This and that.

Regular readers will know that there hasn’t been much to read regularly here at all.  Since my father died I’ve been splitting my time between here and Cheltenham, where my mother lives, and trying hard to keep two houses fifty miles apart, clean, tidyish and budgetted, whilst doing all the paperwork, other than the legal stuff, that the end of a life generates.

In the course of all of this, I’ve been trying to tidy out my father’s desk.  I’ve discovered that a desk generates irregular verbs, as in: I have a desk full of useful things and treasured memorabilia, you have a desk that could do with tidying and he had a desk with junk in every drawer.  My father was always a collector but the world class collection of broken biros was a surprise.  I will throw my collection of empty biro cases away just as soon as I have time.  Equally surprising was the absence of glue.  How can you have a desk with no glue?  I had to redirect a huge envelope with a label stuck on with what I think may have been scaffolding support tape.  They’ll never get it open.  I thought it was only me that kept buying paper clips.  Apparently not.  How variable is the paper clip, discuss.  (Very)  (Though none as good as my circular ones, which only get sent to very special people.)

Three wind-up leather-clad builder’s tape measures, a couple of plastic reel ones, a couple of micrometres and two huge, beautiful smooth wooden rulers indicate an engineer’s interest in the precise measurement of things.  I understand that.  Two pairs of opera glasses?  Three sets of binoculars?  Seven or eight pairs of redundant spectacles?  No, sorry, just don’t see it.

It took a while to find the free miniature, unopened, souvenir pack of playing cards.  Where do you keep yours?

Strange photos including a boxful of unknown other people’s dribbly infants.  I left those with my mother.

All the sundries to go with the antiquated word processor, that even the charity shop at the dump will not accept.  Ditto the video recorder in working order that will now never play the bookcase full of recorded partial television programmes.  (I have to tackle the bookcase next week.)

Halfway through a week of clearing out in there I discovered something that had not seen the light of day for ages.

It was the carpet.

Now there is somewhere to put the alarm call box for the pendant my mother is wearing, just in case she falls, though it won’t be over the junk on the study because, inexplicably, my husband was thrilled to rehome the collection of several year’s worth of free-with-the-daily-paper DVDs, so that we can keep them for a very long time and not watch them either.

Any day now I must clear out the desk at which I’m typing this.  I bought it when I was child, from an advert in the paper with, I think, a fiver which I can now never pay my father back.  Brilliantly, I’ve been filling it with valuable memorabilia and incredibly useful desky things ever since.

You might think the legacy left to you will be blue eyes, the earth, or a propensity for being rich and successful but I think it’s more likely that the meek shall inherit the desk and all the wondrous junk thereof.  Either that or collecting is catching.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ – a woman of many, many rubber bands.

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