Carton by carton, I unwrapped possessions I'd not seen for many years. Not since we'd moved from Australia to the United States more than a decade earlier and, truth be told, I couldn't for the life of me remember what we'd left behind in storage. Then again, I had a five-week-old baby and two toddlers at the time, so my memory of that entire period was shrouded in a sleep-deprived haze. So I took to each cardboard carton with a box cutter. I felt like I was opening up a long lost Egyptian tomb … what forgotten treasures might I discover inside?
As luck would have it, not many.
What emerged from copious amounts of wrapping paper was not so much treasure but worthless relics from a distant past. Old plant tubs, complete with dried prehistoric snails (honestly, what was I thinking?). Scratched photo frames. An electric fry pan. And — the highlight — a brick-sized medieval cordless phone. Ironically enough, my youngest child Matthew thought it was pretty cool. ‘You could get money selling this one!' he said enthusiastically. I doubted that very much.
Unpacking those boxes brought home to me how much can change in a decade. Not just phones, but simply the procession of life. When I turned on the television, I was introduced to ‘famous' celebrities I'd never laid eyes on. When I got in my car, I discovered new tunnels I didn't know existed. It felt a bit like I was ...