Sunday, 12 May 2013

Excess baggage

Miffy was ready for America

Around 10 weeks ago, the last of my things remaining back home in England were packed up and started their long, land- and sea-based journey to North Carolina. Miffy, all my other childhood toys, my books, my art work, my knick-knacks collected over the past 25 or so years of life, all the letters I've ever received, some random kitchen stuff, a few pieces of jewellery, and a lot of school/university work - everything that was left behind nineteen months ago. They arrived on the Tuesday just gone, having passed the scrutiny of the customs X-ray and survived a stay in a storage facility until a journey to NC was on the delivery schedule. 

Not all my stuff, I promise.

Work were extremely lovely and let me take an extra long lunch that day so I could dash home, let the delivery guys into our living room to deposit the 20 boxes, and then zip back in time for the last bit of the shift. This is, of course, not how it actually worked out, as the lorry got stuck in traffic and the company didn't let me know until after I'd left for home. So, it was a super-long lunch, but it couldn't be helped. The delivery men were delightful, and very efficient. All of the boxes were in and stacked within just over half an hour, the two gentlemen were extremely nice and chatty, and my boss was more than understanding, so no harm done!

All my things - Miffy got unpacked first, of course.

It's strange to think that, in total, all my "important" or necessary stuff accumulated over the course of thirty years can fit into 28 boxes and three suitcases (7 boxes delivered when I first arrived, three suitcases and a wedding dress box came with me on the plane here, and 20 further boxes/packages were delivered this week - just in case the maths didn't add up). 

Yes, that was really the contents of this box.
And some Freudian slippers.

Unpacking and storing didn't occur until the morning of my day off on Thursday. Ben and I made something of a superhuman effort and lugged all of the boxes up two flights of stairs (dodging cats and dogs on the way up), then into the crawl space [loft] in about 2 hours total. Not a bad effort! I opened each box to check the contents, and to get out what I wanted to be around the house. It was mostly a sweet, happy experience, but one box in particular made me do a little weep:

Various childhood toys; including Err-Mur-Mur the monkey,
Minky the dog (actually an oven glove), and Chloe, my beautiful doll.

One of my many badges.
This one is particularly special as I loved My Little Pony as a kid.

After a little time reminiscing and drying my eyes, we only had to find homes for a few kitchen items, some jewellery, a tennis racquet, several pieces of art, and all my poetry books.

These will probably get hung some time next year. 

A genuine relief to have these back within reach.

So, that's it! Everything of mine is here. It's not really much different to how it felt before, although I am very grateful and content to know that my sentimental things are nearby. I don't think it's hit me exactly that it means I am "really" here, but I believe that's because I already knew I was. 

Thursday, 2 May 2013

This is the new stuff

It may have come to any regular readers' attention (yes, I went with an optimistic plural regular readers apostrophe...) that I have not written anything in over a month. Despite the huge impact of events in both my homes, such as Margaret Thatcher's death and the Boston bombings, I have not been able to find either the words nor the time to sit down to write. 

That's not to say this is a goodbye; I fully intend to keep QE as a live blog with semi-regular posts and relevant expat content. However, I think the schedule I set up for 2013 was a little ambitious given the amount of time I have to write, and my natural propensity to want to write thoughtful, considered, thorough posts (which take longer). So, I am going to abandon a rigorous weekly post regimen and instead return to writing as and when something strikes me as a topic I can write about and that I want to write about. This may be a little less frequent than over the past two years, as American things seem a lot more normal to me now (cue 'Wig in a Box'). It's safe to say I am comfortably settled in my second home. But I will not use mayonnaise as butter in a sandwich, I refuse to say 'wadder', and I will always crave Radio Five Live and real Dairy Milk. Never fear.

For now, please feel free to keep up with somewhat briefer QE updates via a plethora of social media platforms. Below are screenshots of the QE Facebook page, Tumblr, and Twitter, and my Instagram and This is My Jam profiles. Click on any of these to be taken to those sites to see what's been going on lately - and please do say hi!

Thank you to anyone and everyone who's taken the time to read, lurk, or comment on this little blog. It's been a real pleasure to be able to write in and connect with such a diverse online community, and I hope to be a part of it for years to come. 

Until the next post!

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