I have always been a hoarder. Not of objects or possessions but of books and paper work. Much of the paper work has been essential to my teaching and training career; a lot to do with my interests in things as diverse as history and NLP. A huge amount is made up of my writing; an accumulation of stories, half written novels, plays and notes that go back to childhood.
My books have been accumulated over a life-time. Each is precious, either because I have enjoyed reading it or was looking forward to enjoying the reading of it.
Now, however, we are in the final stages of our move to the South of France. We will be leaving our two bedroom, three reception house for a one bedroom apartment with a terrace as big as the living room and a view across the Mediterranean to Corsica. We are renting this apartment, fully furnished, for we are going on what I delight to call my 'Gap Year.'
Space, therefore, will be at a premium. So my wife Janine and I are busy sorting out what is absolutely essential to take, what can be stored and what can be given away to friends or charity.
Many treasured things can go to our friends who will love them or need them most.
It feels a good process, although not an easy one. Most difficult is giving up my books, some of which have been friends of mine for far longer than any human friends. Thank goodness for Kindle and Sony Reader because I can at least replace the physical books in this way. It is hard, nonetheless.
Then I think about our new apartment and the beautiful view which will be ours every day and I gird myself to select books to dispose of.
My writing, however, the sheets of half-formed stories and epics, that will prove perhaps more difficult.