We are now well into the throes of preparing to vacate the house in favour of No. 1 Son and bugger off boating for a year or two (that being the current, open-to-change-as-circumstances-dictate, plan). In pursuit of this, I spent the day going through my wardrobe. This is something that usually happens a couple of times a year - nothing to do with the seasons; I'm not that sort of organised person who has a winter and a summer wardrobe, with a little black dress, a signature handbag (whatever one of those is) and little furbelows for when you have to straight from the office to a party (oh, you don't either?). No, what I have is an addiction to charity shops, and before that, jumble sales. My wardrobe tends to grow at the rate one one or two items a week, on average, which means that roughly every six months, when I can't get anything else in, I have to have a sort out and send half of it back to charity shops again. Obviously this is something I am going to have to work on once I'm living in a back cabin.
Todays sort out was, therefore, far more radical. All those things that I don't really love, but are 'too good to throw away', no doubt bought because they were a bargain, I have bitten the bullet and put in a big pile if not for selling or freecycling, then taking to the posh charity shop where they will hopefully acquire appreciative owners. There are two other bags of less posh stuff destined for the local Sense shop - not because I have any attachment to that particular charity, but because it's a nice shop and, most importantly, they don't overprice things. I hate the way charity shops are getting greedy and pricing stuff as if they're a posh dress agency. When I give stuff to a charity shop, it's nice to know it's contributing income to a good cause, but that's not my main motivation. I do it to recycle, and because I remember when I had no money, and the charity shop represented a chance of getting good quality clothes at a price I could not only afford, but justify. To me that is still an important function.
So, a big pile of stuff for giving away, but other, smaller but significant, piles of stuff that I love too much to get rid of; or that is too pretty or special or irreplaceable; or that will come in useful in the future once the others are worn out. These have been packed into five big boxes. Then there is the smallest pile of all, stuff for actually taking on the boat. And I don't know how I'm going to fit that in.
However, I also have one new garment for future boating. A lifejacket. Now, I hate the very idea of putting on a lifejacket (for the same reason as I hate gym equipment; I don't expect anyone to understand). I have always thought that people who wear them on rivers are somewhat over-cautious (yes, it would be nasty if you fell in, but that's not very likely to happen), and people who wear them on canals, downright odd. But apparently at sea they are all the rage. As we will be moving Singapore from Lowestoft to Walton-on-the-Naze utilising that rather unreliable medium, I thought that for once I would follow the fashion.