Things you can't live without

Last weekend, when everyone else in Holland was enjoying a balmy spring bank holiday, we loaded up our car with the things we’d need in the next 6 months, the things that won’t fit into a suitcase when we fly to the UK in June and take up residence in our temporary home. Instead of enjoying the sunshine we drove to Rotterdam, sweating inside a full car, and took the overnight ferry.


When you have limited removal space it’s amazing how much you find you really can live without.

So now I know what I can’t live without for too long – those things I took to England and I’m doing without until the end of the month:

  1. black and white developing kit
  2. scanner that takes medium format negatives
  3. tripod
  4. writers and artists yearbook
  5. basic photography book
  6. the oxford style guide
  7. walking and climbing clothes
  8. 35mm camera lenses and flash
  9. summer clothes and shoes
  10. winter coat
  11. orchids
  12. computer
  13. my favourite pens, including the and the fountain pen I got as a school prize when I was eight.

And there are other things that I absolutely can’t do without. Not for a minute. They are going with me on the plane:

  1. Vlad
  2. light meter
  3. cable release
  4. laptop
  5. heart rate monitor
  6. running gear
  7. journal (I never get time to write it at the moment, but I will)
  8. A-Z of Manchester (It’s been useful for house hunting on the internet this week)
  9. walking boots (but only because there was no room for them in the car)
  10. English mobile phone (strange to think that when I left the UK I still thought they were bourgeois and unnecessary)

There will be other things in the suitcase. I’m sure it will be full to bursting. But apart from the boots, these things will fit into my hand luggage and I’ll have them with me at all times.

I’m not entirely sure what it says about me. At the end of the day it’s just stuff, things that can be replaced if necessary. But some of the things, some of the decisions I made surprised me. I’m still not sure what the orchids were about.

What things couldn’t you live without?



  1. We helped our friends Jen and Ben with their final packing before they went back to Canada last weekend. Well, I say we helped, we kind of took custody of the stuff they didn’t have room for, and hadn’t left with his parents or thrown out already. I have her brown boots for safe keeping til we’re able to go over and visit. And a car full of stuff in need of new homes. Its sad to see someone leave so much of what was their life behind – even though they were only here less than a year. But you’re right, it is just stuff. The important things are the memories (and the photos of course).

  2. LOL. Sadly she’s got smaller feet than me. And I’d need to get them heeled. And I don’t generally wear brown 🙂

  3. After I have just packed up all the stuff I had with me for six months to finally move into my new place I realised that it was so much more than I’d originally thought.
    I couldn’t name one thing that is not on your list above but it was at least five times as much.
    All I know is that simplifying and downsizing is a myth!

    (Your orchids are flowering and happy. You HAVE to take them.)

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