On Binbags and Plastic Crap

18 Jan

Just under 48 hours to go to takeoff, and I am ploughing through the leisurely accumulations of two lives.

Endless bits of plastic to be sorted into cherished, to-be-inherited, and junk. It’s a form of fine archaeology sifting the Bionicles from the Lego Technics, the cracker crap from the Kinder goodies, the Beano bits from the Playmobil pieces. Six big binbags to the rubbish; six more to Oxfam; and still they come.

Boxes of photos which have travelled, first with me, then with us, across the UK, always unalbumed, always unsorted — and guess what? I won’t be sorting them this time, either.

Pottery and papier-mache treasures, some firmly decayed, others yet to bite the dust, all precious. Mountains of comics, puzzle books, mazes, whole bags of felt tips, crayons and glitter. Certificates from school, swimming, windmills, the Monument…

Clothes which he has grown out of in the upwards direction and I have outwardly exceeded.

Goodbye to klubwear with a k, the 5-inch scarlet snakeskin boots I meant to get fixed and never did, the lacy, flimsy, sequinned things that, while I still believe I may one day fit into them, my age has definitely withered.

I’ve kept the things that people made me. But not without a wrench for thighs gone by.

Goodbye, more sadly, to the fluffy kangaroo jacket, toddler sized, complete with ears and joey pouch, the batik elephant shirt from Sri Lanka, the gremlin top from K-Mart on West 34th Street, the Nikes for age six weeks.

We will be travelling with an 80-litre backpack (me) and a schoolbag overflowing with soft toys (him). It’s funny how space shrinks exponentially when it contains your life for twelve whole months.

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