I hate moving. Or packing.
But I need to pack up the Toa Payoh flat to renovate it.
First some history.
I got my flat just after I turned 35, when the regulations allowed me to buy a resale HDB flat from the open market.
The flat was due for upgrading about 2 years after I got it in 2000, so I held off renovating the flat. The upgrading added a utility room and refurbished the toilet and bathroom.
So after the upgrading (in 2003) was completed, I renovated the place to my plans.
Living alone, I did not need two bedrooms, so I broke through the wall to one bedroom and installed a collapsible wall (folding door) so if need be the living room could be expanded.
I also halved the wall separating the kitchen from the living room and this opened up the space and made everything seem bigger more spacious.
And my bachelor’s pad was done.
For the next 10 years I lived there simply. I did not need a lot of furniture, and I kept it sparsely furnished. At first. I slept on the floor (have done so for years) because mattresses tend to sag after a while, and they retain heat. And in hot, humid Singapore, you don’t need to wake up sweating. I had laminate wood flooring which were cool without being cold and didn’t leech body heat like marble or tiles would have.
I did not have a TV because who has time to watch TV these days?
If I could have gotten Singnet to provide broadband without a telephone line, I would not have a telephone line. As it is, only wrong numbers get through, and I disconnected the phone after a while. The line is still active. The phone’s just not plugged in. And Singtel charges me about $25 every 3 months.
I somehow managed to burn through about 10 ovens in 10 years. Or maybe a little less. They don’t make ovens like they used to. Or what do you expect for a $100 oven (on average)?
Anyway, living alone, I could do as I please, expand my shelves as I needed to, box up my DVD collections as necessary. My compromise for not having a TV was to get TV series from Amazon, via DVDs – Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Veronica Mars, Life, Bones, House, Firefly, Dollhouse, Doctor Who, Star Trek Enterprise, etc. And lots of movies too.
And books of course. But I find I have started to collect books rather than read them. I started reading again, when I got my iPad and read via iBooks.
Bionicles started appearing on my shelves, walls, window grills, and even off my lights
Then came Nerf guns.
So by the time I got married, my flat was choked with DVD and toys. And because i needed to store these all, I have built up, disassembled and re-installed various shelving systems and old shelves were stored in the utility room.
And when my father passed away, I got to keep some of the stuff he had been keeping – family documents, and one dragon urn.
So I rented a storage unit from StoreHub. And have done so for 6 – 7 years.
Then I got married.
And I had to make room for my wife.
I tried to convince her that a bed was unnecessary – just stack two mattresses up. If you buy a divan, there is a box below and a mattress on top of the box. My idea was to get two mattresses, and stack them. It would look like a divan, and you have a spare mattress. But she was not persuaded. Nor was her mother.
So I made room for a bed.
Then she got pregnant.
I blame the bed.
Her mother gave credit to the bed.
It was… inevitable.
Fortuitously, the condo apartment was ready and we started working to get it ready for occupation. It would be for us to stay with the baby after delivery.
So we have been staying in Geylang.
It has been good. And we have sort of abandoned the Toa Payoh flat.
For a while I missed it, but now I feel at home in Geylang.
Heck. Home is wherever PL and Z is.
But now PL has returned to work after her maternity leave, and Toa Payoh is more convenient… but it would have to be renovated and since we have the luxury of a “spare” home (at Geylang), it would be better to renovate before we return.
But… 14 years of accumulated DIY projects, DVD collections, Toys, computers (I have a Mac Mini, an iMac, and a MacBook Pro, an old notebook from my University days, two other notebooks, and a netbook) and accessories, and books and magazines, have to be disposed of.
And they all hold memories.
Packing up has been traumatic.
You have to decide to keep the memories in your head, and not in dusty boxes. But until you see the content of the dusty boxes, you forget. Or you never bring those memories to mind. So seeing those books, or trinkets or keepsakes, or CD-ROMs or knick-knacks bring back memories. And remind me of times that I had forgotten that I remember.
Then I have to decide whether I want to keep them or throw them away.