Sunday, 1 February 2015


Yesterday, I was looking for something in what I call the present cupboard. There  finds itself wrapping paper, string, labels. tissue paper,  bubble wrap and potential presents. There is, therefore, no excuse whatsoever for resorting to a book token on a nice card with its own envelope rather than the latest Le Creuset stick-proof frying pan to be posted wherever. This chore having been done, I discovered that it was exactly one hour later than I thought it  was, leaving me in a get-up-and-go-NOW position with the floor littered with all the paraphanalia I had tossed out in the interest of my research. What a dilemma: leave it until I got back or risk being late for a concert and tidy it up before I went. The problem with great age - one of them - seems to be an obsessive need to leave the house visitor/stranger - proof. Suppose I don't come back. Would I want the last impression of me to be that I was a degenerate slut who left scraps of wrapping paper and a carrier bag full of carrier bags all over her bedroom floor? Well, clearly not.

Now there's a dilemma of a different ilk. The accuracholic in me is not comfortsble with those last three words. Are they a sentence? There is no verb so that rules that out. If I put a colon before them what happens to the question mark? Should it read "...bedroom floor: well, clearly not?..." Answers on a postage stamp, please, or by pressing 'comment' at the bottom of this post. I may have told you that there is a plan to go through every drawer and cupboard in order, in the fulness of time, to spare the young many, many months of irritating sorting and disposing. To this there are two approaches - at least. Do I hold on to stuff that has significance, from habit and sentiment, though it is  aeons passed its sell-by date and will never, ever be of use to me again? Or do I keep only the real necessaries and have a poorer environment as a result? As the process proceeds, I am dumbfounded by the quantity - and quality - of what fills my house. I have my Mother's sewing box. It is full of buttons and pins and needles and ribbons and rainbowic reels of thread.Today, I mended a jumper of a rather rare and luscious green with a reel of thread from my Mother's box which matched exactly. Were I to begin to take in sewing I would still never get through it all, with the addition of my own sewing tools,  collected before the inheritance from my Mother. (I have seven  tape measures, since you ask). Similarly, I have ounces and ounces of wool, and part finished knitting, including the back of what must have been an embryonic pullover or jumper in a complicated pattern for which I no longer have the pattern. Knitting was a passion but arthritis intervened. There shouldn't be a problem with books and music and clothing. There are recognisable avenues of disposal for those. It's the this and that (detritus?) of three score years and more than ten that may easily faze them.

 However, all this has made me aware of the delightful richness my stuff represents. I could throw out the television set and give up volunteering at the hospital and not be bored or idle for a second using all those resources. Perhaps not: maybe I should just  hold on to the pleasurable knowledge of the gold that surrounds me, keep up the passive pastimes and, above all, keep things tidy. Prynhawn da.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Liz
My Father was born in South Wales so I hope i qualify to use 'tidy' as they do down there