The flip side to losing Pam, as emotional as that has been, is that once the estate is wound up we'll be moving house. Separate bedrooms for Noah and Petal, probably upstairs so Smiler doesn't attempt to destroy them on a regular basis; a shower with a bit more oomph than the dribble we have now; a kitchen with more worksurface! Most importantly, a house that is closer to school than we are right now - the journey to school at the moment takes between 45 minutes and an hour, but of course you have to leave an hour in case you hit traffic. And in September Petal will be starting at secondary, so it will be all three of them in the car. Since I still can't drive (bloody brain cloud) Mr Manley had to do it all - and since it's there and back again, he can be driving up to four hours a day, just doing the school run. Ideally we'd like to be in walking distance, even if it's a bit further out Petal and Noah could cycle, and maybe Smiler could go on the school bus.
It sounds a little heartless to be thinking like this about losing someone, but I know Pam (and Cyril) would be pleased that they were able to make a difference. Noah will be 12 in March, and Petal 11 in June, so getting to an age where sharing with a sibling of the opposite gender is ... awkward? Irritating? For me, certainly - their ceaseless squabbling is getting on my nerves! But I'm hoping that having some space of their own will (slightly) ease the pressure on their relationship with one another. We'll see!
Although right now there's frustration at not knowing how much money we'll have or when we'll have it, it kind of feels a bit distant - as though it'll never actually happen. So Mr Manley and I are playing dream house. Looking at rightmove, scrutinising the photos, discussing hypothetically how we would manage, whether we'd have to extend to get a downstairs bedroom and bathroom for Smiler...
Ah well - one day. In a way it's a really exciting start to the new year - who knows where we'll be living by the end of it!
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