Sorting Clothes

Normally when I come to Jersey I take the time to look at things. I go to the places that have made me happy in the past – places I remember from childhood.

It’s falling out slightly differently so far this time around. I have barely seen the sea since it threw me around all day yesterday.

I’ve spent a large part of the day in a damp room sorting through clothes that, in 7 and a half years, have somehow remained free of moth, even if there’s occasional damp spots. He liked his brands, my uncle. It’s a shame he was quite a lot bigger than me, or I’d come home with a new wardrobe.

There are a load of suits, all of which are lovely but wouldn’t fetch much on eBay. Some of them feel like they’d wrap around me twice. Someone in Jersey is going to walk into a charity shop and find themselves in heaven, unless I’ve got a friend of the right size who needs a few good suits. A good home is a good thing and I’ve got a pretty big car so I can take back a fair amount of stuff so long as it’s not worth much. I don’t want to upset Tweedledum from yesterday.

Peter’s waist was a 38. His inside leg was 31. He tended to buy XL tops.

His collar size matches mine though so his shirts fit. Some were in their laundry packets having just been mailed back from the dry cleaner. I took off my worn red lumberjack with the missing cuff button from the Rimula job, and swapped in a lovely Cerrutti cotton shirt crisp and fresh from the dry cleaners 8 years ago. I figured I’d hit the town for Saturday night in some of Peter’s clothes. Such as the town is.

I’ve been much better at this than my usual, thus far. Even if I’m looking for ways of repurposing this stuff, the charity shop can do that and my primary focus is on getting it cleared. That’s what I’ve been asked to do and I haven’t got long to do it.

I’ve got two van loads of stuff to empty from storage in London quickly after I get back. The pathways are being established. I’m getting better at deciding quickly what’s useful and what’s junk across a whole range of categories. I wish I ran a theatre company that had its own building. Although mostly that’s to do with storage.

Tomorrow will be mostly about throwing away. My poor uncle – he’d carry a bag with him everywhere filled with tissues and rennies and plasters. He’d then check into some unbelievable hotels – wonderful, but the opposite of where I’d want to stay every night unless I was sick or exhausted. He’d keep all the check in information in that bag. The card key for the room. Any business cards he got. Any information about the job. Papers he picked up. All receipts. Then he’d get home and put the bag in the wardrobe with the plasters unopened and the Rennies often scattered loose. And over unwatched decades of summer and winter and summer again, the unfoiled Rennies would disintegrate and stick everything together in the bag with their gelatinous ick. He couldn’t have predicted it would’ve fallen to me to have final say on his renniestuck things. I couldn’t either. But it has. And I’m trying to do it tenderly and ruthlessly. I walked his rosary to Santiago de Compostela.

Now I’ll honour his taste by ensuring his possessions find people that share those tastes. But not the Rennies. They’re going in the bin.


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

6 thoughts on “Sorting Clothes”

  1. I like that you are doing your sorting with such respect for the former owner. When I’m not blogging I volunteer at an op shop which is what we call charity shops here. It often makes me sad when people bring in bags of stuff from deceased relatives or those who are being moved to nursing homes. You can tell when they think of it as so much junk by the careless way it’s packed.


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