I am starting, squeamishly, to pack. As much as one can without boxes. I am mainly packing in my head and on long, crazy person lists, with some flutteringly feeble attempts to pile things up. It is woefully little, terrifyingly late. I am moving early next week. In my head I'm not actually taking anything except the piano and a small sofa and a chair, but the reality is rather different. I mean, there are clothes, and shoes, and nicky nacky trinkety bits of nonsense, and the CFO is very unreasonably refusing to retain custody of all my unopened bills and correspondence with HSBC.
The kitchen is ok. We have too much of most things, particularly bowls of course. I might have to return to my former career of cutlery crime for spoons. I get the Kitchenaid, he gets the juicer. For all either of us know, the juicer may have a family of rare bats nesting in it given the amount of use it has. I am prone to self-delusion, but not prone enough to believe I am going to start juicing. I have mass purchased bedlinen and towels in a twitchy fashion, so that's not a problem either. We've talked about all the big stuff, most of which is staying here with the CFO, and apart from some serious residual sadness on both sides over pictures and photos, we're ok with it. I'll be pretty devastated not to see the Skygarden from my bed any more, but in the grand scheme of things, it's pretty low on the list of miseries. Oh, and of course I don't even have a bed to look at it from. The weepette gets to keep one of his two favoured chairs.
I am trying to decide what books to take. The CFO is keen to keep the shelves full (not a problem, overflow paperbacks clutter most corners), so I am only taking what I really want to have, to keep, to read or reread. It's an odd mix, so far; part what I genuinely want to read or reread, and partly deluded. Deluded in that I am taking all the worthy stuff that I have not, thus far, had any desire to read, books of poetry bought for me by Prog Rock or my mum, giant history tomes I failed to read during my degree or subsequently, things I bought believing I should have read them that stare reproachfully down from their dusty perches (Don DeLillo, Montaigne, Yeats and Proust biographies, I am particularly thinking of you here) .
It's stupid really. Going half a mile down the road is unlikely to change my reading habits. I will still buy whatever modern novels catch my eye on the 3 for 2 pile, or that are well-reviewed, or that I like the sound of. I will re-read almost nothing - Wodehouse, Mitford, Cold Comfort Farm, I Capture the Castle, David Sedaris. I will flirt with poetry again and it will make me feel peculiar again and I will shove it away in a distant corner. I will never look at my big art and photography books. Does anyone look at them? I have been as guilty as anyone of buying them as gifts, but really? Do you ever look at them more than once?
What would you really really have to take with you if you moved? Or what would you and your significant other fight to the death over? It can be like that "what would you save if the house was on fire" question they ask in magazines. I've never managed to answer it satisfactorily when I am playing 'fantasy when I am a celebrity interview' in my head (don't give me that, of course you've played). I can only conclude I would burn to death trying to decide which picture to take. With my mouth full of shoes. I wouldn't make a great buddhist, would I?