Monday, 2 July 2007
My mother's house-finale
Well, we survived the ordeal of packing up my mother's house. It took the best part of three days, a skip, a house clearance man, two trips in a white van, a lot of bleach and the combined efforts of four people. In the end it wasn't that difficult as there truly was a lot of rubbish and a lot of mess and there was really no alternative but to put most of it in the bin. We did uncover a few surprises! My brother found a letter that my mother had written to a Daily Mail journalist complaining about his treatment of Ian Botham. (If you are reading this from overseas Ian Botham was a well known English cricket player in the late 1980s). My mother thought Ian Botham was great; she admired his cricket but mostly she admired his 'don't give a damn' attitude and was livid when this journalist criticised him in his weekly column. We found the letter (and his reply) amongst her papers. She concluded the letter by saying 'when I read your column I felt like landing one on you' which made us all laugh as we could never imagine her doing or saying any such thing. We also found a letter that she had written to Ian Botham congratulating him on his career and on what he had contributed to English cricket. We did comment that although it was a horrible job to clear out her house at least we weren't doing it after she had died and we could go back and share what we had found with her. My sister took a large, very old and faded picture of what we think was of her as a child to get it framed for her new house. Later in the afternoon, when all was cleared, I saw my brother pulling up the carpet in the front bedroom to show Ian the shrapnel hole in the bedroom floor. Unfortunately the carpet disintegrated as they went and they didn't find it! I left the house to its new owners without too much regret in the end as what was there was just an empty faded shell that I once thought contained all my memories.