On The Move – Why It Is Sometimes Easy To Mistake Inertia For Emotion

I’m in the middle of moving house at the moment. It’s pretty traumatic and emotional. I’ve lived in my old house for 16 years. When I moved into it, the world was quaking in its boots about the Millennium Bug and The Vengaboys were Number One in the charts with “We’re Going To Ibiza!”

I’ve had a lot of good times and a lot of bad times in that house. It’s the home of many memories. Here’s a few of the good ones.

A lovely sunset seen from the front garden:


Me and my missus in the front room. That’s our friend Carl photobombing us through the patio doors. My missus is opening a Habitrail for reasons I can’t quite recall.


And finally, me making a very silly face. Also for reasons which temporarily escape me.


I didn’t take any photos of the bad times. Well, you don’t, do you? Not your own bad times anyway. Other people’s seem to be fair game if the internet is anything to go by.

There are two main motivations for me vacating my old abode. Firstly, I’ve been made redundant and can’t afford to live there anymore. Secondly, my old house is quite frankly a bit of a shithole. It’s falling apart.

This is because my landlord has done virtually no maintenance on it over the last 16 years. Every time I asked him to fix something he would put my rent up by twenty quid a month. So I just stopped asking him and muddled through as best I could.

After 16 years of this, what with me not exactly being history’s most talented handyman, it’s got to the stage where basically the only thing in the old house that works is the gravity. And even that seemed touch and go at times. Though that may have had something to do with the increasing volumes of red wine I drank in order to cope with living there.

I was going to post a photo of the living room, but quite frankly I was a bit embarrassed to. It looks like the inside of Charlie Bucket’s shack in the 2005 film version of “Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.

Still, despite that, I have found myself feeling like David Tennant in the following clip from Dr Who:

Except for the “turning into Matt Smith” bit at the end of course.

And this is crazy. It’s a common thing to say that a place you’ve lived for many years holds many memories. Common but wrong. It’s your head that holds the memories. A house is just a stack of cleverly arranged bricks.

My new house is cheaper, newer, more spacious and comes with a highly entertaining live-in landlord who I’ve known for years. Yet still I’ve felt myself thinking “I don’t want to go.”

But now that me and my missus have spent a few nights in this new house – it’s just up the road, so we’re moving bit by bit- I’ve found myself feeling like David Tennant in this Doctor Who clip:

This isn’t just because that moving house involves making lots of lists. Well, it involves my missus making lots of lists if we’re being honest. No, it’s because I’ve realized that the way I felt about my old house is irrelevant nonsense, Just like the things David Tennant says at the end of that Dr Who Clip are irrelevant nonsense.

I’ve wanted to move out of my house for at least ten years. But I never did because I mistook habit for sentiment. It’s an easy thing to do, as anyone who has finally convinced themselves to end a loveless marriage will tell you.

So when the move is finally complete, I’m going to keep my memories in my head where they belong, rather than projecting them onto bricks and mortar. Or anything else inanimate for that matter. Hopefully, the next time I have to move on in any way, I won’t procrastinate for a decade because I’ve confused inertia with emotional attachment.

© Copyright Michael Grimes 2015




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About thedailygrime

At that awkward age - too young to be a grumpy old man, but just acerbic and downtrodden enough to have an opinion. Read it here.

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