Over the Moat

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The Trunk

I was an efficient packer, back in the day. That is, when I went somewhere that I needed to pack for. When I went off to the big city for the first time, my father presented me with “The Trunk”. It may have been something from WWII, but it did the job and doubled as a sturdy item of furniture all through college. All my worldly possessions went into this heavy item, all except my electric kettle. You are not even allowed to keep a kettle in dorm rooms now!

I was reminded of the trunk when one featured in an Hercule Poirot episode I saw on Netflix recently. I remember it fondly and wonder where it ended up. A thing like that never dies! The trunk is a fantastic item of luggage if you have a porter or other strong person ( I was tempted to say ‘man’ there, but I am getting the hang of all this nonsense about gender-neutrality. I meant man. I would never ask a woman to lift things for me.) As having a porter is something requiring more cash than I will probably ever have, I am also glad of the lightweight carry-all; but am also grateful that I now have a car with an extensive flat area in the back.

On the subject of the car, I think the amount a child (young adult?) takes with them when they go to college is related to the volume of storage area made available during the exit. In retrospect, if I had rented a U-haul, my eldest daughter might not have left enough of her worldly goods in her/my bedroom to sustain a normal person for a lifetime when she ‘left’.

I managed with a trunk about four feet by three feet by two feet. Just the one. I may have packed the wellies separately… I didn’t need a pharmacy of products for hair care and skin attention because, well, I was going to college to study. And all the people I was with understood intimately that I was a poor student, not a runway model. I also paid very little attention to having coordinating linens. In fact coordinated anything was not part of my kit.  I expect I would be shunned in today’s dorm. I do remember finding a deal on a family sized instant coffee can (thank you Nescafé and Woolworths) which made my room a very popular place after classes, and before classes, and sometimes while we were supposed to be in classes.

We start our children off very young with the amassing of stuff. Most of it is rubbish, wont last, and is not even made to last as long as you might use it. We buy all these things and then feel obliged to house the stuff in ever larger houses, storage lockers and sheds. It promotes a disdain for things of real value and working towards anything, or for things. Everything must be instant and easy to get. We end up working to pay off the debts for things we bought, but no longer own; or perhaps it is just that we can no longer find them amid the rest of the rubbish we have since amassed.

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Fog, snow and woods

Fog, snow and woods