Wednesday, 8 February 2023

Window on my World - by Keren David

 I am writing this  surrounded by utter chaos.

My house is full of boxes and bags -  big black rubbish bags destined for the tip and bulging carrier bags for the charity shop. There's dust in the air and the smell of glue wafting around us, and the house is open to the wind and the rain...

And it's all self inflicted. We're having our windows replaced. In February, at huge expense during a cold snap. A freezing cold snap. It's making us very snappy.

What's more, at precisely the time that we were moving furniture from room to room away from the window fitters, my daughter moved back in with us. Bringing two carloads of stuff. Re-capturing the room which I've used as my workplace for the last two years while she's been flat sharing. 

But there are many and various silver linings to this dusty, expensive, freezing cloud.

First - We will no longer have 40 year old aluminium framed windows which might as well have been made of  cobwebs. We will be snug as a bug in a double-glazed rug. And hopefully our energy bills might be smaller too.

Second -  I love decluttering. There is nothing that makes me happier than putting things in bags and sending them off to charity shops. I feel generous and benevolent -  I imagine the happy faces of poor but bookish children who will find a complete set of Lemony Snicket in the Marie Curie shop -  and then there are the people who will benefit from the wonderful charity's work. And I get so much more shelf's win, win, win multiplied by win. Squared.

Third -  I have my lovely daughter home again. Sorry, that should have been first. 

Fourth -  When  decluttering  I always find real gems that had got lost. Like  a 1939 book Ann Thorne Girl Reporter, which tells me all about life on Fleet Street way back then. Like a set of photos I took on holiday in Cambodia in 2007. Like my report from journalism college in 1982 ('Keren's obvious flair for journalism...' ). And  the exercise book  in which I sat and wrote longhand the very first draft of the very first chapter of my very first book in March 2008 (later published as When I Was Joe in 2010.)  I find, in other words, the things which make me proud, and which reconnect me with the best moments of my life.   The things which made me me. The rest - goodbye,

Fifth -  By incredible serendipity this was the week that my employer  ordered us back into the office again, So I don't really need my workplace after all.  And our new office is light and airy and has views over Mary Poppins-esque chimneys and after nearly three years of working from home I can tell you that it's better for my mental health to be in an office, laughing with colleagues, even if it makes it a tad harder to stick on a wash mid-morning. 

Sixth - By another piece of incredible serendipity, my husband this week discovered a whole chunk of his family history, going all the way back to the 18th century. The Maybloom family  - forebears of his grandmother, Annie, who died when his dad was seven years old -  originally came from Brody, Ukraine. And what did they do there?  You wouldn't believe it.

They were glaziers! They fitted windows! 


Mystica said...

I’m on a decluttering spree too. Makes me nostalgic as each piece is uncovered and the history behind each piece. My daughters urge me to be ruthless but I find the going hard.

Penny Dolan said...

Love the way your whole decluttering experience has worked for you, Karen, and it must be a pleasure (mostly?) to have your daughter home again.

I read this post with much sympathy. Or is it empathy? Or both? We had secondary glazing fitted to our 1920's house over this winter. Intensely needed as the leaded glass on the big landing window was so thin that a strong wind made the whole window tremble. I had to shift all the furniture away from the windows so The Men could measure too, returning and fitting the glazing. What a sense of triumph I felt when it was all done and that bit warmer and quieter indoors.

You, however, were coping with entire-frame-removal problem. What a hero! As for all those bin bags around you now, I am impressed. Only a paltry pair of bin bags and a few books in a box so far. And how great to discover all those happy memories among your clutter and to be back to the buzz of office sociability once more.

What a cheering post!

Lynne Benton said...

Well done with all the decluttering, Keren, and very glad you are now cosy and warm!