The winter evening settles down

In 2009 we have lived in five different short-term rentals, beginning in Dakar and ending on a small Dutch island in the North Sea. Each time we never fully unpacked our bags, and the kids got used to surviving with a Nintendo DS rather than setting out their Lego cities and Playmobile schools. I hope they haven’t forgotten how to play offline.

Next week we move for the sixth and last time, to a house we bought last month. Our household goods arrived out of storage on Wednesday past, and it was quite amazing to see some boxes that hadn’t been opened since they went into storage in Jamaica in 2007. The facilities and climate were not best adapted to long-term storage and we had to throw out one wardrobe immediately, coughing on the fine dustmould. Another box of books is earmarked for the dump, with swollen spines and suspicious black trails (droppings?).

At first it appeared that we should have sold even more stuff on the lively second-hand market in Dakar (previously on Stet …), but as we threw out the excessive packing paper and consolidated half-filled boxes, we relaxed a little. Maybe we won’t need ten Billy bookcases after all.

Still a lot to do before we move over next week: last touchups; a little wallpaper; installing new oven, hob, freezer and dryer; sanding and treating the old teak furniture and painting the new, the list goes on.

And while I have a twinge of regret about our itinerant lifestyle coming to a close, I’m more curious to feel what it’s like to have a house of one’s own.