Monday, March 19, 2007

Keeping Things

Tonight I sorted great heaps of ancient junk. In this house we have bonus junk, because the house has belonged to this family since 1959 and nobody has, it seems, thrown anything away since then.

My parents moved in here with my grandmother and me when I was three. My brother was born. Years passed. Junk accumulated.

I grew up and moved out, leaving some of my junk behind. Old schoolbooks. Old clothes. Old drawings. Old games.

Then, some years later, my brother did the same thing when he went to Leicester Poly (later rechristened De Montfort University, in a glorious example of Bigging Itself Up).

After university my brother moved firstly to Brussels and thence to Amsterdam, where he has lived for nearly twenty years. He moved smoothly on a Leicester-Brussels trajectory, omitting the Collect-Junk-in-Leeds part of the journey, and where is his junk? Here, in this house.

Years passed. The house was too big for my parents. We moved back to this house: they had a smaller one built in part of this house’s garden. When they moved out, they left their junk behind.

My brother’s junk included a huge amp. It measures Huge by Enormous and it weighs Ridiculously Heavy. Too good to throw on a skip. Too much hassle to sell. Aaaaargh. But when Emily started going out with Gareth, it was clear that Gareth would make good use of it, so I gave it to him, waving excitedly as it left the house.

Then he moved in here and brought the flaming thing back again.

There was a television programme a while ago when they took everything out of someone’s house, put it all in the garden, and then brought back in only what they really needed. If they tried that with our stuff, the series would have ended before they got it all out into the garden, and if you did take it all out the house would rise about three feet into the air.

The trouble is, a lot of this junk is appealing. When a magazine is five weeks old, you can chuck it without a thought. When it’s five years old, however, it becomes a lot more interesting. And ooh look, old Christmas stamps, I remember those! Aaah, my first mobile, that has to be kept if only to show Emily what the Olden Days were like. Oh look, Emily’s drawings from when she was five - - aaaah - - and my brother’s drawings from when he was five - - and my drawings from when I was five - -

Oh, some things I just can’t chuck. But I did manage to throw away The Beermat That was In a Play Once. It’s a start.


Blogger Silverback said...

I went to Leicester Poly too.

Ok not a great comment as comments go but I just like playing the 'get the word verification word right first time' game.

I'm not doing very well........

12:59 am  

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