The Move – Four Years, Three Months, Twenty-nine Days, And Two Hours ½ On

When I first got to Ipswich, my move was hectic and massively organized altogether. On the one hand, I had just returned to France quite laid back and relaxed with only a fortnight before my departure for Sleepy Suffolk. On the other, my dear mother, my very own Queen Mum, was breathing down my neck making sure I sorted out my suitcases and boxes.

I eventually filled a trunk up with books, clothing, bed covers, and other items which I cannot think why I would ever want to bring them over to Ipswich. In my current move, I recently found the list of items I’d originally shipped and their weight. It is interesting to compare that with what I am now sending overseas.

  • Empty trunk (black – it soon became famous in Ipswich as the dead man’s trunk for its sheer weight) – 7kg
  • Yellow bag with bedsheets and towels – 3kg
  • White shoebox with cables and charger – 1.5kg
  • Creative 2.1 speakers SBS 350 – 3.1kg
  • Javascript 1.3 book + another book on programming – 1.5kg
  • Tall lamp – 4kg
  • bedcover – 4kg
  • bedspread – 3kg
  • Squash racket + umbrella + gloves + woolly hats – 2kg
  • “1…2…3″ bag with bedsheets – 2.5kg
  • Oblong pillow – 2kg
  • Set of 8 pants – 7kg
  • Irish sweater – 1kg
  • Mattress cover – 2kg
  • Square pillow – 2kg
  • 3 sweaters – 1.5kg
  • Slippers – 1kg

The grand total was 47kg. In addition to that box which I air-shipped and got to my new house a day before I did, scaring the wits out of my housemates, I had a black Delsey suitcase, your normal sized one with mainly clothes and other sundry items which list I have unfortunately not kept.

I had also added at the last minute a small box containing my hi-fi, a blue coat (famously known as Bibendum for its resemblance to Michelin’s mascot), a grey raincoat, a beige summer jacket, a chess game, extra sweaters, posters, another lamp, and a Royals wall mat.

Today I look back at the list and wonder why I had the urge to take 2 bed covers, enough bedsheets to equip an entire hotel (at least a 2-bedroom one), two lamps, and an umbrella. I must have truly thought Ipswich would be dark, somber even, dreary, cold, and wet. I also wonder how I managed to fit so much into a minute 2 boxes.

My shipment to the Nordics required no less than 5 large boxes rescued from certain shredded death in a cardboard recycling skip at Tesco’s. During the first 2 weeks of 2010, our house resonated with the sound of the tape measure being pulled in and out, duct tape torn off and stuck onto the fortunate boxes, and the frenzied tearing of cardboard.

On January 6th, as Britain was brought to a freezing halt, UPS, the friendly shipping people in the unmistakable brown vans, took away the first two boxes and sent them on a waltz that saw them go to Bury St Edmunds, Barking, Herne-Boernig, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Malmo, and eventually Bromma.

This time the boxes contained what I deemed ‘vitals’: mainly clothes, my books, my DVD collection, and odd bits such as cocktails glasses Laurine had given me on our first Christmas together back in 2005. All in all, the shipment weight reached a whopping 130kg, three times the weight of the original shipment. And this excludes the generous 30kg I can ship with Ryanair when I fly in the wee hours of a most certainly frosty Essex dawn.

I cannot remember any longer the exact contents of either box I shipped. The printing on the outside is reminiscent of their previous lives when they harbored My Little Pony toys destined to be displayed on Tesco shelves and sold to parents anxious to please their little ones. I fear opening the boxes will be a bit like a Jack-in-the-box experience or perhaps a Forrest Gump Chocolates one where I simply never know what I’m going to get…