Letting Go

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Since September, I have (perhaps rather immodestly) posted rather frequently about my continuing attempts to declutter and organise my household, and thus my life.

I do feel a great sense of accomplishment as cupboards gradually become emptier and articles are found instantly as and when required. This seems truly miraculous.

The interesting aspect of chucking stuff out though is that it becomes easier and easier the more you do. Material possessions are evaluated by usefulness, or beauty, and not by sentiment or nostalgia. Except when they’re not. And I’ve hit a couple of major stalling points recently.

One item, oddly, is an unlined A4 pad acquired, oooh, maybe 1988, when I was working as a lawyer in Paris. It contains notes (in French) scribbled by me during a client meeting concerning a corporate finance deal, and I just can’t bin it. I’ve picked it up countless times, and always put it back in the drawer. Why? Because it is a reminder of a fascinatingly different existence a quarter century ago?

Another obstacle is a collection of hand-knitted baby and toddler garments. The images above and below are of two sweaters I manically knitted over a matter of weeks during the autumn of 1998, for the fourth and sixth birthdays of Eldest and Middle Daughters. I was still practicing law, swamped by work, and remember doing the knitting on the train on a business trip down to London. Knitting may have become cool again in the last few years, but back then it caused a fair few gapes and raised eyebrows from the pinstripes in the First Class carriage.

Maybe I can’t let go because it took such a mammoth effort to make them under the prevailing circumstances. Or maybe it’s because I don’t suppose small girls these days want a Mickey or Winnie hand-knit, and I don’t want them festering on the shelves of the local charity shop.

But who knows? I’ll reassess it all in a few more months of indecision, I suppose.

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