Moving is said to be one of the most stressful things you can do in life, that along with getting married and having kids are supposed to grey the hair, and no that's not why I dye mine black! However, If that is true l should be well on my way to an early grave! Having got married in April, with baby Bubble-bee due in January, I also just completed the final part of relocating to New York this past week. After living in London for 9 years I had accumulated a lot of stuff that I'd kinda left in limbo. In 2005 we were in New York on tour and I never really came home. I briefly returned to throw all my stuff into storage and sell the flat, which I believe was jinxed, and headed straight back to my new life in Brooklyn. I wonder if the crack den's new owners are equally infuriated with the boiler from hell? 3 1/2 years later I realized I was still paying for all my crap locked up in storage in London and needed to finally address it.
After our triumphant show in Cardiff last week, everyone went their separate ways home to recover from a very sleep deprived weekend. I took this opportunity to tackle my possessions problem. (no malevolent spirits involved this time!) I decided to somehow get it all back to Downpatrick and let my sister take what she wanted and then let her sell the rest. There was no chance I could take any of it to my parents, they're already pissed off that their attic is packed with my toys and told me not to bother bring it their way.
I headed to Big Yellow Storage out on Hanger Lane and surveyed what was there; a 40 square foot lock up rammed high with furniture, beds, boxes of clothes, DVD's, videos, framed pictures, TV's, kitchen appliances, you name it... an entire apartments worth of stuff. Bollocks this was not going to be easy. Now I know why removal companies charge so much to do this, (ask Rick he's just moving to London now) but they don't call me Hamil-stien for nothing, as Leif would put it I was out to, "make a saving".
I had called an old friend Val who drives bands around in transit vans to help with this predicament. She arrived with her van that evening, by then I was drenched in sweat having loaded and lugged 5 cart loads out of the storage and down to the car park. Thankfully it only took about 30 minutes to expertly pack the van, it pays off to watch roadies in action, and as if by luck it all fitted with barely an inch to spare. Before long we were on the road and heading towards Liverpool.
jedisteve is in there somewhere...
jedisteve had offered to play lodger for the night so that was taken up graciously. After being chased off by two separate fat and hilariously barechested Scousers, they were kicking off about moving their knicked parking cones in front of their terraces, the van was finally parked about 1:30 a.m. Fingers crossed it'd still be there in a few hours. I was beyond zombified, properly destroyed with tiredness. Steve gave us a tour of his abode and then we sat down to have a drink before getting some sleep... or that was the plan. At 7:30 a.m. me and Steve were still awake drinking the left over Coventry rider after a marathon music session of new Ash material. At some point I passed out only to be woken around an hour later, it was time to leave for the boat. Doh...
Having reached a new level of sleep deprivation and still feeling pissed the 8 hour ferry to Belfast seemed to last forever. I've never seen such a miserable group of people that were on that boat. They all looked beaten down by life and absolutely joyless in a stunning collection of shell suits and bum-fluff facial displays. Val went off to kill time watching Mamma Mia in the cinema while I curled up in the bar to suffer amongst the other pitiful cretins.
We made it to Downpatrick about 8:30 p.m. and unloaded all the stuff in the pouring rain. Welcome home to a beautiful Irish summer! Catherine's (my sister) house soon resembled a dump but it was good to have completed the mission and be back in familiar territory. That evening we all watched the movie Garbage Warrior (more on this later) and it wasn't long before I was passed out on the sofa.
Garbage Warrior - Mike Reynolds
The next afternoon I woke up somewhat confused where I was. Val had left earlier in the morning to get the boat back to England and Catherine was away to work. I stirred and started the slow process of going through all the boxes of stuff and working out what to do with it all. It took me the next few days to complete the task, distributing various bits amongst the home clan, but in the end I came to the following conclusion...
Possessions end up owning you. But by breaking their chains and offloading them it feels extremely liberating, lifting a huge weight off your shoulders. Yes, I still own a ton of stuff in NY and my huge collection of Star Wars / Transformers toys is scattered over various locations but it was great to throw this one lot away and know it's grip was gone.
Oh, btw I'll be posting the next installments of the recent tour video soon. I ran out of hard drive space on Grimlock (my laptop) and had to wait to get back to NY.