Thinking about the pensioners

Camomile tea at my left, hot water bottle at my feet, Rachmaninoff on the speaker to my right. Incense that I bought in the redwoods burning. Space around me.

It’s clean and calm in my bedroom. This is unusual. I’m going to need to put some pictures up before long as it feels a little bit like I’m in a euthanasia clinic now I’ve dealt with the explosion of clutter. It’s definitely camomile in my cup though and not foxglove.

I feel strange in here. This is how rare it is for me to have a tidy room. It’s not finished (tous ça change) but it’s closer than it’s been for many a moon. Turns out it was the clutter that gave the room its identity. Now it’s in transition.

There’s still a bit of clutter. After all, this is me. I’ve got a bedroom shelf now for eBay things which will provide a constantly changing selection of attractive bits and bobs as they go through the endless process.

I’m becoming a known quantity at the big post office on New King’s Road, constantly coming in with little weird things to send all over the place. Today I made the trip even though I only had to send a mug. “A souvenir of The Great War”. £2.90 plus postage, but the post office is right next door to the hardware store so I could grab some shelf supports and fix my fucked bedroom shelves as a result of the same journey. Who knows how long they’ll hold out. I know for certain I’m not going to put millions of heavy books on them again as they collapsed like that teapot shelf in “Changing Rooms”.

It’s always busy in the post office. I’m not the only person on eBay right now. Plenty of people with plenty of stuff to move around. But I miss the old duffers at The Royal Hospital Volunteer Post Office. I would usually send all my items from there despite it being marginally more expensive – (you give them a donation with each item). I tended to look forward to sending my big orders anyway and having conversation while I worked. I’d often buy my materials for awkward items from the guy who had the little material stall and pack things up in the room with them. Terry, I think. Lovely old guy.

They all were. Big old ex army lads in their senior years behind the counter, blessed with the gift of conversation so often honed by people used to being in barracks. Some of the most poetic souls I know went through the army. I think there’s something about danger that can either switch you off entirely or can draw you to the beauty of the moment – to an appreciation of the ineffable. (Another reason why these primped up blancmangepeople shouldn’t be running the country. The most danger they’ve ever been in is sticking a fork in the toaster.)

I hope they’re okay, all those Chelsea Pensioners. It’s my local old folks home with a difference. I can see why they wouldn’t want to be licking stamps right now. Once more I wonder what will be there when the dust settles.

I’m going to drift off to sleep and see how it feels in this newly decluttered bedroom situation.

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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