A Travellerspoint blog

Of Packing and Pantheons…

Or how not to move house

Hello again, all. I know I promised I’d post again before leaving Auckland, but obviously I lied. I did have a good excuse all lined up, but I forgot it; you’ll just have to trust me that it was a good one!

Given that I am now writing at you again, you may safely assume that we survived the past week and got all the boring moving stuff out of the way. Actually, I spent most of that time being very concerned with gods. And goddesses, come to that. The ancient Greeks and Romans had a heap of ‘em, and the ancient Egyptians had almost two hundred, as far as I can tell. Me, I’ve been trawling the ‘Net looking for one: the one. The one that would help this awful cleaning/packing/sorting/storing routine go a little easier. I thought if I could find a god(dess) or two to lend a helping hand, the move might not be such chore.

I started off looking for major gods, hoping I could find one that went by the title of the God of Moving House Quickly and Painlessly, or something similar. The only thing I could find that was house-related was in the form of a couple of goddesses called Hestia and Vesta, both of whom are considered protectors of the hearth and home. Not exactly what I was looking for (though I did take the ‘hearth’ part of their descriptions under consideration and thought briefly about burning the darned house down. Not to worry; I did not act on my pyromaniac tendencies, if only because we don’t have contents insurance!)

So, on with the hunt. I did get a brief glimmer of hope out of the Roman god Bacchus, who has the enviable job of being in charge of the wine, but realised that getting tipsy, while pleasurable, would not help the packing process any. Janus, the two-headed god, confused me by being listed as the god of beginnings, endings and doors. (Doors? Why? Why not windows or floorboards or something instead?) The Romans liked their door gods, as it happened, ‘cos I later found another one, Portunes, who is the god of doors, keys and livestock. So next time you lose your keys, try offering up a T-bone steak to Portunes and see what happens.

Actually I’m convinced that the Romans were getting desperate by the time they came to assigning roles to their minor deities. Some seriously time-wasting jobs include:

Notadus – god who ties knots in stalks of wheat. (What on earth for?)
Potina – goddess of children’s drinks. (I wonder what she’d make of Sunny Delite and Ribena?)
Spiniensis – a minor agricultural god to whom one prays before attempting to remove thorny bushes. (I wonder if he should actually have been named the God of Splinters or the God of Ouchies?)

And my absolute favourite:

Viriplaca – goddess of marital strife. (People are more than capable of causing that for themselves without divine intervention, surely?)

The Greeks were just as bad, having Ate as their god of foolish acts, and the Egyptians came up with one especially for you guys in Britain: Tefnut – god of rain, dew, clouds and wet weather. I’m pretty sure there’s also one for making the British train service the most inefficient in the world, but I haven’t found it yet. I imagine s(he) would be named the Goddess of Leaves on the Line or the God of the Wrong Kind of Snow. I’ll let you know when I do…

So, entertaining as these ancient deities may be, they didn’t help me any on my quest to find someone to help us with the move. No wonder these pantheons became obsolete: they’re blooming useless! I wasn’t really asking for much. You know, perhaps a minor god that would help pack irregular-shaped objects into cardboard boxes. I’d just have to sacrifice a couple of marker pens and a roll of bubble wrap, and voilà, everything would fit perfectly.

Or how about a goddess for removing stubborn dirt marks off cream-coloured walls? She’d be useful, as would the god of getting stuff down from high shelves without straining something. Or a goddess that would help me squeeze two-thirds of my wardrobe into a medium-sized backpack. Better yet, I’d like one that could get two-thirds of my books into a medium-sized backpack. Clothes I can live without, but I have no idea how I am supposed to cope having only one book with me at any particular time. For heaven’s sake, I usually have three on the go simultaneously!

Sadly it was not to be. We did finally get everything sorted, but we had to do it without other-worldly intervention.

The moral of this story: if you’re moving house, don’t waste time playing around on the Internet. It won’t help!

Right, I’m done waffling for now. I assume you all want to hear some sensible stuff before I go, right? Okay then, happy to oblige:

We finally finished tidying up our house in Mairangi Bay on Saturday evening, and happily got our bond (deposit) back. Our landlords also very generously offered to help us get rid of some larger items that we couldn’t fit into our packing container, which was a relief. We have been without a car since Thursday, so things like trips to the rubbish tip were out of the question.

Saturday night and Sunday were spent recovering in a hotel in Auckland. We did very little except eat, sleep and complain about our aches and pains from the move. 'Nuff said.

On Monday we stopped moaning long enough to get our stuff together and hike to Britomart train station to catch the Tranzscenic Overlander from Auckland to Wellington. (That, for the record, was 12 hours of pure misery. Never again!)

Yesterday was spent shopping (through necessity, as Pete’s backpack decided to fall to pieces on him), wandering round an Impressionist art exhibit at the Te Papa museum, doing boring stuff like booking flights, motels, cars and insurance, and eating wonderful food at a little Lebanese restaurant we found last time we were down this way.

I am now writing this at 9.20 on Wednesday morning, just a few hours before we are due to leave Wellington and fly out to Christchurch. I am happy because this will be a mercifully short flight – just 45 minutes – and we will arrive early in the day and have time to go and do some exploring.

I hope that everyone is well out there! We shall write again soon (and I promise to try and make my post a little more coherent next time.)


Posted by Julie1972 12:18 Tagged packing

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Hi Julie and Pete,

Please let those "reports" coming in. I really love that style of writing, so please don't make it more "coherent". (Ever thought of writing a book? I would buy it...)

Just want to wish you a great trip. I guess that's the smartest thing you can do in these times and Andrea and I really envy you.

Looking forward to read from you again,
(an ex-colleague of Pete)

by abstrax

You should've prayed to Iris, goddess of the rainbow, messages, emotions and travel.

As for travelling with books -- that's what PDAs and smart phones are for!

by Hrvoje

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