The past few weeks have afforded me little time for anything but coping; when you have dust and mould allergies and the task at hand is to do the final cleaning of a mouldy, dusty house, things can get rather amusing. Then there are the social aspects of saying good-bye to the neighbourhood: though we have several weeks before us, we are already having last dinners and last meetings and last tastes and smells and experiences. The general goodwill of the village and the exemplary hospitality of the individuals therein still amaze me.
Still, somehow I end up dreaming. Or, not exactly. Just thinking. I've been slowly changing my daily routines to include medieval material culture; my hair products are all natural now (even my comb is made of horn and not of plastic), I knit my own socks and hats (ok, fine: this is debatable--but it is highly plausible!), bake my own bread, eat my breakfast out of hand-turned wooden bowls, and drink my coffee out of a comfortable little stoneware mug my mother found at a little shop in Glastonbury. All this done while wriggling my toes in their crocheted slippers.
What makes me laugh is that it is so much easier to pack for the relocation process with these things. I don't have a huge hairbrush and large bottles of commercial shampoo to worry about getting caught on things or opening and spilling in my suitcase. I am never bored when I have a knitting project--socks, in particular, are very portable indeed and one can fit in a jacket pocket for those frequent five or ten minute-spans spent waiting or talking. Crocheted slippers are infinitely scrunchable and completely washable, unlike their plastic-soled counterparts. My wooden bowls don't need padding or wrapping in my bag because they are extremely durable. All of these things are comfortable and customisable and familiar.
It makes me feel more sane to have these small amenities amongst so much plastic and mass-produced nonsense. Also it gives rise to a new respect for medieval travel (be it merchant, royalty, or pilgrimage), because I had thought that at least domestic details like these would be more difficult.