I am moving. Well, some people seem to think so at times, but that's a different story. No, I am literally departing from my humble abode, leaving behind the dessicated souls of the pigeons in their box in the hall, the Communal Toilet and most importantly, the Psychopathic Neighbour Upstairs.
I am, in fact, decamping.
I love that word. In fact, I love anything to do with camping; including marquees - Come to the Circus!, jamborees - Oooh, apparently 'be prepared' is still the motto of the Boy Scouts - and, of course, tent-poles! Who could fail to be moved by the sight of a well erected tent?
Why, the front cover of Girls' Crystal Annual 1959 is a shining example of this, the two pals 'en vacance', whilst one merrily fries the bangers, her chum dips a kettle into the handy stream with blithe disregard for water-borne diseases. I shall treat you to a snippet. I'm good like that.
Oh! Joy of joys; the heroine's name is Beryl! I have been told there is a real-life version of same, at present nursing a rather stiff wrist; but this Beryl certainly finds quick wits and sturdy thighs to be her main assets:
'Even as Beryl, horror-struck, foresaw this disaster, she saw the one way of averting it. With all her strength, she pressed urgently into the horse's flanks. He understood what that signal meant...
The girls of the club had pulled it off. They had won the prize. And thanks to Beryl their camp would last another week.
Phew! I always knew she had it in her.
But I digress! Blame this upon the fact that it is I who am moving, the earth isn't at present, although I have experienced earthquakes in Pakistan. Fascinating though the country is, I doubt that I shall be moving back there, the official travel advice from the Foreign Office is decidedly scary at present.
I did toy with the idea of returning to Malawi
, a country I dearly loved, but for various reasons it seems a bit of a radical move.
I am still contemplating Amsterdam, where our revered Editor, Shazz hangs out1. It would be handy to be able to pop into the Post Office plus I do fancy the idea of living on a boat again. Also it is conveniently close to London, a city which, I am ashamed to say, has been rather neglected by me until now. Maybe I may revise that opinion, we shall see.
All in all though, I will probably end up staying in Angoulême for a while. Quite apart from being a delightful mediaeval town, it hosts a multitude of festivals, including the International Comics Festival and, all in all, the benefits of the French social system outweigh the horrors of dealing with the likes of France Telecom and Tiscali, so it would seem sensible to merely decamp to more suitable accomodation.
I have my eye on rather a nice little bungalow. The Sunday Times reports that the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment has determined that the most popular type of home in 2003 in the UK is a bungalow, so I am not alone in this view.
The Home of Today2, not surprisingly, has devoted two chapters to the topic of choosing a suitable home, covering every aspect from:
'House versus flat: As a 'time-being' home a flat can prove very efficient.'
Bricks; To test quality: Ring together to test their quality.A clear tone indicates good, well-made bricks, free from flaws.'
- I am not quite sure if one is supposed to test every single one?
I am fairly sure I won't be moving to any of the British towns cunningly hidden in Enid Blyton's Book of the Year puzzle:
- 'Look at those lovely swans! each of them has a bright orange beak.
- Put your overall on; don't dirty your nice frock.
- Eric! Roy! Don't go sliding on the ice today!
- This is milkmaid St.; one day, long ago, there was a farm here.
- I will give you a new cigarette card if Fred will give me one too.
- It is best to dab or wash a sting smoothly and gently with weak ammonia.
- I read in George's book all about foreign countries.'
but when I do finally move, I may decide to throw a house-warming party. As a change from asking 'More tea vicar?' I am inclined to approach the upper echelons of organised religion, as recommended by The Hon Wm (Cocktail) Boothby.
Cardinal for a Party
'Dissolve six tablespoons of sugar in the juice of ten lemons and one bottle of plain soda; add a jigger of yellow Chartreuse and pour in a large bottle of Burgundy and a pint of Sauterne; Mix thoroughly, place a large piece of ice in the bowl, decorate with slices of orange and pineapple and a few sprigs of mint, and serve in thin glassware.'
Next week's recipe may well prove popular, since:
'William, the famous New York mixologist declares it is the perfection of moist joy.'
Moving words indeed; some might even say stirring!