Friday, February 04, 2011

The X Files - a meeting with Ghosts and Old Friends

Talk about having one’s life pass before one’s eyes. I am going through the wreckage of my life so far. I  already parted company with most of the hardware – kids’ bikes, the bassinette, unfinished hobbies and several generations of dead computers – remember the 311?, even the spinning wheel - before I moved house, but I am now being confronted by about 30 years’ worth of old lecture notes, recipes, craft ideas that I never managed to find time for etc. etc. which have just returned from storage to haunt me. That’s where all this nostalgia is coming from in case you were wondering!


It’s not cool to admit to having been a hippie these days, especially when you look at old photos or movies of people in flares, body suits and crazy hair, but I’ll have more to say on that later, when I finish this job, the other one and the house maintenance. But I digress, yet again
Technically, if I wanted to, I could spend the whole of the next decade sifting through the last thirty years or so, but I have decided to be ruthless this time, because there is absolutely no storage here -nowhere for the children’s old school books, daughter’s martial arts belts all the way up to black, basketball trophies, old dolls or love letters, or the Alternative Books that showed you how to tie dye, build shelters, make candles and build a root cellar.
It’s definitely crunch time at the OK Corral but it does make some fascinating reading. One of the few nice things about getting older, is that I can’t remember reading half these books the first time, so it’s all like a new discovery although it does seem to be extending the process indefinitely.

As to all those lecture notes, maybe I should have been doing How to Keep your Husband 101 or maybe How to Make Men your Slaves 202, or possibly  How to make your Children Obey your Every Word 505  or even How to get Paid what you are Worth 702, instead of doing all that studying. What profiteth it a woman, to know all the world, only to find herself thrown over for much more street -smart twenty -four year old.
The children are just as bad. You put up with them for twenty years and just when they are old enough to hold a decent conversation, they move in with someone else. I am pleased to be throwing out the box of family recipes though – all that stodge and pasta and school lunch ideas, though I have kept a couple of odd ones because they just might not be on the internet. I’m keeping the one for Elderflower Cordial as I still have aspirations and then there’s my mother’s recipe for venison for instance, which was a big hit one night, plus the one for wild boar. You just never know when some Gallic hunk - an Asterix perhaps, might bring one to your door. Oh yes, and I am keeping the recipes for weeds. The way things are going, they could come in handy sooner than expected, especially when you see the state of the vegetables in the shops. I suspect all the good ones are going to Queensland.

I am definitely throwing out all those menu plans for formal dinners for twelve to forty guests and fifty ways to fold a napkin, both left over from the Bush Nook days, which I’m sure I will never need again. After being in the hospitality business for ten years (seven of them in the Food Lover’s Guide to Tasmania, boast, boast), I don’t have a hospitable bone left in my body and the people I know in Hobart would fit comfortably in a phone box. *
Should they be insane enough to come to dinner, they had better bring it with them as there is hardly ever anything in the house, except perhaps a glass of wine since I found a whole stash of bottles in amongst the storage stuff.
 I am however, keeping the After Dinner Games and a few board games. We had such a good time playing them and hope springs eternal.  Now that the offspring are tiring of things like Silent Raves (where everyone has their headphones on and dances and listens to their own MP3 Player) and are beginning to rediscover the joys of Board Games  with real live face – to –face people (They are really taking off in Canberra. Played Ticket to Ride (Zug um Zug auf deutsch) recently with my offspring) there may be hope for them yet. Also handy in case of power failures or being stuck on someone’s boat].
Enough reminiscing, back to work!

Only about ten mystery boxes  to go, not including Teaching Materials,  Published Works and news clippings. I have finished Crafts, Recipes and Household Hints, Children’s School Achievements, Holiday Activities and Home Improvements. Then there’s Accounts, Art, Architecture, and Decorating, Environment, Travel, Fashion Design, Photographs, Self Improvement – I’ve given up on that too -  Work in Progress,  a big, scary box labelled Miscellaneous, and a whole filing cabinet of stuff for which I  seem to have lost  the keys. I am vaguely hoping it  is Bank Statements and letters from Centrelink.
 It does feel good to be getting rid of all this mental clutter, but sometimes it's a bit like letting go of old friends and while all remains of past lives must go to make way for something new, I might get some inspiration along the way.

*Don’t think for a moment that I’m desperately unhappy with this state of affairs. I ‘m rather enjoying being by myself for a while. It’s the first time in twenty plus years that I’ve actually had time to look through all this stuff and wonder what possessed me to keep it in the first place. It is also the first time in several decades that all the drawers are tidy and all my stationery and what’s left of the art materials are in one place.  

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