This weekend is my last in London. I am away next weekend for the bank holiday, and the weekend after that it’s the big off. It has all come round much faster than I expected. Obviously, the biggest thing I need to sort out is packing. Sitting here in my bedroom – no, stuffroom would be a better name for it as there is only one bed in here but lots of stuff – I keep merrily imagining that it all might pack itself, Mary Poppins in the nursery style. It’s not, is it? Right. Well then, what to take?
Earlier this year I had had the opportunity to take some stufff out to Paris four months ahead of my move. Given that I was still going to be living and studying in London for four more months I tried to pack things that I definitely needed for my year abroad but didn’t need in the short run. What went was a motley assortment of blankets, posters, thick jumpers and books that are halfway down my reading list for the year. When I went over in the summer I came very close to taking my skis with me, for one it would mean less stuff to take out in September. It would also have appealed to my sense of humour to be travelling with a pair of skis during the July heat wave.
A very major concern is what to do with all my notes. The thought of going through them all in the middle of the summer holidays does not make me somersault with joy. In fact, the later I leave it, the closer I am to reaching the conclusion that all I need is my computer, a sharp pencil and clean underwear.
The other part of leaving is saying the goodbyes. Unlike my friend Chloe who is going to be in the Middle East for a year, I am only going to be across the water. There are places on the Metropolitain Line that are further from central London than Paris. And given the number of times that I have been to and fro this year already it really doesn’t feel that far. I don’t raelly need to say goodbye do I? But I know it doesn’t work like that. So yesterday the two of us had a leaving party. It was a really good afternoon and evening in a pub, but the ironic thing is that I am planning to see everyone that I saw yesterday again before I leave, thus adding to, not diminishing, the irreality of the fact that very soon I am leaving. Also, if I am going to see everyone again, how am I going to find the time to pack?
I say again, all need is a computer, clean underwear and a sharp pencil…