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Tuesday, August 2, 2011


There I was, in the pre-dawn hours, wondering if my slippers will send the luggage over the weight limit and pondering a name for this blog.  So many phrases are euphemisms, and everything I could think of was taken! So while the other half was cooking breakfast (featuring fridge-clearing potato pancakes made with horseradish and anchovies - tasted better than it sounds) I was sitting at my laptop searching for a phrase that was memorable, easy to say, and pertinent to the subject of this blog.  I looked down and saw one of my home made labels Do Not Pack.   Ta Da!

Which brings me to the subject at hand. We are relocating from London (England) to Seattle (Washington). The other side of the planet, more or less.  I have just calculated that this is my seventh international move (all of them intercontinental, we do nothing by halves) and D.'s ninth. They never get any easier, but this time we've been stationary for nine years, and stuff accumulates.  Boy, does it ever.  The past month has been spent cleaning out, recycling, freecycling, and hauling shopping trolley loads of clothes, books and other small items to the charity boxes. This is not a move across town, or even to the other end of the country. Sadly, it costs more to ship most things than it would to replace them.  Then there's the voltage problem.  When we donated a practically brand new DVD and flat screen television to EFDSS we had to explain to the incredulous recipients that we can't take it with us, it won't work over there.

But some things we can, and will take with us, like our lovely Brompton folding bikes. Absolutely the best Christmas present I've ever been given. These clever little bikes have been our main transportation for the past few years. They pack into flight cases and go into the hold of the airplane. That is, if they don't get stuck in a box.

So far, mine has been safely chained up elsewhere, out of the reach of the packers and their bubble wrap, while I've been researching 18th century dance music at the British Library.  My brave companion volunteered to stay home with the packers, allowing me to escape from the maelstrom.  There's nothing like trying to get work done while dodging cascading cardboard and sidestepping slithering stacks of paper. Entropy in action, as it were.

If anyone still thinks that computers make our lives easier, consider this: about half our luggage is electronics (including three laptops, half of a file server and various backup devices). Another quarter is bike paraphernalia (locks, tools and helmets (the latter mandatory at our destination)).  Of the clothes, I think a goodly portion is weather-related.  The amount of luggage is frightening, considering we did a ten day cycle trip across Austria with one cabin bag each. A man with a van will help transport it all to the airport, despite my brother's half-serious suggestion we use a stretch limo.

We like to think we're well organized, and have everything under control, but in those pre-dawn hours of this morning, it became apparent that we have no idea when our Internet connection is due to be switched off.  So my next installment may be delayed!


  1. No mention of books? Interesting considering the blog's backdrop. I suppose when you make seven intercontinental moves you don't accumulate as many books as we have.

  2. Books, CDs, musical instruments, probably make up the bulk of our worldly goods. But the packers are handling those. Or most of them. One fiddle, and one (!!!) book will be coming with us on the plane.

  3. Sharing a single book on a transatlantic flight? How many pages?

  4. Werner: 944 pages.
    There are two types of people in the world, those who read on long journeys, and those who don't. We fall into two camps, I'm the reader.