Sunday, 6 December 2009

Give it all back

I've just listened to The Archers omnibus, the only soap I follow. It's a pleasant bit of chitter chatter and I can be getting on with other jobs while I listen. Some of the story lines are very emotional, especially the one at the moment about Jack Woolley going into a care home. Peggy his wife was becoming worn out, because his advancing dementure is becoming too much for her to cope with. Now he seems settled in and has a few of his personal possessions around him, poor Peggy now has the guilt to cope with, leaving him in a prison, as she put it.

It reminds me of an incident some years ago, my brother in law had an elderly aunt and uncle in their late eighties living in a care home in Lancashire. They wanted to move to the Midlands so that my sister and her husband could visit more often. A place was found and a date was set to move them. My brother in law hired a box trailer and I went with them to help with loading and unloading the furniture.

I remember it clearly, we were ready to leave, checking we had picked everything up, and the elderly couple settled comfortably in the car. I was shocked, we only had half a trailer load. Surely there should be more, went through my mind, is this all you end up with after living on this planet for almost ninety years. It made me very sad that this small pile of possessions was all they had left to show for a long life. That image of the half full trailer has stayed with me, will that be all I have left as well.

Now, several years later I see things differently, I look around my house and think someone else will have to remove this eventually, so why not make a start now. Don't put the burden onto whoever is left, they will probably throw most of it in a skip anyway, but gradually wind it down, sort it out, and pass it on to someone who will make good use of it. Recycle now before it is too late, this could be the answer to save the planet. When all the shops have nothing left to sell and close their doors, and I do believe that will happen eventually, that's when we start reusing all our old stuff. Then everyone will realise why we are all here. Pity I won't be around to see it happen.

If I can end up with half a trailer load that will be fine, that's my bit done After all, we don't own actually own anything, it is all borrowed and we just give it back. A bit sombre this post, but not to worry, now I have a whole lot more living to do.


  1. Hi Ilona, I've not commented here before but have been reading for a while now :)

    This post reminded me of a few years ago - I was shocked when we cleared out my mother-in-laws house (she also moved into a care home), we managed to fit all her belongings into the boot of one car(not including furniture)! We moved house ourselves a few weeks later and I was shocked to find that we not only managed to fill a large moving truck, but also had to hire a transit van as well. The really sad thing is that now, over 5 years later, a lot of that stuff we moved is still sitting in boxes up in the loft.

    Just to add - you often say when you meet up with Ilonas, I know 2! One is a friend and the other is someone I used to work with. Such a lovely name :)

  2. Hello brightandnew, thank you for reading. Maybe you could raise a few bob by selling some stuff in your attic, after five years you obviously can manage without it.

    I like your blog by the way, I shall be reading it from now on, we can learn from each other.

  3. Did you start following "The Archers" when you were trucking?

    A mate of mine, who used to drive for a living, reckoned that if you were on the motorway when the signature tune came on the radio, you could see other drivers nodding their heads and singing along... "Dum de-dum, de-dum, de-dumdee-dum"

  4. Yep, certainly did, Cyberkim, and you're right about the singing along, I did it myself, ha ha.

  5. We cleared out my Nan's little one bedroom bungalow just 5 months ago for her to go into a care home (she has alzheimers) We gave almost all her furniture away to freecyclers. I have her photos and a few personal bits but we too thought how little she has now in the carehome. She is 87 now and basically only owns her clothes and a few personal bits. Very sad, but like you say, it is only borrowed in the long run. BTW I posted the pic of my dirty windows, inspired by your post on cleaning up and dusting. :o)

  6. Hi Sharon, I saw your dirty windows, ha ha, stops anyone looking in. I might do mine eventually, not due for their annual clean till March though :-) Must put that down on the list as a money saving tip. Clean your own windows once a year, save a fortune.

  7. Or like me...clean windows once you can no longer see out of them!!

  8. I dunno ... there are no pockets in shrouds.

    I arrived here from Canada in 1997, age 40 with 2 suitcases, one of which was filled with books. Now I have a place so full of stuff, stuff, stuff ... sigh.

    I think the next time, if ever, I move countries I will take my passport, my wallet & a book.

    Anne in Cambridge


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