Autumnal leaves on the ground
And so today was the start of the mid-term cull, Mrs Raheny's favourite school holiday pastime.
She hunts clutter around the house and chalks off all the items destined for the skip, with the heartlessness of an overzealous Waffen SS officer at Treblinka.
The kids and I tried to put up a little resistance, as her definition of clutter and ours tends to differ.
But it was a lost battle from the start. The morning campaign was fought in the kids' bedroom, on the bookshelf plateau. There were heavy casualties.
I tried to go upstairs and witness the massacre with my own eyes but I heard a shouted "Mimi, you are an even worse hoarder than Granddad", a sure indication that the hostilities had cranked up a notch or two.
I turned around and climbed back down the stairs, encouraging the boys to hide any prized possession that may have.
I reminded them that sentimental value = clutter.
But I hear footsteps, I'd better go and hide my collection of concert tickets from the 90s and half a dozen chargers for mobile telephones that I no longer own.