‘Hidden Treasures’

In a fortnight’s time we are having a new kitchen.

This is the first kitchen we have ever had designed and built for us in the twenty-seven years we’ve been together.

The construction of our new kitchen will take ten to fourteen days and we are prepared for the fact that we will have to live on takeaways, bottled water and spend even more time soothing Scoobs.  He likes the builder who will be bashing down walls, inserting an RSJ, stripping the tiles off and skimming the walls, but the idea of strange men making loud noises in the kitchen will undoubtedly cause him to freak out a bit.

We have to prepare for the upheaval.

The flat packed kitchen is being delivered the day before the building work begins and we have been supplied with some string and a blue balloon to tie to the gate and entice the delivery men.

More frightening is the fact that we have to clear a space in the garage to store all the packages.

Gap Boy is disgruntled; he NEEDS ALL the garage for his new motorbike.

Uni Boy will not come home to visit now until the new kitchen is well and truly installed.  Good job too as his room will be used for kitchen storage for a while.

Lovely friends are coming to help us clear out the unnecessary things in our old kitchen; they are far more ruthless and have no attachment to the piles of junk that fill every cupboard and cover the mean worktop space.

Before then however, there’s the desperate need for space in the garage for GB’s bike and an entire fitted kitchen.

Something had to go.

It is almost two years since we cleared out my parents bungalow after my Stepdad died.  Most of the household contents had been redistributed to family and to charity but at the back of the garage there were half a dozen boxes that were still wrapped up in packing tape.

Filled with resolve we decided to tackle the garage today.

Some of the boxes were easy to unpack; glassware and small china ornaments from the days when my Mum ran an antique stall, framed prints that were bought on their holiday travels and books about World War I and II.  I could cope with them but it was the photographs, some framed, some stuck on Christmas and birthday cards, others in SupaSnaps wallets, and a few loose or tucked into books.  It was the photographs that made me sad.

I did my best to divide up the last contents of their lives: charity shop, the tip and ‘put-it-in-this-bag-and-we”ll-look-at-it-later‘. I sat on the tailgate and used the open back of the car to sort out the boxes.

By lunch my heart was heavier than it had been for nearly eighteen months and the sadness of packing up their bungalow came back with a vengeance.

We took a break for lunch, dreading the thought of having to go back out on to the drive and continue with the unpacking.

Lovely Hub was sorting through boxes whilst I was dragging out my bread and cheese for as long as I could.  Not easy to do when you have an adoring but drooling dog on your feet just waiting for the crumbs to fall.

I heard voices. Then someone called out my name.

We are very lucky with our neighbours (apart from the couple that argue vociferously and the man with the drinking problem) and our nearest neighbours are the nicest.  They spend their retirement buying and selling antiques and oddments.

Their attention was caught by my assortment of boxes which were cluttering up the drive. My neighbour T, his nose twitching like a bloodhound, was in the boxes and rummaging before the car door was shut.  His wife apologised and having found out that we were sending the stuff to the charity shop, offered to re-sort it and extract those objects that might fetch us a few pennies at auction.

Before lunch I was sad because it felt like the mementos of my parents lives were just going to end up unloved and on a dusty charity shop shelf for years.  The obvious delight with which T was rummaging and holding up each new find with glee – and I was happy again.

We spent rather a lot of time chatting and putting the world to rights.  So long in fact that Scoob had to have his lead on and sit on the tailgate with me because he was lonely.  This was a bit traumatising for the cyclists, dog walkers and innocent bystanders as his bark was definitely worse than his bite (no biting as he doesn’t and anyway he was attached to me by his lead).

T and Hub sorted everything left over into charity shop and trip to the tip but we spent so long putting the world to rights that it was too late to deliver it – so it all went back into the garage for us to deal with bright and early tomorrow.

GB grumbled because he was hungry, we hadn’t gone shopping or picked up his new bike mirrors from the parcel depot, and because the boxes were too close to  his motorbike. Oh, and because he grumbles a lot anyway.  Hub and I are a great disappointment to him. Tough.

It was all remedied within the hour however, and as I write, GB has gone out on another of his nocturnal meanderings.

No early night for us then.

Thank you B and T for finding the treasures that I had stopped seeing, and for brightening up my day considerably.