Five random things I found in my old room

A cardboard cutout of Mark Knopfler.

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.

Mark Knopfler

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?


  1. Tom @Ideas4Dads

    Always knew you had good taste – an now thats been confirmed with your Worzel Gummidge annual 😉

    You can’t beat a good clear out – one of my favourites that I came across a few years ago was my Warning Unexploded Ordanance sign that i acquired on a Scout hike whilst walking through an army testing range – it now sits pride of place in my loft!!

  2. The DADventurer (Dave)

    Ha, some very random items. The thing that sticks out for me the most though is that you still have all that stuff at your parents and you still have your own room. As soon I went to uni, my folks couldn’t wait to redecorate my room and get rid of 99% of my stuff. Yours are obviously nicer than mine!

  3. Pingback: What was your dream job as a teenager? - Work - Diary of the Dad

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