Thursday, 24 April 2014

Packing, and a Little Project Update...

I’ve been trying to write about packing at the moment, but it’s been proving just too hard to get the words together after a day of sheer stress…  

As a major life-change (moving home, moving in with people), and part of the run-up to an even bigger life-change (emigrating!), I really wanted to document it though, so here is my best effort... 

This might not be the most interesting topic, so here are some random pictures of some paintings I did but had forgotten all about, and then found in a box in the garage. Just to brighten this post up a bit :)
There is also a bit of a crochet update at the end, so if you’re only interested in that then you can scroll down to it :)

'Surf Art' acrylic on canvas

I think this one is my favourite

I know packing / moving house is meant to be stressful, but I do feel like this is extra bad for a couple of reasons. Some are our own fault – like not having been organised enough in the build-up (or just generally) and therefore having to sort through lots of stuff that we really should have been on top of all along. Or just having lots of stuff generally for various hobbies, like cycling, watersports, rock climbing, camping, etc etc…

Some reasons are not our fault – like having to sort out stuff to stay with us for the next 6 months and stuff to go into storage; stuff that is precious but cannot come to Australia; stuff that we don’t need specifically, but that is too precious for us to feel happy shipping by container, just in case the container gets lost (apparently they fall of the ships sometimes!!)

Mostly it has been just the two of us packing, the first time for both of us that we have had to pack up and move a whole house all at once! (Having mostly lived in rented rooms before, rather than whole houses, and then when I made my last house move I got to do it in stages over a long period). This method has involved the most stress, a few tears, 3 packs of cakes, about 7 packs of biscuits, lots of coffee, and over 100 cups of tea!! There have also been many many occasions where we have just ground to a halt, totally unable to figure out what to do next…

Yesterday, the cavalry arrived in the form of my mother-in-law. She arrived with her little van and got to work immediately, even taking her first cup of tea while working. At first she set to work alone while my husband and I were also working alone in separate rooms, but gradually we gravitated towards a team approach, with my mother-in-law in charge. With business-like direction and confidence and competence radiating from her, packing became much more efficient and we did loads! She left this afternoon, having helped us pack all of the kitchen, all of the fragile items, all of our pictures and other framed items, and various other bits and bobs. I had also sorted out most of the garage, and my husband made various runs to the tip so that we could recycle as much junk as possible. We also have a pile of decent stuff to get rid of, we’ll either take this with us if it will fit so we can do a car boot sale, or we’ll take it charity shops if it won’t fit – the removal people will take all of our stuff for storage, and we’ll take all of the stuff that will be staying with us.

We’ve had a bit of rain over the last few days, which has been a problem as we needed to sort out  the garden, but early evening today, after the cavalry had left (with a fully-laden little van!), we got out into the garden to clear everything. There was a lot to do as we haven’t touched the garden in months and months, but after a few hours of hard work we had done enough. And that brings us up to now! My back and shoulders are aching from leaning over, lifting things, etc etc, and I’m tired out from days of working from pretty much as soon as we wake up until it’s almost time to go to bed again. But we have achieved so much – especially since yesterday – and right now is the calmest I have felt in days.

During the worst of the stress, a few things have helped – albeit temporarily. First up is tea, and lots of it! We were drinking lots of coffee to help us wake up after poor nights’ sleep, but that much caffeine is not good for stress… The fun rewards of biscuits and cakes gave an illusion of helping with stress too, but this is obviously not a long-term solution!! 

In amongst all of this stress and hard work, I have found odd moments to work on my crochet projects. I had read that crochet / knitting has been proven to help with stress and other anxiety-related issues, and this seemed like excellent justification for me to pick up my yarn every time we stopped for tea / thinking / at the end of the day. Weirdly, with regard to my crochet, I really got into sewing in ends. This has never happened before, normally I hate sewing in the ends, and dread tackling a big build-up of them. I can only guess that the stress-relief achieved by this rhythmic, repetitive and rewarding task, has somehow taught me to enjoy it. I hope this feeling lasts!!

So far, I have done all of the ends on the Glastonbury squares I have so far – and I have also done a few more of the circles, ready to turn into squares. 14 ends per square for these, and I had about 7 or 8 to do. (Apologies for poor photo quality, staging is tricky in the middle of packing, and I don't have the time to take photos when the light is good!)

Blanket squares and Packed up boxes!

I have also done all of the ends in my Cuddly Hexagons Blanket (so far). 8 ends per hexagon, and about 17 of them had needed ends sewing in. 

Here’s the reverse just to prove it! 

I have to say that packing feels horrendous right now, this is a huuuuuge wake-up call for us to improve our house keeping and related life skills!  A bit of learning to be done there soon :)

While the current situation may be unpleasant, it is only temporary, and there is plenty to look forward to - for now we just need to keep knuckling down!

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