So the moving day (well, day 1!) is finally upon me. It’s actually really hard. I’m packing up all my things, which I know I will get out again, but it feels almost as if they are being packed up for good. It’s hard to wrap them in newspaper, even though I hope I’ll have unpacked them soon enough. It’s like putting my life away.
Also, the boxes are the sum total of my life. Apart from the various things I need to live, I have very little else except books and photos. To be honest, if the photos were scanned in here, I could live without the albums, though they are beautiful. I’m a big fan of Paperchase loose albums. They’re kind of old-fashioned, as you stick the photos in with photo corners, but I think they’re much more beautiful than those you slide the photos into. Also I tend to annotate mine with the details accompanying the photos. They’re more like stories of journeys on which I’ve been. Books are my only other indulgence. I have thousands. These take up the majority of my stuff, and to be honest, they could go into storage. I’m obviously a frustrated librarian!
Still, seeing bare walls and empty rooms is very sad. This place has been my absolute fortress. Nothing has happened in this house that I did not orchestrate myself. I painted the walls, had the curtains designed, picked the fabrics and the colours. I chose the furniture and the layout. The garden is my (admittedly chaotic) planting. And it all feels very flimsy and thin without all the other stuff. I took my photos down and every thing looked so empty and bare.
No matter how much the new house will become my new fortress, this one has seen so many events and it has been me. It’s like my shell. I’ve retreated here when I’ve needed to, and it has always protected me. I can shut the door and it’s mine.
Not that it’s sold yet… that’s an ongoing saga.
But it’s so sad to see it stripped of its finery, so empty and barren. It’s like a plucked bird. When all the boxes are gone, it will feel very bare indeed. I don’t think I will be able to stand it!
Plus, I know it will be such a long time until everything is decorated and straight in France, partly because of funding, partly because of labour intensity. We still haven’t decided whether to do the upstairs or not, and mainly because of how much it would cost to do. I know my dream fulfilment is far away. But then, I must remember, it took me 14 years to get my own house to this state, and it isn’t exactly how I’d have wanted it. I’d have liked wardrobes in the back room, and fitted shelving, a new kitchen and bathroom… and so I know I have to hold my horses and know that it takes time – sometimes a lifetime. Room-by-room, just like I did here. Piece by tiny piece. Like my packing!