This cottage is now cleaner than it’s ever been. It’s about four times as clean as it was when we moved in, and tomorrow when we give back the keys, they’re going to be blinded by the shine in the metal surfaces. Oh yes.

We even ate outside today so that we would not stain those surfaces: cold cuts, boiled vegetables, sauces served from the back of a car, literally, because the back of mum’s car folds out rather than swings up. Mum was here, and even dad found time between appointments to show up.

We ate on paper plates and with plastic cutlery. All in the name of keeping things spiff and clean so that we didn’t have to redo everything. There’s a big sack of garbage here that we have to rid ourselves of now, but I can do that tomorrow, and just be lazy now because I’ve earned it today with all that cleaning.

Also, like when we arrived, our activities outside and the presence of mum brought our neighbours sniffing around, and we invited them in for food. They even brought their own, and Ola’s dad officiated over a grilling session that was lubricated with good lager and nice wine.

Therefore, yours truly is happy, and part of that happiness is chemically induced. I must have Mark explain the complex chemistry inherent in the common grape sometimes. Since it’s having this effect on me, the knowledge about it should be fascinating.

***

Our last evening here then, and it feels a bit surreal. I mean, sitting here on the veranda in the dark with just the lamp over the door on, and writing this. Mark is inside and going over things that might have become stained anyway, despite our care.

It’s warm, and the cows have gone home to the barn for the night, and it’s just me and the mosquitoes and the Swedish night. Tomorrow this bucolic residency is going to be replaced by the urban environment at home. From green nature to red brick city in one night. That’s what feels a bit surreal.

As usual I’m having travel nerves, which is a bit silly because I’m going home and not away.

***

The acne is also returning, so I’m employing chemical warfare at the moment, which makes me smell like a chemical factory. My face feels like it’s been dipped in oils or butter. I just need a flour coating and it’s ready to fry.

***

Auntie is excited about us coming home. Like I said in my earlier post, I gave her a ring to remind her of our itinerary tomorrow, and when we expect to be back at the house. This so that she can be there and open up and give us the keys back.

I’m sure there’s going to be a huge pile of bills and post too, and I hope it won’t be too bad. It feels kind of weird to think that. Has my domestication gone so far that I’m thinking about the bills at home, rather than about more fun stuff? I’m growing into my dad, for chrissakes. Soon I’ll look in the mirror and tell myself to grow the hell up, and argue that I’m utterly irresponsible. Oh joy.

Mark’s parents are coming over too as well tomorrow. They’re fetching us at Heathrow, so unless we get held up in customs we should be home by lunch. Then we can tell everyone about everything we’ve done this summer. Which should be a fascinating tale that last about five minutes.

***

I can’t believe it’s only two weeks until the school starts. That happens on the seventh. Why does any school start on a Friday? That’s beyond my understanding. It’s going to ruin any last day vacation feel. Yeah, you go to school for a few hours on a friday, and then it’s weekend.

But then again, this is the nation that employs ticket clerks that are annoyed if you interrupt their reading to buy tickets, so it shouldn’t come as a great surprise. We do inefficient systems quite well, and then we entrench those systems, and preserve them as aspect of The British way of life.

You can see that in the alarm that has been raised by the slippage in GCSE-exams. Schools are threatening to sue the examination boards because their precious students aren’t given an easy passage. And of course, everyone is blaming the government.

Not that I mind that the government is blamed since I think they should probably be the first ones up against the wall when the great revolution comes. Still, it’s quite funny. So, students failed. They can resit then, and learn a lesson.

Christ, I’m starting to sound like a Tory. First like my dad, now like a Tory. I’m lost. Lost. Still, I’m glad we’re going home. I can’t wait to come home. This has been a fine time, but it’s over, and feels over, and it’s time to get on with normal life. Which includes the fact that school starts in two weeks, and soon I’m going to have to make decisions about university and all that…

Now I feel like running away, to live in the forest.

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