I started at about 9am and did a couple of packed to the rafters car loads before my friend Kim turned up with his ute at about 10:30. Then it was all heavy lifting, furniture and boxes of stuff. You do not realise just how much stuff you have until you have to move it all. So much stuff! Stuff that I don’t even use, have never used. Things like multiple sets of sheets my mother has given me over the years. And towels! How many towels does one person actually need? And just why is it that I don’t throw out the old, worn-out thin ones? Boxes of tax papers, receipts and returns. Kitchen stuff I’ve never, ever used. Boxes of books! Why is it that we keep books after we have read them? We seem to treat books we have read as if they were trophies or something; leaving them on display on shelves or in cabinets for all time. Clothes! Old clothes not worn in years! Even when I did the “haven’t worn it in the last twelve months” test, I still could not bear to throw some things out. I think I have enough shirts to last me for the rest of my life.
I’ve gathered a big box of kitchen stuff and a big bag of sheets and pillow cases that are all going back to my mother. I have finally realised that she is the culprit, innocuously passing crap to me over the years that she does not want or that other people have passed on to her. You see, Maltese people can’t throw out anything that could be of use someday. Not surprisingly, I have inherited the Maltese frugal gene as well. So, Mum and Saint Vinnes, here I come.
My theory is that Maltese culture is so very frugal because of the long, long history of deprivation suffered by the Maltese. Subsequently, things are cherished and must be made to last forever. I still remember my parents and relatives keeping new furniture in plastic for years, to keep it in pristine condition, along with keeping plastic mats on the floor so that the carpet would stay looking new. In fact, my parents would wrap anything in plastic that couldn’t move out of the way fast enough.
This frugality also means that we are very careful about committing to buying anything. I once told a girl who, like me, was of Maltese decent that it takes me weeks to decide on a new pair of jeans. She replied:
“Yeah, and then I leave them unworn in the wardrobe for weeks in case I decide to take them back.”
I think it was then that I fell in love.
Anyway, it was a long hot day. After moving everything, it had to be packed in appropriate places. The kitchen stuff was the worst. Part of the exercise that makes it so taxing, is trying to work out the most efficient place to put things in the new kitchen. It is critical to get this right before you get used to where everything is, least when you move things to a more appropriate place, you don’t waste time by forgetting that you have moved them and habitually go back to the original location you put them in. Kind of defeats the purpose of moving things to a more efficient cupboard in the first place. Of course, you then have to do the same with clothes in your bedroom wardrobes and drawers. Decisions, decisions!
Only one casualty from the move: the washing machine fell off the back of the ute, and the front door catch broke along with the plastic top splitting. Another job! I’ll take the catch off and try to get one like it (wish me luck) so that I can do the huge mass of washing that’s piling up. At seven minutes to six in the evening, my body and brain shut down. I realised I had skipped lunch and that all I had consumed since this morning was a beer I had shared with Kim before he left at around 1 pm. I made and ate a salad, watched the cricket on TV (another Australian win over the hapless English), a couple more beers and bed. Tomorrow I’ll remove the door catch and work out where I can get one for an old front loading washing machine, organise the music room (I definitely have to sell some music equipment and guitars) and tackle setting up the stereo. Then its the oiling of timber decks, cleaning windows and attacking the lawns and garden.
I should have paid a removalist.