When I lived in India and Sri Lanka I virtually lived out of a suitcase, and when I came back to the UK I pretty much continued to do so, but I was in denial. I had put a whole load of junk in storage in a corner of my brother’s barn. It was “out of sight, out of mind”. But it’s finally caught up with me. It’s now in my room and in a shared part of the house, and we’re all tripping over it.
I’ve told you some of this already, haven’t I? How could I forget. Well, the paperwork I mentioned in that post has been well and truly shredded, and is now behind me. But I’ve got so much more to deal with. I suppose because it all tells a story I feel attached to it but it HAS to go. The vast majority, at least. Old tools, old books, DIY stuff, papers, junk. Things that might have come in handy one day. Everything a reminder.
Next up is a load of old school reports from my days at Farnham Grammar School, 1968 to 1974. Reading through them reminds me just how poor I was academically. Most comments can be summarised as “Tries hard, achieves little”.
My favourite teacher was Mr EW Godsil, forever “Chubba”. He was a kindly old guy, always encouraging and never disparaging. Yet he could command order in a classroom with a glance. I remember him having nicknames for many of the boys and perhaps that’s part of what endeared him to everyone.
Classes of 30. Double rows of empty inkwells. “Thoughtful, serious boy. Pleasing progress. EWG.”
At age 13:
English: “A serious worker but he is too slow thinking and writing.” GB
History: “Works hard but has not made much progress.” GLC
Chemistry: Signs of improvement” TRC
PE: “He usually tries hard, but should also realise this subject is to be enjoyed.” MRT
These insightful gems sit in front of me, evoking memories and gathering tea stains.