When Dau.I came back from foreign two year ago, The Beloved her mother went to England and rented a Renault Trafic to repatriate 5 years of accumulated 'history'. I don't think the load approached the 900kg laden weight limit but it certainly filled the 4 cu.m. interior space. Boxes of books, bookshelves, a couple of hand-painted junk-shop chairs, kitchen utensils, plates, mugs, rugs, blankets, sheets, clothes, hats, shoes. It's a long way from what the !ung consider essential for living in the Kalahari. When I arrived in Dublin in 1973 fresh off the boat, I considered 20 lt of books to be essential hand-baggage for a new life, that and a modest suitcase of clothes. Eight months later, I had accreted a lot more stuff includiing books. After the year-end exams,I packed up everything with the intention of walking to Heuston Station from Landowne Road where I was then sharing a flat with 3 accountants and a geologist. I made about a100m before both arms where strettttched to the pavement with the lugging & heaving and I was at the taxi rank beside Jury's Hotel. Vrooommmmm! I think that was the 1st time I ever paid for a cab. One year later I was again moving my traps but elected to under-engineer a trolley to push a tea-chest full of material possessions until it collapsed long before destination. I clearly wasn't in the habit of a) using taxis b) shedding any of the accumulated gubbins. Thossse preciousss booksss.
Last week I was up in Dublin helping Dau.I move from deepest darkest Northside in the shadow of the M50 orbital motorway to Crumlin just south of the Grand Canal. On the scale of things this is almost city centre. It was a more civilised way of doing a moonlight flit to the new gaff, but even two carfuls each 1.5 cu.m. didn't finish the job. One of those English antique chairs emerged for loading; and a guitar with one string; a sewing machine; a packet of Spanish cooking chocolate unopened since a holday last year; a plastic tray in the shape of an anchor - for serving crisps at a nautical themed costume party. It wasn't quite pieces of string too small to keep but close. I can't talk: far from two carfuls of crap, we have two shedfuls of accumulated stuff at home up the mountains. When Javi came to stay with us when the girls were small, he cuckooed himself a shed by forcing a radical de-clutter on us. But like a beach cleared of sand after a big storm, that shed gradually filled up again after Javi left.
But in the further reaches of Casa Javi, I found an almost empty [some of the family can do book-triage] black bookcase with 3m of running shelf. It fits in the back of the Scenic [I checked] and will serve to get most of Dau.I's books out of packing crates. On one of the trips between Finglas and Crumlin, I told her some war-stories of moving stuff in the days before cars: like the Tale of the Tea-chest [above] and the time I bought a large second-hand bookcase on the far side of town and pushed it home balanced on the pedal of my bicycle. We also reflected on how neither nature or nurture seems to have had much effect on Dau.II who was konmari-ing before Mari Kondo was ever heard of. That young woman can go on a week's holiday packing everything she needs into one small shopping bag. When she came at Easter, the simnel cake [mmmmmgood] she'd baked took up more space than everying else she was carrying.
While we were Thelma and Louiseing round town, we did a Renault Scenic run for Dau.I's SO [hereinafter D1so] who has lived in Phibsborough for three years and is also moving into the new gaff in Crumlin. Much less matériel there. I sense that there may be a Javiesque inquisition in the future that will give Dau.I's things a bit of a haircut.
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