Yesterday, the cut-rate courier arrived at our address to relieve us of 8 boxes of our worldly goods. He arrived late - hours late - emitting, as one English politician famously said of another, "something of the night about him". It appears that his journey was taking him to West Cork after our house so it may very well be that our 8 boxes, packed and prepped for their new Mediterranean home, will make it no further south than Bantry. This is the risk you run when you go for the cheapest bidder - the suspicion, no, the expectation, of disappointment.
And if we lose the boxes? What of it! According to Nina, we'll just go look for them. It will be an excuse for another round-the-world trip, hunting down the boxes. A global treasure hunt where the prize is a few copper pots, cookery books, stuffed toys, jigsaws, and the occasional old friend.
In managing the move, we have done a triage: What do we need on the road or immediately on arrival? (Packed in car.) What do we need soon after arriving? (Boxes by courier.) What do we need once we have established ourselves in Cagliari? (Removal company.) There is a fourth category, into which I suspect most of our 'stuff' belongs. But it has been years now that making bonfires on one's own back garden has been against the law, so it'll just stay here indefinitely. Perhaps I can get NAMA to take it on?
The trip itself can be broken into three sections (and easily reassembled, one hopes). Brittany, where we impose ourselves for the night with our friends Andrew and Elizabeth, formerly of this parish. Paris, where we impose ourselves for 3 nights with Letizia's sister Giovanna (our New Zealand fellow traveller). And Piedmont in North Italy, where we will impose ourselves on the Biaggi family, who we are accustomed to meet on the beaches of Sardinia (I wonder if we'll recognize each other with our clothes on). If this trip had a theme it could be "How to travel long distances without forking out for a hotel room". Simon and Leah in Brisbane will attest to our ability to make ourselves at home in a place that somebody else already made theirs (guys - I wish your place was on the way too - I could really do with an evening on your couch, drinking your beer, and hogging your conversation.)
In total, we're looking at around 1600km of driving - that's a little less than Santiago de Chile to Iquique, or a little more than Canberra to Melbourne and back (raising the obvious question, why would you go back to Canberra?) But I can't wait to get on the road. The emotion of motion is already clouding my thoughts, to the point where I almost don't care where we end up. A wrong turn could take us anywhere. And that's OK by me. All roads lead to Home.
Even if it turns out to be Bantry.