not imme­di­ate­ly trav­el to Chile because we have to wait until Fred­dy has done his PhD viva (final inter­view), which won’t be before the begin­ning of Novem­ber. That is why we will stay with our par­ents (in law) in the Nether­lands for more than a month. Pack­ing for such a peri­od is a logis­ti­cal puz­zle: When do we need what?

I nor­mal­ly can’t stand it very well when things are not in their prop­er place, and with such a major reshuf­fle I get a bit stressed. To make mat­ters worse, this last week my reser­va­tion of the new Har­ry Pot­ter book sud­den­ly became avail­able at the library. Of course I don’t let that oppor­tu­ni­ty go, how­ev­er busy we are. Luck­i­ly, it is a quick read, because it is a play.

In the midst of the chaos there are also small tri­umphs, like when the world map came down neat­ly, with­out the blue tack pulling the paint from the wall. Yes­ter­day we washed all the cur­tains and the house smelled won­der­ful­ly fresh. After that it just smelled of box­es again.


We are also say­ing good­bye to the peo­ple here, which is a pret­ty inten­sive process. We have made good friends here and it’s dif­fi­cult to leave. It also gives us a warm feel­ing, the moments of farewell in which food plays a major role and we receive an over­whelm­ing amount of love and gifts.

We have a pre­vail­ing sense of grat­i­tude, for our beau­ti­ful lit­tle house and gar­den, the inspir­ing peo­ple we met here, for my job and Freddy’s PhD, and the free­dom to let go of it all and step into the next adventure.


  1. Wish­ing you both all the best always.
    It was a plea­sure know­ing you both and I hope you will keep in touch.

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