Weird swap shop

My brother showed up at my flat with a leopard skin. He had previously taken it into the museum and popped it in the place you pop things to decontaminate them from little nasty parasites. He then identified it and wrote a bit of bumf on headed paper with approximate dates and some impressive sounding Latin taxonomy. “I think I can guess the people that mounted it from how they cut the felt. Plus they’ve given it green eyes. Leopards never have green eyes – more yellow. They probably thought it looked more scary for whichever idiot shot it.”It’s going up to Tennants next time I go, in time for the taxidermy sale at the end of October. I’ve been in two minds about selling it, but it feels wrong to destroy it, the museum doesn’t want it and I don’t like having it in the house. I’m drawn to the leopard family. Part of me has always felt an affinity with them. I’d sooner not sleep in the same room as the skin of a dead one shot by some idiot tourist in Mysore between the wars.Max and I operated some kind of nonsense swap shop. He dropped off the leopard, and it made me remember I had the foot of deer in my bedroom, stuffed with a silver plaque telling us it was shot on his birthday but over 100 years before he was born. I don’t like it anymore than the leopard but the value is negligible and he wanted it. It’s not in my bedroom anymore. Hooray.He arrived with a catskin a ring and a cake basket. He left with horrible corner cabinet, a deerfoot, a smoke damaged bust of Huxley, a few plates and a mahogany tray. This is what happens when you come to my flat at the moment. You leave with stuff.I’ve been looking at pictures today. They’re all fucked, but one of them is by an artist that did well in the 1800s, so fucked or not fucked it might fetch a few bob. I’m hoping I can find a way to move the rest as a job lot of paintings in need of restoration. I’ve got a timescale for getting all this stuff out and it doesn’t leave me very long at all so it’s time to be less picky and more inclusive. I’ve started sending emails to small auction houses nearer to London than Tennants in order to take in the bulk lots of things that aren’t really good enough to warrant the time and the petrol. I’ll be up to Tennants before long for sure to drop more things and collect anything that doesn’t go.I’m still finding it harder to let go of all this stuff than it should be. The flat has virtually no corridor space and all the surfaces are covered with knick-knacks, but I see the spaces where the busts of Gladstone used to sit. I’ve grown attached to some of this stuff just because it’s been sitting there so long it’s started to feel like it belongs here. Nope. Job lots to eBay, charity shops, cherry pick some bits to display for when I rent the place, find a few things to love and move the rest. Give more to random people. Get back the corridors. Boom.Full moon. Everybody is struggling to remain positive. Remember to be kind, my dears. I’m gonna have a bath.

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.

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