After thirty-one years as an optician and twelve years of owning his own practice in Umeå, my uncle is moving his store to Ånäset, a small, picturesque town set half-way between Umeå and Skellefteå. Today I, along with him, Daniel, Johan, and the movers, helped him pack up and leave.
There was quite a bit to pack, as you might expect, and someone was inspired enough to give me power tools. I took down all the shelves in the lens room and packed and pulled and moved mountains. Of stuff.
It's strange. Though abandoned only in recent years, one could think the place had stood empty for more than twenty. The kitchen is in shambles, with musty ink kits and dust and holes in the ceiling and desks from earlier in the century. The reception room has an ugly red and yellow carpet. The front room's walls are papered with some oddly-flowered monstrosity. And there is no internet to be found on the premises. It's as if the place was suddenly and simply abandoned.
Apparently the place had once been an apothecary, a pharmacy of sorts, and it certainly shows. The walls and floor of the kitchen are entirely tiled, reminiscent of a laboratory and whispering of a bygone age.
With the grates covering the windows and the sun beating down, it reminded me of Singapore and our terrace house in Bukit Timah.
A forgotten desk that I entirely intend to sand down and repaint.
In an old broom closet, my uncle found (strangely enough) the white robe of the Optician Who Came Before.
He even left his name tag.
Johan and Daniel rest their weary limbs after a long day.
Uncle directs the troops
No moving day is complete without a trip to the pizza parlour.