Thursday, March 26, 2009

reflections on the move

I helped Dan and Vic move house at the weekend. As I mentioned previously, I feel quite settled in my current flat, and I certainly don't crave for the ultra stressful moving process again - but seeing the blank slate of their new flat made me feel a bit envious. I'm sure that if it were me moving I'd be intimidated by the amount of work needed to turn it into a home, but from the outside looking in it seems like a nice project; the slow unfolding of possessions into their new homes, or conversely the careful folding of a plain piece of paper into a complex origami pattern.

Reading this, if they do, Dan and Vic will doubtless feel a kind of numb rage, indignant at my implying that moving is fun when they know all too well the flip side of the coin. But there is something rather magical about the transformation. On Saturday myself, Ant, Vic and Dan spent several hours in the morning moving stuff into what seemed at the time like a fairly inhospitable environment - it hadn't been cleaned fully and each large white room seemed like an invitation to lots of hard work, and a million miles from a home. By the time, many hours later, we'd transported everything in, it seemed less like a home still and more like a warehouse or a distribution centre; tons of boxes everywhere and large rooms suddenly feeling overstocked and claustrophobic.

Yet when I returned the next day it was strange and extraordinary to see the progress, the way that Dan and Vic were steadily imposing themselves upon the rooms, which were in turn coiling and stretching and responding to the demands of their new inhabitants. Vic - who works like a dervish when duty calls - had pulled off a particular miracle, transforming in the space of a day her room until it was warm, soft and hospitable - and the mirror of the room she'd moved out of just 36 hours earlier. Dan's progress was slower but just as interesting to watch - his priorities are apparently more straightforward. Bed. Stereo. Computer.

I've not been round in a few days now but I'm looking forward to my next visit. I'm not trying to make out they have had the time to do all that much, but I find it interesting and exciting watching them imprint their personalities and position their belongings in their new home. And a part of me - the part that is ignoring all the work and stress and cost - is a bit jealous.

Time to move some furniture around, perhaps.

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