Once out of the city we stopped to pick up sandwiches and drinks in the village of Skirlaugh knowing that we had a few hours ahead of us working through the remaining detritus in Simon's cottage. We ate the sandwiches in the village churchyard. Built in the early years of the fifteenth century, St Augustine's is an unusually light and airy church - an excellent example of the Perpendicular style of ecclesiastical architecture.
Onward to the village, finding more boxes of stuff to sort through in the cottage and Simon's two sheds. I had to be as ruthless as possible but it was quite tragic chucking out bits and pieces of my family's old life. A ship in a bottle, amateurish framed water colours by my father, old books, pottery, glassware, holiday souvenirs, three figures made by my mother which Shirley photographed before we consigned them to a "household waste" bag. Some of the stuff was allocated to charity shop boxes.
We filled Clint up with stuff to transport to the household recycling centre near Hornsea. As I approached the little seaside town that figured large in my youth, my way was blocked by a police cordon. Apparently, a murderer had fled to the coast that morning, dying in a collision with another vehicle but hey, that's another story. The detour added several extra miles to my short journey - down single track country lanes.
Back at the cottage, we worked through till six o'clock when I phoned our friend Tony to ask if we could stay the night in the house he shares with Pauline in Beverley. He gladly consented and the next morning we were up early and on our way back to the village for another day of hard labour.
Three more visits to the recycling centre with Clint filled to the brim. I bought fresh sandwiches and drinks from a bakery in Hornsea. Fortunately, the cordon had been lifted and more details of the previous day's tragic events had been revealed. The driver of the other vehicle was a local electrician who now has "potentially life changing injuries". Poor lad. Wrong place, wrong time.
By six o'clock on Tuesday evening, we had once again run out of steam but there was still more detritus to deal with. Not far to go now though. We are pretty damned sure that the job will be done next time we go over there this coming Saturday. Then we will be able to hand the keys over to the landlord and landlady and try to forget about that awful place.
It is kind of sad that many bereaved families have to deal with similar house clearances between a death and the funeral that follows. It would be better to enjoy quiet contemplation and reflection about the departed than to fill boxes and sort through the physical remnants of lost lives. Thanks to Shirley for all her hard work in helping me to reach the finishing line. I could not have done it without her.
I don't want my family to have to do this when I die, but if I died now, there would be a lot of crap to deal with. Going through stuff like this though makes you realize how little value anything really has. Sentimental value but not actual value and a photo is such a good idea. We don't take anything with us and all of the stuff we accumulate over a lifetime has to be sorted.ReplyDelete
Shirley and you are lucky to have each other. Take care.
What is treasure becomes waste material after death. There's a lot to be said for a house fire in which no one is physically hurt. It all just goes.Delete
So sorry. It's so hard to watch an entire life with its memories reduced to rubble.ReplyDelete
It's not just Simon's life - it's Mum and Dad's lives too.Delete
I could not say it any better than Pixie did. Sentimental value is such a subjective thing. You are reminding me that there are things I need to let go now.ReplyDelete
Why do so many of us surround ourselves with crap - like nesting birds.Delete
We seem to collect a lot of treasures that have to be disposed of when we are finished.ReplyDelete
Nothing lasts forever.Delete
P and I have had to deal with similar tasks for our respective fathers, although I had my sister's help. As we have no children of our own and no other immediate family other than my sister I have no idea what would happen to all our detritus if we were to die now. We really should start to plan now.ReplyDelete
Your move to The Church House should have helped you to ditch a lot of your extra baggage.Delete
Hard work indeed, but together, you‘ve almost done it now.ReplyDelete
One more push and it will be done.Delete
I am sure a mixture of emotions and thoughts went through your heads sorting through the detritus. Hope you can have a relaxing break somewhere when it's all over YP.ReplyDelete
That would be nice Dave.Delete
Sorting through after the death of a close family member is the worst part. So many things bring reminders and memories of past events.ReplyDelete
I've tried to make a start with all my detritus, but always seem to be side-tracked. There's no family member living close by to help, so it's down to me!
For you there is no rush Carol as you are going to live forever.Delete
It's a big job, made harder by memories and the sheer amount of "stuff" If I am ever in a position where I know my time is near, I will begin by inviting my children and grandchildren to come and take what they want.ReplyDelete
One of them might say, "I'll have all your savings!"Delete
What a job! You'll finish soon. This is why I'm trying to deal with my stuff now, in a considered way. Have just put my father's school and church book prizes in a pile for recycling. Have kept two. They all have labels in the front saying why they were awarded but none have any value. At least I have time to take photos to keep.ReplyDelete
You are being kept out of mischief. I was sorry to hear your mother's craft skills were discarded, until I saw them.ReplyDelete
I think it was only last year we dealt with Mother's detritus at her former home. We were quite ruthless, even though she is still alive. What she doesn't know or remember won't matter, and it hasn't.
Wilberforce??? Ah yes, I remember him now. What a grand monument to him.
We can all be victims of wrong place at the wrong time. Life can suddenly stop.
I'm sure Mrs YP has been an absolute rock.
All good photos, as I have come to expect.
Thank you for this kind and supportive comment Andrew. Much appreciated... mate!Delete
I'm sure you're going to be so relieved when all the clearing out is done and you can close Simon's cottage door for the last time. This must be so hard for you. I want you to know that I've been thinking of you and wishing you well during this process. Soon you'll be able to move forward, and you'll know you did all you could for your brother. Take care.ReplyDelete
With no will, he has left months of unravelling and finally sealing his "estate". It is a shitty process to inherit.Delete
I don't want to sway your resolve at all - but I just had to say that those dolls made by your mom are lovely!ReplyDelete
I am glad that I captured them in a photo but they were very tired and a little moth-eaten too.Delete
It's daunting to clean up after someone's life. What to keep, and what not.ReplyDelete
Being ruthless does not suit my character.Delete
Most of us have experienced, or will eventually experience, the process of having to clear out someone's accumulated possessions. After sorting through and making decisions about my much-loved mum's things a few years ago, I developed a new attitude towards my own "stuff". I've definitely become more of a minimalist since. Recently, I decided to make a banana loaf. To my dismay, I realized I'd accidently disposed of my only loaf pan in a recent kitchen purge. I had a moment of regret about that darn loaf pan but ended up making banana muffins instead. It served as a reminder that a flicker of regret over a loaf pan will never compare to the daily satisfaction I get from my newly purged and organized kitchen. So even though Simon's clean out was bloody awful, one day you might discover that it's given you a new super power.ReplyDelete
For some reason your comment made me chuckle Melinda. I have always enjoyed eating banana loaves but dislike banana muffins!Delete
It's good that the job will be finished soon. As I remember, the more tired you get, the less sentimental you feel about things and it gets easier to toss them.ReplyDelete
You and Shirley should plan a lovely trip when you are done. You both deserve it, Neil!
It's never easy to go through a lifetime of accumulated possessions. And you can't save everything, can you? I try to keep my stuff pretty well pared down, mostly because I have moved fairly frequently.ReplyDelete