Sorting things in Brighton

Lashing rain blowing in from the sea reminds me what people really mean when they say “wet weather”. Going from the house to the car drenched me. Then it seemed the right idea to offload a whole pile of grandpa’s damp-spotted paperback thrillers into the recycling bin. I had already scanned all their ISBN numbers. Nothing. So recycle time. The process of binning them probably took less than a minute but I was wet through by the time I was done. Not to be deterred I got back in the car and we drove to Rottingdean.

All that area used to be deer parks. The dean where they were rutting with Roedean next door, full of roe. Now the roe and the bucks have been replaced with frustrated young women at boarding school. The rutting bucks are no longer there – just angry looking middle aged men in masks sitting in big shops full of wildly overpriced tut. They’d be no use for the intentions of the pupils of that blasted seaside private school.

One of the shops is trying to sell a small empty cardboard Gucci box for £3. It was an inspiration and a warning, seeing the bric-a-brac of Rottingdean, feeling how little of it they must move at that price, sensing the low energy of the proprietors. One shopfront by the beach in a lovely location was closed and completely unworkable. Every inside inch of the place was utterly crowded with absolute bollocks that had been salvaged over the years and not adequately moved on. Stuck on the inside of a window was a piece of paper : “not your ordinary white van man” and a number. He’s hauled in a load of stuff from clearances but he hasn’t sorted it and so he’s got no shopfront left to sell artisan coffee or monetise it somehow. There but for the grace of God. I’ve been looking into buying myself a van for when I scrap the Nissan, you see. Having wheels has been incredibly useful for me. If I do get a van I’d be well advised to move to somewhere with ground floor and get super efficient with my process of sorting and shifting, or I’ll end up with a fucked back from boxes and I’ll make the block so top-heavy with junk that it’ll fall in the Thames.

Today I’ve been learning fabric with the help of Lou. We hoiked a box of old linen into her place and piled it. Some of it will end up on my bed as it’s much nicer than the cheap polycotton I’ve bought. Some will end up in a skip. The rest I’m going to try on eBay. Fifties to seventies bed linen. Some table tops and lacy bits. Just another random bag of God knows what but where there’s muck there’s brass. More to come. If I don’t up my pace I’ll be rotting like the Rottingdean van man. But at least it keeps me occupied.

Speaking of which, Lou and I are about to go to the theatre! We’ll be zooming into Macbeth by Big Telly at Creation Theatre. I can’t wait. If it’s anything like The Tempest – (wonderful. I was in it) and Operation Elsewhere and Alice it’s going to be a real treat! I’ll likely gush about it tomorrow. It starts in ten minutes. I should get my hat.

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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