This is a good time to start a blog, as we begin to turn our garage into a writing room for me. It’s a thing I’ve hankered after, for as long as I can remember, but in a busy house, packed to the rafters with people and their stuff, it never seemed feasible. The garage is our overflow space. But recently we found woodworm out there, then the roof started to leak. I can take a hint as well as the next person – if we have to take everything out, treat the wood and change the roof, we might as well add a floor, bookshelves and a few electric sockets while we’re at it. The skip has arrived. The clearing has begun.
This process is sure to disturb more dust, cobwebs and ghosts of former lives than any sane person would want. A quick survey of the junk that has to be cleared: stuff that came back with us from the US, twenty years ago. Warped vinyls, toys, a school trunk. Fossils (literally). An inordinate number of boots, not all in pairs. A crate full of rackets, balls, kites, buckets and spades. A wicker rocking dog. And behind the toolbox, the old tins of paint, the rollers and the trays: boxes and boxes of old notes, drafts, unfinished stories, notes from a previous academic life, an abandoned Ph.D. What should I do: read through them? Salvage some? Or take the plunge and junk them without looking?