Slowly and steadily I am digging my flat back. It might not look like it, but I am.
It’s never going to be the soul-free minimalist IKEA catalogue palace that some people feel pressurised into existing in. But I don’t want that. I just want a bit more sense.
There are many boxes of things that are about to fly away from my flat and go to thing-heaven. On Wednesday, Max and my nephew and myself intend to fill a Luton van with EVERYTHING. I will then drive it to Tennants where I will cry like a baby unless they take most of it. Anything left will be gradually shed on my journey back to London on Thursday – to other auction houses, charity shops, you name it, I’ll try it. By 6pm on Thursday, the van will be returned, and in fantasyland, my floor will be visible and we won’t be ransoming the Pope every week with storage costs. There’s the plan. Let’s see.
If some of it becomes money down the line, that money will go into the transformation of the pad. New Carpets! Oh God I want them. I would have a shower in the house by now if it wasn’t for the ‘rona. All the things that some people take for granted. Not having to tiptoe through looming piles of ceramics just to make a cup of tea. Luxury! But I’m done with all this stuff now. I’m over it. It’s been fascinating and difficult, learning. Hope springs eternal when these things belonged to those you love, and it’s never nice to discover that the things that look good are mostly not.
I’ve squeezed this huge pile of stuff for everything it’s worth over lockdown. I’ve had the time. I’ve used it. My knowledge of the relative worth of random items in today’s market is now excellent. People ask me for advice, and I’ve realised how frequently that advice is unwelcome. We are human. “Your valuable thing is shit and your shit thing is valuable.” “I refuse to accept this. I have always believed the opposite so I will continue to do so.” “Very well. Good day to you, sir.”
I’ve checked and double checked all the “valuable things” before jettisoning them casually. These things are going going going now. Going. Apart from the little decorative nice things I’m keeping hold of.
Clockman. He can stay. All the decanters and the beautiful glasses. My guests will enjoy the finest of beverages as I sip my chamomile. Ragpig might have just made the audition when Lou reacted positively to a photo. Maybe one of the Madonnas. The giant clams. Some marble bits and brassy bits. I’ll be googling “is it safe to put weird victorian glass ornaments in a fishtank”. I’m not going to find myself sitting in a bald and empty room in ten years time thinking “I wish I’d kept more of that stuff”. But I don’t want to be sitting in a tiny space surrounded by piles of unobserved tut either. As ever, somewhere in the middle.
It’s going to be a busy week next week and I’m employing Nick, my 18 year old nephew, to help with two days of haulage starting tomorrow. Poor fellow. I’ll sweep him up in the vortex. I’m kind of looking forward to getting to know him. It’ll be bouts of driving coupled with bouts of heavy lifting. If last time I saw him is anything to go by I’ll be saying “use your knees” to him every five minutes. He’s taller than I am. I’m extremely grateful to the man who insisted I use my knees on an early lifting job. Nobody wants a bad back. But I’m off to bed, as he’s half my age and he could be so bouncy I end up knackered.