So, I keep being struck by something that’s popped into my head as a vague thought now and then. And it’s hard to put into words, and being someone who hauled their worldly possessions across an ocean to settle in a new land – and was not particularly minimal about what she brought, it’s perhaps a quirk of me.
But I’m intrigued by the possessions that are quick-momentary purchase decisions, that end up being with you long term. Various random things bring this up for me, the nightshirts I’ve got which were bought because I was going into hospital back in 2001, and didn’t think my nekkid body wandering the hospital corridors was appropriate (it explicitly reminded you to bring nightwear). I’ve still got several of them – they don’t get a hard life, and so they’ve lasted well… and they weren’t anything special – just C&A’s least froofy ones, I think. But they’re comfy, and so until they disintegrate they’ll stay around.
And there’s the steel bowl that came from the now presumably long gone EuroCo Discount Store in Northfield – on the outskirts of Birmingham. I bought that because I wanted to make dinner with friends, and I didn’t have a mixing bowl when I got to university. It was probably £1, or thereabouts, is stainless steel, and not particularly anything that you’d make a huge effort to keep. It isn’t beautiful, but it is very functional. And it’s followed me since that decision.
The cutlery my mum bought me when I was going to university? Still mostly in service (one of the spoons has gone walkies). Until we got an induction stove, the pan she got me also was in use (I’m loathe to get rid of it, so I’ll get an adapter ring at some point).
The cruft of a lived life.
And I faintly wonder about the things I inherited from my dad. Was the soldering iron something he debated? Or just that he needed a soldering iron and that was the one in the shop. The Eagle multimeter – was that the best one he could afford that he saved up for? Or was it just that it was a convenient kit – I know he always commented that he wished he’d got a mirrored scale version.
What will survive me? What things that I’ve accrued will matter to someone after I’ve gone?