Writer at large – 100 Possessions – wot, no books?

Sometimes you call it research (for a contemporary thriller idea that\’s nagging me to write it), but really you\’re also having fun. If you\’ve looked at my earlier blogs about 100 Possessions, you\’ll know I\’ve been trying to unload a pile of things that I don\’t really need any more.

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I\’ve got it down to the contents of one 35 cubic foot storage room. Packed tight, mostly books and photos and some clothes… oh and three car seats.

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I\’m lucky enough to own a Ford Galaxy people-mover from the days when I did a lot of young people moving. It\’s getting on a bit now but it\’s still very large and petrolholic. I found out a few years ago that with the seats out and a futon and bedding in, it makes a very acceptable campervan for one – with the great advantage that it doesn\’t look like a campervan. And it\’s much more comfy and civilized than a tent, especially when the English heavens open and pour a couple of months\’ worth of rain on your head in two hours. As they do.

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So the three car seats have come out to give me space for a bed and quite a lot of clobber, including my minimum possible amount of books – plus a Kindle of course. What do you mean, most people don\’t take fifteen books with them when they go on a camping holiday? Don\’t be ridiculous, fifteen books is hardly any at all.

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Some people don\’t take any books at all when they go camping? You\’re mad. How could anyone survive with fewer than fifteen books? It\’s impossible.

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OK. I\’ll admit I haven\’t quite got this stripped-down free-from-attachments thing quite sorted yet, but this is a huge improvement on the days when I took a huge rucksack, a sports bag and an even larger suitcase with me for one week\’s camping holiday in Ireland with my future husband. And I had hardly any books with me then either. Only about twenty, honest. And a manuscript.

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I was quite relieved when the rucksack was stolen at Killarney left luggage office. Well, at the time I was hysterical but after I calmed down, I saw the upside. The rest of the holiday was blissful as we cycled around the Ring of Kerry with no rucksacks or bags at all.

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One day I\’ll crack this 100 Possessions thing.