“Stuff”, Stuffing and Japanese Craftmanship :: T Minus 7 Days

With seven days to go until we fly out of the UK for the last time, I thought I would spend some time writing about the lead up to our departure. I suspect there will be some adventures when we arrive which might also merit a blog post or two.

I have been slowly tracking the departure date on my calendar as it looms closer. At first it wasn’t visible, months off. But slowly, week by week it has been approaching and now I see it, right there. Next Wednesday afternoon.

With some friends getting the ball rolling we have been slowly clearing any of our remaining possessions before we leave. You see in mid October we sent just about everything we own to Melbourne on a ship and so are currently living with our second string of “stuff”.

Actually it has been amazingly liberating to live without being surrounded by lots of “stuff”. Everything that we are using or is still in the house will be sold, given away or indeed part of many tip runs to come.

I suppose such a move to send our belongings to another country forces you to look around yourself, to say what does all this “stuff” really mean to us? We are currently living with the rejects. It is an awkward relationship. A temporary one at best. With many of the sad mixture of items who didn’t make the boat, earmarked for the charity shop. When you surround yourself with “stuff” that you no longer have any investment in, no monetary value of note, certainly no sentimentality involved, you see those whom you love with a lucid glow that is different. Not new, just different.

It all started when we sold our house and moved into a rental property back in September. I loved that house and didn’t see myself ever moving, why would I? But when faced with a new day, that brings about new opportunities, things simply change.

Christmas has been lovely as usual and although there has been some muted generosity, due to luggage weight allowances, we have had a lovely time together with family.

Admittedly carving the turkey was not with my usual knives with their “distinctive one piece, molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel design” or their Japanese heritage or indeed the striking balance and craftsmanship you register with every touch. In fact it was with a bread knife from Tesco’s – but you know the turkey still tasted the same. Maybe better.

Pic: Christmas 2012 by Mike_fleming (Attribution-ShareAlike License)


  1. Well welcome to lovely Melbourne! i hope the rest of the move goes as well, you will love it here and we are the richer for having you. Happy New Year and thanks for your great blog.

  2. Hey Tom! Have only just caught up with your move. Just want to say thanks for everything you have contributed to my teaching and my own learning. Best source of ideas and inspiration ever! Check out tributes on http://taccle2.eu. Best of luck in your new life, hope you have a ball – Jen Hughes

  3. Love it. We’ve been having some serious clear outs here, too. It’s maybe “sympathetic pains” to your zen.

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