Saturday, October 8, 2011

Stuff... oh, stuff

Before we left Sydney we carefully considered what to do with our stuff - keep it and store it or sell it and start afresh when the time comes to settle down somewhere. What we eventually agreed was that we would sell most of it - mostly ikea furniture anyway, so we could probably buy new for not much more than the cost of storing it and transporting it to wherever,whenever that may be. we kept hold of a few things, mainly personal stuff like photographs and memories, and our dining table and chairs which we both felt bizarrely attached to, although now I do question whether it was really necessary. We had our things transported up to Brisbane where they are nestled safe and dry in my brother in law's garage until such a time that we might need them, or he might need the space, or move to a house with a smaller garage.

The beginning bit was easy, sofa, beds, desks, washing machines, whatever. Then some more challenging decisions - the Littlest Hobo's baby clothes for example - hanging on to them because we remembered her being tiny in them or just in case we just happened to have another child and then that other child just happened to be a girl all seemed too remote a reality to keep hold of them so we selected a few particularly heart-string-pulling pieces and either sold or gave away the rest. Deciding what to put in those final few suitcases which came with us though, that was painful. We ended up packing  and re-packing right up until the very last minute, leaving a mess of confusion at my mother in law's house after taking things out that seemed so important at the time, but in reflection, three or so months later, I can't even remember what they were! Apart from the sat nav... we ended up buying a new one not long into our travels. We boarded the plane 18kg overweight, and with bated breath, but I'm glad to say we didn't get charged on any one of the three flights. 

Last week we went for our first trip to a motor home sales place, to do a bit of research about exactly what we want to be in once we arrive back in antipodean lands, and I found myself thrilled at the idea of cutting down again and living in that small space with maybe half of what we have with us now. And yesterday, suddenly realising that in 2 weeks time we'll be leaving the comfortable base of my parents house that we've been relying upon for the last few months, and only what we can stuff in our car can come with us down to Spain, I opened my wardrobe and wondered why on earth I had brought with me half the things I did. The local charity shop will be very pleased with me in the not too distant future.

And then there's the small matter of toys. It was The Littlest Hobo's second birthday 2 weeks ago, and an excellent excuse for a huge party to catch up with loads of friends. We considered stipulating no presents, but that just made me feel like Scrooge McMum, and asking for money instead of gifts at a small child's birthday would've just been downright crass, and besides all that she loves all the little plastic fiddly things and crafty stuff etc that make excellent presents for kids birthdays, so we decided to just go with it. And, being surrounded by so many gorgeous friends and family, she received loads of lovely gifts which she is in heaven playing with. I don't want to sound ungrateful, we really are, we have some gorgeous friends who were so kind to our little hobo. But it's drawing near to the time when we'll have to  make the Europe trip cull, and as the new year draws we will be making an even stricter selection ready for our flights down to Singapore. 

On the plus side, given that there's so many things that we want, but don't want to haul around the world with us, I have no qualms with sticking anything that we treasure but doesn't make the A-list into a box or two to store in some currently unsuspecting relative's loft until such a time that we are ready to pick it up and drive it to our English country cottage, or pay some extortionate amount of money to ship it down to Oz, or wherever else we stumble across on our travels and deem suitable to set up our next home.

Writing this post has been enlightening; going through the editing process I started to question whether we're thinking like travellers yet. Right now it's more of an eager anticipation than a burning reality, although there has been a definite shift in the way that we approach each purchase as a family, we still buy some thing that we won't be using/consuming immediately and can't won't take on our travels. It's a change of attitude that's taking a bit of getting used to!

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