Monday, 14 October 2013

A bout of lasts

It’s a strange feeling sitting here in our flat, contemplating our last remaining night after three and something years in shitty old Hammersmith. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved our little house and life here nearly overlooking the Thames but I ain’t going to miss this particular patch of west London.

I honestly thought I’d dread this moment but after nearly a month of packing and sorting and chucking and, let’s be honest, low-grade bickering about whether or not we really need to pack the enormous French dictionary when neither of us speak the language and realistically never will, well, I’m just ready to pull the cord.

Actually, since the boxes went over a week ago things have felt a lot less frenzied and for all the anxious anticipation about next week, The Last Week, I’ve just really had to give over to the fact that I’m not going to get everything done that I wanted to before we leave. I concede my list was ambitious and had several re-writes along the way (the Royal Opera House probably isn’t going anywhere….) but I have managed nonetheless to tick a few key things off.

Like, boring shit – sorting my pension, arranging my tax return, ending my phone contract…

Necessary frivolous shit – a decent haircut, finding an outfit for the book launch next week, a visit to the Selfridges Denim Studio…

And some cultural shit too.

Last night Lovely Boy and I went to see the National Theatre production of ‘The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night Time’ and oh my god was it un-freaking-believably brilliant. The way they used the spare black box set to move seamlessly from one scene to the next with only a handful of versatile props and objects, the use of projections to illustrate the workings of Christopher’s brain as he grapples with his mathematical talents and the social awkwardness of Asperger’s syndrome. 

It was witty and warm and so cleverly realised and just the most absorbing couple of hours. The multiple Olivier Award wins are not a surprise and it was worth the near three-month wait to see it.

There’s been a mad rush around to see a good whack of exhibitions too but they probably deserve a post of their own. Though I will shout out an exhausted and sarcastic thanks to the Northern Line for ruining my only chance to the see the exquisite Kara Walker at Camden Arts Centre this weekend. Chalk it up to one last quintessential tube experience instead I guess.

The roof of the beautiful Apollo Theatre
Tonight we just have to finish cramming the last of our crap into the suitcases before relocating to my very gracious friend Hannah’s for the week. Tomorrow the cleaners come and then it will be all over red rover for Rainville Rd.

And then four days left of work and then a weekend and then a Monday and then we go.

I’m equal parts looking forward to and dreading this last week of work. I had my farewell on Friday and it was so very lovely, despite the collective tears. It’s overwhelming to realise that the people I work with, who I really love and who have become such important friends to me, feel the same about me too. I know I’m going to miss them – and miss the gallery – when I already feel jealous and left out of all the lunchtimes and Friday drinks and cultural outings and gossips and meetings to come.

The exquisite handmade clock given to me as
a farewell gift by my dear, dear work friends
But before I get forlorn I need to get quite a lot of administrative crap finished, including such fun things as writing a user manual for our content management system, finish making my goodbye cards, book a blow-dry for Thursday and, somehow, find a way to pack three suitcases worth of god knows what into one.  

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