10638 9th Line, Markham Ontario, L6B 1A8

    The Big Move: finding myself a new tribe at the rural school gate (apparently the builders don’t count)


    Maybe leaving London for the countryside is just what the doctor ordered. Not only is this the chance to reinvent myself as an organised mum – complete with a drawer of stacked Tupperware and family wall planner – but maybe it will also unearth my inner Charlie Dimmock.

    New me was put to the test when Moving Day finally came. Throwing away vases, candle holders and empty jars at midnight in a kitchen full of boxes was not the cathartic experience I was expecting. Sleep-deprived decluttering on a deadline? I don't think that's what Marie Kondo had in mind

    The best laid plans

    My Surrey life has now started, and I am living on a building site. This week, I watched a coordinated construction effort: the brick layers finished the walls of the extension, the welders hoisted three quarter-tonne pieces of steel onto the top of the shell in preparation for the roof, the ground was leveled for the patio, and the grabber (think massive truck with arcade game crazy claw) has removed piles of earth.

    Now it's me that needs to spring into action. I need to book in the floor fitter and decorator for mid-October, after the plasterer has been and before the skirting boards can go on. And I need to order tiles (a green, glassy Victorian porch tile to cover my floor-to-ceiling chimney breast) as well as door hinges and handles – brass, because I can't pull off the more fashionable copper.