The spare bedroom used to be my father's study. He had it set up as though it were the captain's cabin. The last vestiges of that conceit- a brassbound clock and barometer- made their exits today.
"He's not around to see," I say.
"Oh yes he is," says Ailz.
My father's erstwhile desk- actually a dining room table- divides in two halves. I've left one half in situ and moved the other into my mother's bedroom. On past form I don't expect her to notice.
How many paper knives does one family need?
What I'd like to do now is bring in the black bags and fill them- dozens of them- and cart them off to the charity shop- but this is my mother's stuff and I don't quite like to do it. I smuggle things out by dribs and drabs- but stop short of a massive, merciless, all-in-one clear out.