Whilst in Ballarat (henceforth B’rat) we did some touristy stuff, caught up with rellies, chilled out, and also GOT SHIT DONE. As mentioned in my last post, the garden was Priority #1. Priority #2 was to sort out the random accumulated crap in the guest room wardrobe and drawers. I was curious as to what I’d find, but determined to be ruthless; J has this ridiculous idea that I never throw anything out. Rubbish! (I just hang on to useful stuff until such time it *eventually* becomes useful.) So one quiet afternoon, while the kids were babysat by George (of the Jungle), I got stuck in.
The first layer unearthed was, predictably, my shit. I’d lived with M&D for a year and a half before moving to Queensland in ’04, and I cleared 2.5 drawers of worn out socks, ratty tracky pants, antisexy flannel PJs with geriatric elastic, some revolting jumpers (must be mine), and little knick knacky gifts stuffed into corners until a polite amount of time had passed so I could chuck them with a clear conscience. Also found a cordless phone – plugged it in and amazingly, it worked! It’s a Christmas miracle!
Warm-up done, I moved on to the wardrobe. It’s big, and it was full. I’d made three piles; take to Queensland, give to the Good Sammies, or fling. There were still a few of Dad’s old shirts – I saved one for gardening in but gave the rest away. More yucky old jumpers… fling. Dad’s ancient, so vintage it’s retro turquoise terry towelling bathrobe… Justine got it. Dammit! More crap… WTF did I keep that top for 10 years for?? And WHY did I keep this?
Fling. This is fun!!
Very cathartic, and just look at all the space now. (And I’m not interested if somehow fashion has circled back on itself like a snake eating its tail, I care not if it’s retro… IT’S GONE!!!) Next it was the built-in shelves. The bathroom case I used at boarding school in 1991/92, which literally broke apart in my hands because the lining had degraded – fling. My cherry Doc Martins – keep. Dad’s old Polaroid SX-70…
KEEP. I’m not even looking on eBay to get an idea on how much they go for now shit $400 really? Found and flung a bunch of old Army crap. And I mean crap. Crappy gecko-poo-green thermals, crappy sewing kit, even a crappy laundry bag. OMG maybe J has a point! Don’t tell him I said that.
An old phone charger from who the hell knows when. My home made J Pop tapes from Japan and my old 80s Pure Soft Metal tape. Fling them all! My first ever music purchase, a tape of Rick Astley’s second album Hold Me In Your Arms, was not present; I think I played it to death back in 1988.
…What’s that? You don’t like Rick and you think I’m a total dork?
He was touring here a few months back and I heard his hilarious interview on Triple J – had such a flashback – I’d forgotten what a great deep voice he has! Perfect for radio. Might have to stalk him on iTunes.
(Anyway. Bound to get a bit nostalgic doing this kinda thing. Moving along…)
Found some treasure in amongst all the trash – photo slides from tramping the Milford Track, a little box of paua shell (OOO pretty!) and a cool tiki magnet. Also found our ‘old school’ movie library (that is, all recorded off the TV onto VHS tapes). Chucked it, but it did stir many fond memories; even now when I watch my Ghostbusters DVD I still half expect the movie to cut out just before Mr. Staypuft arrives because that’s where the tape ran out and we missed a bit while we scrambled for another one. Said Ghostbusters DVD was also excavated from the wardrobe and I can’t wait to scare the shit out of the kids with it. I also haven’t seen the awesome opening sequence of Raiders since about 1983 as we missed the first several minutes madly digging through the cabinet to find a tape.
Finally reached the red suitcase – Mum’s from her early twentysomething travels across the Nullarbor in the early 70’s, and which has become the main repository of all things Justine and me. Dug out hand-knitted baby clothes, my beautiful old music-box-like-a-miniature-carousel, an old naval cadets t-shirt, Justine’s ballet slippers… I never kept mine, they would’ve reminded me of that ballerina-career-derailing incident I told you about.
Also these gems from her first foray into fashion:
The hot pink lycra leggings were her first ever purchase with her own money, for a punk social in Year 9, I believe? (…I pick on Justine because that’s my job as her big sister but also because there’s evidence available; many of my ‘fashion’ choices were far more heinous than hers – think hobo – but that stuff got turfed years ago. Or perhaps burned, I forget. Photos too.) There was other stuff which I yearned to chuck out, like the FOUR tulle underskirts from dresses Mum made in the late 80s, but they’re not mine so I can’t. Who am I kidding? That red suitcase is never going to get emptied; it’ll just sit there, the contents quietly cloning themselves like sentient 1980s tulle, so that every time we get rid of something the suitcase fills itself again. I sidled away at this point; my work was done. For now…. there’s still the back storeroom to go. Next time.
Gentle reader, if I was to go digging through *your* wardrobe, what kind of treasures might I find? What sort of crap are you hanging on to, and is it because it’ll still be useful at some point (family heirlooms) or just because you can’t bear to let it go (inferior quality toddler paintings and/or misshapen clay sculptures perhaps)? I know everyone says things aren’t what’s important, people are important, and it’s true, but being able to touch (the oh-so-soft cotton of a newborn’s jumpsuit), smell (my favourite books) and taste (Mum’s famous recipe for Mexican Pork Chops) aids my dodgy memory more than anything else can.
In conclusion, I hope I managed to Rickroll at least one of you.