Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Papa's got a brand new bin bag.

Anybody who knows me or who has had the pleasure of seeing any of the bedsits, houses, flatlets, sheds, bedrooms or hovels I have proudly called my own since my first recce away from the bosom of my family will be surprised to learn this: I am a very tidy person.

I admit, the evidence is not strong. As I sit on the edge of my bed surrounded by carnage, Claptonia Towers is less des res, more res mess. Records, books, mags, CDs, DVDs, posters and other hoarded selections of tat wait patiently to be recycled to the world via that great global clearing house that is eBay. But that's the thing - this junk is not junk, per se. It's just junk in waiting.

In my head, these precarious piles of once-loved 7" singles are already dead to me. I don't get emotional about objects and possessions any more. It's a blessing - it really is. Now, I'm just waiting for the new owners of these things to come and collect them; or rather, to let Paypal and the Royal Mail do the procuring and delivering. That's a very tidy arrangement, to my mind. I am very excited, for instance, at being able to ship a Belle and Sebastian LP to a guy in Indonesia - and not just because of the brass in pocket that is left on this side of the process (great little side effect though that is). I am in love with the idea of getting this stuff out to what is probably a more righteous home than it occupies right now.

My tidying ambitions do not end at eBay. I'm also very keen on filling bin bags with junk and getting them the hell out of the house. There's something very cathartic about putting a load of food packaging or banana skins into a black bag and throwing it all away. But I am a meticulous person, which is why I can spend a whole day on a tidying mission and not have much to show for it. I sometimes think of myself as a reverse archaeologist who so carefully studies all the topsoil that is about to be chucked into a skip that he misses the beautiful Roman mosaic under his feet.

It's chipping away, isn't it? And that's the sort of activity that makes me feel like a tidy person. Get this: that's exactly what this blog does for me. By putting down some of these silly considerations and ruminations, I'm sort of recycling them out of the clutter of my brain. These 'Letters from Claptonia' are as much a part of the whole tidying process as bin day or a run to the Post Office with arms weighed down by eBay parcels. With each blog, I peel a fresh slice from my head and let it wander out there - perhaps, one day, to somebody who'll appreciate it.

It can't hurt. Maybe in time, I will even feel like this computer must do when the movies and music and pictures are all transferred onto discs. Imagine having all that new space...

So, please, be my guest. Take as much or as little as you want from these 'Letters from Claptonia'. I'm just having a bit of a clearout.

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