Things are moving along. My one-way flight to Austria is booked and my passport has been sent off with my visa application. I will finish up work here next Thursday, and then, at my supervisors’ recommendation, I’ll take my final ten days in Sydney to relax.
And by relax I mean pack. Also deal with the piano, dispose of all my furniture, clean my flat to within an inch of its life, cancel my health insurance, close my bank account – you know, the stuff you usually do when you switch countries.
I spent much of this morning filtering through my various belongings, which do have a way of accumulating, and ended up with two heaping piles of old clothes – one to throw out and one to give away – and a six-inch stack of notecards, tourist brochures, and maps. As my dear family knows only too well, I love saving notecards, tourist brochures, and maps. The term packrat has been used. I have improved over the years, though. I no longer give a four-month incubation period to every piece of holiday candy I receive.
The treasures unearthed today included a program from a night of Underworld music at the Sydney Opera House and aerial diagrams of my brother and sister’s flats, drawn by my mom (both flats were new acquisitions at the time). There was a clipping from the Buffalo News about foxes on the Brighton Park Golf Course, and a clipping from the Saint John Telegraph-Journal about the rescue of a moose that was stuck in a swamp. There was another of my mom’s hand-drawn diagrams, this one depicting the Canadian flag on our front porch in three contrasting weather conditions (Nor’easter, sunny wind, kayak weather), and a program from the Shaw Festival signed by twelve different family members. There was a handwritten letter from Geoffrey with a postscript reading, “What on Earth went through mother’s head when she bought this paper?” and with an arrow pointing to the image of a leaf in the corner which, I have to agree, looks decidedly suspicious. There’s a notecard with a picture of the Municipal Building in Kenmore, NY, on the front, a program from a gala at my mom’s club that has my name in it (as photographer), a feather from a wild NB turkey, and two porcupine quills.
And to think, there are some who think my proclivity for hoarding is silly. Treasures, I tell you!