Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Moving woes

Rusden Street, Armidale. Playing with the house.

 I hate moving. Growing up, we lived first at Rusden Street. The house no longer exists, later demolished to make was for a New England TAFE car park. I do remember the house and nearby park, although I left there when I was around four.

When I was around four, we moved to 202 Marsh Street, the place that would be home until I left for Canberra in 1967. Well, that's not quite precise. While I was away I retained my bedroom and my books and constantly came back. Much later after I married, we moved back to the old house where my girls were born. There we lived until my wife took a job in Sydney in 1996 and we all had to move. 

Bath time. Both my girls were born at Marsh Street

Since we left Armidale I have lived in seven rental properties, now moving into a house owned by my partner making an eighth move. It would be nice if this were the last.

I mention all this because I have found this last move totally disruptive, It's partly a matter of age. I can no longer lift boxes in the way I once could. I can no longer go without sleep in the way I once could. I find it harder to motivate myself yo keep going.

My books are my love, the tools of my trade. During the many moves I have been forced to reduce my book and paper collection by perhaps two thirds. Now I am still unpacking books and trying to organise myself. I got thye computer and internet set up early, but the books are still going even with reduced numbers. I guess that reduced is a relative concept. I still have thousands of books!

To most Australians, printed books have been in decline. Many Australians actually have few or no books in the house. I remember a decade or so ago on a consulting job staying with a client. With the exception of a few Reader's Digest condensed books, there was not a single book in the house. On assignment, I hadn't brought any books with me. I became frustrated at not being able to read myself to sleep!

There is a myth that today we don't need printed books. We can get everything from the internet. The reality is quite different. The internet is wonderful. I use it all the time. It gives me access to material in hours, sometimes minutes, that would have taken me weeks when I started university. This may be true, but the internet is actually very limited in scope and focus. I work in niches, areas not covered by the internet except in most peripheral ways And here I come back to my books. 

 I know that I will get though by current moving ways, that I will be able to increase my writing, but for the moments it's very hard.