Sunday, 24 March 2013

I'm packing in packing

I am currently in the process of unpacking everything I packed only just a couple of days ago.

Packing and packing, and unpacking and unpacking, knowing that probably in the not too distant future I will have to pack and pack and unpack and unpack all over again. This is both a physical and mental torture, and I only really (although you'd never guess by looking at it) had one room's worth of stuff to pack. I dread to think what it must be like moving a whole house. The best way to summarise the last couple of days is this: I have never had so many unpleasant and annoyed exchanges with a group of coat hangers in my life.

I used to read a book when I was little called 'But No Elephants' in which, after various amusing episodes involving an old lady rejecting an elephant as a house guest, the elephant, to help her with her relocation situation, simply carries the lady's house to a lovely sunny new place on his back. None of this boxes/suitcase/ plastic bags.. oh the plastic bags... nonsense. Plus, there's a free elephant ride to boot. Where can one find a helpful service like this and, more seriously, what sort of planning permission would I need?

Anyway, aside from the agony of remembering where I've put everything and feeling horrified at the sheer amount of clothes I have (I say horrified- this is a ruse; in truth it's a joy to rediscover so many jumpers which I'll never wear but absolutely must hold on to), with all this packing comes a natural packing up of a way of life, of memories, of relationships formed, and it is this which is the real hard thing, even though it involves very few coat hangers.! I've left Cambridge, where I lived for the last 19 months, boxed it up and put it into the overflowing boot of a car. This is only the physical part of it of course, but it still felt poignant. Moving, as all of us I am sure know, can be very moving. And though I am really very happy to be moving, my memories cannot simply be packed away. They'll  resonate with so many experiences in a place I felt I actually did 'grow up', if that's possible; a beautiful, thought-filled city where I made some very lovely and close friends.

 All this dwelling doesn't speed up the unpacking process however, so I must get back to it. That is, if the cat, helpful as ever, will let me.