Sunday, 9 November 2008

In the boxes with Laurel & Hardy

The twins had been conned. The 20-minute task of dragging boxes out of the eaves turned out to be longer and dirtier than anticipated; I hadn't actually gone in there myself, so hadn't seen how much was stored around the corners. But they set to with a will, getting very grimy in the process, and the job got done. The Laurel & Hardy comment was made by their dad, who knows their style all too well, but there was no doubt that they worked hard in thankless conditions for an hour and a half.

Their mother came with them; Sandra has to be the best neighbour in the world, always there to help, lift, carry, shriek at the twins (this is an essential element of employing two boys with enormous feet, a limited sense of direction, and a tendency to lark about) and cluck disapprovingly at me if I fail to look after my back. I went up and down stairs a dozen times, directing, throwing a great deal straight into the bin, and sighing at the state of it all. It's astonishing how much dirt finds its way through the roof tiles into the space beneath, settling in boxes which hadn't been properly wrapped up... Yes, dear son, that was a dig.....

Boxes and bags were brought down three flights of stairs, and strange, long-forgotten objects were brought to light. The Lovely Son's infant crib, for example, so well wrapped that I had no idea what I would find till I poked a hole in the plastic sheeting. I had no idea that I had kept it; I have been assured so often that grandmotherhood would never be conferred on me that I have become resigned and regard it as the truth. Perhaps.

The toys pictured below: was my son a Victorian child or a modern one? Boxes of Lego and Star Wars figures, a turntable, shelving, kitchen items, posters, and much more; we all have stuff like that tucked away somewhere. Hopefully yours is cleaner. Some of it will be cleaned up and repacked, to await instructions; the rest is going, or has gone already, to Oxfam or freecycle, or the rubbish bin. The twins have some pocket money and a large tray of caramel shortcake all to themselves, and I have nice empty spaces for the insulation people to fill next week, and hopefully reduce my criminally-high heating bills in the process. Lego and kettles, stuffed rabbits and bulky old televisions could never do this. Thank you, Laurel & Hardy; you did a great job.

1 comment:

mountainear said...

I personally never want to carry any more of my beloved son's chattels across the countryside to rest unloved wherever he sees fit to dump it. We have a mountain of his vinyl collection in our garage. Another son has yet more of it in Stockport and there must be a corner of Camberwell even now weighed down with old LPs. I suspect that it's a case of out of sight out of mind.

...Does that sound like the start of a heartfelt rant? Feels like it!

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