It is a bright, fresh morning, sunny and clear, and I am looking over the rooftops and tree tops from my upstairs office, in our new home – the first home, you will recall, that Rob and I have chosen together and moved into together. Around me are boxes, filing cabinets, a table for the printer, a bookshelf, all just where they landed, last night, when the movers came. Downstairs, chairs, tables, the sideboard and drinks cabinet are surrounded by boxes of kitchen ware, appliances, glassware and crockery. It might take a month, before we return to normality – except that, knowing Rob, I know we will be pretty much done in a couple of days.

Yesterday, as I was making my final rounds of the Emmarentia house, doing the idiot check, making sure that nothing was left behind, I thought to myself, this is a good feeling, in so many ways. Not just that Rob and I are finally moving into our new place; not just that there is money in the bank; but a feeling of satisfaction and self respect, that Rob and I were leaving this place infinitely, unimaginably more decent, clean, livable, than we found it after Eileen left, leaving behind her filth, her trail of detritus and the wreckage of what had been a family home. No shred of decency there. Not much self respect either.

So it felt good, as I watched the men load the last few things on the truck, in the gathering darkness, and drive away: a clean departure, a fresh start.

It was another hour or two, of course, before we had unloaded at Hyde Park and Rob and I, exhausted and beyond ourselves, could head out for a bottle of vinho verde and a plate of king prawns, at the Portuguese restaurant in Benmore Gardens. And I did feel, I must admit, a little daunted and uncertain, when we got back home, not just by the boxes and the disorganisation, but by how small, how minute the place looked, after Emmarentia.

But then, this morning, I went downstairs and opened up the house and went out into the garden, filled with light and birdsong, and my spirits lifted. It is a new day, after all.