8 Days to go…

There are now eight days to go until we head off from Southampton to New York. After months of moving house (twice – Anna from Farringdon in May, then both of us from Tooting Bec in early June) and boiling our lives down to whatever will fit on our backs, we realised just how much fairly useless stuff we’ve managed to accrue between us in a matter of years. I think it was William Morris who said you shouldn’t have anything in your house that isn’t useful or decorative but a great deal of ours was neither (a small wooden sailing ship bought in Cornwall but made in China, Roger Gallet soaps with nice packaging but hideous scents and the ‘shabby chic’ photo frame which still housed a stock photo of somebody else’s relatives). Lots went to charity shops, or at least those that would take such items. Some other stuff went on eBay, although strangely the only thing which got any real attention was a Harry Potter hologram bookmark which we found under the sofa. The rest have gone into storage boxes, our parents kindly housing these in their garages and attics. We felt strangely free, living with only a skeletal collection of stuff – living out of a bag seems more appealing still (for me at least). As for the preparations, we are nearly there now – vaccinations done (we decided not to go for the rabies or Japanese Encephalitis jabs), cripplingly expensive malaria tablets picked up (of the less-hallucinogenic variety), insurance attained and bags organised: 2 x Eurohike backpacks which open on the side like suitcases so we don’t have to get all the stuff out of them every time we need to find something; one small case on wheels and two smaller bags which we can keep on us when we need to stow the bigger ones. The dreaded trip (regrettably) to Boots is finished too – we felt like a pair of major hypochondriacs who were gluttonously taking advantage of the ‘fun in the sun’ holiday two-for-ones, filling our baskets with mountains of antiseptic wipes and sprays, plasters and bandages, jars of vitamin supplements, sun cream and repellents. The woman behind the counter looked rather bemused when she asked us where we were going on holiday. By the end of this journey I hope we come to understand the true meaning of packing light because I don’t think either of us are quite there yet…

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One Response to 8 Days to go…

  1. Molly di Havelland says:

    I hear that you’re living over a dentist. I’ve got an Australian dentist. He comes from Woomera and came to England in 1981 by mistake. I love the view at the back of the bookshop in Big Sur. If all bookshops had views like that Amazon would be out of business. The photographs are fantastic, although that neon snake looks a bit scary. It looks just like some lipstick I was once given but which I had to get rid of because it attracted too many wasps.

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