Today I had a difficult decision to make. Next week, two friends who are very valuable and important to me want to come for the weekend but this is not finally fixed. I’ve also been told about a biodynamic conference, the first of its type, which will take place in a rural farm situation and will be one of those full weekend affairs from Friday evening to Monday morning. I’m very tempted by this. You have to bring your own cooking provisions and camping though their will be a communal meal served in the afternoon. BUT
My problem is when talking to the very friendly lady who is coordinating it I realized that I do not ‘do’ camping. I normally need to get up once or twice a night and I really don’t fancy this going from a sleeping bag to stumbling around to find the loo if indeed I make it that far. They told me that there was a shepherd’s hut available and they would find out the price. Just to give you a perspective the daily charges are 25 pounds per person plus 10 pounds for a tent so most people would pay 70 pounds.
I was told this morning that the rent for the shepherds hut would be 95 pounds a night. It contains a bed and a wood burning stove. Something about me said that this was way over the top. So the cost for us both would be 375 pounds. For comparison we looked around and found an airbnb property for 40 pounds which was only two and a half miles from the venue. I took into account that this is a new venture from the organisers point of view and although 40 people are coming I’m not sure whether it will succeed and be the sort of thing that I would be comfortable with. So it’s all about taking a risk, the perceived disadvantages as opposed to the perceived advantages. One of the advantages will be to meet with kindred spirits but I’m afraid the price of the accommodation and the unsuitability of tents made us finally decide against.
My goodness, there are phobias about so many things. The obvious ones are claustrophobia, agoraphobia but what about teratophobia which is the fear of giving birth to a monster, or spectrophobia which is a fear of Mirrors or even taphophobia which is fear of graves, or fear of being placed in a grave while still alive. It’s quite simple folks if you have a fear of something there is a medical condition to cover it.
I have a mild version of a hoarding disorder. There are many objects, technical objects or ordinary objects including books which though I do not need even from year to year I’m still reluctant to throw away but there comes a time when I have to face my condition if indeed it is a condition. I’m going to call it disposophobia.
In the past I found that if I give something away, the day after doing so I had a use for it and I wished I had not thrown it away. Maybe there is an answer for this, to have a fake dustbin that you put something in for a certain amount of time and then after some predetermined interval for example three months you really throw it away.
I have about 850 books and I have only recently resisted going into Amazon yet again to buy another book when I have so many half read books. Being a Gemini is a bit of a curse because you want to know a little about everything and I do not have the discipline of mind to read a book from cover to cover with certain exceptions when the books contents are so gripping that I have no alternative.
All my possessions, including my diaries from when I was at school from the age of five have a sentimental value to me and I do not wish to hand them over. I do in fact look at them occasionally to remind myself of my past but do they have any ‘use’ and would my life be the poorer if I were to divest myself of them? I confess that I have six pairs of almost identical boots, walking boots. I see them in a shop and forget that I already have some pairs and just buy another one because I like the look of them.
I also horde clothes. I’m not the world’s greatest fashionista so I tend to keep clothes until they disintegrate or become so unfashionable that even I hesitate before putting them on. It would be nice to be a monk because you wouldn’t have to worry about such things and you could put on the same tunic every day and feel in uniform.
I keep on saying that I must dedicate a week to discarding what I do not need and will not need for the foreseeable future. The problem is that I cannot foresee the future in terms of what I might need and I am not forgetting a shed full of tools.
I really need to sit down with a hoarding specialist to give me counseling sessions. When I watched hoarding programs on TV it is interesting that all the people with a hoarding problem have had traumas in their lives for example a divorce or a death of a loved one. I cannot think of anything in my own life that is tantamount to this but you never know. Maybe I am being to hard on myself. ‘Just get on with it, Brian’.
I need to do this because our bungalow is only so big and it is getting fuller and fuller of objects including the attic. I’m sure when I have done it, I will feel a certain sense of relief. Maybe I should have a yard sale as they say in America or garage sale as we say in the United Kingdom. Only the most unusable will go to the recycle.
My books are a special category. I love books. I love the look of them, I love holding them, I love the smell of new books, I love everything about them. Many of them have historical value but I no longer actually need them. The idea of taking them to the recycle is repugnant. I would take them to a second hand bookshop but it would have to be the right bookshop otherwise they could go out the back door. I have about 50 biographies and autobiographers. Some are more interesting than others, some are exhibitionistic and really have no value. I have Michael Parkinson’s autobiography, he died a few days ago may his soul rest in peace.
I suppose I need to ask myself, what will happen when I eventually pop my clogs (that’s the English way of saying dying). Should I make precautions now? Should I put it in my will? What is the least bad thing that could happen to my possessions?
I estimate there’s about a week’s worth of work if that includes considering what to do with each and every object. I recently met a woman whose aunt had died and it took them six weeks to clear the place and that was with the enthusiasm of their children who wanted a slice of the action.
Maybe I do things just a little bit at a time, a shelf, a draw, a small space. And also done I’ve just got to get on with it.
All I can say is, watch this space. My suspicion is that I will still delay but I will eventually realize that due to pressure of space I just have to get on with it.