I'm going to have to skip on a little here because so much has hapenned and I'm in a hurry to get something out before I lose all comms. I'll come back to who we are why we're doing this when things have settled down a bit.
To cut a long story short, we rented our house out (traumatic experience that came good in the end), we packed 7 shipping barrels that will, fingers crossed arrive in Dominica sometime in late September. That was a revealing experience. When it comes to selecting the stuff you really need in and for your life from the 40 years of clutter, you very quickly realize that you need barely anything. Probably 5 of the 7 barrels are full of Oliver's toys and sports equipment. My stuff filts into 1 barrel as does Pip's. Anyway, this went without a hitch.
Clearing the house for our new tenants was a nightmare. Where does all this stuff come from?? Anyway, most of it is in the attic now and a good chunk of it went on freecycle or to charity shops.
We moved out of our home a week before we flew and our friends and family were amazing at supporting us and letting us sleep in various spare rooms. We had a farewell party for around 50 local friends which was supposed to be a picnic on the common followed by pub, but ended up, due to heavy rain inside the Amberly Parish rooms and then the sun came out for the pub. It was a great afternoon and we're going to miss our friends a lot!
We sold our car for £1 to our neighbours on the understanding that we could get it back for £1 in a years time. We picked up a shiny new hirecar to drive to the Gatwick airport in and managed to put a massive dent into one of the doors before we could off-hire. This turned out to be just a pre-emptive strike for the drama that was to come...