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RAB MCNEIL: To move, or not to move. That’s the question

Rab's moving house, - oh wait, he isn't.
Rab's moving house, - oh wait, he isn't.

Sometimes, I amaze myself. And not in a good way.

Two or three months ago, I decided it was time to move on again and, as a start, decided I’d put most of my books and bookcases into storage to make the place look more spacious when selling it.

So, there are 15 crates of books lying aboot the place: a pile of four sitting right next to my foot in the sitting-room as I write; a pile of seven on one side of my bed; and another pile of four on the other side.

House move procrastination

As time wore on, and the racket round here quietened down a decibel, I let the whole thing slide. Besides, I couldn’t face moving again. Such a massive hassle. So, all unconsciously, the idea just got kinda parked.

And the crates have remained. I walk round them. In addition, I brought a pile of boxes down from the attic, and these now cover most of the floor in the spare room.

I keep my guitar and amp in there, and just clamber over everything daily to get to them. Been doing that for ages.

Lacking motivation

And the stepladders to the attic hatch are still standing there in the hall, so that I have to sidle past them: day after day, week after week.

I think I must sidle aboot in a dwam. I just get used to things. If you were to put a pile of mud down on the floor, next to the telly, I’d probably think: ‘Somebody ought to move that some day soon.’ But weeks or even months later, it would still be there.

Is this a man thing? I often hear women complain that their partners never get round to DIY projects. Perhaps, increasingly, that’s why women are doing it for themselves: many of my YouTube recommendations feature inspiring folk building new lives in remote areas.

Most are women, and most do all their own work. Certainly, they wield drills more competently than I do.


The trouble with blokes is that we need telt. I do tell myself but also answer myself: ‘Aye, right. Ah’ll dae it tomorrow. Soon. Whenever.’

But I’ll need to take command of this situation. I suppose it’s because I’m undecided about moving. I live in a beautiful place, with woods and lonely shores on my doorstep.

Besides, as I reported exclusively recently, I can’t sell the hoose the noo as a great fissure has opened in my bathroom ceiling, and I can’t find a tradesman to repair it.

That’s one job I did have to take on urgently and, accordingly, I’ve been lathering plaster aboot the place. Some is still drying as I write.

Staying put

But, sure as eggs is eggs, when I take away the jack propping up the gravity-persecuted ceiling, the whole thing will collapse, and I’ll be standing there in my traditional post-DIY pose: covered in dust and debris.

Oh well. Sufficient unto the day, and all that. In the meantime, having taken the books off the shelves, I’ll now give thought to putting them all back.

A fully researched consultative report on moving should be ready by late autumn, with a series of options ready to be acted on next spring.

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