Why do we do Spring cleaning? What’s wrong with autumn?
The pressure’s on in my house. The three adult children are returning for Christmas and it’s been decided by higher powers that the house needs tidying and decorating. So I have started in the basement where I have a study. Not that much studying takes place at least not since I retired.
The trouble is that to get to the starting line I needed to create some space and to create some space I needed to have an autumnal clean and sort out… My problem is books. In the past my wife has said I shouldn’t get any more before I have read all the ones I have got. In theory this is fine, but it reminds me of when I was little boy and my father used to say at the tea table: “If you’re not bread and butter hungry then you’re not cake hungry”. At the age of five I remember thinking this was nonsense. Of course you could fancy a cake and not want bread. So of course I could want the new Inspector Rebus novel before I had read that history book on the French revolution I bought in that second-hand bookshop …
So at the moment I can’t move for piles of books. In the study. In the hall. In the toilet. It was suggested that I could, of course, get rid of some … Why do I find that idea so difficult? I don’t have problems throwing away old clothes or other bits and pieces. I suppose all of us have some things we are very attached to and hang on to because they make us feel better about ourselves.
So at the moment I am having an argument with myself.
“You’ve read that book. Give it away.”
“I might read it again.”
”Really? When did you last look at it?”
”Hmm… 1986, I think.. But it’s a very good book.”
“If it’s so good perhaps someone else would like to read it?”
So I am having a clear out and giving away some of my books to local charities to sell. That way there will be some space for my children at Christmas. After all, it’s more important to have space for people in your life than to be clogged up with too many things.
This article was written by Stephen Williamson using our Community Reporters website at www.communityreporters.sllife.leeds11.com