If you follow my Instagram you’ll know I’ve been excitedly tracking the ship MSC London using the VesselFinder website, and yesterday the ship arrived in Dubai after nearly a month of travelling, so our belongings are now sat in customs waiting sign off and delivery …amazing, right? Well…. I asked my husband this week what he was most looking forward to finally getting his grubby mitts on (his answers: the new fancy TV we purchased just before leaving the UK, his beloved coffee machine and our wedding and honeymoon pictures). He obviously wins some major husband points for the last answer (adorable!) but when he asked me the same question my response was the new indoor slipper-flip-flop things I thought I had packed in my suitcase as my feet are always cold (cheers air-con!) and the tapas bowls we were bought as a wedding gift. Hmm….
We took out insurance for everything leaving the country, either on the flight or in the shipping container, and it totalled over £30,000! We brought out 6 large suitcases with us and I probably could have just packed a carry-on, I squeezed in nearly 20 different bikinis and have worn the same 3 for the last ten weeks, the same with t-shirts and countless unopened bottles of various lotions that I absolutely could never survive without, ever (of course, most remain unopened).
By coincidence yesterday I also watched a show on Netflix about Minimalism; people taking a simpler approach and many living happily with less than 100 possessions, described as: Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom. www.theminimalists.com and I really started to think that maybe I didn’t need all of the “stuff” we were waiting for, that I couldn’t even remember half of the things we so eagerly awaited, and then sometimes life has a funny way of proving just how absolutely wrong you are…
After a long wait in customs our belongings were finally booked in for delivery, and then what felt like the Generation Game began live in my living room (yes, there was even a cuddly toy!)… the courier company were amazing; lugging in huge boxes and oddly bubble wrapped large items whilst shouting out “box 22” and me checking it off on the tick sheet and then thinking “what the heck is in there!?” What the heck was in there was 46 parcels of pure happiness (and 2 of my husband’s random collection of what I refer to as ‘complete crap’ but he assures me it’s all good stuff, and who doesn’t need a remote-control helicopter and ring binders of college work from a decade ago?) Anyway back to the 46 parcels of amazingness… our beautiful mirrors and photographs and the fancy curved TV were all in one piece, my wardrobe of work clothes were all in need of a good airing and pressing but they were finally here, our old dining table that we can now use as a breakfast bar was here, we had saved all of our wedding gifts so our kitchen was stacked high with our fancy Royal Doulton crockery and elegant champagne flutes and shiny new pots and pans, it was like one hundred Christmas’s all at once and I literally felt all warm and fuzzy inside.
Ha, minimalism; in the space of 90 minutes it all unravelled and I realised that was not for me, we have more crockery than a family of ten but I love every piece! The Minimalists are right; nobody NEEDS all this stuff, but to me everything we unpacked had a little story of why it was here, when it was purchased or received as a gift; cushions my mum knitted, a cut-glass fruit bowl from Dan’s granny, a frame with a mini-Lego Dan and Kimbers made just for us, all that “stuff” means something and the memories and the people make me happy. I text my mother-in-law in the week to tell her I love opening the dishwasher to see our new plates and bowls (a wedding gift from my grandma – my mother had written the gift tag “love from grandma, from beyond the grave” as she didn’t quite make it through to the wedding, she had a dark sense of humour!). Maybe I am actually anti-minimalist or perhaps just a little bit softer than I care to admit?
It’s been ten days since the Generation Game conveyor belt of gorgeousness happened and I’m still the happiest bunny! I admit defeat, I just love John Lewis too much to be a Minimalist.