FOR nearly 20 years it has grown. The stuff in my loft space, that is.
When we moved to our house in the early 80s, we brought a barrowload of stuff from our former address which wasn’t needed at the moment.
But it was all good, valuable ‘stuff’, we kidded ourselves.
Certainly too valuable to throw away. So up it went into the loft of our new home.
Things like curtains (summer and winter ones, all from Cole Brothers) and the very-60s style wall light my gran bought us as a wedding present. Can’t throw any of that away.
Nor the broken record player which I planned to have repaired one day.
Out came the steps and up went the ‘stuff’.
Out of sight and out of mind, except for the occasional visit to the dark space above our heads when we deposited even more clobber through the years which we just couldn’t bear to see go.
But even then, when I clambered into the ever-shrinking space in the loft, I couldn’t see the obvious.
Couldn’t accept that this was not treasured family items. It was rubbish. And my loft was beginning to groan with the stuff.
There were toys the kids had grown out of and which, frankly, no self respecting kid would spare a second thought these days.
There were piles of records and cassettes (remember them?) and another broken record player which I planned to have repaired one day.
Four suitcases! Even a hat stand!
You name it, there was one (probably two or more) of them up there.
So last Saturday was declared C-Day.
C for Clearance, that is.
We spent three hours sorting and shifting and lowering and sorting again.
Finally the things we had decided were too valuable to throw away were in a neat pile alongside the car. Ready to be thrown away - or recycled.
We spent the next couple of hours visiting the recycling bank at the supermarket and then driving on to the dump-it site.
All in all, it was a very rewarding and cathartic experience.
Nowhere near as sentimental as we thought it would be.
They were no longer keepsakes but tired old relics of a life we had long grown out of...
But I have to wonder about the chaps who work at the dump-it site.
There were five of them. One driving a JCB and four drinking tea.
The four then fanned out and lolled about against the skips.
I didn’t see one of them volunteer to help anyone with their rubbish.
Wouldn’t have hurt, surely. A bit of politeness goes a long way.
Though one bloke did ask if the box I was carrying contained CDs? “No,” I answered. “Cassettes.”
He shrugged and let me get on with it, leaving me to ponder whether I’d have had a bit of assistance if there’d been something in it for him.
The only other hand raised to help came from a chap alongside a skip who reached into a box I was carrying and lifted out an old toy and placed it on the floor beside him while he left me to get on emptying my car and struggling with overloaded cardboard boxes.
The good old British workman. Don’t you just love ’em?