Cycling in a skirt

One life, some bicycles. A million possibilities, zero clue!

The Stuff Mountain


So, it turns out that handing in my notice was the easy bit and, after a brief, heady interlude of celebration, the reality has now well and truly taken hold.
As have the practicalities.
I now have just 2 weeks left at work and around 6 until we head off into the sunset (or the local ferry port) on our bikes. It’s not long!
In fairness it’s a similar/greater length of time to other pre-adventure preparation but there’s nothing to kick your heart rate and bodily functions up a notch like having a deadline looming.

My concern de jour is that off Stuff (intended capital) and what to do with it. How often is it that you stop and take a mental inventory of everything that you own – never? Never, that is, until faced with packing it  all into boxes and redistributing to the storage of reluctant friends and family.
I wouldn’t even consider myself to be a collector of possessions or Stuff. Apart from bike clutter, I don’t own a lot of things but it constantly amazes me, as I mentally wander from room to room at 4am when I can’t sleep, how much we as humans manage to accumulate. It may all look tidy on the surface too, but when you start opening wardrobes, drawers, cupboards…..there it all is. 
And when liberated from the confines of this space, clothes, books, shoes seem to take on a life of their own and literally expands, breathing in air and refusing to be crammed into the impossibly small storage crates, fighting all the way. It’s like trying to corral cats, there’s only one winner and it’s always feline.
Speaking of animals, I daren’t even begin to contemplate the gremlins hiding under the stairs yet. Sadly not Harry Potter, but a nest of discarded wetsuits, picnic bags, pegs, tool boxes and a small illuminated, glittery tree…..what the ??
Today however, I’m standing in my kitchen having a small but significant panic attack. Having gone round, opened all the cupboard doors, contemplated the number of packets, glasses bowls, cups, saucepans, woks etc I’m engulfed by a massive wave of inertia, overwhelmed by the scale of the task ahead.
So. Much. Stuff.
Whatever possessed me as a rational human being to own so many pairs of chopsticks? A milk frother (I don’t drink milk) and 8 bottle openers, 8 for goodness sake!
Then there’s the food. M, being a lover of bulk goods, has been under strict instructions for the past month not to buy more than one packet or item (OF ANYTHING) at a time and has surprisingly complied, mostly through fear of an exploding partner, but still I have enough flour, sugar and curry powder to feed a small army, or make a very weird cake.
What’s making me drag my feet the most right now though is contemplating the loss of my ‘bits drawer’. I have yet to find anyone who doesn’t own one of these marvels, usually in the kitchen, and stuffed full of all sorts of useful treasures, from frayed string, leaky batteries, broken scissors, cable ties, 20 year old plasters, matches, recycled sandwich bags and my own personal obsession – yoghurt pot lids. Having cheerfully embraced my grandmother’s “it will come in useful” mentality I have collected them with abandon to be used spuriously in many critical situations (such as the loss of another yoghurt pot lid). No matter that my stash will now outstrip my lifetime, the thought of parting with these is causing me a disproportionate amount of grief.
And breathe.
Before the need for therapy has a chance to take hold I give myself a mental talking to.
“You know what, it will be fine”.
I will do what I have done in the past. I will panic. I will worry. And then I will gather up my large pile of boxes and start packing away my life and storing it carefully in people’s attics until it’s needed again.
I will sell Stuff and I will give Stuff away and I will feel lighter, like a weight is lifted with every departure of every chopstick and pot of curry powder. It will be wonderful, truly liberating, to be the owner of so few possessions and, when we’re away touring for 16+ blissful months, I’ll only have to think about 4 bags and a bicycle. My wok, wetsuit, sofa and glittery tree won’t even cross my mind and I love that.
I may need to take the odd yoghurt pot lid with me though. Well, you never know when it could come in handy?
Quote from Picture Quotes
Image courtesy of source


If you enjoy reading about adventure, travel, cycling or all 3 why not check out my book: How To Cycle Canada the Wrong Way.


It’s the story of a forty-something woman with no clue in life and no cycle touring experience. What she does have is a sense of adventure, a second hand bicycle and a skirt and the idea of riding across Canada….the wrong way.

Available on Amazon in e-reader and paperback formats.


Author: cycling in a skirt

A forty-something, journeying through life on two wheels. Possessor of limited common sense and practical ability, but full of a passion for adventure, life and bicycles. Writing about the highs and lows of cycling, cycle touring, skirts, silliness and the daily struggle not to grow up and be responsible.

4 thoughts on “The Stuff Mountain

  1. Lorraine and M. we all look forward here in Germany for updates on your Journey. We will miss M. and we all somehow are envy of him.
    Wish you lots of beautiful Sunsets

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Have a fab trip both 🚴‍♀️🔆

    Liked by 1 person

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