It’s a long, sad story but just to say after two years, I have just had my worldly belongings delivered back to me from New York.
Having spent the best part of two decades travelling to the USA and to New York in particular, I’ve known for a year or two now that my transatlantic life is over, at least for a good few years. Again, I don’t want to dwell on that, more the odd feeling I have now that I have all my CDs, books, clothes, photos, family keepsakes and toiletries back.
Yes, I now have enough shampoo and conditioner for the rest of my life – seriously I do – and certainly enough toiletries for next 2-3 years. If you know me, you’ll know I don’t buy any old rubbish. Feel free to knock on my door if you run out of shampoo but your hands are not going on any of my ‘can only purchase in North America’ Bath & Body Works luxuries.
Some of my belongings I haven’t seen for well over two years and I’ve been asked what I was looking forward to most. The answer is everything! However, what I unpacked first were my CDs (Whitesnake then CherryGhost came to hand first, yes I have eclectic taste), my really good black boots I’ve had for over a decade, ALL MY CLOTHES but particularly all my boots and my toiletries. Some people are hooked on shoes, I like things that smell nice, feel nice and make me feel good first thing in the morning. And they’re a lot cheaper, take up less space and I can replace when I run out.
I’m relieved when I see all the photos and family memories plus my Dior jewellery collection and my ‘real’ jewels as I forgot to add them to the insurance itinerary. The Audrey book came out a little battered and I haven’t attempted to unpack my twenty year old Villeroy & Bosch china as I heard it clinking – never a good sound at £20 a plate but it’s had a good run and the broken plates are more tolerable than a broken heart.
Quite frankly, I’ve had enough of international heartbreak and the feeling I have now that everything is around me again is indescribable; it goes way beyond elated, a marathon past ecstatic and a world beyond relief.
Imagine having a lifetime’s worth of collections and memories you’ve carefully chosen or had given to you with love and then you are without everything. Whatsmore, I’m not able to go back to pack and transport it myself so I’ve had to rely on strangers handling all my worldly goods. Five nail biting, hair twisting, lip biting months later (4 months organising, 1 month in transit) and 18 very large, some humungous, boxes arrive. Within five minutes, two helpful gentlemen have unloaded everything into my welcoming home.
It turns out I didn’t need to move the furniture out of the way; it’s a lot easier with just boxes that stack up rather than when moving a whole house of odd shaped furniture.
So back to the odd feeling; I thought I would feel a little sadder seeing my home being ‘New Yorked’ but it just feels super good. I bought the boxes from my NYC storage company so my lounge is piled high with cartons that state ’Manhattan Mini Storage’ in huge blue letters but I don’t mind at all.
My clothes are piled up on the dining table and in the bedroom awaiting new furniture and I don’t mind at all.
I’m actually enjoying waking up and seeing that I’m surrounded by it all.
If I’d packed myself, certain things like chai tea bags (still in date!) and laundry liquid wouldn’t have been worth transporting but I have done about a dozen washes so it came in handy. My house has smelt wonderfully like a Chinese laundry for a few days as after being in storage, almost everything needed washing, even the clothes with tags still on.
It’s odd having things like horrid American loo roll; honestly, no matter what how many dollars I spent, the quality was never as good as the UK – and I didn’t get the pretty patterned one I get from M&S.
I have all my New York coffee table books on my coffee table and it doesn’t make me feel at all gloomy, maybe a little nostalgic even.
I’ve come a long, long way in two years.
Anyway, I have lots of Canadian trips to look forward to this year; a whole new country to fall in love with. (although I kind of already have).
My home is New York’d.
Zabars: An Upper West Side, New York institution. A good bag too.