1 – Teddy Ruxpin. Teddy Ruxpin used to sing me to sleep every night, thanks to the new-fangled technology that was a tape player in his back. This song instantly transports me to the times when I lay in bed cuddling him and feeling all safe and secure in his company. That was at least a year ago, though. I guess I’ve grown up a bit now.
2 – Essays. Lots and lots of essays. It does not bode well for the future that I can’t seem to understand large chunks of the French essays I wrote for my A Level French Literature coursework (and of the parts I do understand, I suspect that the phrases there won’t come in especially handy during my travels. “Mersault a tué an Arabe” is not something that’s likely to come up in conversation at the supermarket). I’m even more disturbed to look at my university essays and realise that not only do I not remember writing any of them , but in the case of a large number of them I have no recollection of studying the book in question, or even taking the class. University was clearly an utter waste of time.
3 – Video footage of myself as a teenager. This is alarming on several fronts. Firstly, it seems that my idea of fun was sitting around making pointless videos of myself and my friends talking utter rubbish. Secondly, it is difficult, if not impossible, to reach into the TV and slap a 16-year old, size 12 me for moaning about being fat. And thirdly, there is nothing quite like hearing a younger version of yourself casually saying “if I’m watching this in years to come, when I’m really old. Like 30.” when you’re now rapidly approaching that point, to make you want to move into a retirement village.
4 – Photographs. Hundreds and hundreds of photographs. Photos from school, photos of family, photos of holidays, photos of long since deceased pets, photos of concerts, photos of parties, photos of special occasions. Photos that make me cringe, photos that bring tears to my eyes, photos that make me laugh, photos that chart My Life So Far. It’s difficult to choose a select few to take with me.
5 – Music cassettes. Remember those?
6 – More clothes than anyone can ever possibly have owned before. It is truly amazing. It seems that I gained a lot of weight, stored all my too-small clothes in the hope that one day they’d fit me again, bought bigger clothes, lost a lot of weight, bought smaller clothes (forgetting existence of previously stored ones), gained a lot of weight, bought bigger clothes, and continued with this behaviour for about 8 years. As a result, I am about to provide a charity shop with enough stock to carry it through to next year.
7 – 15 Odd Socks.
8 – No passport. Not a single one. Anywhere. This one was slightly traumatic, as I distinctly remembered checking that I knew where it was when I booked my flight – you know, the flight that leaves in 5 days from now. The fact that I had just returned from throwing a carload of binbags in skips at the dump meant that the sudden absence of a passport was decidedly alarming. Thankfully it turned up after some panic-stricken unpacking of several “to be stored” bags. I could have cried. I know I definitely kissed it.
It is a very stressful time.