Wednesday, December 21, 2005

an embarrassment of riches

My boxes arrived yesterday - two of my stuff, one of WGYF stuff (eek, must phone Jimmy and see what he can get to Australia YM for me) and one of Fran's.

Two boxes - just 5 cubit feet of stuff and yet it feels like an amazing array of goods, half of which I'd forgotten I'd packed to come here. Do I need it all? Well some of it yes, definitely - my clothes were becoming increasingly seasonally inapproriate and come winter I'll no doubt be grateful for the extra jumpers and my fleece. But the majority of the rest are luxuries really - ok so my camping mug & plates will be useful and my quilting stuff saves me buying more material here. But the only things in the boxes that I will need that I couldn't have easily replaced are my Quaker resources (and yes I do count my Winnie the Pooh books as essential items for any Quaker residential event).

Some stuff I sent over as I knew I'd use it and as I had to pay to either store it or ship it I might as well have use of it, but other things are purely decorative and of sentimental value only. But, it has to be said, the flat now looks far more like home, more 'me' and less like a place furnished with all the things that everyone else was throwing out and replacing with better stuff (and in some cases it is is fairly evident as to why!).

What struck me though as I unpacked the contents was that on top of this I have another 16 cubic feet of stuff in storage back in Edinburgh - and that was after I had cleared out fairly ruthlessly, or so I thought. Also, having got used to so few clothes I now have what seems like a ridiculous amount - sure some of it is for seasons to come but I'd already forgotten I owned so many t-shirts.

My consolation/conscience salve is that I'm not likely to to be buying anything additional that isn't replacing worn out goods, with the exception of a few books and cd's (I've been very restrained - so far....), for the next year or so at least as it doesn't make economic sense let alone ethical sense when I'm not really earning. I'm tempted to pack a bundle of it all away again before I get used to having it, and then in a year's time open it up and ring the changes!

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