I wonder why we feel the need to keep and store objects that have come into our lives at differing times and why do we feel we have to keep what we no longer use. Usefulness is one reason, those things we keep in sheds and cupboards under the stairs just in case we need them. Memories are another, items that represent good times in our lives, these things we keep in our loft spaces. At the time they became of no real use we still cannot bear to part with them, in my case, the hat my grandmother wore to my wedding, the upside down metal frame of a small coffee table that my number one daughter used to take her first steps, old books and toys, the list goes on and my loft is full of such things. My incentive for a good clear out was to find the baby rocker and Moses basket I promised my daughter she could have. She is no longer a baby and my grandmother has been gone for over thirty years it is with slow realisation I have come to the point that I can now part with most of the things I have kept and this weekend I am determined to stay cheerful and bravely make a start.
The entrance to our loft, unlike those you find in most houses, can be found in the back of a built in wardrobe on the top floor of hour house. Its a bit like the loft space in C S Lewis's book The Magicians Nephew where Digory and Polly explore the attic that connects their houses. Fortunately for me there is no chance of me opening the wrong door and finding assorted guinea pigs or my very own wicked Uncle Andrew. If I had of course, I'd be in some strange woodland jumping in and out of puddles being chased by some angry woman in a chariot and not sitting among dust, cobwebs and a very well thumbed Cricketer's Almanck.
So into the darkness I proceeded, torch in hand, expecting to find all sorts of goodies that might be worth millions. Sadly, I surfaced hours later without so much as a sniff of an antique or a 13th century skeleton that would send the worlds media into a frenzy! However I did not emerge empty handed, here is a list of what I found yesterday and I must say I am amazed.
- Maternity wear, late 1980's early 1990's. Can you believe that I actually kept them? All you 80's mum's will know what I mean. Farmer Giles smocks with bows, bat winged tops and multicoloured dungarees with adjustable waists. My goodness, I must have looked like I'd been graffitied!
- HP fax machine...no cables...in the loft due to someone spilling a bottle of perfume over it! No, I don't know why or how!
- Monstrous 1980's computer screen.....no cables, found along side a wafer thin plasma screen tv, which we must have deemed to small to watch blockbuster movies in style.
- Assorted primary school, GCSE and A Level projects...dusty. I obviously didn't have the heart to dispose of it all when I watched all three daughters work so hard.
- Toy dog with battery pack attached by a wire. 1960's...there was no such thing as wireless in those days, kept because my Dad brought it back from an unaccompanied tour of duty in the Middle East. Bless him.
- One CDi gun for cowboy computer game unopened and unused (confiscated as violent item). No need to explain my reasoning for that.
- Magic trick box...also confiscated due to eldest daughters squabbling and shouting they would turn each other into toads and the fact that the finger trapping device was a lethal weapon.
With the support of the dog I approached the second day in the loft with enthusiasm. The dog, just like me the day before discovered no bones and cleared off at the sound of a tin HappyDog Chicken in Gravy opening. Alone in the loft I felt quite chuffed that I had made more headway than I thought and squinting my eyes could actually see the brick chimney breast at the other end of the roof space, as it turned out said chimney was hidden behind two huge piles of jigsaws, yes I know who keeps jigsaws? After much moving of stair gates, old suitcases, a flat teddy and a box of homemade faded paper chains I found what I was in the loft for the baby rocker. This baby rocker enabled us to rock our three daughters to sleep without having to put down the television whizzyon thing. Putting the rocker to one side I spent another half an hour in the loft and found the following.
- Mahogany rocking chair, which according to my mother, I had said "Gran, when you are dead can I have this rocking chair" Was obviously a horrid child and inattentive parent. See above mentioned baby rocker!
- Half made macrame owl....obviously the novelty had worn off pretty quickly.
- Amstrad laptop c 1990...must be worth something?
- Squash rackets...novelty wore off quicker than the macrame owl.
- Four large boxes of baby and toddler clothes 99.9% girls .1% boys
- Wedding Dress....... still very pretty but slightly yellow and a tad dated and I'd never get into it now!
- Two christening robes c 1930 hand made by my great grandmothers...the best find of all.
I am pleased to say that all of the items from day one are now at our local tip, apart from the school work and the items from day two have been replaced in the loft. What do you mean they are no use? of course they are. Let me explain, the rocking chair will fit nicely in a corner when I get my new extension, the macrame owl I hope to finish on the nights after I've beaten my husband at squash. My daughter may like to pick some bits and pieces from the clothes boxes, the christening robes and wedding dress are heirlooms and a can't get rid of those can I?