Tuesday, October 19, 2010
So this is my week’s October holiday and Mr Life has taken it off too. We did think of going to Florence. But then we realised that we had to clear my confused aunt’s flat so that its owners (her church) can sell it now that she’s in care.
Not a fun activity. Gah. We felt like criminals. Today we got a man with a van to come and take away some furniture and even he said that he felt terrible taking people’s possessions away. Quite sweet and sensitive, I thought, considering that his email address starts "bookurvan@...."
Anyway, it’s done now. We finished by cleaning the fridge and the cooker and wiping all the skirtings and so on. All the time, I was musing that possibly my skirtings could do with a bit of a wipe – or as we say in Scotland, a dicht – also. However, I’ll do that another day.
As well as getting the van man to do his stuff, we took various of the better household items to Fresh Start, an organisation which puts things together for people who’ve been homeless and have been given a flat. And inevitably, though I WASN’T GOING TO DO THIS, I brought a few things home. Things like packets of lentils and cling film and salt and sugar, which my thrifty Scottish soul just couldn’t bear to throw away and, oh, two chairs which are quite nice but we don’t need at all, and the odd plant pot, and – why didn’t I just stay firm and get rid of it all? Now it’s in my house and I need to find a home for it.
However, a cunning plan: tomorrow we’ll take some more of my aunt’s possessions to a charity shop and I’m going in a minute to root out some stuff that I never use and take it too. For example, I have three drawers containing cutlery in my kitchen… no, actually, now I think about it, four – and I really use the contents of only two. The others contain items that I suppose I vaguely keep in case the children might be in a student flat and need them. Which isn’t going to happen now they're 30, 29 and 26.
I also plan to weed out a few books.
Hmm. My mother, however, is now contemplating a move: possibly to a retirement flat but more likely in with us. Her big flat, which has had nothing much done to it since she and my dad moved in 20 years ago, is getting too much for her. My mother, unlike my aunt, has a vast amount of stuff. She has two large public rooms, four large bedrooms, a big hallway which is more or less another room with a huge old dresser in it, a big cloakroom with huge cupboards down one wall, a big kitchen, a laundry room, a boiler room with lots of cupboards… And all those cupboards are full of things; all those walls are covered with pictures; all her surfaces contain objects.
We’ll need a man with a pantechnicon to shift all that stuff. And at least some of it will have to come here… to our considerably less expansive establishment. But even more trickily – what on earth will we do with the rest of it? And how do I fit this around working?
Answers on a postcard, please…