A Day With Aunt

It has been a good day. More has come out of Aunt's flat than gone into it, though she did receive a box of Manuka honey ordered by her good friend in Scotland who is keen on bulk buying. Manuka honey has many wonderful properties, and if Aunt could absorb it by osmosis she'd probably be fit to run the marathon next April. Her friend sends her a lot of it. Every cupboard you open contains a least a brace of jars.


This afternoon I began the job of tackling the sideboard. I was hoping to find some Christmas wrapping paper and Aunt's essential oil diffuser. I found neither. I did find that Aunt shares the same gene as Mother and me regarding greetings cards. We find it almost impossible not to buy one or two when the opportunity arises. And the opportunity arises quite often. She is evidently also a keen buyer of batteries. Or maybe that is the Scottish friend again who does not believe in sending small parcels. Aunt tells me she is a whizz on the internet.


There are multiple bottles and tubes of things, and nearly all of them have been started. Two tubes of hand cream open and on the go I understand, even three, but six or seven or more and I am baffled. Today Aunt provided the answer, explaining she has always enjoyed opening new things.


Aah. Continue reading


Of Clutter, Charity Shops and Evening Sunshine

Another bag of my cull handed into the second hand bookshop in the hope that the owner may buy some of them. Only pin money, but after years of giving them shelf room, it’d be nice to get a little something back. Really, I am only tinkering with the books; identifying a volume here and there; finding a new home for the Chronicles of Narnia with my namesake over the wall; seeing how many books from the boxes can now be squeezed into the new space.
In the bedroom, I emptied a drawer for the first time in years and came face to face with my scarf collection. How ever did I acquire so many? And how many pairs of walking socks does one woman need? Continue reading

The Hoarding Gene

I have started to look at my books to begin a cull.
I don’t know where I got the hoarding gene from, but it wasn’t Mother. She loved to throw things out. I learned this to my cost many many times. I’d return from university to find, or rather not find, my clothes ‘reorganised’. When pressed, Mother would look wide-eyed and say she didn’t know where they were. She probably calmed her conscience with the reflection that by the time I discovered my losses – my black polo neck jumper, patched at the elbows with leather, unravelling at the cuffs and waist, and so old it was almost an antique, stands out in my mind – she would not have known. Papers I had carefully stored, letters, notebooks, old diaries; privacy was no match for Mother’s clearing zeal.
On one occasion, deciding I would not miss a treasured Edwardian parasol, and realising the next day I was looking for it, she had to make a hurried repurchase from the charity shop. I still have it. Continue reading