There are, from time to time, periods in my life (and yours too, I'm guessing) when you perceive that a undefined period is coming to an end. A certain job, a certain home, a certain group of friends, or a certain combination of all of the above. With the recent departure of Ulli back to Europe, and of Ryan to his new domestic bliss, I have been in a period of unsettled change for some time. I've been expecting it and preparing for it, but it was still a strange experience for it to actually happen.
A now the final pieces are in place. Charlotte, whose apartment we have been occupying, looking after and occasionally cleaning, has returned. She walked through the door just as I was flushing the toilet: isn't it funny how reunions can often be somewhat awkwardly timed? She brought with her a friendly dog named Maya, who has gradually been accepted and maybe even welcomed into the house by the existing four feline occupants. Charlotte has commenced a massive operation of cleaning, emptying and clearing out unnecessary detritus from her home. After a long sojourn in a remote north-eastern corner of Québec, most recently spent clearing out the family home of her late sister, the time is right for a few days of energetic cleaning and removal of things that are no longer needed here.
Now it is my time to move on. I will remain here until the end of the month, and then I will be moving to another apartment near by, where Ryan and Jonathan already live. Six weeks from now, I will have finished work, and will take two weeks off for one final trip (news on that coming soon). And eight weeks from now, I will pack my suitcases, throw away my own personal collection of the junk I've acquired this year, and return to England.
I am on the final straight, and every hour of every day is being taken advantage of.