Tuesday 30 October 2018

Legal in Poland

Emptying the Attic Flat in the Historical House, aka Our Home of Nine Years, has been a difficult and painful job. Thank heavens I read Marie Kondo in 2017 and spend considerable time and effort getting rid of as much stuff as I could part with. Had I not done this, emptying the Attic Flat, which is at least twice the size of our new flat, would have been even more daunting. 

So far we have called a Man & Van service twice, a dear friend has brought over 2 carloads of stuff, another dear friend has helped move boxes of books down the stairs, into her car and then into her own cellars twice, and this morning three young men from a removals company turned up and took away everything we didn't want. 

By then the Attic Flat was looking rather empty. As B.A. showed the men around to tell them what not to take away, I suddenly remembered Something Illegal I had hurried shoved on the bedroom shelf weeks ago.

"Ahem," I said. "We have um, an illegal thing from Poland, that was left by a Polish guest, that um, forgot it was illegal here and um...."

"Oho!" exclaimed the leader of the removals gang, who all had Easter Road accents, such as I personally only ever hear in the Easter Road football stadium. "Whatever you do, don't give it to---."

But it was too late for an eager hand shot up and seized the Illegal Thing and curious eyes looked briefly at the word "Policjny" on the label before the Illegal Thing disappeared into a deep pocket. And I seriously hope it has permanently joined nunchucks and a ninja star and various other curios on a shelf or box for showing off to friends instead of being earmarked as a Friday night companion. 

The other object of interest to the removals gang that I know of was also left by the Polish guest. The leader of the gang found it on a shelf in the now ex-library and asked me if I wanted it. It was a small white statue of a famously ugly philosopher having a think, and I did not want it. 

"Who is it?" asked the leader.

"Socrates," I said. 


"The Greek philosopher."

"I like it," said the mover. "I'll keep it on my desk." 

It is amusing to wonder what other flotsam and jetsam disappeared into pockets as I knelt in the ex-dining room wrapping up wine glasses. I was called in to examine the hall wardrobe (which belongs to theHouse and when we finally found the key, we found an elderly newspaper inside) because it was filled with too many nice jackets. There were at least four fleeces and three tweed coats, a moth-eaten university scarf, a pair of old shoes and a rather good brown waxed jacket.  I was pretty sure that B.A. had abandoned them, but the leader of the moving gang thought they were too good to throw away.

"My husband hasn't thrown any clothes out since uni," I said but phoned B.A. anyway to be sure. He was sure--he had already brought as many tweed jackets, shoes, scarves, etc., that he thought would fit. So it is also amusing to imagine the gang in front of the House trying on B.A.'s pale green tweed jackets for size. The boys were wiry rather than muscular, so they might actually have fit. 

And now the Historical Attic is empty, save for two piles of stuff (mostly wine-glasses), the repro-Jacobean sideboard, the china cabinet and nine blessed palm crosses we haven't burnt yet. Blessed palm crosses are a pain as one cannot just throw them out, of course. Some years ago my mother banned them from her house, and now I can see why.   

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