Friday, February 02, 2007

A 1920's vacuum cleaner that I was given by a neighbour, two mirrors, several broken picture frames, bags and bags of clothes, rusty tins of bright pink and navy blue paint, crushed cardboard boxes and the odd wrecked cushion have gone into my car today for the tip. There is just too much stuff in the house. Endless amounts of plastic that sausages, tomatoes, pasta are all packed in. There's a limit to how many I can save for seedlings. I'd like to dump them all at a supermarket door, actually.

I haven't had a major clear out for a long time. Moving house is a good opportunity, but the last time I moved I had a six month old baby, so everything from the old loft was transferred to the next loft and hasn't been touched since. Whatever happened to that wonderful idea from the sixties that you should own only what you can carry? Now there's a cellar as well as a loft. If in doubt, chuck it down the cellar stairs, has been my philosophy for the last 10 years. So I'm paying for it. As you do, of course.

Sensible people sell things. But once I've decided to chuck stuff out I just want to be rid of it. The Samaritans clothing bank is good - we get through far too many shoes because the kids' feet are growing fast. And then, when I'm sorting, I'm sidetracked by an old photo or a leather bag I'd forgotten about but remember exactly where I bought it and the life I had when I used it.

I've been reading Suzannah Dunn's new book, The Sixth Wife. Superb story about Katherine Parr and her best friend. Suzannah Dunn makes these two women so modern - she is so skilfull at portraying intelligent, thinking women. This isn't a historical novel, it could be happening now. It is, in fact, because her characters are universal.

I should have taken longer over it, because I want to carry on reading, but I couldn't put it down.

But maybe that's just as well, because otherwise I'd never have made new curtains today and packed up the car with all those things.

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