A walk or shall I say delve into the past. Toby, in search of a project, decided to clean out the loft. OMG You cannot imagine what we found. And just as well really because should something happen to me in these uncertain times, at least the boys won’t be left to make derisory comments as they sort out my families past history.
Mum died 14 years ago and there is still a lot of her stuff in the loft. She was a collector and a hoarder. She loved brick a bac and her prize collection of Capodimonte. Hoarder in that she had enough plastic bags to supply supermarkets shoppers for an entire week. And for some reasons boxes of salt and pepper sachets. She also had the proverbial emergency cupboard full of tin goods just in case…. In fact, this situation is exactly what my mother was predicting. And there would have been a lot of ‘told you so’s’. Mum was great at ‘told you so’s’. She also had the memory of an elephant, until she got dementia. Never forgetting who had wronged her and refusing to forgive them.
I remember her saying when the dementia first started,“I know I don’t like that man but just can’t remember why.” I fear I might have inherited this trait.
So many memories and each with a story attached such as the ‘lady’. It used to sit proudly on our mantelpiece and was very very fragile. Brian and I were forever breaking bits of it off as a ball would accidently get hurled at her and then we would hurriedly try to glue them back on without mum noticing. One time unable to stick the hand back we thought it best to hide it and feign ignorance of where it had gone. Elizabeth the cleaner found it behind the sofa which resulted in a good whacking. From mum not Elizabeth.
Then there was dad’s stuff who died 22 years ago and Brian’s stuff who died 7 years ago, and Tods stuff who died nearly 2 years ago — his motorcycle trousers still smelt of him. Isn’t it wonderful how evocative is smell? I just sat on the floor with my nose buried in his motorcycle trousers. Think Tod would have appreciated that!
Added to this is Zak and Jake’s past contents from their flats, and even past au pair’s things which they promised to return to collect but never did. And most precious my grandmothers, ivory satin wedding dress from 1899, a child’s 18th century little smock dress and clothes from when I was a baby. I won’t bore you any longer, but this is only a fraction of what we uncovered. And did I say that my mother was a hoarder me thinks chip of the old block. I mean how many tea sets does a girl need.
Somebody pulled me up on the last post when I said that the actions of the female leaders were to be highly commended as they had taken early decisive action which reduced the number of both infections and deaths. Unlike our current male leaders. They thought I was being sexist. So I apologise and I am am sure that had there been the right men in power they too would have taken decisive action and done exactly what the women leaders had done.
So where are all these ‘right men’?
I hate to admit it, but I am failing miserably on the book front. I still find it difficult to focus and remember what I have just read and in fact have any inclination to read at all. I am only on page 85 of Sapiens. And the pile of books by my bred remain untouched. So I was heartened to read Sophie Vershbow’s article in Vogue “I Can’t Read a Book Right Now—And I Am Not Alone.
“It’s as if there’s a fog cast over my brain, preventing the words from seeping in. Over and over I find myself reaching the bottom of the page only to realize I hadn’t the faintest idea what I’ve just read.” I am feeling less like a failure now
I am adjusting to having people back in my life. Because until a month ago I had never lived on my own I hadn’t really noticed people’s energies. For the past 35 years I have been surrounded by quite strong male energy. And none of my 3 sons or husband had a strong female side to them. This was just my norm. So, this last month has been an eye opener for me. The only energy in the house was mine and maybe my female animals. With Toby back the energy in the house has shifted again. I am not complaining it is lovely to have company and to share in his drive to organise the house. He is a great kid – well 26-year-old – but it takes a bit of getting used to.
Without Toby of course, the attic would have remained a dumping ground. Now it is the hallway which has become the dumping ground but at least I have a good few days to sort it out. Bored? me I don’t think so. But there will be a good few tears as I go through numerous cases of old papers, cards, photos, school reports, and so on. I will keep you posted.
“Let’s be careful out there”
2 thoughts on “Nostalgia”
The best legacy my mother left us was that she herself spend several months clearing out all her own junk from the family house before moving to a small flat. She still remembered the horrors of clearing out her own parents’ house, and said she didn’t want us to have to face the same thing. Mind you, she survived for many years after that clear-out, and her natural hoarder’s instinct was beginning to creep back again by the time she went, but at least she kept everything in some kind of order. There is one filing cabinet still here that I need to sort, and an old box of my father’s papers and letters. Finding the time seems to be the issue, believe it or not. Have I started clearing my own junk? Well not yet….
The problem is once you get started the mess just seems to increase as you make copious piles and then you have to sort through the piles