After a few weeks of intense fun in Beijing, I am back in the depths of the English countryside. Strangely enough, it rained the whole time I was away and it is only now something resembling summer has finally reached England. I’m making the most of my country garden that catches the sunlight while I can; in three weeks, I’m moving to central London to live.
I’m currently sitting in my bedroom surrounded by piles of long-forgotten miscellany, such as tarot cards and almost empty bottles of perfume, with the occasional cardboard box teetering atop a heap of books pulled from the shelves and piled haphazardly on the floor or on top of something else. I have a distinct tendency to randomly throw things into boxes and then stash the boxes away out of sight, and on my journey through my wardrobe today I discovered old scraps of diary entries, neatly torn from school exercise books, mainly discussing boyfriends and horses; old love letters written to me by an enchanting boy I never met because he lived up North; a set of runes in a red velvet bag (when I pulled one out, it was the rune representing journeys); a set of plates and cups decorated with pictures of shoes that I have never used but intend to start using; and a lot more besides. I never throw things away. At university, my room was always awash with paper. Sometimes, when the urge came upon me, I’d pile all the paper into themed stacks – modern Chinese newspaper readings, notes from history lectures, photocopied short stories – but hardly ever filed it away properly, leaving it to gradually work its way across my floor and obscure the carpet until the urge to tidy returned. Unfortunately my room in the house I am moving into is significantly smaller then the room I am currently in, so I have to get rid of quite a lot. Including some books. I’m not especially impressed by this, but I’m only throwing away things like cheap classics that won’t cost a lot to repurchase and books I didn’t enjoy reading or have never read. The actual throwing out process is the hard part; after it is gone, whatever is it, I won’t miss it. This knowledge does not make it easier to part with anything.