There's not mush room in our kitchen. By which I mean there are mushrooms in our kitchen. And not the good 'we're making risotto' way. In a 'growing out of the walls' way. And then the roof fell in.
Long story short, student landlords really suck sometimes. We've had some pretty intense storms in the UK a few weeks ago which our buildings are just not designed to deal with. After a few weeks of calling our estate agents to tell them that the ceiling above the back door was sagging and the (load bearing) wall next to it was bulging alarmingly and being ignored, my flatmates went in this morning to let them know the ceiling had collapsed during the night. When I say collapsed there's not an actual hole, just a lot of rotten plaster that's fallen off and places where you can see daylight through the slats.
We're all fine by the way, if a little dizzy from cleaning fumes. We're all moving out in the next week or so and so we're getting the place as clean as we can (mushrooms not withstanding) and trying to reduce our worldly possessions into something that will fit into the back of a parent's car. It's kind of like being a monk, at least in the sense that we get to wear robes for graduation.
All this sorting of possessions has made me think about how much I buy and how much of it I actually need. I'm not exactly surprised to say that my main extravagance seems to be books; not necessarily in the money they cost me but in the space they take up. I think nothing of buying a book 'just to see' if it's reduced to £1 or so, despite having a whole shelf to be getting round to. I borrow books from book exchanges and splurge on Amazon. When I was a kid my school library would sell off books from time to time. They cost 10p each and I still spent my entire dinner money on them more than once. More than once in the same week. Clearly I have a problem. And sicne all this cleaning and sorting is putting me in a New Year's Resolution mode, I'm going to make some for the new academic year.
1) I will use libraries more and get fined less.
2) I will not by books I'm not going to reread.
3) I will go through the books I'm not reading and get rid of them.
Of course I doubt that all of that is going to stick. But I have given away two whole carrier bags worth of books to friends, Amnesty International and book exchanges. And packed two crates and a suitcase full of them, with maybe another box to go. Um...