I have to admit, I do have a slight problem with parting with things. Not necessarily my things, but the things that once belonged to other members of my family, especially my grandparents or relations before them. I knew it even before I did this little exercise. I find it very hard to part with their furniture. The antiques of course, I am justified in keeping, but there are other pieces of furniture that are not particularly valuable that I just cant let go of. I feel I am responsible for the things they left behind, I feel I have to keep them safe and care for them, even if I don't really want them.
There are these two twin beds, one of which my father was born in, and probably conceived in too. They are not particularly beautiful, and the frames are iron springs. But when the bed is made nicely they look 'fine' and they are comfortable. But 'fine' isn't really justification for keeping them. I don't even need them. But how can I part with them? My grandparents, as a newly married couple had probably gone out and chosen them together for their first home in Streatham before the first World War. They survived Hitler's bombing raids of the second world war. My grandmother probably sobbed herself to sleep in one of them for year after my grandfather died in his early fifties. I slept in one of them when I used to stay with her. I remember the slippery bed covers she had on them. How can I throw them out?
They are now dismantled in my basement storage area, in the way.
Then there is this large, three seater sofa. Apparently, it's very good quality, with rolled arms, goose feather stuffed back and cushions. It has been reupholstered several times over the years in London by my interior decorator mother, but it weighs a ton, it has a cast iron frame, as they used to in those days. One of the arms sags in the middle and a front foot is loose. It was given to me when I got my first flat in Victoria, as my mother had made a mistake on the colour, dark brown velvet, and she didn't think she could have it re covered it again, because of the cost. It is looking a bit sad these days, thirty years on, it is in our bedroom, as my husband wont have it in the siting room. I know I should really part waves with it. The thing is, it originally belonged to my grandparents. They had it in the 1920's or even earlier. There is an old photograph of my father sitting on it in his early teens. I too have fond memories of sitting in it as a little girl, having afternoon tea with my grandmother when I was still short enough that my feet stuck out in front of me. I remember my white ankle socks and navy blue Start-Rite shoes. I promised my grandmother I wouldn't put my feet up on her sofa, or spill my Ribena on it.
I also remember trying to jump up and hang over the back of it from behind, but the back was too tall. How can I throw it away?
So am I a kind of hoarder? I have a box of my daughter's Beenie Babies that I am keeping for future grandchildren, and the themed Leggos with the instructions. My walls are covered in paintings that mean something to me, so I cant possibly thin those out... I have book shelves full of history books I intend to read when I have the time... Am I sick? Will I end up on one of those dreadful shows where the family finally takes control and invites a camera team and psychologist to sort me out? Oh, and I collect marble obelisks too... I this the beginning of the end? I cant really find anything I would throw away or sell. I think my friend thinks I have a serious problem. maybe I do...