Saturday, 21 May 2011

The Way - to avoid unpacking.

We have moved into our new home and The Curate and I are slowly surfacing above the sea of boxes and bags left by the removers in every corner and on every surface they could find. This house is smaller than our last house and it is worrying the amount of belongings we have managed to accumulate in our two years on the north coast. Where did all this bedding come from? A smaller house was one of the compromises we had to make if we wanted to move. It was so much harder for The Curate because the north coast was his proper home for the last two years. He is the one having to start work in a new parish in a couple of weeks.

A French colleague said to me some time ago that if you can't give something away -  you are owned by it. This really made me think as I have always been a hoarder and love to be surrounded by things I have collected or have been given. Am I owned by them? I found it very difficult to leave our family house of over twenty years, to live on the North coast. Perhaps this held me back from settling.
But back to the move, The Curate didn't seem to know where to start with the chaos that surrounded us on the first day. I started unpacking kitchen boxes - while The Curate decided that it was necessary to have a bonfire and burn all the packing paper. He then spent a long, long time trying to clear a space for his motorbike in the garage. As the garage seems to have the majority of our belongings in it, making a space caused The Curate some stress. Does he own his motorbike - or does the bike own him?

By the second day - we had had enough and I suddenly realised that it was the last screening of The Way which is a film I really wanted to see. So often I miss seeing films because the ones I want to see, do not seem to stay in our area for more than a week (- I must have an odd taste in films). An exhausted Curate and myself downed tools and went to the afternoon showing of this film. As there were only seven other people watching the film, The Curate had the luxury of trying out five different seats before settling down to watch - much to my embarressment.
All I can say is -you must see this film! - If you love Spain and huge landscapes, love travelling, want to cry and laugh, be moved and inspired, then this is the film for you. The Curate and I found that it touched both of us  - in different ways. But we both identified with the role of the parent. We have two sons who like to go off travelling and we know how much they gain from this - but as parents, we are always concerned about them. As we drove away from the cinema The Curate's phone rang and it was our oldest son ringing from Dubai where he lives and works as a diver. He just wanted to see how we were and catch up on any news. The world can seem a very small place these days


Shirlwin said...

I recall a saying ... throw out to make space for the new [or something to that effect]. It has a multiple of meanings. I left NZ five years ago, selling or giving away almost everything I owned. It wasn't difficult at the time as I had no wish to carry half a household across the Tasman ... much to my embarassment I am once again 'acquiring' a lot of 'stuff'! I console myself that I am 'settling in'!!
Thankfully the world is smaller these days ... just imagine how it was 150 years ago when NZ and Australia gained their early settlers who knew once they left their UK homes their chances of seeing family and friends again were negligible. Enjoy your new life:)

Thecurateswife said...

Hi, we have also moved abroad to live in Gibraltar for a while - but I put loads of belongings in storage as we were coming back. This is was a mistake because I knew I could live without these things ....but unpacking them again was like Christmas!
The Curate has a great grandfather who sailed across the Atlantic, leaving his wife and children.Eventually communication by letter came to an end. When recently traced, it appears that he eventually reinvented himself as a Methodist minister in America!

Perpetua said...

Glad you managed to arive safely, though I don't envy you the unpacking. We moved 4 times in 10 years and still have stuff in boxes from the first move. Did I tell you my husband is a hoarder? :-)

Minnie said...

I fear your former French colleague was being, as her compatriots so often are, all-too-sweepingly Cartesian: how many dearly-loved possessions would any of us be prepared to give away?
IME, people who say such things have rarely been faced with the choice they refer to so blithely. In reality, it turns out to be very painful.
I have some remaining books and pictures (ie the remnants of the collection in my home) stored away in boxes in another country - and continue to miss them dreadfully. I don't for a minute believe they 'own' me; but they do exert a 'pull' and, having given away precious things in the past, I confess to regretting the actions ever since.
But then I live out of a suitcase, with enormous reluctance.