I am not tidy. I have no ordered life and I am almost proud to say that I am easy about clutter and untidiness. I possess that ‘sod it’ quality that enables me to leave things where they land when I discard them.
This seemingly unspectacular character trait manifested itself in a surprising way the other day and my Attic Portal took me on a journey that stretched back almost thirty years.
Most of us have a place where we cast aside things we either can’t be bothered to deal with, dispose of or bear to part with and my attic is that place. Tradition has it that ‘sweeping things under the carpet’ is the lazy option fabled by many. My attic is that ‘lofty’ carpet.
A chance knock at the door by a Salesman dealing with insulating, set myself, my wife and our eldest son on a journey down memory lane. The Attic is a big one, and a veritable Tardis for lazy hoarders like myself. Yet I am glad it is that way because of the emotional journey it took not just me, but all my family on.
We came to our current dwelling in 1987. Our son was three and a half and our daughter now married, eight months. The Attic then, had a thin layer of Rockwool and a couple of water tanks. Apart from that it was empty. Yet like the rings on a tree it told a story of the past when we rushed to clear it the other day.
The contents was indeed a portal to the past and bore the markers that mapped out our lives. Let’s see…paint stripper, rusty screws, long-defunct electrical items, Lego sets, old videos, books, a half built sledge that would have displaced more mass that the Titanic. They were all still there. Of course even I had been there and moved stuff on, but only when I needed space for the next pile of junk that had to be removed from the house below. The rest of the cavernous recesses stored a bewildering array of oddments all linked to our and more specifically, my past.
Most of us can be taken back in time or be transported somewhere else by a trigger from the past. Often a smell or a word casually spoken. At that moment we are sent back in time and the images that surround us are of other places, other times and unique to that moment.
Sadly it would mean nothing to the rest of the world. A bit like those holiday snaps or even a deeply personal and pride-bursting moment such as a grandchild’s first steps… I could go on, but I think the reader gets the idea. They mean everything to that person but little in truth to those unconnected. So in a world so big and so busy it was lovely to go on a personal tour of the past. A past that had far more packed in it than I could possibly have imagined when it all began and a past that will one day be lost forever.