Liv Hambrett

Germany + Australia + Culture + Motherhood + Home

Life in Kiel, Life in Weiden, Travel + Life Abroad

Never Really Still

Right now, I’d say around 93% of my possessions are in Germany. The other 7% (a not insignificant shoe collection, an enormous box of books and half of my, also not insignificant, fragrance collection) are in storage somewhere in Sydney. Of that 93%, around 79% of it is in Weiden. The remaining 21% – winter clothes, boots, a few perfumes, books and a clutch of my, also not insignificant, tea cup collection – is in Kiel.  Slowly and relatively surely, with side-trips and wardrobe-swaps and packing, so much fecking packing, life is migrating to one spot, one mother-hub, one home.

This weekend, after Berlin, we drove down to Weiden, the mother-hub, to relieve our wonderful friend of his plant watering duties for a couple of days, air out the place and transfer a portion of my boxes that were shipped (entirely unsatisfactorily, if I am being honest) from Sydney to Kiel. Life in Kiel will wrap up in three and a half months time and all we have taken up there or indeed accrued up there through various means, will need to be ferried back down here. We thought we’d get a head start and get a car load down now. I also took the opportunity to cram most of my Winter clothes (not all, Winter is not yet over, it’s only April …) into the car, to replace with Spring/Summer garb fetched from Weiden, because our tiny quarters in Kiel simply cannot handle a bi-seasonal wardrobe.

Back down here, the bubble wrap was ripped off all of the things that made the journey from Sydney to Kiel and a lot of the bits and pieces found a home. Many didn’t. Which stirred up that thrilling sensation I attach to the idea of home decorating. The idea of getting new shelves to fill with books and frames and bottles and bowls, of hanging up the pictures and posters, of creating some sort of tea and coffee cup shrine fills me with the most peculiar, energising delight. But of course all of that has to wait a few more months. There are more car trips to be made, more packing to be done, goodbyes to be said, another city to be left. (And thinking about that makes me think, yes, perhaps the decorating can wait.)

So, sitting in our ‘principal residence’ which is not quite home to all we own, but will be soon and even then, only temporarily, I see something, quite clearly – this whole thing is an ongoing process, a work in progress, not just mentally, but physically and the two elements seem to have an intricate, inextricable relationship with each other. Until we are still, somewhere, at some point in time, this feeling of being scattered and this state of being scattered will be the status quo. And that isn’t a bad thing – like all things in life this state and all that comes with it is in equal measures frustrating, interesting, exciting, comforting and known. Having things in storage in Sydney is like having a tie to a life from my home country. Having things divided between two places in Germany is a constant reminder of all the change and excitement that has already occurred and all that is to come.

And another thing I think I see, or perhaps not see but suspect – even when still, the process will goes on, the work will remain in progress. Because we aren’t ever really still, are we? Even when 100% of our possessions are under the one roof, when routine is settled into, something comes along to break that, to mess it up. People walk in and walk out, plans change or get changed by forces greater than any of us. Shit, both good and bad, happens and it happens constantly in order to ensure nothing stays the same.

Such is life, yes?



  1. Bonnie Rose (@the_bonnierose)

    9 April, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    We are sort of like that except we have had to part with a lot of our belongings along the way with my husband’s former job in the military. When we decided to come to Europe the bulk of our stuff (that wasnt still at either of our parents houses on either side of the USA) was in Hawaii and way too expensive to bring everything. We recently moved again from one part of England to another and not everything was able to make that move. I feel like now that we are staying put we have to slowly over time replace things. One day. Life is continually changing. x

    Bonnie Rose |
    A Compass Rose

    1. Liv

      19 April, 2013 at 7:35 am

      You definitely sift and cull. I threw out a LOT when I came back here, bags and boxes to various organisations, including the bin. I was left with clothes, books and sentimental items (gifts, travel purchases) that I couldn’t part with and that’s what came over. It’s such a process!

  2. Kate (@shoegirlinDE)

    9 April, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Love your comment that winter’s not over, as it’s only April… makes me a little sad at how true that is. The whole concept of seasonal wardrobe – and seasons in general – is still a struggle for me, but I suppose that’s the Californian in me talking. Now if only there was a place to put it all!

    1. Liv

      19 April, 2013 at 7:36 am

      I hear you – I only ever had two seasons in my wardrobe – summer and ‘winter’, clothes which, for here, would be suitable for the earliest days of Autumn.

  3. Isa

    11 April, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Hej! You could just get rid of all your ‘things’ 😉 ! After having stuff in storage and at various friend’s houses for many, many years, I finally bit the bullet and managed to dwindle down belongings to one suitcase of stuff again – including clothes. It’s not for everyone, I realise. Aged 18, I left ‘home’ with one suitcase and a bike, didn’T think I’d have cause to worry about my other stuff at ‘home’…. until it was too late – before it was ‘gone’. My life in letters – gone, photos – gone, etc, etc but some people never have any of those things. So, in short, ’twas relatively easy to shed the skin again, choosing to do so, this time. Ramble, ramble.

    Annywaaay, have been keeping my ear to the ground but there’S seemingly still no news on your book. When’s it coming out? – on how the internet ‘interferes’ with a writer’s life, albeit slightly long-winded, states the obvious, readable nevertheless.

  4. Isa

    18 April, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    argh – what’s that I see, a mistaken apostrophe. argh, above in my ramble – 2nd line. would you do me a fantastic favour and delete my ramble please. i’ve just read it and definitely deem the ramble utter codswollop! don’t think i’d had enough coffee before rambling away. how embarrassingly funny. grimace. grimace. during the ramble, i’d of course left out, 20 years have passed since leaving ‘home’. so, little bits n pieces were picked up here and there – even after moving 29 times or thereabouts. thanks for deleting 😉 now to ramble in the woods. a proper ramble.

    1. Liv

      19 April, 2013 at 7:32 am

      Hahahahahaha, I can delete it, but it is utterly fine! A classic ramble in the woods!

  5. Isa

    19 April, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Yeah – can’t see the wood for the trees. Shall endeavour to contain my ramble in the future.

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