I woke up in my own bed this morning to a sunny day in a quiet house.
The chicks have flown. It was such a wonderful visit, and a sad goodbye.
But … I do love the first waking up in my own bed after someone else has had the room. It’s so clean. It’s so tidy. It’s so uncluttered! That’s because I made it that way before they came to stay.
In a wider sense, the de-cluttering of the house goes on.
Yesterday I started on my overflowing fabric cupboard and cleared out fabrics that have been given to me for patchwork - fabrics that I don’t like, and so will never use. (You know the mantra – Does this bring me joy?) I gave away a huge bag to a local secondary school for their textile and art departments. Today it’s the toy shelves on the landing. I just walked past it on my way back to bed to write this, and realised that I have a problem: my twin dolls.
Do you remember Fran’s dolls that she found in the ashes in BUT I TOLD YOU LAST YEAR THAT I LOVED YOU?
She was amazed when Sol found Belinda and Angela, the twin dolls she had played with as a child. There they were, still dressed in the clothes she had made for them. Their knitted dresses were damp and stained and matted. Their hard plastic bodies were cracked from the heat, and their limbs and heads were twisted and deformed. Belinda had long before lost her blue glass eyes. Now Angela’s eyes were melted shut. Fran cradled them as if they were babies rescued live from an earthquake.
These are the dolls. After the fire, my mother knitted them new clothes and now they are triply treasured – I loved them when I was little, I loved them for surviving the fire, and I love my mother’s empathetic gesture. They are safe. I wouldn’t dream of de-cluttering them. But what will happen to them when I die? No-one will want them. They are objectively ugly. I don’t want Zoe feeling she has to keep them when they don’t bring her joy. I can’t bear the thought of them being thrown away. I’m going to have to have them tucked inside my coffin. How weird is that?