Sunday, 24 August 2008

What is the value of a book ...

... or a dresser, a table, handbag or a home ?

After reading the authorblog nominated blogger for post of the day by , I was left pondering. I remembered the books that l gave away to a charity when we moved in November, before down sizing from a rambling, good sized but never the less decrepit, farmhouse on a working farm. We moved for ALL the right reasons, the sensible, the practical and in part the motivational ones too!

However, for me there always seems to be a sense of loss when we move, I feel I leave a part of me behind. Of course we have the memories, the photos, but the living in the home where those memories took place is I find rather comforting. To know that some other family is living happily there is no consolation actually. Perhaps I, like many don't like change, but it is perpetual, it happens and that will never change.
My daughter is particularly sentimental about the old farmhouse. She would regularly take herself off into the next field, recently harvested or not, regardless of the season, usually at twilight, ipod in hand, dancing in the meadows, in a world of her own ... safe and secure. I wouldn't have to worry about her safety, though miles from anywhere ... my son would ride the local lanes on his bike, or they would both wander off with the dogs, oblivious to city life and its dangers all but a few miles away.

The barn owls are missed, they nested the 3rd year we were there in the out house, then in an old neglected barn. They stayed unusually for barn owls l'm told, all year, every year and were still there when we left. I worry about their safety. If the barn has been renovated, has their nest been preserved?

Barney our beloved Russell/Terrier died there in July '06, but somehow l know he is here in our new home, because he is in our hearts. It would be wretched to consider otherwise and in fact that the other day when l threw the ball for Pippa, I could have sworn l saw him out of the corner of my eye, l had to look twice and tell myself no...

We downsized to a renovated urban c1970s bungalow, a 10 minute walk to the Museum, the kids school and city centre, a BIG change for us all who until then had commuted back and forth from farmhouse to city, 2-4 times a day, a 30 mile round trip each time!

We now live in a clean, well maintained house, a well looked after and well stocked garden, two greenhouses and we have settled well into our new life and new routines.

However, with nowhere to display, store or hide my vast collection of books (which had been devastated by the move of '96, whereby l gave away or sold 700 of them!) nor my antique & vintage handbag collection, usually displayed in deco glass cabinets and nor my vast selection vintage clothing stocks, which l sell online on my specialist website, another passion! I trimmed no strike that, I halved all but the handbag collection, telling myself it was for the greater good (my family's sanity and comfort).

I couldn't get my head around the collection of and charges at the city auction house, to transport and sell on the larger pieces of brown furniture. Including an adored 1920's dressing table, a '70s welsh dresser and other items that looked great in the old farmhouse, but sadly a bit tatty and incongruous in the modern-ish bungalow. So l gave them away through our local Internet recycling site, which gave me a sense of satifaction, but the niggles are creeping back in again.

With the books l will remember a title that l want to read again or research and I think bugger! that one's a goner!

I know that things aren't important, I know it's considered shallow to get attached to material things but if they are beautiful, what's wrong with wanting to and yes in my case hoard them and keep them close?
Like a much loved dog, they don't answer back or disappoint you, they can't hurt you, or betray or let you down. Maybe it's playing safe ... but there is comfort in these loved and familiar inanimate belongings.

So I'm with and I shall try and moderate my regret and I'll stick with what I like but hoard any replacements in moderation!


  1. That farm house you left....that is my dream!! I dream of escape from the suburbs and that is where I want to go.
    I'm with you on the books. I can never get rid of one unless I failed to enjoy even the first page. And as for vintage handbags? Well if you have anymore to get rid of then feel free to lob them in my direction. Perhaps they can fill up my beloved farm house, if ever I get there:)

  2. Sorry, but I could not leave a farmhouse for a 1970s bungalow. We are just coming towards the end of doing up two Victorian farm workers cottages that have been knocked into one cottage.

    Books can be a difficult issue. Buy some more if you need to. As for hand bags, well you can only use one at a time.

  3. I agree with you both! BUT not all the choices we face in life are welcomed or wanted, it was a 'fait a complis'. We had no choice on this one, so after 9 lovely years in the farmhouse, we just had to bite the bullet through gritted teeth, if you get my meaning!

    Does anyone really have control of ones destiny...l don't think so!

    One day I would like a country life again...


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