My academic life is currently a bit on the backburner because we’re preparing to make the move back to the UK at the end of this month. We’re spending a lot of our time working out what should go into boxes, putting the selected things into boxes, and then trying to work out what to do with the things that aren’t going into boxes. So far I’ve taken two ruddy great big bags of linens and clothes for textile recycling courtesy of the NYC Greenmarkets; we’ve got another couple of bags’ worth to go. The ‘non-essential’ books have been boxed up, although it’s a bit disturbing that when I was asked to put aside the books that I’d want to keep on hand until they had to go in the packing cases, I ended up with quite a substantial tower. I’m also experiencing considerable resistance to packing away my stationary. “What if I need that yellow highlighter or the special pen or the pencil with the owl on the end?” my inner scholar cries, unable to bear the thought of being separated from such vital equipment for the month or so that it will take for the shipping container to make it from the US to the UK.
Still, the movers arrive on Thursday next week, so whatever is in boxes will go, and whatever is not in boxes will be rehomed, recycled, binned, or put into a sneaky things-we-should-have-packed-but-forgot box and posted at the last minute. We don’t leave until the end of the month, so it’s quite nice to be doing this all in stages rather than having to do the sorting and the packing and the recycling all in one intense burst. That said, it’s still quite a stressful experience, and it doesn’t leave a great deal of energy spare for doing anything that isn’t absolutely essential.
When I first came over to the US, I had three suitcases of stuff, did a run to the nearest Target to get essentials like bed linen and desk lamps, and then managed from there. It’s a bit odd to actually be shipping my academic library off to the other side of the Atlantic after arriving with so little in the first place. It’s also a bit odd to be doing this in the middle of trying to maintain an academic profile. I’m desperate to get some further work done on the Stoic exile article, or else I’ll have my writing group raising a quizzical eyebrow at me, but that’s having to take second place to things like cancelling direct debits and sorting out the boxes. While all of that’s going on, things around here may be a little bit quieter, but normal service should be restored before the end of July.