We’ve been here almost 2 months. Noo is happy. We all love our new city. This house is rented. We have one less bedroom and decided that various things would go into storage to save space; all my books. Now, I don’t need my books but I like a bookshelf to look at, to remember. I love the variation of the spines in the corner of the room, and the associations with the different books. I’m not going to read most of them again. Keeping the books is hanging onto memories. That’s not a bad thing. Is it?
I did decide to get rid of my vinyl. The vinyl was stored in a dark cupboard in the corner. If I took a rare moment to flick through, my head filled with sounds not only of music but of parties and friends. Club nights in dark sweaty rooms. Snatched conversations. Dancing for hours. Long, cold walks home. Soundtracks of journeys and places. People now gone from my life. This precious pile was priceless. In all honesty, I wasn’t going to play them again. I hadn’t had a turntable for my entire life in the North. The vinyl was ‘stuff’ that filled a space. Unable to do it myself, I sent Mr Noo off with to the second-hand record shop, convinced he would return with a fortune. He didn’t. He got 15 quid for a few of the albums. The rest he took to a charity shop. De-cluttering is good for soul (I tell myself).
I do miss a bit more of my ‘stuff’ around me. This house is nice, it isn’t forever. It only needs to be functional. It is painted throughout in the same colour and that makes it feel a bit soulless. I love that it has a hallway. Our old house had no hallway (this is common in Northern Victorian terraces). The door opened straight into the living room. I like the tunnel of space a hall creates, a tunnel between the world outside and the comfort of home. A partition of the public with our space. To make our space more of a home we decided to get a ‘unit’. Somewhere for our bits and the Lego. In the Queen’s Christmas speech she is often stood next to a sideboard overloaded with photos, I imagine while her’s didn’t come from Ikea, but we too are going for the royal photo overload. Some might not make the final edit. It’s good to have some memories around. It makes the room more us, more our home.