It is autumn here in Exile-land. The days are growing shorter and the temperature is finally dropping, a little (26-38 yesterday). Not the season of mellow fruitfulness, but we did have our first mist (fog?) of the season this morning:
Pretty, isn't it?
It is a strange place we live in. The 'project' is nearly complete and most of the construction staff are gone, leaving many empty houses behind. Even now, with the school year underway, it is rather like a ghost town. On my morning walk I pass houses where friends used to live, now empty. It is a transient existence.
Over the summer, in our little street, half the houses were vacant and many more were unoccupied while people were on holidays. While I was in Melbourne, at one point Marius was alone on the Avenue.
Lots of people are still packing up, the tell-tale piles of cardboard cartons and rolls of packing paper and bubble wrap marking the next victims to face the moving ordeal. I shudder when I pass, dreading the day when we have to move again. International moves are incredibly stressful with customs and import/export rules to worry about on top of all the other headaches of breakages, pilferings and 'missing items', to say nothing of the dramas of moving pets.
It is not unusal to see 40-foot containers parked and swarms of men lugging crates and boxes. It is a strange feeling seeing most of your worldly goods - and the visible detritus of your life - compacted into a steel box. I wish I could say that the experience has made me less materialistic and more focussed on the spiritual side, but it hasn't. Being uprooted makes the nesting instinct (how's that for mixing my metaphors?) even more frantic.
We should have some official news about our futures very soon. Most likely any moves we make will be cross-compound rather than cross-seas, which is good for satisfying my inertia and for not having to move cats, not so great for freedom of expression.