Now that Ant and Bernie are both away at University, the time seemed right (to Anna) to rearrange the kids’ rooms. So Charlie and Dominique were ‘promoted’ to the larger bedrooms previously occupied by their big sisters, and Ant and Bernie ‘demoted’ to the smaller ones previously occupied by their siblings.
A large part of the thinking behind that is that there is room in the larger rooms for a desk, meaning that Charlie and Dom will have somewhere to do their homework, rather than the kitchen table.
Needless to say, this all causes uproar. Ant and Dom were fine about it, but Bernie didn’t want to sacrifice her room, and Charlie didn’t want to leave his 'cupboard' (as he called it in an impassioned plea). But Anna was relentless.
My role in all this was largely to ensure no bloodshed ensued, to move the necessary furniture and light fittings about, and above all to sort the books.
For of course, over the years, books have migrated around the rooms, to the extent where the other day we bought a second copy of one that had apparently disappeared. This seemed a great opportunity to sort through them, identifying duplicates to go to the second hand shop, and getting all the titles by one author back together again.
The first stage of this was to separate all the childrens’ novels from the non-fiction and poetry, and then to lay all the novels out on Dom’s floor, in alphabetical order of author. That’s a great way of reuniting series (Narnia, Swallows & Amazons, Harry Potter etc) and finding the duplicates (Heidi, Little Women, Black Beauty and so on...)
An incidental pleasure for me is finding unlikely neighbours: what would Harper Lee and C S Lewis have made of each other, for example?
The next phase is for Charlie and Dom to decide which they want on the shelves in their rooms, and then divide the remainder as best we can between the empty shelves in Ant’s and Bernie’s new rooms. Doubtless there will be howls of protest when they return at Christmas, but as half-time residents, they only have half a vote each, so we can easily out manoeuvre them!