Maybe the last night in Hampstead

I think this might be my last night in Hampstead. I happened to be here this evening, so I came over to check on my friend’s place, as I’ve been doing since she got stuck in New Zealand. Sadly her landlady has used the pandemic to pull the flat out from under her because she thinks it’s made of gold. Maybe it will be for her. Either way, it means my friend will be arriving here at the end of this month – so long as movement is allowed in New Zealand – and she will be immediately having to empty her long time home of everything. She’s been here twenty years and more, outside of getting stuck in NZ recently. It’s going to be an extremely difficult process, both practically and emotionally. The deadline is October 6.

I’m going to help as much as I can, but the final date is imminent and I’ll be in Jersey for most of the rest of this month. In early October I might be calling out for all hands on deck, because this is a good human who is going to need to have things carried downstairs. She’s recently asked me to try to sell random things of hers on eBay, but the truth is that there’s nothing that will sell for enough to justify the time and work, and I can’t arbitrate what might or might not have value to her. I have to admit, I thought she’d be here by now. She isn’t.

I’ll wash the sheets ahead of her arrival, and make sure the dishes are done. I’ll try and turn the place over and freshen it up for my friend’s arrival, even if part of me thinks that they won’t make it back in time for this deadline that the landlady has set. They don’t want it to be true. I get it. But it’s true.

After the deadline I’m really not sure what will happen. I suspect it’ll involve me trying to get the books and the personal things out to somewhere other than a skip. I have a feeling I’ll be asking for help. Watch this space. I’m gonna do my best. For now though, I’m just gonna sleep.

This evening I did a spamthrough of the ghost tour that I’ll be fronting in Hampstead in the run up to Halloween. Typically, after having access to this flat for over a year, the month that I’m finishing my evening work ten minutes walk from it I won’t be able to be here. It will be just after the landlady has decided to start refurbishing the place and I’m persona non grata. Maybe there’ll be the chance of an extension… She likely hasn’t booked the work yet. It all feels like a negative haphazard choice. I’m not sure if there’s enough good will left to overturn it though. It feels like that landlady has somebody in her ear telling her that my friend “shouldn’t” etc. And we all know that as soon as we start to care about how people “should” and “shouldn’t” behave we easily become monsters.

I’ve had a lovely day anyway. Lunch at The Bull and Bush while crunching facts and then leading a pleasant walk with friends across the heath alongside some delightful geeks also working, with a few pub stops on the way.

I’m sure there’s online stuff about this thing I’m doing, but I’m not in the mood to share it right now, frankly. There’s summer rain outside the window, big fat drops. I’m hoping it doesn’t signal an end to this momentary joy of heat we’ve met with in London. At half past midnight, I’m gonna crash down here on the edge of the heath for one last night, and hope that maybe I’m wrong in my assessment of how this flat stuff will all pan out given the personalities involved…

A New Zealand cup belonging to my old friend, who honestly ought to just emigrate there. If she had no stuff.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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