I’ve moved in all but one of the 16 years since I left home, and preparing to move on the boat is the hardest pack yet. The lovely converted shed in which I live may be small, but I had superbly rammed parts of it with stuff. Unramming them is a more lengthy process than I had expected.
There is so much to fit in such a little space, so I am chucking all I can. Already two boxes and a binbag full of clothes have gone to the charity shop, and there are more to follow. I have even got down to individually picking out the empty or particularly dreadful sketches from the huge pile of paper that made up half of my art cupboard. Unsurprisingly, a lot has gone. Mind you, I’m hardly being overly ascetic. I am not throwing away a single frock and still have more than I need for summer. I just wouldn’t know where to start.
Rich is at work in the days and either preparing the boat or relaxing with me in the evenings, so packing is a lonely job. Though it’s often meticulous and demoralising, it can also feel quite liberating. I am only keeping clothes I actually wear, and things I actually use or would realistically use in my creative life and work, and it’s nice to feel the weight of the crap I carry with me lessen to such an extent.
I worry about the safety of my possessions, particularly the clothes, books and music stuff, in such damp environments as our shed at the marina. Hopefully they will get onto the boat soon, or dryer storage if not. For now they sit taunting me about this sodding shed, waiting to be packed, doing nothing. Rich seems nervous about how much I’m letting go. Perhaps he’s wondering, what if it all goes wrong after I’ve chucked all that stuff? Well, if it does, I’ll have a lot less shit to carry away. I’m not planning for that.