Sunday, 2 October 2011

Spring Cleaning in Winter

I own a lot of stuff.

Bought, received, collected, whichever term best applies: there's heaped mounds of it in the unlikliest of places. Much of it is books, and some of it is old board games. The rest is an eclectic grouping of 'things' which you'd think nobody in their right mind would keep and yet we all seem to have. Old papers from when I was an A level student, yearbooks, notes (I seem to be addicted to notebooks and cue cards), old extension cords and electrical gear, dead beard trimmers, batteries: all of them things that can easily be shoved in a drawer and forgotten about, which is precisely what happened to them.

It's so easy to let these things take over your life. Some of them have sentimental value, but most are just junk. At first they were in my rooms, then they got boxed and put somewhere else, and a lot are still at my parent's house including Tintins and Asterix, old toys and long forgotten memorabilia.

I've been slowly getting rid of it. I started with the books, all the ones I didn't think I'd read again or knew I could get electronic versions of. So while I do like Agatha Christie and Wodehouse, they went out the door in plain brown bags on their way to the charity market. One day I'll have the lot on kindle or the equivalent. I kept a few back on cover art grounds - the old White Circle paperbacks that date back to the 40s or 50s, practically worthless but fun to have around, things like that.

Oddly I've been less eager to tackle the real junk. All those piles of tat, old papers and school yearbooks, which by rights should be in the bin. I suppose it's because sorting through those won't be nearly as much fun as going through the book collection. When it's pure donkey work, motivation is hard to come by.

Today I went for board games. If I was still in the UK I might be tempted to save these for the next gaming convention and flog them at the bring and buy. I'm not, and the cost of shipping these things far outweighs their value even for the ebay crowd. So the old Judge Dredd RPG, Squad Leader, Cross of Iron and Richtofen's War among others are going the way of all things: off to the charity market, and thank heaven for Christmas. I loved these things once, but now the memories are distant and I doubt very much whether there's a local market for them here in Bermuda.

I suppose I ought to feel more sentimental about this, but I've seen too many people - hell, my brother's one of them - keep every single scrap of their lives like some kind of shrine to their past. The past is another country, and far away; there's no getting back to it, not even with a Tardis made out of faded school reports and half a board game you used to play when you were twelve.

So out the door it goes, and while it isn't quite good riddance, I shan't be sorry to see the back of it. Bon voyage, stuff! I hope you make someone else as happy as I was, once upon a time.

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