hard rubbish saturday

Sunday, February 12, 2006


There aren't quite enough letters in that word to describe how very, very, very, very sore I am this morning...

But I'm getting ahead of myself...

before and afterYesterday, after all the weird dreamness, I went up to Ma's place to help her sort out her spare room and take some stuff downstairs so it could go out for "Hard Rubbish Week" (where the council comes and takes away all the old fridges, furniture, etc that people don't want anymore) which starts (in her neighbourhood anyway) on Monday. I figured it would be some appropriate brownie points racked up, so why not... and I also wanted to see if I still had The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe in amongst all the books I have in storage at her place (alas, it turns out I don't have it anymore).

I listened to my old Hottest 100 cd's on the way down... well, one of them anyway... I need to put them into regular rotation in the car, there is some great music on them!

Anyway, I got there, I got "liquored up" on a litre of Famers Union Iced Coffee, and read the paper, then at about 10:30 or so, we headed upstairs to begin the assault...

I really, really, really should have taken a "before" shot of the room (although the "after" shots I took were a little dark so I won't use one of them)... but it was my old bedroom when I used to live there, and my old bed is still in it... big ugly thing that it is, which used to be my Nanna's bed... and it was pretty much right in the middle of the room, with a crappy old cupboard on one side and a big trunk on the other... with all kinds of boxes under it, and with about a hundred tons of crap on top of it... plus the other two hundred tons of crap in the room...

Now Ma is a packrat... which of course means that I have not only the packrat gene, but serious packrat tendencies... however, I've kind of worked through a lot of them (as has she, to be honest) and can let things so much more easily now (although then about six months later I stop and go... "hey, whatever happened to that thing... I want that thing now", which is always annoying... a prime example of that is The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe mentioned above... but I digress). I looked at all the crap in the room, some of which was mine, most of which was hers, and figured it was probably a good idea to tackle the whole room, the wardrobe, the couple of cupboards out on the landing, the whole nine yards basically... although, to be honest, I really didn't have that much of a fully formed plan in my head at the time, I just knew that there was a lot of stuff that needed to be looked at and a lot of stuff to be thrown away.

showtunes!One of the scary things we found as were were moving stuff out of the room was Ma's old LP collection... and if they were played a lot during my formative years (ie before I really remember them), then it's no freakin' wonder I turned out to be a big homo... In amongst some slight scarier stuff were some of the campiest looking records ever... plus four lots of "Show Tunes" (The Sound of Music counts as show tunes, right?), plus Cliff Richard and The Shadows (what's really scary is that Ma actually has that first album pictured on the Wiki page about them) doing some version of Cinderella (I was afraid to ask)... plus some guys in really campy matching yellow shirts... scary stuff.

What's even scarier is that they could be worth money these days...

After we'd gone through and moved all of the boxes out, and made appropriate piles for "to keep, to donate, to dump, to investigate, and to trash" (in all three of the other upstairs rooms, I might add), and stripped the bed back to just the frame, I brought up the subject of getting rid of the ugly cupboard. Ma was a little resistant at first, mostly because she wasn't sure where all the stuff in it was going to go, but then I looked in the wardrobe and told her that pretty much all the stuff up in the top of it was mine, and I didn't want any of it anymore (it was mostly old English comics and Smash Hits magazines) and that most of the cupboard stuff could go in the wardrobe instead.

I ended up throwing the comics and magazines out of the upstairs window (it was actually Ma's idea, but then she didn't follow it through) into the big recycling bin that Ma has, while she waited downstairs to scoop up any escapees and throw them back in the bin, which was fun. Nothing like throwing things out of a window on a Saturday morning.

Anyway, we went through the cupboard, threw a bunch of stuff away, found some of Ma's old diaries and about a ton of her old craft stuff. And then I got the fun job of moving the cupboard down the stairs and outside...

It wasn't as difficult as I thought it was going to be... at least after we stopped it thumping on every other step on the way down. Once that was downstairs, and we'd shifted the bed and Ma had vacuumed the room, we decided that it was probably a good idea to move all the "to dump" stuff downstairs to get it out of the way before we tried to work on putting stuff back. Of course that then led to us taking most of the "to donate" stuff downstairs too... which ended up being a very, very large pile (but given Ma's preternatural packing skills, it all fit in the back of her tiny hatchback car), including five suitcases of various sizes, old jigsaws, about a billion old teddy bears and some really ugly old clothes.

By the time we got everything downstairs, it was probably about 3pm, which is the "before" photo at the top of this post. I swear, it was about 5-10 minutes later that we got the first "lookie loo"... a guy on a big ride-on mower thing... who had a good look at things as he went past. He then came back with someone, and I distinctly heard the sound of wheelie chair wheels on concrete as the chair vanished... when we went downstairs to look we discovered that the suitcase with the broken/old VCR and a couple of broken photo frames in it vanished too.

Midway through putting things back in the spare room, Ma mentioned that she was sick and tired of her old chest of drawers (the bottom of some of the drawers were kind of busted and it was big and dark and ugly and has annoyed her for ages now), so after a couple of very unsubtle proddings, and basically showing her where all the other stuff could go, she set about emptying it while I carried the drawers, and then, with her help, the main body of the thing, downstairs.

A couple of minutes after we'd put it down there, I saw the same guy, again, having a look at it, this time with a woman, and called Ma into the spare room to look. They disappeared, and then I head someone say "hello" at Ma's front door, which was open. I went downstairs and it was the aforementioned guy. He basically got as far as asking "That stuff out the back..." before I told him that it was all for hard rubbish, and that if he wanted it, to take whatever he liked.

He went off very happy and a few minutes later we saw the large cupboard disappear from where it was peeking over the top of the fence... no idea how he took it wherever he was going though. We kind of thought he was going to take the chest of drawers too, but when we checked, it was still there... although someone had turned it 90°, to maybe take a look at the back of it or something.

As always with this kinds of major cleanups, there are always some things that you just can't throw away, no matter what, and one of those things for me was my oldest teddy bears... I went through and threw a bunch of other stuffed animals into the "to donate" pile, but there were several, including a bigheaded misshapen rabbit with big dragqueen eyelashes and a grey furry mammoth/elephant that I just couldn't part with. The ones I know I can never throw away though are Big Ted and Little Ted (yeah, I was real imaginative with my teddy's names... I think the rabbit was Rabbit and the elephant was Elephant).

little ted and big tedThey're both a big mangy now... Big Ted moreso than Little Ted... Big Ted lost his eyes and his nose and had all four paw pads replaced with leather because I wore through the sheepskin... which is also why the patch on his left paw is so huge, that was the arm I used to tuck under my own arm when I carried him around. He also has a big old bald spot on the back of his head from where I used to rub the sheepskin with my thumb. In contrast, Little Ted's plastic eyes are just scratched to hell, but he's mostly in one piece. He does have more of the emotional scars on his psyche though, since he was the one I used to go to when I was little and had gotten told off or whatever and bascially cry all over him... a fact that Ma never ever lets me forget, and brings up at all appropriate opportunities... like yesterday... *rolls eyes*.

I'll have to dig out and early photo of me with the two of them, just for contrast how they used to look with how they look now (and also make everyone go "awwwww" at how cute and blonde I used to be a billion years ago), but I'm too tired to do that right now... so that can be a "later" job.

Anyway... eventually, after we'd moved everything back into the spare room that was going there, and Ma could actually get into her bed again, even though her bedroom looked a little like she'd been playing with something thermonuclear, and the spare room was now the tidiest and most organised room in the whole house, we decided that we were both too broken and stoopid to care anymore and went downstairs to watch Surface and let the broken really kick in. Then we went out to get some Indian food... mmmmm... Indian food good...

As we were leaving, these two little boys, probably around 8 and 6 wandered past and asked Ma if she was moving and why all these things (although we were down to pretty much the corner pieces from my old sofa, the big chest of drawers, the broken blinds, a functional Venetian blind, and a couple of other bits and pieces by this stage, especially since Ma saw an ad on teevee for cheap vacuum cleaners with a trade in, so she went and snagged the old Hoover back inside) were on the footpath. When Ma told one of them that it was because she didn't want the stuff anymore he piped back "My Dad would like that" and she told him that if his Dad wanted it, his Dad could come and take it away.

We got back around 8pm or so... and as we turned into Ma's street, we were confronted by the "after" shot... one couch cushion and the broken blinds...

Looks like his Dad did like that stuff...

Because I was so tired and so sore and so at that edge of insanity by that point, I just lost the plot and started laughing like a crazy person... and for a little while I just couldn't stop... it was funny, but it just seemed so much funnier at the time. In the space of five hours, the folks in Ma's neighbourhood had reduced a huge pile of hard trash to one bent pillow and a broken blind... go grassroots recycling!

I had planned to blog all this last night, but by the time I got home it was 10pm, and I was just too tired and sore... of course, now I'm sore AND stiff (and not even in the good way), and I'm pretty sure I used muscles yesterday that I haven't used in a looooooooong time...

So today is going to be a world of taking it easy I think.

Current Mood: broken and stoopid


Muse Monday, February 13, 2006 4:18:00 am  

Isn't that funny about how we can't let go of those mangled looking stuffed animals? I have some ugly ones circa 1976, back then stuffed animals were just plain hideous looking. Mine are all ruffed up but i can't let go, so many memories and they were a comfort to me when i had to pack up and move over and over.

Btw check out the LP's on ebay, i was disappointed when I found out my Snow white album (made sometime in the 70's) wasn't worth anything. It's realy cool looking tho, i should take a pic of it. Both sides of it have elaborate images from the movie

take it easy!

marcus,  Monday, February 13, 2006 7:57:00 pm  

mmmmm... Indian food awesome...

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