I’d set myself 4 days to clear out the loft. It took 8. Whereas the shed involved throwing out old bikes, trikes, the Kettecar Marlon got for his 3rd birthday, my Nephew’s books that went into the shed 5 years ago (my way of holding on to some momentos of his life), and black bags full of comics – the loft was mostly paper. True there was an old pair of speakers, (a fine bit of mahagony furniture), a few chairs, old off cuts of wood, rusted tools, old shower gubbings and the like, but the bulk of what filled my loft was paper. It would be to cliched to say there were several forrests in there but it was pretty damned close.
Of course the reason it took double the allocated time is because I hadn’t allowed for the fact that I’d get side tracted into reading old diaries and journals. I found one from 1974 which was a real page turner. What I found amazing from reading that diary was how I had managed to reconfigure events in my memory. Things I remembered as happening sequentially were actually concurrent. How could I have forgotton people who had featured so prominently in my life? Makes me wonder who I will no longer remember in 10/20 years time.
I found hundreds of photographs, old letters, birthday and Christmas cards, gifts, momentos, and papers from just about every course I’ve ever done. Drafts for all my publications, drafts from other people’s publications – God what a hoarder. Not to mention the clothes. The plus side with the clothes is that most of them would still fit -though I wouldn’t be caught wearing them now (well – maybe as costume in a play or something).
Everything had to be cleared out so the floor could be strengthened and shelves and lights put in – then what I was keeping had to be put into storage boxes, labelled and moved back again. This is certainly an incentive to lose the hoarding instinct.
The intention is to use the loft (which is quite a big room) as storage and workshop space. Somewhere to keep the spare bulbs, irons, kettles, chairs, duvets and anything else a tennant may need in an emergency. Somewhere to keep tools and do repairs. With this hive of activity the Fire Service has advised that we will need to fit a fire door and a heat detector in the loft. This brings to 13 the number of smoke/heat detectors we have to fit whch brings with it a few challenges as the system we were hoping to use will only take 12.