should they stay or should they go?

I’ve never really been one for trinkets or pointless possessions. Kitsch has no place in my space – sure, I had a ceramic angel phase when I was about eleven, but I quickly realised that the combination of two things (the size of British houses and my dislike of all things impractical) meant that nothing in my room could be superfluous.
Of course, there is the occasional purposeless Lebkuchen heart, or the collection of touristy fans which I really can’t justify keeping in the same pot as my silk daffodils (come to think of it, the silk daffodils aren’t really earning their keep either) – but other than that, all the stuff which stands around and takes up space at least has to be able to pretend to be vaguely useful.
Enter the list of vaguely useful items I cannot bear to part with:

  • a tin of novelty knives (justification: what if I need to cut up an apple and I can’t find any other knives in the house?)
  • the aforementioned souvenir fans (justification: it gets hot in summer)
  • dozens of toiletries (justification: what do you mean, I don’t need age-defying night cream?)
  • felt tip pens in all colours (justification: you never know when you might need a brown or a green felt tip pen. What if I need to draw a tree? Am I right?)
  • a small mountain of touristy leather bookmarks (justification: I read books)
  • candles (justification: it gets cold in the winter)
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As you can see, my clutter isn’t really clutter. Or I guess that depends on your definition of clutter, but it isn’t really to me. And yet, preparing for University, I find myself having to make some decisions. Decisions like should I take the red felt tip as well as the pink, like does the turtle-shaped cushion need to make an appearance in my Uni room, and like how many souvenir fans is too many? The answer to that last one, I’ve come to the sad decision, is one. That’s right, people. No souvenir fans are making the move to Cowcrossing*.
It’s interesting how the decisions I make about what should stay and what should go make such a clear statement about me, and how I have a control over that statement. Do I want to take my Aragorn knife? If I take it with me, it’s a kitschy souvenir I won’t use, which ties me on to my far too intense LOTR obsession; on the other hand, if it stays here, does that mean I’m callously rejecting that part of my nerdy past and – let’s not lie, and why should I – present? It also means I have to make the hard decisions to leave some of my mugs, some of my books, and all of my candles behind.
Decisions, decisions. But to be honest, ione of my favourite things about travelling and moving is getting that chance to to live without the luxury you’d built up. It’s unburdened.
So here we go. Silk daffodils stay home, felt tip pens come with; Aragorn knife stays, touristy leather bookmarks come ; age-defying face cream stays, souvenir fans…
They stay too. Come on, dude. I won’t need a fan at University.
It’s a good thing I’m not going to IKEA tomorrow with the hope of buying even more stuff. Hmmm…
*new nickname for Oxford, Y/Y?

Folder-design related sidenote: One of the things which are coming with me to University are obviously my ring binders. But I don’t want them to be boring – oh no! So to spice up the folders, I cut out some designs in craft paper and stuck them on, one folder per module. The modules are: Plays and Film in the first term; Prose and Mediaeval in the second term; and Poetry and Philosophy in the third term. Don’t they look pretty? You might also be able to spy that the side of the philosophy folder has a back-sticker on it. These are things which I’ve only seen in Germany, and I think they’re amazing. You get seven stickers, and when you put them on thee back of your ring binders, they make a picture! In this case, a map of the world. I think you can spy Australia and eastern Russia on philosophy!
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Tattoo-related sidenote: Not so hot on the idea right now as I was last week. Still pretty sure I’ll get one in my life, just not anytime soon. They’re just so… permanent. I am liking the idea of white tattoos though. Firstly, because they do tend to fade a lot (which is good), and secondly because they’re not so easy to see unless you know they’re there. They just look like scars unless you point them out. And since this really is a tattoo primarily for me, that seems appropriate. Just thought you might be interested!

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