Archaeologists are fond of discovering ancient rubbish tips, as studying what mankind throws out is an excellent method of learning about former societies. Our move this week to ‘the hovel’, as one son calls it (in fact, a rather charming flint-clad farmer’s cottage), has necessitated frequent trips to the local tip.

Future archaeologists will find that the Hedges family had a young girl with a preference for pink clothes, a large collection of plastic warriors from a game called Warhammer, some computer screens and a great many videos. The large number of wine bottles should be interpreted as a leaving party.

The good news is that, with any luck, we will be moving again in a few months’ time as we have, in the past week, agreed the price on a house to buy. This third move in less than two years should finally sort out the clutter that has been following us around since we left London more than a decade ago.

As we were packing up, I noticed the first snowdrops and that, above us, last year’s solitary red kite had been joined by two others. I will miss the wildlife, but look forward to proper heating and a less idiosyncratic plumbing system.

* Subscribe to Country Life and save up to 41%