the skinflint philosopher

Attempting to thrift our way to a better life, with a toddler in tow!


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Tidy house, tidy mind?

Seven days left until we leave the island- myself, Digger, Tiddler and a loaded up car of our final possessions. The house is currently deceptively full of things, because we have no cupboards, chests of drawers or storage units to put things in any more, and so our personal effects are like a shifting mass of tumbleweed that Tiddler moves from one room to another as the whim takes her. In reality, there is not much left here at all. The house is pleasantly empty.
‘Tidy house; tidy mind’ I tell Digger. ‘Do you feel an sort of unburdening because we don’t have stuff any more?’
‘We have stuff in abundance’ he says ‘it’s just all at your parent’s house’.
‘True’ I muse, ‘but this little taste of minimalism may be a good thing. To get us thinking about what we “actually” need? To get used to living with less before actually jettisoning off everything?’.
‘Maybe “empty house; empty mind” is also true then?’ he chuckles. ‘let me look in your earhole and see if I can see out the other side’.

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Once Digger had recovered from the withering look I sent him, we talked about how even with the worry and fraught feelings of this move, in reality we felt so much more stress free than a few weeks before. The removal of ourselves from the working environments in recent weeks (though Digger is still eking out every hour this week to bring in the last pennies either of us my earn for a while- but this time working for someone else so the responsibility and organisation is no longer his) has made a remarkable difference. I felt I had been a bit like Atlas, labouring under a heavy load for so long, it was only once it was gone I realised what it felt like to be without it.

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On top of that, despite my initial worries, we have sold over the last few days most of the remaining bits of furniture we own. I may even have to ask the village church if they can lend me a few chairs so we can sit round the 1930’s oak table (the one thing that steadfastly will not sell) in order that we are not eating off the floor.
My little desk has gone to a lady who wants to use it for a sewing machine, and keep all her threads and buttons in the little secret compartments.
The tumble dryer has been picked up by two Sri Lankan brothers who have just moved to the island.
The swivel chair is being picked up by someone who gets out of hospital tomorrow, and thinks it will help her with her movements.
The storage units, a wicker basket and a christmas cactus I gave away for free to an ex-student of mine who has just moving into her own little flat and starts her first accounting job the day we leave the island.

All of our little items, that we either didn’t need or couldn’t take with us, are going on to be part of someone else’s story.
I kind of like that feeling.

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Man and Van

Latest update on our plans:
Digger has booked a self drive Luton and the ferry, so definitely that is it, our worldly possessions (other than what we can cram into my car) will be heading off this island the first week of August. Poor Digger will have to do a three day turnaround- 4 hours on the ferry and 7ish hours driving time each way to get what boxes and furniture we don’t want to part with down to my parents in the Westcountry to store for us while we are off on our adventures. Tiddler and I won’t go for this first run down, but all of us in my car will be making the (non-return) journey ten days later. This means that we will be living for those last days of limbo here with only pretty much what we intend to leave behind/sell in the last minute/donate/dump.

Digger also doubts that what we have will fit in one van load. We are rethinking and may have to attempt to sell more furniture. We will have to pack and mark some boxes to go on the van, that will only make it if there is room on the day. I am having to pack up and seal boxes and make decisions about items that I may need to jettison at the last minute. Some of Tiddler’s toys are too bulky to take. I cannot justify taking all her baby clothes and artwork that I have proudly accumulated. It is unsettling.