That’s correct. I’m clearing out! No,no!…. I’m not leaving – but my excess rubbish is.
It all began with a bag of old cards… well four bags actually which I decided there and then were to be ‘dumped’. My mind was made up…… I put my foot down with a firm hand.
I needed more space and I was determined to be ruthless in getting it. I mean what’s the point in holding onto bits and bobs which, I fear, will inevitably end up in a dustbin once I really do clear off? Makes sense to me…. unlike the neverending ‘Brexit’ n’ Boris Balderdash’ which continues to spew hourly from every media outlet and has succeeded only in scrambling my poor brain with information overload. I need something mundane to occupy me.
And so, armed with a roll of black plastic (oops!!) bags and a firm resolve, I set to work.
One, two, three, four, five.. wait, what.?..five bags of cards?
For crying out loud! (What does that expression even mean??? Oh, never mind!) Just look at the empty space you’ve created at the bottom of the cupboard…. I’ve made a difference already! Right, now let’s take these bags into the lounge out of the way while I empty the rest of the ‘glory-hole’.
From the shelf I retrieve, three important looking files, a board game intent on improving one’s knowledge of Scotland (hardly used), three lamp bases, a spare duvet, a large round tin (belonging to my second born) and a broken four hundred day clock. Straight into the bag with the lot?
W-e-e-l-l let’s see….. I need to examine the contents of the files, I’ll hold onto the
bored board game, I’m sure somebody in the family could use a lamp base or a duvet….. or both…..need to let Joe decide the fate of the tin and as for the clock… I’ll get that fixed on in time. And so?
They are all returned to the shelf from whence they came!
swiftly stiffly on to the rest of the cupboard I find myself casually chucking behind me, the contents of the ‘treasure trove’ onto the only part of the floor able to accommodate a pinhead. Whew! I step back gingerly into a sea of ‘stuff’. This is not going as planned. I gaze helplessly at the floor. Boxes of shoes (some from the sixties and seventies and worn only when the original ‘4M’s’ was a harmony group to be reckoned with!) a bag of soft toys comprising more than one dejected woodland animal, a large lidded container weighed down with small ornaments, assorted fridge magnets, a defunct iron (adorned with said fridge magnets) and yet more bags of once used and carefully folded wrapping paper, bottle bags, gift bows and …. gosh!….so that’s where those scissors went!
I decide to re-aquaint my feet with some of the ‘peerie heels’ scattered over the floor.
Suffering Succotash! How did I ever stand up in these and sing at the same time! I try sliding my left foot smoothly down the forty five degree angle towards the peep toe….
‘Ye-e-e-s you sha-a-all g-o-o-o-o to the- ba-a-all,’ I say encouragingly to myself, pushing my toes one at a time below the unforgiving leather upper, ‘what is going on here!?Why is this such a chore!!’
I had forgotten, hadn’t I, that time had gifted me a rather splendid bunion which began ‘louping’ as I tried to squeeze my somewhat square foot into the narrow rounded toe. I could feel the blood pulsating in the overstuffed shoe as I
gamefully foolishly repeated the painful process with my other left foot. And now to stand……. upright ….. well maybe just….. to stand….JEEPERS!!
Feeling myself falling off the dangerously high heels, I clutch for anything to help me regain my balance. I grab the arms of my desk chair (which is on wheels!) and improvise a kind of ‘brake dance’ as the chair tries to deal with the heavy and unexpected weight cast upon it …… I could have broken both ankles there!! (….’and if you break your leg don’t come running to me!’ Mater’s voice fills my head…)
I dismount from my perilous scaffolding onto terra firma. Ouch! My feet, now released from their excrutiating confinement, begin to spread out ominously in all directions over
the (o-yah!) littered floor… like molten (o-yah bandit!) lava slithering, sliding, engulfing (ouch!) everything in its path …
I stumble towards the hallway bringing with me a variety of small objects now firmly embedded in my poor tortured
souls soles. I sink heavily into onto the empty space and relieve my feet of their ‘invaders’…..a rogue screw (mine, obviously!) a miniature key (an F!) and a tiny hardened ball of acrylic paint.
Christopher Columbus!! What a complete waste of time and energy that was…. or was it?
The gigs we played, the people we met, the laughs we had (and how we laughed!) Oh the stories I could tell……but not now…… get a grip……I am losing my focus. I hirple into the lounge only to be confronted by the four… no, five large bags of cards……..
I am fed up now. My enthusiasm is waning. I want a cuppa and I need a wee… sit down.
I make good tea even if I say so myself – come to think of it – I have to say so myself – nobody else does! Ooooo! Touch of self pity creeping in there ….. a fig roll will sort that….. what do you mean ‘Yeugh!’? I love fig rolls and have even been known to scoff two with the one cuppa ….. if I’ve run out of Garibaldis that is….
STOP! This is not about biscuits! You have space to find!…. breathing space first, though…. let’s have a teabreak.
Suitably refreshed, I look squarely at the assortment of bags littering the floor. I drag one nearer to my chair.
‘Don’t!’ I say in my head,’ Don’t do it!’
Five bags later, I am paddling in an ocean of greetings, having ignored my own advice to let sleeping cards lie. A million doors have burst open in my head as I relive the events celebrated with family and dear friends over the course of my life…. a journey indeed into ‘backspace’, through sympathetic as well as humourous and congratulatory intimations, personal notes, childish scribbles, endearing messages and the overwhelming sense of love and affection exuding from every card…… yes, I read every one, every single one and they are staying put…. for
ever now …
I look up at the wallspace above my computer and see, at a glance , the dearest faces in my world. I know what makes them tick, talk and take the trouble to mark an occasion with more than an email or an emoji . I am proud that I can tell their handwriting at a glance, a skill honed from their early school years by patient and dedicated teachers who taught them the importance of their very own signature and of what it would say about them as they each move through their own life.
As for the ‘clearing out,’ it has been temporarily suspended until after, yet another card-worthy occasion due to take place in a few weeks time. You see, I’ve had to find even more space to make and store even more cards, tabletoppers, seating plans etc.,……. and memories
Is there anybody out there??……… and do you have any
room space in your bin? x
PS. Just how many bins do you have? I have two – a brown one (general household waste including food waste) and a blue one for recyclables – all contained within a bin shelter. Some people have three, four or even five bins
adorning scarring the frontage of their homes – not a good look and so frustrating for the dwellers. We need solutions. x