So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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Once again, the time has come to talk of shoes and ships and sealing wax.. Of cabbages and kings… And why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings.

Or, you know. What have I gotten rid of recently?
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First up, a hat/scarf/glove combo that my grandmother sent to my partner for Xmas this year. Lovely sentiment. Not needed. Went to  charity shop.

Along with that went a necklace/earring combo and a bracelet, also from my grandmother, also from Xmas, also went to a charity shop.

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The next couple of gems included a pair of fluffy and sparkly pink socks. These were also Xmas gifts, but this time from my dad. Again, a lovely idea. I do love me some socks. However, I have perfectly serviceable houseshoes so these bad boys went to the charity shop.

Also in the bag with them? A selection of travel books, map books, and pocket dictionaries. I love to travel, but won’t be repeating the trips that I have already taken. Also, these books go out of date pretty quickly so there is no use in holding on to them. Let them find a new home through the wonder of charity shopping.

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To wrap things up, I have a bunch of stationary supplies. I had several sheets of stickers and a pack of card plus envelopes that I would never get around to using. So I stuck a sticker to each card, put into an envelope, and left them in the carry baskets of all the bikes that I passed on the way home yesterday. I hope the confusion makes at least one person smile. This might be my favourite disposal technique so far.

Finally, I went through the medicine drawer in my bathroom and chucked out everything that had expired, that I hadn’t used in ages, or that I had any doubts over. These just went in the bin cause I wasn’t in a mood to empty them out and recycle the packages.

Gone daddy gone!

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Anyone else love the Violent Femmes? I so need to learn to play some of their songs on the ukulele like these two. 

But now is time for the ejection of more stuff from my life! First off, three different sets of books.
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When I first got to the Netherlands, I was keen to learn me some Dutch. My university offered some courses, so I signed up, bought the books, and started the learning engines. What a waste of time. The classes were structured in a really stupid way and nobody gives half a shit about my efforts to learn Dutch anyway. They just speak to me in English as soon as I open my mouth. I gave the book and associated CDs to someone else in my research group who has yet to become jaded about the whole experience.

Then, a big stack of books on my research topic. I never read them anyway and I kind of want to move into a new topic anyway, so… Bub-bye. I left these in the leave-one-take-one book exchange spot for my research group.

And last, two books that I had borrowed from colleagues. I love both of these books and kind of wanted to keep them, but I hate it when someone doesn’t return the books that I loan out. Morals and all. They went back to their owners.

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Then, quite a lot of cleaning out and decluttering. Here we see the massive stack of paperwork that I had been holding onto `just in case’ knowing full well that that case will never happen. Most of this went into the recycling bin, some into the shredder.
Next, some old and expired gym cards, a health card and a credit card (not shown). They got cut up and distributed across several bins in the building.
After that, a pair of sunglasses that has broken in several different ways. I loved those sunglasses, but I chucked them in the bin.
Following that, a pile of electronics that had stopped working altogether. I get through a pair of headphones most years, but somehow had not managed to actually throw out the old ones when I bought a new set. They went into the electronics recycling bin at the supermarket.
And finally, some batteries. Obviously, these can’t just go into the normal trash so they tend to accumulate, confusing people about whether they are dead or not and waiting for the time that I can be bothered bringing them into the office to be thrown into the battery collection point. That time was earlier this week.

This exercise is starting to feel very liberating. I have several more things in mind and I am looking forward to using this weekend to really dive into some trouble areas. I shall keep you posted.

Things have been a bit horrible.

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I know I haven’t written a blog post in ages, which is a shame because I am a damn good writer and blogging actually helps me sort out the static in my head. But recently life has been giving me nothing but lemons.

Not just giving me lemons either. Hurling them at me at high speed from a moving vehicle whilst insulting me. But as my cousin once told me, “When life gives you lemons, squeeze lemon juice in some bastard’s eye.”

So that is just what I am gonna do. Metaphorically, of course.

I don’t want to go into the details of what is going so horribly wrong, but it is mostly related to my thesis, my job search, my housing situation, the legality of being in the country, and feeling coerced into making big legal decisions by ideologues. To cut a long story short, I will probably be moving to a new country soon, starting a new job of some kind, continuing work on my thesis from afar, and entering a new legal contract that I never thought I would enter.

In preparation, I will be getting rid of one thing per day for the next… oh, let’s say… 35 days. And I am not talking about taking out the trash either. I am talking about clearing out paperwork that I had been avoiding, taking things to the charity shop, throwing out things that I meant to use or do something with but have never got around to. Things that I have some kind of unhealthy emotional attachment to or some kind of psychological aversion to dealing with. Hopefully this will not only reduce the amount of stuff that I have to box up and ship but will also lift a burden off my mind.

To aid the process, I will post pictures, explain what the thing is, why it was hard to get rid of, and what I did with it.

Today, I present you with this fairly ugly and certainly old holiday decoration.
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This was a kind of candle-holder/centrepiece/monstrosity. I found it hard to get rid of because my partner is super keen on Xmas, while I am not. We have been building a holiday collection for several years now, some of which was purchased when we were really skint. This was one of those cheap things that we bought ages ago, but I never felt that I could suggest chucking it because I don’t have a good sense of what parts of our collection are really that important to my partner. Honestly, if it were up to me almost all of it would go.

However, the impending move motivated a discussion and this piece got the boot. I put it out by the garbage collection point in the morning and it was gone when I got back. I hope it brightens someone else’s holiday or at least provides some sort of ironic amusement for them.