I have a list as long as my bloody arm of things I need to get done by yesterday. I’ve already been in England for a month and it seems as though all I have done is Tweet away, cook & eat delicious English food, and walk the dogs.
Most pressing: my New Year’s flyer and mail out need to be finished, along with a large chunk of my book, three features need polishing before being filed asap, and I need to sort out all the crates of my things that currently fill the attics of the family home.
Of course the latter is the least urgent, so guess which of the above I’ve been obsessed with all week? My excuse is that I’m hoping I will be in a position to ship a container out to America at the end of January. After three years in New York, I still haven’t sent out my major possessions from England and am starting to get twitchy about not being properly settled out there.
Sure, I have most of my clothes, & vital things like shoes, copies of Vogue, kitchen knives and portfolio in Manhattan, but my thousands of books, art deco cocktail cabinet, good linen, my entire batterie de cuisine and collected bits & pieces still languish in many random containers and a vast assortment of those odd Indian plastic check laundry bags.
Of course, having absolutely no concept of the passage of time, I ran out of time packing up my London flat & had to finish in a hurry. I know I threw all manner of junk in those bags which is now stashed away in the attics for the mice to eat and the pigeons to crap on. After three years with just the basics, I’m loathe to cart a whole load of random stuff over the Atlantic, and so am gleefully chucking things out & donating to the local hospice shop.
Take the contents of my once proudly stocked & housewifely linen cupboard: I do not want all those sheets & towels that I kept for ‘just in case’ any more; I know that the homeless hostel in Kentish Town always needs them, so off they all go on Monday.
In my organising frame of mind, I decided to finish emptying out the big attic above my old bedroom. After a mug of my mother’s rocket fuel coffee this morning, I spent four very unheated hours unwrapping newspaper bundles of childhood junk, and scampering like a bloody monkey up & down the wobbly folding ladder from the attic.
I managed to clear out so many cardboard boxes full of broken toys, pulp novels & stray bits of jigsaw last looked at in 1985 when we moved here, that I ended up waiting ’till my mother went grocery shopping to throw the boxes out the window in my bedroom into the flowerbeds below. I just cldn’t face lugging everything along the landings, down stairs and through the house to the skip which arrived yesterday. God I love skips.