Anna was a great help with the sorting, if often rather brutal about her grandmother's tastes. "Hahahaha. She never wore that?" "I'll have you know that shoulder pads were all the rage in the 1980s Young Lady." She had a point though: the 70s and 80s did seem to be the golden years for my parents' social lives: son fled the nest, a nice house, some disposable cash for the first time. The photos we unearthed - and my father was no photographer - showed very happy times with a lot of foreign travel.
There is something slightly strange, almost an awesome responsibility, it felt, dismantling the collection of someone else's life. And the ornaments! Why, for instance, would a widow want 9 sets of various alcoholic drinks glasses? (In a Methodist Homes Association complex?) Or, indeed, that much bedding? There are currently 10 bags of bedding and Rachel, ("Don't start me on the bedding!") estimates more to come. "They must have bought a set of bedding every time they left the house! I know why you gave me this cupboard now!" Anyway, one way or another, it's all going to charity. Tomorrow, hopefully, the furniture goes and then we'll be able to see the wood for the trees.
Bone china tea service anyone?
She beckoned me over and, from her wheelchair, gave me a big kiss. "Now, just remind me who you are again." "I'm your neighbour Daphne's son." "Of course. Poor Daphne. How is she?" "She passed away on Friday morning." Mrs. P. Is galvanised into action and literally launches herself at me - not easy from a wheelchair - and embraces me. "Oh poor you. Well, poor Daphne, of course. I haven't seen her for a while. How is she?" "Erm ... I'm afraid she died Mrs. P. You'll have a new neighbour soon." Mrs. P. Visibly brightens. "Really? Who?"
Life goes on.