In order to achieve the life, we are looking for, its no small task to 'extricate' ourselves from the old one. A life of accumulating material possessions, that just won't fit 'up north' and a house needing selling have turned me back into Rodney...
When I was younger, my Father and I were referred to as Del Boy and Rodney, by those who knew us. My Father was always a Wheeler Dealer and could "sell snow to the Eskimos". Whether it was furniture from the recycling centre (referred to as the Dump, in those days), some weird and wonderful ornament from the local Car Boot Sale, or (and these were his preferred wares) cars "needing a bit of tidying up'.
I didn't really get involved in the 'family business' until I reached 17 and needed a car. In my first two years of motoring, I'd had about 25 different makes and models! Then, sadly, I discovered finance and was suckered into the rat race fully - by working to pay for the car, that I needed have, to get to work. I grew up and out (of my Dad's house, not my waist thankfully) and left the 'market'.
So, just this week we have been sorting though the years of 'collecting'. Emptying the loft - most of which appeared to be boxes full of boxes, with a couple more boxes in those - kind of like a cardboard Russian doll scenario. And clearing out corners of rarely used cupboards. Leaving us with a number of 'piles': to recycle/throw/give away, to car boot (for a maximum of 20p I suspect), and to sell. Its the third 'pile' I have been concentrating on this week and its taken me back to my Rodney era.
Its amazing just what a person ends up hoarding. In less than a week I have sold an old digital camera, an old stereo, some computer speakers and a Wii Fit thingy. Plenty more to go though. Of course, times have changed. Its all going on through Facebook and Ebay now; so no running through the streets with the oversized suitcase any more.
I just wish I could get the car shifted. Its weird that in the 'old days', when there was no Gumtree, Auto Trader, and the like, cars seemed to sell to the guy down the street; just through word of mouth, or a small ad in the local paper. Maybe I've just lost my touch or, more likely, its the fact that Del Boy isn't around anymore, to give me the encouragement he used to...
Rodney: Er... well... I'm a good salesman.
Del Boy: Do me a favour, Rodney! You couldn't flog a black cat to a witch!
Another large part of the extrication process is the house. Its a great house, but there are a few bits needing to be tidied up. You know the ones... Those little jobs you tell yourself you'll fix "when you have time"; but that then never get done. And it doesn't matter, as only you'll see them anyway. Until, that is, you start having 'viewings'.
There's nothing like a 'viewing' to install fear, trepidation and panic into a (slightly untidy) homeowner! Its almost always "they would like to come and see it in about an hour" too. You want to tell the Estate Agent that it looks like its just been burgled and could you have few more minutes, but you don't want the prospective buyer moving on to the next place. So, its all hands to the pumps and getting it as close to a show home as possible.
But, what about those little jobs referred to? Yes, it looks neat and tidy, tidy and neat (Mr Messy) but there's still the ripped and chewed bottom carpet step - thanks Bruce.
So, also this week, amidst the wheeling and dealing, those jobs have been sorted and started. The said stair carpet is in progress, but I'm cheating - sorry, I mean I'm being 'creative'. Trying to get a small piece of carpet, to match, and not have to pay for a roll, that would fit a small room in Buckingham Palace, seems pretty much impossible. This has led to taking the damaged carpet away, on the bottom step with the plan to just keep it wood, paint it and then stencil "Naughty Step" on it.
This idea has some founding in the fact that, even though they are all grown up now, the kids can still use it; probably not as much as me though! Its due to this that I found myself, sneakily, printing and cutting out the lettering, in work this morning - leading to a certain amount of irony - naughtily cutting out the words Naughty Step.
Its surprising how much work and time changing lives entails - at both ends of the journey. And if anyone out there is looking for that special item, a nice car or house, we'll be in the Market with our suitcase - Lovely Jubbley!
Trigger: "If it's a girl they're gonna name it Sigourney, after the actress. And if it's a boy they're gonna name him Rodney, after Dave."
RIP Roger Lloyd Pack.