Letting go

We’re packing up our stuff again. For the second time this year. Work starts on the kitchen and bathroom next week, so we need to be out of here for a while.

I’ve moved a lot. A lot. I moved to Sydney 17 years ago and in that time I’ve lived in 16 different places (one of them for four years) and been of no fixed address six times as well. Or maybe seven. Anyway, I’m pretty good at packing. And giving things away. I’m not sentimental about most things, so if you give me a present that’s not really me, please don’t be offended when I give it to someone who will get more joy out of it.

But this time, it’s personal. This time, I have to say goodbye to this:

old mirror

Old mirror, with NWN leg

It’s a fucking heavy old cupboard door that I bought for $15 when I first moved to Sydney. I was living on $50 a week (after rent), so that $15 meant brown rice and bread so I still had enough money to go to bands on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday (hence the tinnitus). And I’ve lugged it around with me for almost two decades. Hey, what can I say, it’s a skinny mirror.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, this time I have to say goodbye to these:

Blunnies

Well-loved blunnies

I’ve had these boots since 1998. They were with me on my first overseas trip, to Europe. They were with me when I worked as a bar manager in Soho, London. They were with me when I rode a camel in the Kizilkum Desert in Uzbekistan. They were with me when I climbed through a broken window of an abandoned hotel in the Terelj National Park in Mongolia, because the inside looked like it had once been magnificent. They were with me when I wrote my name in the snow with stones by Lake Baikal in Siberia. They’ve been to Big Day Outs, and Livids, and Homebakes, and many other festivals and about a thousand gigs.

But I haven’t been able to wear them for a year. Probably two. The sole split – my soul split – and Blundstone don’t make these any more. For a while I put a plastic bag on my foot so it didn’t get wet, but then the split got so bad the leather split too and it was all over.

I think I have to say goodbye to them. If anyone needs me, I’ll be the one sobbing by the garbage bin.

47 responses to “Letting go

  1. Get the Blunnies resoled!! I’ve done it twice each to a pair of Rossi boots (which took me to Europe) and a pair of Mack shoes.

    Maybe not as cheap as you think but a whole lot cheaper than a new pair; and considerably more chic than a plastic bag.

  2. I’m jealous that you and your blunnies have been to lake baikal!!! Talk about deep…

      • Hedgepig and I did that too. Lake Baikal via the trans-Siberian that is. Not sure if we get fewer points or more for doing it with our parents. Do you remember all the smoked herring?

        • Don’t worry, I did it with old people. I won a trip on the Trans-Siberian, but it was a group tour for older people. Still loads of fun though. Except for the librarian from Kew. Fuck, he was annoying.

          • Wonderful! We did the Beijing to Moscow route in the dead of February. Wasn’t it magical/bizarre? I’m trying to distract you from the mirror thing here.

            • And orlando, you’re doing a great job. I went Beijing to St Petersburg in April/May, so Lake Baikal was starting to thaw. Some parts were still frozen over, others were slushy and the ice went chink chink chink in the night, and other bits were liquid again.

              My parents did the trip in reverse a few years ago (they’re in Turkmenistan at the moment) but I think that wouldn’t have been quite so lovely. In that they saw the lovely, elegant part first and then it gets more run down as you get closer to Beijing.

              • That is *exactly* what I remember thinking: that it would have been sad to go in the other direction, leaving the fairytale villages and exquisite mountains behind to end up in the shantytown deserts of the Chinese part. As it was we fell asleep in some corner of Mongolia and woke up looking at Lake Baikal. It felt like someone had performed a magic trick.

  3. cut out the tongues, you can keep these and they will hold the memory

    • Wow, that didn’t make you sound like a serial killer at all.

      • oh god, I can’t believe that creepy crime-y one passed me by!

        Kim, I think you just wrote this post to show off about all the cool experiences you’ve had while (some of) the rest of us were stuck paying mortgages, having kids etc etc etc.

        The funny thing about your post is that I read it immediately after a post from my sister-in-law, who’s about to move for the umpteenth time, also in the Inner West, and was offering up some old trinkets for the kids. Must be something in the air – Newtownians are on the move again!

        • Yeah, there was a little bit of showing off. But also a bit of sadness about having to let these things go.

          The inner west is definitely on the move. I know two couples who are moving this weekend, plus two more who are house hunting. And don’t get me started on the price of real estate around here. All my travelling and McJobbing means I have definitely missed that boat.

    • They will whisper to you in the dark, of their pain and longing….

  4. Why are you getting rid of a perfectly good (not to mention very nice) mirror??

    Oh, sad about the boots. It’s hard to chuck out items with such awesome memories attached to them.

    • The new cupboard has a mirror, so it’s a bit silly to have two. You want it?

      • Yes, but… a skinny mirror. They’re special…

        I’d love it, but I’m in Melbourne. And I probably don’t need to be encouraged in my habit of picking things up because “it’s perfectly good – who would throw that away??”

        • You’re in Melbourne? Oh, swoon. ManFriend’s sister lives there and every time we visit he has to put up with a month of me going “canwemovetomelbournecanwemovetomelbournecanwemovetomelbourne?”. I feel sorry for him some days. And then on other days I dazzle him with my awesome! (Not a euphemism, but from now on it should be.)

          • I’m sure even your whining is awesome. Which is better than your awesome being… errr… never mind.

            I’m from Sydney originally – moved here 7 years ago and never moving back. I don’t know what it is about Melbourne; it’s just the… indefinable Melbourne-ness. I’m way out in the burbs, but that still means I am within 40 minutes drive of the hills, the beach AND the city. And excellent public transport, even though Melbournians will tell you it’s crap. I tell them to spend a fortnight in Sydney and THEN talk to me about the trains.

            • I’m a smiler. If we make eye contact, I’ll smile at you. In Sydney people just glare back, but when I’m in the Melbourne CBD, business people on their way to work smile hello as well. To a Sydneysider, that’s just crazy talk!

              • I know! Sometimes I even find myself saying, “Morning!” to random strangers in the street. Admittedly more in the ‘burbs than in the CBD, but still… they smile and reply. It’s weird, but in a good way. 😀

          • You are NOT allowed to move to Melbourne!

      • Have ditched it yet? I’ll take it.

  5. You should get the boots bronzed. Or stuffed. Or something.

  6. Or plant plants in them and use them as window boxes

  7. so your going to cut out the tongues, staple them to a wall and take photos for us, yes yes…

    fuck i need my morning coffee

  8. Well, if parents can get their baby’s booties dipped in bronze, why not do the same with these boots?

    (I’m not entirely kidding … could be a great idea for a business.)

  9. I think getting boots cast in something and then using them as a plant pot is fabulous – i’ve got my old pair of docs, with huge cracks in them sitting in the cupboard, as I felt like it would be throwing away 15-23 away if I dumped them, awesome idea!

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