One of the motivations for HAGGLE was moving house: changing living spaces means changing lives, so it seemed as good a time as any to reflect on the meanings of my possessions, my debts and my assets. Of course, the stupid thing about that is that the performance had to be suspended when the stress of actually moving house took over. I’d intended to start giving away everything I didn’t want in the performance, but I ran out of time, and so charity shops got a chunk of it instead.
Not that the performance is over. I reduced my material possessions to:
- Two suitcases of clothes, paperwork, stationery, wash-material and small personal miscellany
- One 80x40x60 box of books
- One cello and one ukulele
- One bicycle
- One box of assorted kitchenware
- One backpack containing laptop, mouse, external hard-drive, mobile phone and charger
That is still way too much stuff. (By the twin standards of whether it makes me significantly happier and whether the weight of carrying it around is worth its existence.) And it’s not really the limit of it. Being the child of middle-class parent there’s a bedroom and a byre back in Orkney with boxes and drawers of stuff that belongs to me in one way or another.
That’s a lot of materiality to liquidate, a lot of assets which can be entertainingly used to offset my debt. And that means that, in one way or another, HAGGLE will return, and soon. The current plan is to bring it back, alongside one or two other public performances (including STEAL THIS PLAY and a new project about debt) to create a cycle of street performances and property, money and theft during the Edinburgh Fringe. More details will be coming soon.
In the mean time, while you’re eagerly waiting to get your hands on my stuff, why not make your own audit of your material possessions? Could you live out of a backpack? What have you got? And does it make you happier?