Archive for November, 2013

Stuff Happens

Posted in Uncategorized on November 10, 2013 by richardhowle

I haven’t posted here in quite sometime. A new job has meant that, although this is a personal blog, I have to be a bit more cautious with my public utterings. But if a blog is for anything, it should be to record significant events in ones life and this weekend I have had such an event.

My parents are now both in their 70’s and whilst they are fit and able (which they both very much are) they have taken the sensible decision to move out of their big four bedroom house into a much more manageable two bed ground floor flat. The house that they are leaving is one that I never lived in, they retired down to Devon from Cambridge within a year of me, the last of the chicks, flying the nest. However it is still very much the family home, the one where we have all gathered over the years, the one where we have seen the grandchildren grow up – it holds very many happy memories (and boasts stunning views across the River Exe estuary)
They are moving to my late Grandmother’s flat, half a mile down the road which has undergone an extensive refurbishment, but no matter how many new kitchen and bathroom units are installed – there is going to be a lot less space. The large family gatherings in the family home will be no more.

It also has required a great cull of the detritus of life. And that is a harsh term, because all of that detritus holds great, happy memories. This weekend has been spent in the house, for the final time, clearing out the loft. It was full of my “stuff” and whilst it is just “stuff” – old school work, toys, comics, photographs, etc. each is loaded with a memory. Each is a building block of my life, of me. But the reality is that it has all been shut in the loft for fifteen years – much of it came from the loft in the last house. It is just stuff, just paper – that is meaningless to everyone except me. So it had to go. The skip filled with stories I wrote as an eight year old, a project on steam trains put together aged ten, comics I read as a seven year old, my beloved, threadbare Snoopy soft toy……

But I enjoyed going through it all. Enjoying remembering, reliving the memories. Particularly those of my late teens and early twenties. My university years. I suppose it was because much of it had never been remembered before. Some of the older stuff I had looked though in previous moves, the memory had been established. But much of the newer stuff had never been looked at since it was acquired – so going through it all helped establish those memories.

But I didn’t throw all of it away, I did put aside a box for special memories – mainly letters (see Paul’s blog) and mementos of special events of my life. That box will go into the shed at home, and probably won’t be examined again for another 15 years, when I will enjoy reliving all the memories again.