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The big schlep

It’s raining in Paris. And it’s due to rain today and for the next four days in London. C’est la vie.

I now know that the main reason I go regularly to the Y is so that I am fit enough to transport my stuff from place to place. My bag weighs about 24 kilos. I’d calculate that in pounds for you but my calculator is packed and my brain is fried. At the last moment I couldn’t bear to leave the uneaten cheese behind in the fridge here, so I packed that too, and it’s pretty heavy. 
This bag is ridiculous, and somehow I have to get it from here to the bus stop, to the Gare du Nord, onto the Eurostar, to King’s Cross tube station, along the Piccadilly Line to a bus stop, onto the bus to Barnes, and from there down several streets to my friend’s house. This is known as a giant schlep. I am being punished for my poor packing skills. Why do I need five pairs of pants and twelve tops (at least) and innumerable shoes? Because I’m here for 5 months, I keep explaining to myself. Well then, stop complaining and schlep away. 
(I bought the suitcase at Goodwill, by the way. Let’s hope it holds up. My stomach lurches – the thought of the bag breaking and 24 kilos of stuff spilling out, say, on the Piccadilly tube. Let’s not go there.)
I think of George Carlin’s brilliant piece on stuff, and cringe. I promise to change. Really.
The two things that have not interested me in the slightest in France are French pop music and French theatre, and these are two things that interest me a great deal in England. So – on we go.
Please send me your thoughts this afternoon as I tote that barge and haul that bale. Hope to talk to you soon. From Angleterre. 



4 Responses to “The big schlep”

  1. Carolyn says:

    Just wanted to tell you how much I am addicted to your blog Beth. I love the feminine perspective-food, shopping, wine, falling. I fell down the marble stairs beneath the statue,
    Victoire de Samothrace, at the Louvre. I was unhurt but red with embarassment as many people descended to help me.
    Choral music makes me weep. Looking forward to the Vermeer/Rembrandt ex in Vancouver to see if it will too!

  2. Lynnie says:

    I just got back from my condo in Collingwood where I spent the past five days. Here’s what I brought with me, despite the fact that I already have several of each item mentioned up there:

    * 4 pairs of shoes + 1 pair of sandals
    * 1 pair of motorcycle boots
    * 1 motorcycle helmet
    * 2 pairs of motorcycle gloves
    * 2 jackets + 1 motorcycle jacket
    * 1 umbrella (this one is much cuter than the one that’s there permanently)
    * 2 t-shirts
    * 2 pairs of pants
    * 2 long-sleeved tops
    * 3 3/4 sleeve tops
    * 4 pairs of panties + 4 pairs of socks (and yes, I do have a drawer full of these items already!)
    * 4 watches
    * 4 pairs of earrings
    * 2 books

    And you think you’ve overpacked for a five-month stay? Amateur! 🙂

    (By the way, I brought all of the above back with me today)

    (And I did not wear everything I brought with me)

    (But I’d do it all over again)

    (And probably will the next time I go up!)

  3. beth says:

    Carolyn, I’m glad you like the blog; it’s great to know it’s being received with pleasure out there, by another falling-down weepy sort.
    And Lynn, thanks for making me feel better about my stash. What are we hoarders to do? But you have a sherpa. I do not.

  4. Lynnie says:

    I do not rely on my sherpa, I rely on the dandy expandable handle and the wheels at the bottom of my suitcase. 😉

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


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