Su­san Kurosawa’s car­a­van moves on.

The Weekend Australian - Life - - FOOD & DRINK - SU­SAN KUROSAWA kuro­sawas@theaus­tralian.com.au

And so we have moved house and hope this will be our exit home, the one where we will ex­pire. Be­cause as I have said so many time be­fore, I am never mov­ing again. Even though we have merely re­lo­cated from the bot­tom of a hill to a ridge about five min­utes away as the kook­abur­ras fly, it was a gar­gan­tuan ef­fort be­cause of all the “stuff” (my fam­ily’s de­scrip­tion) that the lady of the house (me) has col­lected over the years.

This time we splurged and used pro­fes­sional pack­ers, who ar­rived with clip­boards and car­tons, gi­ant rolls of butcher’s pa­per and sturdy tape, and bun­dled up our lives in no time flat. The trans­fer process was speedy, it did not rain, and my hus­band was a marvel as I had (con­ve­niently) re­moved my­self in­ter­state. But then came the un­pack­ing, which I could not avoid. Oh, bother, pass the box cut­ter and the Band-Aids.

We have not down­sized but the lay­out and style are very dif­fer­ent from our old cot­tage and so there has to be a new “look”. This has meant that many of my Asian trea­sures look all wrong and, gasp, have had to be dis­missed. So all that money we spent on pack­ing does seem rather silly. My idea was to put the un­wanted (but still cher­ished) items in the stor­age locker we have had built into the boathouse. We don’t have a boat, by the way; the build­ing is a con­verted garage. We do have a car, but that is parked on the street. Are you with me?

But the stor­age locker is al­ready full of kids’ stuff we have been in­structed not to dare throw out (we have a blended fam­ily of six chil­dren) so I am se­ri­ously con­sid­er­ing a Ra­jasthan-style tent for the back­yard to house all my In­dian para­pher­na­lia as the house in­te­ri­ors are now more Provence-meets-The-Hamp­tons. Were I to be too trou­ble­some, I can imag­ine my hus­band banishing me there with my painted screens and cook­ing pots hand-beaten by Gu­jarati crafts­men while he would take sole charge of the Martha Ste­wart kitchen with its vin­tage French ar­moire.

I won­der what that fa­mous de­clut­ter­ing guru Marie Kondo, au­thor of The Life-Chang­ing Magic of Tidy­ing Up, would make of my dilemma. I just can’t imag­ine life with­out my “stuff”. Should I write a book on a con­trary kind of magic? On the se­cu­rity and com­fort of be­ing sur­rounded by things im­bued with mem­ory and mean­ing? It would at least give me some­thing to do on quiet nights in the tent.

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