Intense business, all this looking into the past.
In the last fortnight, I've been obliged to confront every last memory landmine that lurked in the dark recesses of what has proven to be an almost bottomless house.
Trust me when I say that each one packed a punch.
Good times, bad times. I've discovered that it makes no difference. All weigh equally heavily, and I appear to share with Gore Vidal a natural reluctance to relive any of it (turns out that his Palimpsest is an excellent companion at such a time, and I highly recommend it).
The things I've given away this week would make a grown man cry. Third generation heirlooms. Books inscribed for me by my mother. Fifty boxes that collectively represented the emotional remains of the love of my life; sorted, culled, tearfully repacked, and shipped out, never to be seen again.
To commemorate this somewhat gruelling week, I would like to share with you one of the happier memories; my best friend Sarah's wedding. My daughter (pictured here in the Baby of Honour matinee jacket that some of you might recognise), startled by post-ceremonial applause, has just finished Hitting the Note, only allowing herself to be distracted by the flowers just long enough for this photo to be snapped. The look of serenity on my face is, no doubt, actually one of sheer relief. That kid could turn your entire universe to white noise when she wanted to, and would, without the slightest hestitation.
Nostalgia has never been my forte. I distrust sentiment, seeing it as a perilous and slippery slope, the end of which will see me up late and drunk, singing loudly and tunelessly to the Clancy Brothers, as did my father on a regular basis.
That said, I would give a great deal to kiss those stroppy, fat little baby cheeks again.
And this photo, not surprisingly, will be coming with us.