What a roller coaster day. Right after Michelle tells me maybe I shouldn’t be cleaning, I get an unexpected offer that, if I take it, would make cleaning my whole life.

Today I was offered an opportunity to live with Kate, rent free, at the mansion on the hill where I’ve be

From the Robin Wood Tarot

en cleaning a few months now.

It’s the silliest job on my books. The only good thing about it is that it’s a five hour a fortnight gig and five hour cleaning jobs are rare and rather plum. But it’s a crushing bore – five hours of pure vacuuming, that’s how big the mansion is.

While I vacuum, the lady of the house and another cleaner move ahead of me doing the picking up and dusting around the objets. It’s ridiculous and finally Milady has realized why rich people have housekeepers.

And she’s offered me the position.

Well I cried – my default response to most things lately – and then I cried some more.

My first instinct was to simply say no. I would not be happy living in a corner of someone else’s mansion – and it is a ridiculous, over-the-top place full of gilt and portraits and a cinema and guest wings.

And to place myself entirely at the goodwill of a family who, let’s face it, could dispense with my services at any time and leave me homeless as well as jobless… it doesn’t sound all that enticing.

But then I thought of what it could mean for Kate. She would live surrounded by luxury and, living rent-free, I could afford some of those things she currently does without – stupid things, really, like an Ipod and a Playstation but they’re not stupid to her.

That’s when I started crying. This house here in Flower Street is my dream home. I found it by the merest chance and fell in love with its peeling weatherboard and high ceilings and its strange, hokey bathroom with the corrugated iron walls.

This place is my daily comfort. Jason may be a world away but here in Flower Street, sitting on my veranda almost in the branches of the Poinciana tree with its beautiful great pinwheel flowers close enough to touch – I don’t want to be anywhere but here.

If I must be alone, let it be here. Let it be here, where the loneliness of Friday night is evaporated by the warmth of Saturday’s sunrise streaming through the window of my huge white-walled bedroom and promising another glorious weekend in my tangled garden.

This house, this simple existence, is what feels best for me right now. But is it what’s best for Kate? I think right here is best for her too, but would she agree? Should I even tell her about this offer?

Sometimes there’s a danger of over-burdening her in the decision making process but since we’ve been on her own, rightly or wrongly, I have included her and consulted her and, time and again, have been amazed at her wisdom.

She did not disappoint me tonight.

Her first reaction, like mine, was “No! I love this house.”

Even when I pointed out the advantages it would mean for her – the Ipod, the clothes I could afford for her, she was not swayed.

She let me know, in no uncertain terms, that she has a firm grip on what the really important things in life are.

Lately, I’ve been disillusioned with some aspects of life with Kate. Today reminded me that the things that get me down are the transient irritations of pre-adolescence.

Where it counts, Kate and I make a rock solid family, epitomized by the 10 Pentacles.

And Bush Gardenia renews interest and communication in family relationships. It resonates with the back to basics discussion about what’s important to us and our decision to stay right where we are.

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