The Methodical Carpenter’s sensational resignation has hit me hard.

On the first floor of the cottage, work is almost finished. The painters are done, the shower is working and Carpetright have been engaged. It is a lovely first floor.

The ground floor is less complete, but still encouraging. A kitchen. A bathroom. One of those outside lights that goes on and off in the middle of the night when an ant wanders past.

So I am reasonably happy with the ground floor.

My issue, as far as I can establish, is getting from one floor to the other. This is an activity that, even with rationing myself, I am likely to want to do several times a day. Being unable to do so, I realise, makes the cottage unsustainable as living accommodation for a family with a young baby. And, having to move out of Narcoleptic Dave’s fully stair-equipped cottage at the end of next week, it suddenly hits me that we will be homeless.


‘Homeless’. It is not a word that I have ever really thought about. There is no such thing, I reflect, as ‘The Homeless’ – only ‘People Without Homes’. And I appear to have joined their ranks. I have only ever really thought about homelessness in an abstract context: ‘it’s terrible the amount of homeless on the Strand. They quite spoilt my enjoyment of the opera.’ But now…

‘Homeless’. From the Latin ‘Homus’ (a place to live) and the Anglo-Saxon ‘Less’ (I have not got one). Homeless.

Homeless. There are many famous and successful homeless people I can take comfort from, like the lady in the van in the Alan Bennett story, and the Littlest Hobo, and Gary Glitter. Although thinking about it, the lady in the van did have a home (a van). But I admit I do not have the problems Gary Glitter has, what with glam rock being very out of fashion in the early twenty-first century.