Life in a Box

Life in a Box. Well, a lot of boxes actually…

Wow! It’s that time again!

It’s been seven years since my last move, and I’m now boxing up stuff in readiness for the best move ever – moving into a new house with my girlfriend. A house that will become our home for life…

I’m cramming stuff into boxes that will no doubt be way too heavy to lift and loving it, and I’m shoving things into bags and padding them with pillows and blankets in an attempt to succeed with what I’ll call “the functional ergonomics of the move”.

Space is at a premium.

I always find moving house to be a cathartic business; a really horrible job that only crazy people like and I, in particular, hate, but cathartic nonetheless.

Stuff that over the years has been moved from the top shelf of a bookcase to the bottom shelf then into a cupboard and then back to somewhere in the middle of the bookcase can now finally be dispatched to the recycle bin.

Magazines that I thought I’d keep to read over and over again are now covered in the detritus of living – thick dust and some form of sticky film. They can go in the bin too.

Way at the back of a kitchen cupboard I find a 2-slice toaster that I bought in about 1836 before electricity was invented. It hasn’t seen the light of kitchen for eons yet still bears the scars of the plastic bag that somehow got stuck to it and melted. I can almost read the writing in the blackened grunge; I think it says, “Caution, this bag will melt if placed near heat”.

There’s my disgustingly mustard-coloured toasted-sandwich maker that still reeks of something terrible I made when I was nineteen and living in a flat. I think I tried to make garlic bread the cheat’s way… and failed.

There’s a tool with handles and a spinny thing in the middle that I think my Mum gave me for a house-warming present many years ago. Never did use it – the gears are still in pristine condition.

Oh, and what a classic! A 48-piece ironstone dinner-set in cream and mission brown that I got as part of a “Glory Box” set from some telemarketing firm that used to advertise on the back page of a weekly magazine. The intent was to put together a whole heap of things you’d need when you married and set up your first house. That relationship fell through in 1979, and we never did walk down the aisle. Lost the girl but kept the dinner set.

My recycling bin is filling fast as I add old mismatched sets of drinking glasses, cracked plates and chipped mugs. A dead aluminium pan goes in too, as does a glass lid from a steaming pot that I can’t find. I think I used it to do an oil change on the bike…

A very stylish serving platter with purple flowers and some sort of art-deco caterpillar crawling up a printed vine can go too, as can the two casserole dishes that haven’t seen the inside of an oven in over twenty years.

Some strangely convoluted tools from the kitchen drawer get tossed too. I reckon some frustrated engineer started a business making this shit after he got the chop from NASA, probably as a way to feel validation after they stopped using his inventions on the Apollo moon missions. He probably invented that $600 bolt that I keep hearing about.

After about six hours of packing I have some very heavy boxes replete with the mainstays of my human existence. There’s my DVD collection (a MUST have), two-dozen books, including those relating to my current favourite subjects of the Cosmos and true crime, and some motorcycling magazines that contain articles I wrote when I was a test riding journalist – I just can’t bear to let them go.

There are smaller boxes with pots and pans and plates and the like and a gazillion framed photographs standing against the wall, ready to go on display in the pool room at the new digs.

Two of my bedrooms are now totally empty, the beds having been reduced to bundles of wood wrapped in sticky tape, and all of the cupboards are bare.

And I feel great. Tired, but great.

Everything’s now ready for the move which happens in about three weeks. There’s not much left to pack up except  those things I’ll need to use in the interim.

I thought I’d need more time, but I was wrong. What will I do for entertainment now?

I think I peaked too soon…


2 responses to “Life in a Box

  1. Bartrim Vendells

    Repack everything so none of the boxes weigh more than 10 kilograms.

  2. Thanks Bartrim, but I can lift them, and I’ll be using a trolley…

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