Moving Moments…

Posted: March 27, 2013 in Pets & Garden, Stuff
Tags: , , ,

We’re moving home. We presently live in the northern English city of Newcastle upon Tyne. In a few weeks time we’ll be living on the other side of the planet – in Perth, Western Australia.

I’m used to travelling – the job usually throws thirty five thousand or so onto my car each year – to say nothing of boats, ferries, planes, and trains – but this is different, this is the biggie. Of all the miles I’ve travelled as a stand up comic, half of them were always coming home.

These miles – the 9,000 miles we are about to travel – have a definitive direction – an arrow. These miles – the 9,000 miles we are about to travel – are all one way – they’re all leaving miles.

It’s a permanence that – with less than three weeks to go – is only now beginning to sink in.

We meant to move last year but for various reasons that are completely unconnected with war crimes, shallow graves, or indeed any criminal activity whatsoever, it has taken seven months, handfuls of hair, and at least one full gobful of fingernails to get everything sorted.

Still, here we are. We’re moving home. Arrangements are being made. Tickets being booked. Carriers called. Clothes packed.

The white-board in the study, normally plastered with slug-lines, or ideas for new scripts, has been invaded, and thoroughly conquered, by endless lists; lease this, sort them, sell those, store these, dump that.

The long delay, frustrating as it was, has had a positive side;

Jesse & Erik

February saw my youngest daughter, Jesse, give birth to the grandchild I thought I’d miss, and, with the birth of baby Erik, and the (admittedly pitiful) onset of the British spring, everything has a feeling of excitement, of renewal, of rebirth, of new beginnings and starting again – for all of us.

Well… almost all of us.

In that time one of the dogs that was going is now no longer going.

I knew he wouldn’t make it. He’s too old, too frail. His limbs are all swollen and gnarly. He struggles to get up in the morning, and has to be lifted in and out of the car. Even after the daily drugs have alleviated his aches, his eyes remain dim, milky, unseeing. He’s also quite deaf and frankly there’s a smell that, once smelled, can only be attributed to old age, disease, and death.

In many ways he’s like a mirror, as much of the above description could be applied to myself – and though I’m hoping the smell is a while away yet, it is quite hard to tell.

Smell or no smell, he’s an old mongrel, too, just like me. Unlike me, his name is Max.

It really was wishful thinking on my part to imagine Max in Australia. I should have had said goodbye to him a couple of years ago, but I’ve been selfish.

fave spot in the garden

fave spot in the garden

He’s my mate, you see, and I’ve been struggling to bring myself to let him go.

Up till now this selfishness has been easy. I’ve simply closed my eyes to his slow incremental deterioration – just like I’ve done to my own – whilst, every now and again, unconsciously upping both our meds.

Death, for Max, no less than myself, was always a far away place. A distant land.

Even lately the language has still had a distance to it – saying ‘goodbye’, ‘letting him go’ – but no more. That moment is no longer on or over the horizon. Those words are all in the past. Right now the carpet that my feet are resting on is a huge Juggernaut careering forward at the speed of time – and time is getting faster and faster and faster.

Now there’s a date. A specific date. A deadline.

I know what to do, I just need to take a deep breath. Man up, grow a pair, and pick up the phone – after all, he’s only a dog – just a pet.

After all, what does it take to pick up the phone and dial?

Why am I even thinking about this? Writing about this? I should be writing about the new baby? A new life? A new future?

Out with the old and in with the new – isn’t that what they say?

It’s ringing…

Stick it on the white-board, add it to the list –  lease this, sort them, sell those, store these, dump thatkill Max. There, I said it – written it down. It should be easier, now…

It’s just a finger poised above the ‘unsubscribe’ button, just a …

“Hello? … Hello? … (click)

I think I’ll wait till Jane comes home.

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