There is still so much to do at my father’s house. Superficially all looks just the same and I go from time to time to do a bit more “sorting”.
When I open the door I often imagine I will hear “Hello love, marvelous to see you”, his customary greeting and when I stay overnight I rewind the Grandfather clock, because to sleep in the empty house without its comforting tick, tock and chime would be unbearable. As far back as I can remember the clock has marked our minutes, hours, days and years.
I go back to try and sort a few more things, bring a few useful and familiar items back to the ugly bungalow and I try hard to throw a few things away. I am failing badly here. It is all made more difficult because Dad made notes on everything. On things, in things, about thing and under things. Little notes, in his increasingly shaky handwriting with descriptions, optimistic valuations, dimensions and dates, turn up everywhere. I moved an old radio which was almost rooted to the kitchen shelf .. and sure enough underneath is a little note. On it is written dimensions and frequencies. It has not been looked at for years.
Then upstairs there are still the old photos. They are in 2 shoeboxes, with makeshift cardboard dividers cut from old packaging, and in old used envelopes, all roughly titled:… “Frank”, (Dads brother) “Our family”, “Other People”,” Joyce’s family”, “Holidays abroad” etc, etc. My sister and I have poured over them and put them back.
When I was last home I found a slender unmarked envelope containing just a few old holiday snaps. I had missed it before but, inside it, was this! Faded, and of course just about the only thing in the house without a note or a date or anything…it’s a little Polaroid, taken years ago. It must have been in the 1970’s.
It’s Mum and Dad.. Beekeepers! It made me smile..
I also found one of the beekeeping suits.. I am keeping it .. just in case!