Into the unknown


I’m back in Amsterdam to pack up and move out. After a weekend of frantic packing and sorting, the removal me. There’s nothing much to do except now make sure they don’t pack our passports, so me and Ron are sitting face to face over the dining table that contains most of our stuff that isn’t going into storage. The phone is off, the television and stereo are packed but at least we still have internet.

I’ve been angsty the last few days, constantly reminding myself that moving house is one of the top 5 most stressful life events. It’s been a desperate rush to get things done before they arrived, and to be honest there’s a certain amount of crap that’s going into storage only to be thrown away when we get a new home. But I’ve moved home enough times to know that despite your good intentions you always run out of time.

It still doesn’t feel real. I don’t have any sense that in a couple of days I am leaving Amsterdam forever. And I can’t quite believe that next time I come back I’ll stay with friends or in a hotel. Again, I expected to feel sad but I don’t. I guess it’s just time to move on.

After spending one month in the new flat I know that I can live without most of the stuff that’s being packed away. But I’m trying not to watch, trying not to think about the things I’ll miss. The Chinese painting my mother left me in her will, my books, CDs. I hate the idea of my diaries going into storage but they’ve already been packed. All that stuff that you see so often that you take it for granted will be sealed in a container for the next few months. There’ll be no chance to retrieve the tent or the ice axes if we decide on a trip to the Alps. I won’t be able to pull the complete works of Shakespeare off the shelf to check a quotation. It’s an albeit temporary road of no return.

But for all that it’s exciting to know that when these things see the light of day again, we’ll be unwrapping them in our new home. Wherever that may be.

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  1. […] seat To take full advantage of Flickr, you should use a JavaScript-enabled browser and install the latest version of the Macromedia Flash Player. F.decorate(_ge(‘button_bar’), F._photo_button_bar).bar_go_go_go(2644948697, 0); F.decorate(_ge(‘photo_notes’), F._photo_notes).notes_go_go_go(2644948697, ‘’, ‘3.1444’); View ronet’s map Taken in a place with no name (See more photos or videos here) The removal men are here.  […]

  2. Great (angsty?) photo.

    I remember eventually unpacking some crates once and finding things like half consumed breakfast cereal packets inside.

    I know, too much information…

  3. Great final line of hope and excitement, perspective that it won’t always be like this. It strikes me perfectly right now as all my stuff is crammed into one room for a week while I sand and finish the floors in the rest of the place. I’m climbing over boxes to lie down, and typing this standing up.
    How nice it will be for both of us to be finished with our moves amd on to the rest of our changes.

  4. Thanks for your comment! I’ve been following your trip back to England through your texts and pictures… and many many times I felt you were giving shape and voice to my own feelings and thoughts. For a while we’ve lived parallel lifes indeed. And now i’m getting toasted by the sun in Madrid, and I love it. I love to be back much more than I thought I could. It feels like it was perfect timming, or as you said it was time to move on.

  5. Rashbre – I imagine we’ll find stuff like that when we unpack.

    Kip – there do seem to be parallels going on in our lives. Though sadly the floor we put in – my first proof that I was over a bout of chronic fatigue – will be taken out by the new owner. I hope you emerge soon from your renovations.

    Ana – good to hear that life in Madrid is suiting you. I am having to get used to colder weather in Manchester.

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