Paul Makepeace ;-)

May 7, 2005

Opening the Time Capsule...

Posted in: Drivel

Read The Time Capsule Arrives first.

Double G Action
A pair of G-clamps
And why not.

Boxes upon boxes of my old stuff has after three years been opened. Amidst wondering where on earth I'll even put it all, the ten hours I've spent with it has provided me with some reflections and a couple of surprises.

The first surprise was really fairly shortly after arriving in the UK. I just demonstrably didn't need all that crap. My life was continuing largely unaffected without it. The only things that I had a persistent hankering or even need for were my UK driving license, GPS unit (really), and a crazy furry coat.

No want, no need

For months after returning to the motherland in 2002 there was still a possibility of heading out to NZ. Having just suffered the pain of moving bulk I lived on and with very few material possessions, buying only absolutely essentials like underpants and tequila. Living in a shared house makes this kind of lifestyle quite easy: you don't need to buy general household goods and I've never met anyone who objects to having tequila around.

It was when I moved to Southfields and had the run of a three story house the tacit decision to stay in the UK "for a while" was openly admitted. The practical upshot of this was typical of a middle class young professional: a humungous trip to IKEA.

Even so, my life of material moderation if not frugality somewhat persisted. Our living room was so bare it was partially cause for one of our (admittedly pretty wacko) flatmates to leave. The house wasn't "homely" enough. OK, OK, I'll buy a freakin' television, sheesh...

During the last two years, probably in part prompted by the upheaval of leaving the US and that continuing question about what-the-hell-am-I-or-indeed-anyone-doing-and-here-for? I read and participated in a pile of self-development from provocative confrontation to being qualified in a therapeutic discipline. Along the way I've somehow managed to more or less completely excise any substantial interest in better, faster, bigger and just kind of got on with it. Material acquisition except insofar as it genuinely assists in what I'm doing, e.g. a decent monitor, really isn't that interesting anymore. Driving a Ferrari would be fun, but only if I got to rent it and give it back after. Thinking back, and even feeling back, to how as a teenager I used to drool and yearn for expensive gadgety hi-fi and how now I couldn't give a shit is quite odd. It is a core, visceral change. If I posted how much I live on each year I would probably be investigated.

So two reflections from that: I genuinely don't need this crap, and the follow-on: so why have it back? First off it was easy. Jez did a wonderful job of just Sorting It Out and I pretty much just had to push the button. Second there are some sentimental things in there, and paperwork that legally I'm required to keep for a few more years. Thirdly and this is probably ecologically illogical considering the fuel required to ship it, I have a deep, deep aversion to putting stuff on landfill. I'm planning to freecycle and ebay a lot of it. Finally, I'm surprised to say there've been a few things that I think will be useful: a large Pyrex salad bowl and some pint glasses...

A lifestyle boxed

Three years isn't such a long time, and having fullly cleared out in the last year childhood stuff from Bristol I've had all the "oh wow look at that" emotional bases covered. That said, being quickly immersed in the accoutrements of three lives, Texas, California and London before those, was poignant. Opening a bag and seeing moisturiser you were using seven years ago is weird. Finding medication whose expiry date at the time one'd mentally file in "distant future" (what does 2008 feel like to you?) being now in the not even recent past is weird. Each object has a context and those contexts, at least for me, are all shot through with quite intense and in many cases widely sometimes wildly differing emotions. Having the brain scramble to assimilate and integrate these with every opened box was quite a rush.

... a little walkie-talkie covered in playa dust from Burning Man
... large olive green cushion I used to rest on and fall asleep reading in front of the fire in Monterey
... a Rarotongan driving license from a trip to the Cook Islands, and riding a moped two-up in the moist tropical evening
... some peculiar gargoyle gothic candlestick holders from a fantastic bleached-hot day out at a Texas Renaissance fare with Houston buddies
...a teddy bear from a conference where I met my then future employer in California
... thermogenic training pills and all my experimentation with bodybuilding. Actually I necked a few of these and spent the next five hours in a neurologically excited giggly warpspeed. So much for that long-past expiry date...

Useless stuff

Floppy disks Hawaiian dancing tiki doll (actually this was cool as it was from a friend I will contact again) Two pairs of skates: Six Pairs Of Skates ...because I so obviously needed more skates An unbelievable collection of pens (to augment my unbelievable collection of pens) All the freakin' packaging, all dozen-plus bags of it (mercifully recyclable)

Kind of cute stuff

That teddy and tiki doll A Linux penguin toy

Already useful

Double G ActionBedside table, here seen being repaired with tools that were shipped over too
Tons of big glassware

Aghast at

An unbelievable collection of shoes (to augment my unbelievable collection of shoes). Best estimate around two dozen now, eep

Fondly amused at

Shamelessly Texan stuff It's All Good

No idea what to do with

Dozen boxes of books, many unread but really interesting.

Excited about

Two as yet unopened boxes of clothes. Partly to wear, partly to get all those emotions all over again.

Secretly excited about

Genu-wine python boots

OK, bed time!

Posted by Paul Makepeace at May 7, 2005 01:48 | TrackBack


Posted by: Jez at May 8, 2005 05:53
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