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Blog: Back To The Old House

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I went back to my Nan's house on Saturday, for probably the last time. The house should be being sold now, so I went to get her Bureau, which she'd apparently wanted me to have, and also to have a last poke around. I've been going to that house since I was born, and felt that I wanted to have a really good look round at everything, just to know that I'd seen the whole place for a last time, I guess. It was extremely strange in places - for instance, upstairs in the room that my brother and I used to sleep in when we stayed over there was a little door into the roof (it's sort of a bungalow, so the roofs were sloping on the first floor). I can't have looked in there for at least twenty years, but got a sharp stab of recognition when I looked in and saw the same huge torch/portable lightbulb that had always been there.

I went with my brother and his girlfriend, and we'd talked about what we'd each take. I wanted to get one of their kitchen knives (my Grandad was a butcher and took pride in sharpening ALL their knives, most of which were thus only an inch or two long after at least 60 years of HONING, and i always picture my Nan using one to cut a bit of cheese off the corner of the wedge and onto her thumb) and their little sign that said "We're Working In The Garden" that always seemed to be hung over the door knob when we went round. My brother's off to Australia to live at the end of the year, and didn't see the need to take anything, but in the end he decided to take the LEGO that we used to play with round there. It had sat untouched in the upstairs bedroom, again, for about 20 years, and so there were model spaceships in there that we'd finished all those years ago, and never come back to. I tend to think of those spaceships a LOT - I always used to pride myself on making my ships SOLID, so you could drop them without them breaking and, just as importantly, WHOOSH them around your head without things falling off, and so i often think of them as METAPHORS for when I'm doing other things e.g. when, in my Proper Job, i'm writing a FORM for a database i think of those wings and try and remember to build it SOLIDLY so nothing can go wrong with them...

It felt amazing, really, to find so many things from all those years ago still INTACT. I guess I sorted of expected that, because the ME of those years was no longer around, then the physical objects of the time wouldn't be either, but here they were. Also strange, in a more sad way, was seeing how delapidated quite a lot of the house had become. As The Tools In My ToolBox said to me when I got home later, maybe the fact that the house used to be so full of LIFE and living memories meant I didn't notice that the woodwork on the windows was breaking in places, but now the physical building was all that was left, and so it all became clear.

ANYWAY, soon the Man In A Van (Peter from Man And Van In Peterborough, highly recommended by ME if you need things moving in Peterborough!) arrived and we hauled the Bureau over to my Mum's house, where I got to DISPERSE all the above emotion through PHYSICAL ACTION! I'd been told there was no room in their garage for ANY more furniture, but when i looked inside i was APPALLED! You could TELL in an instant that NOBODY else in the family had ANY experience of loading drum kits into small cars in the middle of the night, such was the DISARRAY and INEFFICIENT packing on display! I set too IMMEDIATELY moving things around and created a VAST ECHOING CHAMBER of SPACE into which to place the bureau. I also CHUCKED tons of stuff and ended up FORCING the parents to book a SKIP come the Autumn, so that i can go over and finish the job properly. OH how they QUAKED at the thought of their CLUTTER being forcefully evicted! Oh how i RELISH the opportunity! I do LOVE a good SKIP DAY!

So ENGORGED with CLEANSING ACTION was i that on the journey homewards i laid my plans to have a massive clearout at home, and spent a very pleasant Sunday morning generating two huge BIN LINERS full of a) crap and b) clothes for the charity shop. Aaah! The latter ESPECIALLY was immensely satisfying, as going out were many of my FAT MAN clothes that I'd had to wear a couple of years ago when i was SIGNIFICANTLY HEFTIER than i am now. I tell you, it felt GOOD! REAL GOOD!

posted 27/6/2005 by MJ Hibbett

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yet again, a moving little tale Mr Hibbett. HEY, been going through some old stuff myself, I have four different issues of my SOLD OUT fanzine - did you used to spell Hibbett differently at all? I seem to have got it wrong every time.
posted 5/7/2005 by Pauly

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