Cupboard-clearing today. Just one cupboard, mind; it's such a soul-withering ordeal. I realised yesterday that I hadn't actually looked inside that cupboard for many months, and this made me think there would either be long-lost treasures inside, or horrors to unearth. The latter being most likely.
- 2 spare duvets, double and single, despite no single bed in this house for years.
- 1 ancient feather bolster (double-length pillow), waiting for a new cover to be made. As if.
- 3 bags of Christmas tree lights.
- 2 strands of hideous artificial greenery with pine cones.
- 1 box of old, pretty silver and pink glass baubles.
- 1 beautiful silk cloth to cover base of Christmas tree.
- 1 Kaffe Fassett tapestry square made by me about 30 years ago. Awaiting stretching and making up into cushion cover.
- 2 fat feather cushion pads, waiting for covers to be made, as planned several years ago.
- 1 small greenhouse heater. Greenhouse miles from any source of electricity.
- 1 fan heater. Works, but makes blown air smell strange.
- 2 pairs of short, dark red velvet curtains, beautifully lined, from my mother's house. Don't fit any window I know of.
- 1 old white-on-white embroidered tea cosy cover; no padding.
- Many, many coat hangers.
- 1 hanging shoe store with sandals and flip-flops not worn in years.
- 1 bamboo and split cane roll-up blind dating from the flat I lived in from 1977, with genuine 1970s dust still clinging to it.
But the roll-up blind has been successfully freecycled already, to someone who sounded so excited to have it that I felt moved to take its picture and send it to her, in case she thought it was something rather special. She still wanted it. Odd. Perhaps I should have told her about the vintage dust.
And most alarming of all, there was 1 purple beret.
A beret. I hate berets. Purple. Not a shade that suits everyone, including me. What was I doing with it? Think of a person you know who would be the least likely human in the world to wear a purple beret, and I would be that person's equivalent. I have no idea what possessed me, all those years ago, to buy such a thing - berets were almost the most hated item of school uniform, and had to be worn in chapel (except on Sundays when we wore bizarre veils) or outdoors (except on Sundays when we wore panama hats in summer, velour in winter, elastic straps cutting into our chins).
I tried it on. I looked like a lumpy middle-aged woman pretending to be a lumpy schoolgirl, and one whose beret looked just as dreadful on her then as it did today. I almost warbled the first line of the school song "Sursum corda! Lift up your hearts!" but my heart failed within me, and sank instead.
Like school berets, this one appears to be indestructible. It doesn't look like it was worn much, if ever, although I see a bit of cat hair on it - that cupboard did occasionally harbour a hiding cat. If either Scooter or Hamish had found it, that little tail thing on the top would have been bitten off at once, just as they do to their toy mice.
But in a box of oddments, there was this: a relic from the days when the Lovely Son, then very small, loved all things cartoonish. I'm keeping these two.