"let your boat of life be light, packed with only
what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, someone to love and someone to love you,
enough to eat and enough to wear
and a little more than enough to drink:
for thirst is a dangerous thing"

Saturday, 1 February 2014

when the landlady and the mother collide

The hottest week of the year has been spent getting Albion Road ready for new tenants.  It has been 8 years since I moved out and left Gareth and Nic behind with various combinations of friends and digs mates. 

Gareth has not been there for many years but his legacy lives on. Bookshelves filled with books, over 800 CD's including the complete Bob Dylan collection, cupboards filled with tents, cooler bags and cricket kit, suitcases filled with clothing and a brass bell. 

Nic lived there until he left for Pretoria in January but he had not really 'lived there' as for the last four months he had moved in with Michael and I because of his knee injury.  Not making excuses for him, he could have made a bit more of an effort to sort out his room. He has left behind 7 years of university notes, a cluttered desk (4 staplers!!), 3 guitars, enough odd socks to 'clothe' every one legged man in the world, more books, more CD's, 22 moleskin notebooks, dirty rugby boots and so much more.

And then the housemates.  

James has left behind a beautifully constructed loft bed (in what was my lounge). The loft bed is unusual in that it incorporates an indoor vertical garden.  James has been a great tenant who has shown initiative.  He planted a chili garden and some roses. He managed to get a grenadilla creeper to creep around the courtyard, up poles and along fairy lights (it is however now a dead grenadilla creeper).  So he has left his mark together with some weird art and a handmade steel lamp (and his loft bed).

Kenny - Kenny has left an amazing piece of furniture which Nic was using as a desk.  This beautiful table, I don't think will be able to get out of the bedroom and how it got in would have taken James's engineering brain, lots of manpower and perhaps even the removal of the bedroom door and the table legs. Kenny has left a huge coffin containing cricket kit (I hope), a fancy Bishops ski jacket and a moth-eaten Melton school cricket cap.

Bob - He left the most interesting discovery. An unopened bubble wrapped parcel from a courier company.  It sparked my interest and took quite an effort on my part to open it.  In it were samples of dried fruit and nuts (and a few hundred ants). Mulberries, sour cherries, raisins, Brazil nuts and apricots, all in zip lock bags.  The mulberries were unidentifiable except for the label, the nuts were powdery, the cherries had ants and the dried apricots, the best I have ever tasted.  Bob also left stationery and promotional material  from a well known wine farm, a few Dale Carnegie certificates of excellence and a chest deep freeze.

Christopher. He chose to live in the small room over a guest suite at Steenberg, he came with not much at all but left behind 4 pairs of various different shades of "stone" imported chinos (one ripped from crotch to toe) and a laminated sign reading '8 Maids-a-Milking'.

Then there was Dane and Tim and Grant (who all still have either beer mugs, coffee cups, maps, books or marked socks left behind) and a weird vegan girl who lived with the boys last year.  She left owing some money for rent and James decided to hold the inside workings of her Russell Hobbs steamer as co-lateral. That too remains.

So Albertina, Patricia and I have sorted out the house. The new tenants arrive this morning.  Chris's 'small' room is now the storage room and is now locked and bolted.  It contains the books, cricket kit, guitars, guitar stands, tumble driers, a bed, fridges and freezers.

I have had much fun bringing home the contents of the man-drawers from the desks.  I have thrown away the rubbish and put the rest back in a box, which will be taken back to Albion Road today. Out of the 92 pens, I have found 18 perfect ones, 6 staplers, rulers, too many keys to mention, old wallets, debit cards and a whole lot more.  I am keeping the working pens and 1 of the fancy staplers.

I have found some interesting photographs (some of which have been thrown away to avoid embarrassment) but so many of which have brought back lovely memories of special times at Albion Road.  There are notes, cards and letters sent from two younger brothers who were missing their big brother in London. There are specially made CD's made by the big brother in London and sent to the younger brothers with set lists of songs that were played at certain concerts.

To illustrate my point:-

Our first themed Christmas:-

The "Concert" drawer:-

The "Man Drawer":-

Aubrey's house keys?, more keys, locks, headache tablets, tickets, old watches, always foreign currency and a bicycle puncture kit!!

A love letter:-

Had you worried hey?

Some of the books which I either want back or to read:-

An interesting week in the heat which surprisingly was more pleasure than pain.  

Pictures of Albion Road to follow.  I know you are dying to see the indoor vertical garden!

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