When I moved north, most of the stuff from my London flat went into a lockup in Scarborough. It was a temporary measure to begin with, but life developments since have made it a more permanent state of affairs, and I rather enjoy the ability to live an uncluttered life without actually scrapping all my belongings then buying them over again when I need them. Items of adventuring equipment like my six tents, four sleeping bags and arctic winter kit are all very useful, but not strictly essential for day-to-day life. In spring, the winter clothes go back in the lockup, and come autumn it’s the same story for the palm-tree shirts.
One of the loveliest things about the lockup – apart from the sense that I might be a resistance operative tooling up for a secret mission – is the ability to visit the past without having to live with it. There are a lot of memories in there, and I always seem to come across something interesting.
This time round, I found a box of drawings from my undistinguished sideline as an illustrator, and among them was a picture I drew when my former colleague, Rose, left her job at the Scouts. They wanted a picture of her surrounded by all her workmates, though I can’t recall whose idea it was to stick us all on a pirate ship. I remember it being a time consuming but lovely task, especially since I was quite fond of many of the people I was drawing.