Saturday, January 24, 2009

Goodbye to all that.

After a busy week failing to get shots finalled for Wolf Man (and hence why I'll be working on Sunday) I left work yesterday, walked up to Euston Station and headed north to my mum's. The last time I did this the journey took 5 hours thanks to engineering work. They must have finished as yesterday the feat was achieve in an hour and a half: much more respectable.

The reason for the whistle stop visit is that my ma has decided to move house to a smaller cottage and therefore she had decided that she could no longer store some items that I'd left at her current and previous houses over the years. So after a quick bite of supper I set to work. There were many things which I had forgotten about and some which I never knew were technically mine in the first place. Elderly relatives of mine had a habit of leaving things to me in their wills but I was never explicitly told that they were now mine. Then there were the things such as my "birth spoon". Until yesterday I had no idea that such things as "birth spoons" existed let alone that I was the proud owner of one. This is what I have discovered: If you have parents who are keen on the whole antiques schtick (big yes for my folks) then to celebrate the birth of their offspring they have all the details of the happy event etched into an ornate silver spoon. And I have one, well had one; I told my mother I had no use nor for desire to keep it (never having known of it before) and so ownership has reverted to my mum who couldn't bear to see it got rid of.

Having sorted through the stuff that came as a surprise to me I set to throwing away reams of letters from friends and ex-girlfriends that for some reason I'd stuffed into an enormous jiffy bag. Whilst I'm a big soppy romantic, I'm not very sentimental about stuff and so the letters went into the trash along with years of old photographs and all the artwork I made at school and college. I don't have the space to keep it in London nor frankly the desire. By midnight I had several distinct piles: items to go into the recycling bin, items to go to the local tip, items to go to the charity shop and a tiny pile of items I actually wanted to keep and bring back to London on the train with me.

After breakfast this morning we loaded my mum's car and took the load destined for the charity shop. Having delighted the lady in the store with her haul of very decent china we returned to my mum's and loaded up for the tip. Upon our return from there all that was left for me was to load up my rucksack with my keepsies and get the train back. The items I kept were mostly out of print books, a couple of comics and 4 Victorian cartoons by Rowlandson that my dad bought and gave to me when he ran out of wall space. The final item to carry was my second guitar, bought nearly twenty years ago by a long-haired pimply 14 year old Mr Atrocity. I shall write a piece about that guitar and its destiny in a follow-up post soon. By 2 o'clock this afternoon I was back home in London, exhausted but relieved that I'd finally sorted through the last vestiges of my formative years that had been in storage for so long.

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Blogger Churlita said...

I can throw away a lot of crap, but it would be very difficult to toss out old photos.I might need to join a 12 step program for that.

5:12 am  
Blogger booda baby said...

Wow. Your resolve to be rid of the detritus of youth is ... impressive.

(I just read Churlitas' comment and had to pause to laugh. It's the one thing they DON'T have a 12 step program for.)

But back to you and your spartan-with-momentos ways. We are interesting critters, aren't we? You do NOT have to answer in any way, but how do you suppose someone with your romantic nature can discard ... well, love letters. (And without re-reading them...)

5:09 pm  
Blogger Mr Atrocity said...

I can bin mementos because they aren't my memories or the experiences themselves. I don't over-analyse the past and I don't think about it that much. I wouldn't do anything differently if I had my time over again really and whilst what's done is part of what made me who I am but it doesn't represent me. I like now; it's all we really have.

5:20 pm  

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