One suitcase. One chance to take the books, DVDs, music, memorabilia, and a few of the special things that make a house a home. What to choose? Twenty kilograms of memories to put onto new shelves in a new home. There may be other opportunities, odd bits squeezed into hand luggage, maybe another suitcase another day. Possibly a car trip in the winter. But for the time being, one suitcase. One baggage fee paid to Ryanair. One bag booked into the hold to fly to Málaga tomorrow.
I need some books, but which few can be taken? I have my Kindle, of course, but no house can be a home without books on the shelf. A few books about Spain, a copy of “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (just the English language version – though I have the Spanish version too), and a couple of lighter novels for winter evenings. I need to re-read John Hooper’s “The New Spaniards” to understand more about modern Spanish culture, so that must go in.
A whole stack of DVDs and a handful of CDs, though I have neither a DVD player nor a CD player yet. Those need to be urgent purchases next week. Cables and chargers for laptop and mobile phone, It feels as though this suitcase should be full of the special things. It feels like the last opportunity, even though it isn’t. But there’s something highly symbolic about pacing through the rooms of the cottage, choosing these limited few things, the most important, to take their place in the Spanish house. Yet the case bulges with little of any significance. It’s more about practicalities and comfort than symbolism.
I add a pottery dove made by my friend Ann Wilson, perfect for the breakfast patio. A couple of painted ceramic coasters which I’d given my mum – it’s the little things like that which will remind me of her every day.
© Tamara Essex 2012