Saturday, May 12, 2012

Manual for Moving

a guest post by Tamsin Hickson

Most people hate moving. I adore it with a passion, one passed down to me by my mother. Her love of
moving manifested itself freely throughout my childhood, ensuring that by the time I turned eighteen I’d "loved" in twenty houses. She felt that settling meant death and when I told her, shortly after buying my first house with a garden in London, that I didn’t ever want to move again she reacted as though I’d confessed to a passion for torturing small animals.

From my years of experience I have some practical suggestions for Katrina. Only two: a long list would only add to the proliferation of lists swirling around her and Francesco as they settle into their new home.

Number one: messy doesn’t matter. Everything is in chaos and confusion, all your things are packed in the wrong boxes and there’s no bedding for the first night. Relax. Open a bottle of wine, use a towel as a sheet when you go to bed. You’ve years ahead to live tidily, with things packed neatly into cupboards and onto shelves. For now enjoy the chaos of the moment.

Number two: start hanging pictures on the second day. This comes from my mother, who always had all their pictures up by day three. It may take months, years even, to unpack boxes, but pictures make a home.

My mother said something else: people who move a lot move easily. This goes both ways: even though I've lived in my house for nine years, the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere, I still get worrying tendrils of desire to up roots once again. When that happens I take myself off to sit in my kitchen and stare at the blank walls. I fell in love with my house because of the way the sunlight fell on the soft hand-moulded plaster and having protected it from Italian builders and the tide of human possessions I need only stare at the walls, contrasted against the grey green of olive trees glowing through the window, to remember why I live here. In minutes the fantasy house, with its unimaginably exciting new life, becomes ghostly and pale before disappearing altogether.


Tamsin lives in Le Marche with her loves, her family and friends who come to visit, nestled in a sweet spot surrounded by olive trees, rolling fields, sheep, shepherd, sun! I wrote about one of her great outdoor dinners sometime last year here. She writes like she is in real life, such a joy to read and be with. Find more at her blog here:

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