We’ve been packing everything away, clearing out unnecessary belongings, recycling clothes and taking books to the charity shop on Greenlanes. I’d thought we were good at not accumulating rubbish as we live in a small place and try to wear out clothes and pass on books when we’ve read them, but despite this material carefulness, we’ve still managed to hoard a load. Old jackets and shirts entombed in the darkness of the wardrobe have all had to make their way to recycling heaven.

The clear out has been good as we get ‘our house in order’ and unburden ourselves both literally and metaphysically of our stuff. I’d heard somewhere, from a Life Coach, that one of the first things people do in reappraising their lives is to sort out their material possessions by getting rid of what they don’t need. We feel this release as we look at the unburdened shelves and start to feel freer in our minds about the future.

We’ve packed our bikes and panniers riding them to west London where they’ll now stay before we depart on a short cycle trip to Cornwall and back for a friend’s family party. The UK ride will be a good excuse for a warm-up prior to our departure to Kuala Lumpur and then Sydney where we will start the long distant ride proper. Despite having packed before and re-packed several times, it was odd to be loading the bikes with affectively our sole belongings for a year. There was so little to carry when compared to the contents of the house we’d just been reorganising.

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