John Walker's Electronic House

by on Aug.11, 2004, under The Rest

I have begun the process of moving house.

It’s a lot harder than I had realised. I knew that attempting to pack all my stuff up into boxes was going to be long and arduous. I knew that I have accumulated a lot more stuff over the last two years than I had when I moved in here, and that this was going to make things more difficult. And I knew that moving into a smaller space meant that the process would involve working out what I don’t need, and what should go.

What I hadn’t realised was that moving out of a flat is very different from moving out of your parents’ house. The first time I did that was university, where I moved straight into a house in my first year, and then to another, bigger house for my second year. I wouldn’t give a single thing to be back at university in Stoke on Trent. To start with, it’s in Stoke on Trent, and I don’t think there’s anything that would convince me to ever live there again, and secondly, I’d have to go to that useless university again. But that house – if I could somehow transport it to Bath, that would be a beautiful, if not weird and dangerous thing. I digress. Moving into those houses didn’t count at all, as I left most my stuff behind. Moving back into my parents’ place after was an effort, but I was moving back into my room, just going back to ‘normal’. The move to Winsley was a lot bigger – this was actually moving out, taking all my stuff with me (albeit as slowly as I could get away with. I thought I’d sneakily managed to leave behind lots of stuff I didn’t want, and didn’t want the job of sorting out. How delighted I was when my parents visited, bringing with them about six black binbags of that stuff, and dumped it in my hallway. How they must have laughed as they drove home. Apparently they needed the stuff out of ‘my room’ because otherwise there wouldn’t be enough room in there for them to dump all their random junk and unwanted exercise equipment).

But what I hadn’t realised about a proper, actual grown up house moving, is that you have to take everything with you. I’m sure it’s stupidly obvious to all but myself (as I always do at this point, I remind or inform that I am the person who believed cinema curtains to be transparent for the first 17 or so years of my life – I mean, come on, you can see the film through them!) but every time I’ve left a house before, I’ve not needed to strip the place down like some sort of fanatic burglar. The moment it hit me was while filling box after box after box with books I’m absolutely intending to read soon, and stopped for a moment to get a drink. I walked into the kitchen, looked at the table covered in stuff that would need sorting, and then like a wave crashing in my face, realised that every single thing in this room was going to have to come too. Including the table.

The first wave of boxes has left the flat, thanks to the help of my soon to be fake-wife, Jonty. It turns out that the flat we’ll be sharing is for married couples only, so expect tales of some sort of gay version of Spaced in the coming weeks. So far we have shifted a full carload of CDs, DVDs, and the first box of books. This is going to take a thousand million trillion years.

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