Table of Delights

Decadently sipping red wine in my pyjamas while I wait for the washing to finish downstairs. I think we have at last reached the tipping point in Aunt's flat where there is now at last less to clear than has been cleared. I was helped today by two friends. They met Mother and Aunt years ago, there's an NI connection, and that was that. Part of the family now. They dropped by before lunch, went away, obviously thought about the task and called to offer their services this afternoon. Five hours later I told them they needed to go home for their dinner.

But what a difference it makes having three pairs of hands, three pairs of legs, three pairs of eyes. Were you to walk into the room where I am sitting now, you might think my excitement rather premature, but bags and bags of stuff have gone to the recycling, the charity shop, the rubbish, and the chemist. We have reunited separated parts of a food processor, found pictures of Aunt that made us stop and reminisce. There's a letter, a testimonial written for Aunt by her first employer that she had promised to look out for me. Definitely one for the family archives.

At the scheme there is a table opposite the laundry room where people can leave bits and pieces they no longer want for other residents to take. I have been putting cleaning materials there, coffee sachets, a tin opener, an egg slicer. You get the picture. Often when I visited Aunt I would bring magazines and leave them there. They always went really quickly. Aunt and I would wonder who took them and why. Yesterday I left two full bottles of carpet cleaner there went put to the car came back and the carpet cleaner had gone.

If anyone out there works in radioland, I think this could make a quirky, fun programme. The tin opener I was about to put down on the table tonight was claimed before it left my hand. Some residents make a point of having a look to see what is there; others like Aunt do not want to pick over their neighbours' cast offs, and most of the transactions are conducted silently and without witnesses.

I'd love a time lapse camera to show the turnover of discarded and claimed possessions. I was doing the laundry once and talking to Ray who used to be both Mother's and Aunt's postman. When we went into the laundry the table was bare, when we came out it was piled high with goods.

But now my laundry should be done, and I just want to add an ironing board, some dusters and some bag closers to the table for the fun of seeing if they have gone by morning.



10 thoughts on “Table of Delights

  1. enjoyed this story – and what a great way to clear things out. my Dad would have loved a table like that. he used to be a masonry contractor, and he always brought home all the bent nails he found on construction sites, for the purposes of straightening them out and using them later. i don’t know how many nails were thrown out when he had retired, and was moving to another location. and there were other treasures too. oh the memories… 🙂

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