My parents are moving house next month. As a result, I’ve been going through the stuff in my old room and their loft. It’s one of those jobs I’ve been putting off – nostalgia isn’t what it used to be – but it really needed doing.
Since discovering Swedish Death Cleaning earlier this year, I’ve got a lot better at getting rid of things so have been pretty ruthless.
Having said that, I can’t believe some of the stuff I had kept for so many years. In among the things you might expect to find – scrapbooks, photos, football memorabilia – were some decidedly odd finds.
Here are some of the random things that have got me wanting to invent a time machine so I can go back and give my younger self a slap.
Gotta’ lotta’ bottle
Take the song Ten Green Bottles, multiply it by itself and you get the idea. During my teenage years, I collected empty beer bottles. They looked quite good on the mantelpiece and on top of the bookshelf. But the collection got a little out of hand.
To be honest, I thought that it had all been recycled years ago but, like in monster movie sequels, something had survived. Thankfully, I washed them all before displaying them 20 odd years ago, so no blue bottles joined the party.
Before you call the police, I should point out that it’s an almost-life-size cardboard cutout of the Dire Straits frontman and not the man himself. So that’s a completely normal thing for a teenage lad to stow away in his parents’ loft.
I used to put a scarf around my head and pretend to perform his intricate guitar solos on my squash racquet while listening to cassettes on my hi-fi. And I can’t believe I just added that to my digital footprint.
A gents sign
I genuinely have no idea where this came from. From a pub, obviously, but despite having a good memory of my youth, I have absolutely no recollection of liberating this.
I can only speculate that alcohol and a bet with friends played a part and apologise to any non-locals who struggled to find the gents at wherever it came from.
Empty video game boxes
Yes, there was a huge box full of empty boxes. And if you cast your mind back to the early days of gaming, they weren’t small either. They were – and, apparently, still are – needlessly large boxes.
They only needed to accommodate a CD-ROM or even a floppy disk but were more than a little bulky. And, in my case, they weren’t even serving that purpose. Oops.
A Worzel Gummidge annual
I think I must have bought this at a jumble sale somewhere in the mid-1980s, purely on the basis that my loose change was burning a hole in my pocket and I recognised the eponymous scarecrow. I didn’t even watch the show. Thank god it was an authorised edition and not a phoney one!
Presumably, I kept hold of the book out of sheer bloody-mindedness and a desire to one day get value for money for the pence I spent on it. It’s now on the way to a charity shop where someone else can make the same mistake. Mwa, ha, haaaa!
Have you ever gone through your old stuff? Which random things did you find?