Summer's ended, Autumn is here. The cherry tree leaves are turning.
A day of rain and wind today, I've not been tempted to go out at all. The seasons turn so quickly, we had several days of high temperatures earlier in September, now it's jumper weather again.
Cyclamen are out in force and shrubs are glowing their final hurrah of the year before they settle down for winter. The hedgehog visits the terrace at dusk, almost on the dot of seven now and I must remember to put out food betimes. It'll have to be earlier and earlier I suspect, until they go into hiding for winter. There are often two of them and there may even have been three last night. By morning the dish is licked clean.
There seems to be a trend at the moment for decluttering. I've wanted to do it for a long time but never quite got round to it. I have now, but I'm starting gently, with a drawer full of digital cables and such, all the stuff that comes with new gadgets which you never use. Also theatre programs of the last 30 odd years, London Westend ones, and from all sorts of theatres in the South East, South West of the country, the Edinburgh Festival and the Midlands. My, we must have seen hundreds of plays. I am keeping the Stratford programs for now. I don't know quite what to do with concert and opera programs. They will probably end up in recycling. These things cost a lot of money, yet you buy them, read them and put them into a box somewhere.
A young woman took them. I had asked the local book charity shop if they wanted any. No they didn't but they might know someone who does. All my unwanted programs are going to be exhibits in a tea room in the Shropshire Hills, for customers to look at while they recover from long hikes over a scone and a cuppa. She was a very pleasant young woman, within the first ten minutes she had confided half her life story to me, her past and plans for the future. She and her partner also rescue dogs in the next county, which pleased me no end and made handing over two large boxes full of programs a pleasure. Jennifer, the young woman, is interested in stars of yesterday and has posters of what we used to call 'divas' on her walls, European film stars of the 60s and 70s; I have some posters of opera performances of the period which I might pass on to her. She promised me a freebie in March when she opens up again and it'll be interesting to see what she's done. A quaint idea, don't you think?
My son was here for a few days, one of his regular tri-monthly visits. When he comes, he does some jobs I've saved up for him and he always takes a load of stuff to the local recycling centre, often needing two or three trips to get rid of it. There is also a day in the middle when he offers to take me anywhere I can't get to now, either because I no longer drive or it's just too far. You'd think I'd ask for a trip to somewhere special, somewhere of great interest, somewhere totally out of my reach now. Sad to say, I can only come up with a particular garden centre in spring and summer and a very posh supermarket the rest of the year. What a sad state of affairs when my heart yearns exclusively for plants and fancy groceries. I couldn't even take him to the restaurant I'd promised him, the place was fully booked and we had to make do with the nice but ordinary White Horse, the local pub.
We spent a few pleasant days together; we don't have a great many interests in common, but we are family and family matters. We have the past, of course, life in Germany, where he spent his formative years, so we always have the German side of the family for reminiscing over. At one point we mentioned his sister with whom he also has little contact and when I asked if a reconciliation between her and me would ever be possible he said "No Mum, that ship has sailed."
That must be one of the saddest phrases in the English language.
Apart from decluttering I am also trying to sort out financial and legal matters, which meant going through two desks. Would you believe that I have bank statements from over twenty years ago? Not any longer. Neither do I any longer have ancient receipts and invoices and credit card slips. What on Earth was I thinking? Sure, keep them for a year but don't file them away tidily in envelopes marked with the year where such transactions took place. Last century, anyone?
While I've been typing night has fallen and I quickly rushed out with my dish of cat food for the hedgehogs. Now of course I will have to loiter by the back door to await their arrival.
I've been feeling a bit gloomy again hence the delay in posting; Perhaps all this decluttering means that I am tidying away one kind if life and starting another? Who knows.