The joy of clearing

The first of four sections of our attic loft is nearly clear

Today I shall extract the remaining bits and pieces from the loft room that you enter as you climb the steps. Our hedgerow wine bottles will be slowly consumed, or divested, thereafter. Although I don’t really have any idea where the last of this first stuff will go, when it all comes down, I can feel the joy already that a clear section will elicit.

Our folks professed to be delighted with their clearance sensibilities, but there was still a year’s worth of work, at least, on their large house after they downsized to sheltered accommodation. My brother and sister-in-law worked tirelessly to clean the place, before it could be marketed. We ourselves are not retreating to sheltered living, not just yet, but we are downsizing and trying to eliminate the accumulated stuff. It’s a chore that will only be accomplished by steady persistence. But today marks a milestone, the first quarter of clearance.

I can barely remember when our friendly handyman put the floor boards in, on top of copious insulation, but after that exercise I installed four fluorescent lights which now illuminate every dark corner. I had in mind a tool section, which I did create, in addition to separate sections for each child’s stuff, and the Christmas things, miscellaneous electronic components, suitcases and then the section for files and memorabilia where the television aerial is installed. It’s been a shock to realise how much stuff is really up there, languishing and unwanted any longer.

This year is also, incidentally, the 15th anniversary of our EU-funded project, SNAP, which involved nurturing young musicians from three rural regions, under the auspices of the LEADER+ quango: these North Pennines; Hälsingland in central Sweden; Plöermel in Brittany. Each young person learned traditional music from all three regions, so they could all participate in live concerts and in the recording of a CD. The anniversary is important because I promised faithfully that I would keep the files from that project safe for a full fifteen years! Time at last to divest.

I awoke in the early hours wanting desperately to do something, to create and to be satisfied, pleased, delighted with whatever new project I might come up with. But until I think of that new thing, I’m persevering with the projects that I can do, while my mind races ahead seeking out new adventures.

Maybe with one section clear I’ll be able to populate it with a new idea! That too would be a developing joy, as long as it’s an intangible thing, so that the physical space up there stays clear.

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