Sunday, December 23

Dead People's Stuff

Selling vintage treats with its air of gentle appreciation
is the best part of my Ted and Bunny business
because the "other side" is a lot more hard edged.

For many years we've done complete House Clearances-
collecting keys from solicitors or estate agents
and literally clearing a house and outbuildings of contents
and in doing so removing all traces of someones life.

The upside is that I never quite know what treasures
will be unearthed, hence my somewhat eclectic stock.

Being conscious that this was someones home
we've perfected an organised system
of sorting and disposing to ensure the days run smoothly
and the clearance is carried out in a respectful manner,
leaving a clean house on completion.

I'm ok with Dead People's Stuff
because call it recycling or upcyling or vintage or whatever,
 that's basically what the secondhand market contains.
When sorting through a house to clear in a business-like manner,
sentiment is an emotion that must be kept in check
and over the years I've learnt to do just that
until I find
the box of Christmas decorations in the loft.

Quietly they lay there.
A dusty cardboard box marked "DECS"
home to a million unknown memories.
Glass baubles, ancient tinsel and tattered paper chains
that served this family year in year out,
put away once again before twelfth night
with no knowledge that it would be the very last time,
and THAT is what gets to me
on every single clearance.

I yearn for a colour themed tree; something posh
something designer-ish, something serene.
In reality I have an homage to mis-matched kitsch
because from every box of decorations on every clearance
someone else's baubles still live on.
We didn't actually know Rita or Abe or Mrs Vinney
we never met the Harrises who went within days of eachother
or Miss Bush or Tom Baines or Jess and Jim
or a myriad of people who's names only remain on invoices,
but every year I feel they come together and collectively smile
because when their decorations were put away,
it actually wasn't for the very last time. . .

Wishing you all a peaceful, sentimental Christmas
with love


Hesta Nesta said...

What a lovely post Miss Bunny, I had quite a lump in my throat reading it. I love how people years ago treasured everything they owned even down to a box of Christmas baubles, they were put away carefully each year unlike our throwaway society now. I only use antique decorations on our tree and often wonder about all the Christmases past they would have seen. Have a wonderful Christmas and will see you next year.
Jo xx

Jaki Morris said...


The Cloth Shed said...

I have come over all emotional are so insightful.
Your last paragraph says it all...
With love too,
Julie x

Sue said...

How absolutely wonderful, you brought a tear or two to my eyes with that one.

Have a wonderful Chjristmas both of you.

Sue xx

Carol Dent said...

What a lovely post. It's funny, but that is exactly what happened to me with my Mum's christmas decorations. We have incorporated them into ours, and every one brings back a memory. We also have some from my dear but sadly departed in-laws, and those include some that my step-son loved as a child.

menopausalmusing said...

I hope someone like you clears my house when I shuffle off........
Happy, HAPPY Christmas Elaine.X

Country Cottage Chic said...

So many things are thrown away when someone dies, including things like Christmas decorations & old birthday & Christmas cards, old calendars & chocolate boxes etc. I consider it rescuing when I buy them. Someone had kept & treasured them for years & if we can treasure & use them for more years then all the better.

Wishing you a very merry Christmas & a fabulous 2013!


The Vintage Gardener said...

Quite a number of our Christmas decorations have been passed down from relatives and each year when I put them up, I always think of my aunties and uncles.

Lazy Daisy Jones said...

Oh now you have reduced me to tears...a lovely post.
Its exactly what I thought as i bought the knitted doll toilet roll cover yesterday at wimborne Market!!
wishing merry days to you and yours
Daisy XX

Susan McShannon-Monteith said...

Such a beautiful post, heartwarming and endearing.
Working for an auctioneer I too sometimes find it difficult to sort through one's lifetime of belongings and not be moved by the trinkets they treasured for all those decades even centuries...
If only they could talk, to share the tale of a delightful silk ribbon that was worn for a dance, the crumbling bouquet that walked down the aisle and the wee babes snuggled in those tiny jumpers that have long since passed on...
As the season of memories that fill our hearts and home draws near it is nice to share those of others as their little baubles shine and glitter hanging on the tree.
Wishing you and yours a very Happy Christmas ...

Susan x

Lynn said...

Lovely! Beautiful old things should live on forever and be cherished by another appreciative person. Happy Christmas.

BadPenny said...

I feel this so much working at the charity shop. We try to make people feel special with their donations which are sometimes sad.

My family Christmas decorations were lost forever after my parents separated & now I feel sad. I should have them. It has hit me hard this year. But I have my own decorations built up to enjoy with my children.

Happy Christmas xx

nilly said...

I love this post too - and totally agree with your sentiments. The thing that made me gasp was the title, "Dead People's Stuff". My ex used to use this exact expression with utter scorn, contempt and a snarly, curled lip. As with a lot of things, he completely missed the point!

Donna -Little Tiny Stitches said...

What a beautiful blog post, and what a wonderful lady you are!

Have the most splendid Christmas dear Bunny, and a most super New Year. :)

With love n hugs,
Donna xx

delia hornbook said...

Such a beautiful post you are such a sweet, kind and gentle lady i can't think of anyone better to pass on someones beloved items for them. Your post brought a lump to my throat because you think just the same as i do. I get so sentimental about vintage decorations to i have bought so many in the past few months for next to nothing and i love them for the christmass past they have shared and the new memories they will now have with me. Have a wonderful new year i hope its filled with magic, laughter and fun. Best wishes, dee xx

Vintage Jane said...

What a lovely post. I hope you had a lovely Christmastime and Happy New Year to you. M x

Related Posts with Thumbnails