Multi-tasking. There is a limit! As my head seems to spin the full 365 degrees, I can’t help but contemplate ‘why’? I suppose it’s the culmination of seven years of legal battling but, of course, sometimes the bitterness is such that it is compulsive and the desire to win/have the last word is over-riding. So, in the words of Bob Seger, I am faced with The Famous Final Scene demanding not only of self-belief but, more importantly, that one clings to the concept of justice. Actually, that leads me on to the subject of a clear conscience and I have a photograph of an extract from Meghan Markle’s (alleged) letter to her father on my phone, bits of which were published in The Mail on Sunday, 16th February 2019. Extremely poignant, it struck a chord with me: ‘I realise you are so far down this rabbit hole that you feel (or may feel) there’s no way out, but if you take a moment to pause I think you’ll see that being able to live with a clear conscience is more valuable than any payment in the world.’ Amen to that.

Me and a website. Hardly the perfect match but, as I have said before, it just seemed like the next step forward.   As one who specializes in bemoaning technology, however, I should have realized that the upshot would be that I would feel entirely stupid. Job done. There is a dashboard of all things, much of which denotes words and terminology more appropriate to those little green men in search of intelligent life. Guess I have no prospect of viewing the Great Wall of China from space anytime soon …

So, in between conversations with my lawyer, accountant, emails from conveyancing lawyer and endeavouring to understand WordPress, somewhere I must find time for packing now as time waits for no man. Quite honestly, the words ‘skip’ and ‘everything’ are prominent in my mind and just forget my love of memorabilia and keepsakes. What was I thinking?! The minimalists among us, whom I regularly berate, have got it sussed. Who cares if one’s home will never feature on Through The Keyhole? Who cares if I have nothing tangible to jog the memories of my charmed life when my children banish me to a cell in a care home to while away the hours between the delivery of slop? Right now those boxes of photographs, old diaries, children’s clothes, newspapers of note etcetera, etcetera (that’ll up the word count!) are entirely surplus and, quite frankly, infringing on my sanity! I suppose the loft is my real bugbear requiring me to continually bend over in a bid not to hit my head off the numerous nails sticking out of the roof joists – actually, funny how quickly one becomes immune after the second or third hit!

Yes, the loft is crippling and overwhelming but we have made some impact. Still loads of clothes and pictures to come – all requiring of a strapping man (can I say that?) below the hatch to retrieve large objects – but the real laugh is going to be the two large school trunks belonging to Becca and Manny and housing their early lives. I think they were up there before the Ramsay ladder and hatch were installed so … they may need to remain as time capsules to be discovered in another age. Not obvious at all that I am losing the will to live!

Might help if the weather improved. Incessant rain would seem the default wherever we go. Not quite sure which one of us is followed by a cloud overhead but Becca seems to think it is her. Couldn’t possibly be me for whom things go so swimmingly! Suffice to say we were in the Eternal City last weekend, flying out on Saturday morning – yes, that wonderful Ryanair flight at dawn which never fails to remain imprinted on one’s mind – to celebrate Becca’s 30th Birthday in her favourite place. Goes without saying that we all looked terrible and were completely exhausted – well, try packing amongst packing. I’m surprised one of us didn’t end up bringing Wilbur’s old bedding – and, yes, of course I am taking that with me to my new life!

In actual fact, Wilbur’s old blankets may have been a more suitable wardrobe for Rome as it rained, it poured and the old man snored!  The tourists were out in force but the only people benefitting were the street sellers flogging these hideous ponchos – I have to confess, there was a moment when I suggested buying one to Manny? Met with the appropriate derision.

Talking of Manny, not only did we have the weather and exhaustion to contend with but he added his own little touch of finesse by leaving his passport in the taxi on arrival. Mayday calls went out in the hope that some kind person would return it to the hotel but … they never did! Wrong use of pronoun but little in joke. He, subsequently, spent much of our last day in Rome in the British Embassy while Becca and I were at the rooftop bar of the Minerva Hotel, next to the Pantheon, drinking cocktails while re-inacting a scene from The Birds. I had no idea seagulls came in that size!!

Becca’s uni friends were lucky having arrived on the Thursday prior to her party on Saturday night. Not only were they relaxed and well-rested but they had been privy to what would seem to be the only two days of sunshine in the past month. Meantime, Megan – Manny’s Australian girlfriend – arrived with a backpack and a wardrobe staple of cut-off denim shorts. Chilly but went down a storm and even allowed in the Hassler for drinks on Sunday night! Interesting that we were told that a man dressed in shorts would not be deemed suitably dressed …

I have been lucky enough to visit Rome on many occasions and the sun has, so far, never deserted me – until now. A battle of the brollies, we were drenched several times and, quite honestly, there was no saving the hair! However, I think it was the state of the Via dei Fori Imperiali – my favourite road from the Wedding Cake through the Fora to the Colosseum – which saddened me most. Barricades on both sides, from one end to the other, there were stands lining the thoroughfare ensuring the crowds were reduced to extended single file and making it a miserable exercise. No views worthy of a camera, we returned with very few photos. Now, that is not the Roma we know and love! Shopping? Well, obviously made more difficult thanks to the elements but we persevered!

There, I have managed to blether on for a thousand words and I must select a quote to end. Before that, however, let me impart an interesting – though completely useless – snippet of information: seagulls are creatures of habit. Innocuous as that may sound, I can assure you, it is not. Let’s just say that every morning for the last month or so, when I go out to my car, I have to do so armed with a wet tissue to wipe the evidence from the wing mirror and the door deposited in exactly the same spot every time. Obviously, the flight path home from the seagull equivalent of the local Indian!

The quote? For some reason, I have been thinking about Seve of late – my favourite! He died eight years ago from a malignant brain tumour on May 7th, 2011. He was 54 years old. Here are two of his best:

‘I’d like to see the fairways more narrow. Then everybody would have to play from the rough, not just me.’

… and,

‘They say I get into too many bunkers. But is no problem. I am the best bunker player.’

Always positive! The initmitable, forever missed, Seve Ballesteros. I have a wonderful canvas depicting that iconic image of him winning The Open at St Andrews in 1984. It is coming with me …

This is Trish, signing off.