Domestic Excavations


I have noticed for some while now that the photographic image accompanying the post each day on this blog is as important as the text.

This has undoubtedly been helped by the vast array of apps for the iPhone; I love the way I can be writing about something and at the same time create an artwork around it in minutes. Today I realised I rarely tag the image, which is slightly curious and perhaps reflects the way that although the image is critical, it tends to be generated in consequence of the text and not as a trigger for it.

Anyway, today’s slightly abstract image is the result of a day’s hard labour. It is four bags of Oxfam clothes from one child’s bedroom. Yes, four bags, and still counting, in fact.

How can this be? I was not unaware of her leaving clothes around everywhere and claiming to have run out of drawer and wardrobe space, but could not quite understand why it was such a disaster zone. Just getting the laundry turned around is the main weekly challenge, so I rarely have chance to go in and turn everything upside down and inside out of cupboards.

Today however the mystery is solved. Today was the day I went in and emptied everything out of the room in preparation for decorating and installing new furniture. In doing so I was appalled to see how just by virtue of being Daughter no. 3, her room had clearly been the dump zone for every item of unwanted clothing from Daughters 1 & 2 (and even occasionally Eldest Son) over some considerable period of time.

I was initially touched at the formal black jacket and skirt I found, but the numerous scruffy tracksuit bottoms and worn hoodies along with thousands of old white worn school shirts, all two or three sizes too big, made me realise this little room had just become the local convenience tip.

Subsequent interrogation confirmed my worst fears. Not just clothing, but artefacts of all kinds, whether in good working order or not, had been committed to this place of safety for all sorts of reasons and none of them good ones.

Clearly I have been a neglectful mother for not realising sooner what was going on. But at least after sorting this one room, I can probably rest assured that in so doing, I’ve cleared the whole upstairs of clutter.


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