The wonder of stuff

It was, is and will be again a very big week at Little City Towers.

Leaving home; leaving school; moving back in with your parents in the dying embers of your 30s, resigning from your job…

These are all big chapters in anyone’s book of life… and we’re cramming them all in to five days.

Yes, we have very definitely reached the business end of this relocation malarkey. Any thoughts that our move was some elaborate hoax were dispelled once and for all first thing Monday morning, when five guys, some or all of whom were called Steve, turned up at my front door and demanded I hand over everything I own.

Not to mention that I started the week with a panicky trip to the docs to remind me I’m not as young as that voice in my head says I am; I’ll end it with a birthday to prove I’m not as young as I think I am, all of which adds up to the kind of week most people would pay good money to avoid.

The mental and physical effort of sorting the house into what amounted to two giant piles of going / not going in the packing crate, whilst playing single dad, house husband and full time employee, has taken its toll.

For weeks, Monday at 9am has been burned into my being; a glowing, immovable object of a deadline: the removal men were coming.

Sing it with me: “Our stuff…in the middle of our street…”

Sleep, had it been possible, was being squeezed like the accounts secretary at the office Christmas party. The sinking feeling of walking into a room and realising that a decision was needed on every item – every book, picture, place mat, jar, bottle and magazine – and that the only person who could do that was me, was ever present.

I had designated two rooms as ‘not crate’, in order to seal them off, Fukushima-style, from the removal men. The plan was to shovel everything in there now and sort it out…later.

Higher and higher went the piles… stuff for the final week of term here, stuff for the start of next term in Doha; winter gear for the utterly bobbins ‘summer’ here in the UK, summer stuff for our holiday in France…not to mention a magic porridge pot of boxes, files and bags all spilling out everywhere.

We’d been getting rid of stuff for months – by bin, tip, recycling, selling, donating, giveaway, you name it. And yet the house still looked like the local car boot sale had taken emergency refuge from a sudden thunderstorm. Where had it all come from?

I got it all done in time, though; just. I was signing the final insurance forms when the team pitched up. They complemented me on how well prepared everything seemed. I just smiled enigmatically, like I do this all the time.

But having hit that deadline, my energy completely evaporated. Not the best start to a potentially exhausting week.

Term ends tomorrow, complete with leavers’ party, which guarantees another emotional rollercoaster of a day. I need my energy, but I’m struggling.

What better mental, physical and psychological state to be in, then, to find myself back under the parental roof again, for the first time in 15 years?

To be continued…

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