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Buried by the clutter mountain; SIX in the City.


LAST night I was determined to get at the last bit of Christmas tinsel which has been stubbornly stuck with sellotape on the front room ceiling since the first day of December, when the festivities were still a far-away dream. The only way to get said tinsel down was with the big stepladders, which were stuck behind all the boxes in the cellar, so there was the dreaded lugging of boxes of things before I could even make a start.

The top box was packed with what I can only call lost property.

On the top satapair of reading glasses left in my car by someone I have not seen for almost two years and have completely lost touch with.

Yes, I know I should chuck them out, but I can't help thinking it's the height of rudeness to throw someone else's glasses away.

So I keep them, alongwith a collection of assorted items - one redwoolly hat, a pair of thick warm socks, ayo-yoand a copy of Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy.

They are joined by a collection around the hat-stand in the hall by a pair of walking boots (size7), two purple scarves, a kite, a rolling pin in a carrier bagand at least three umbrellas (all of which have spokes coming adrift).

None of these things belong tome, but I leave them where they are inthe hope that one day their owner will return to claim them.

The difficult thing is that once something has been somewhere for a few weeks, it sort of belongs there.

One by one, an army of odd objects has entered my house, and I am powerless against them. It's that terrible drip effect that wears away mountains.

Then of course, I'veal so got the sea of objects that are just a bit broken to deal with. They'reall in a boxmarked 'fix me', sitting miserably in the cellar.

One of these days I really will get around to mending them, but for nowthey mount up, along with things which belong in pairs but that I have lost the other one of.

Socks, earrings, shoes - I'vegot the lot, andwhen they turn up I'll be glad I'd saved its partner.

Inthe next boxwasapile of old junkmail.

I'm fast becoming a victim of identity fraud, but not in the conventional sense. What I'm really a victim of is fear of identity fraud.

I now refuse to throw any thing away with my name on it. Now I keep it all until I get round to buying a shredder, which I will do, just as soon as I've looked in whichever back issue of amagazine had the product test on which was the best.

It's the height of rudeness to throw someone else's glasses away
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Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 3, 2007
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