Of no fixed abode

I’m writing this post standing up. Because there is a sofa-shaped void where my sofa-shaped sofa once stood.

I won’t trouble you with another photograph but my bed is similarly absent. “So what?” says Susan, 27, Manchester, who has clicked into a travel blog to read about exotic locations rather than non-existent furniture. And yes, our dear Susan has a point – most, if not all, of us have moved house at one point or another, so why is it noteworthy? Because most people moving house ARE MOVING TO ANOTHER HOUSE.


This is my keyring. For the first time in my adult life I have no keys, no house, no fixed abode. The sense of freedom excites me yet the uncertainty frightens me. 12 months on the road!

My father, a singing teacher and baritone soloist, used to sing a song whose lyrics never failed to capture my imagination; it was a poem called “The Vagabond” by Robert Louis Stevenson and it seems poignant on the eve of my departure:
The Vagabond
Give to me the life I love, 

Let the lave go by me, 

Give the jolly heaven above 

And the byway nigh me. 

Bed in the bush with stars to see, 

Bread I dip in the river 

There’s the life for a man like me; 

There’s the life for ever.
Let the blow fall soon or late, 

Let what will be o’er me; 

Give the face of earth around 

And the road before me. 

Wealth I seek not, hope nor love, 

Nor a friend to know me; 

All I seek, the heaven above 

And the road below me.
Or let autumn fall on me 

Where afield I linger, 

Silencing the bird on tree, 

Biting the blue finger. 

White as meal the frosty field – 

Warm the fireside haven – 

Not to autumn will I yield, 

Not to winter even!
Let the blow fall soon or late, 

Let what will be o’er me; 

Give the face of earth around, 

And the road before me. 

Wealth I ask not, hope nor love, 

Nor a friend to know me; 

All I ask the heaven above, 

And the road below me.

It’s beautiful, isn’t it? So, what must the vagabond to feel a sense of homes as he wanders? Here I draw inspiration from the humble snail for my analogy – I shall take my home with me!. Socks – 8 pairs, shorts – 4 pairs, happy memories – many, life-long friendships – all of them.

Deep breath. Full stop.

New chapter

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