Doing away with the past

These blog posts are getting father and farther apart, and there’s clearly been no improvement (or reversion) here on WordPress, as I still have to use an awkward workaround to even have the “classic” toolbar visible while I write this… but I’ll be talking today about saying goodbye to old things, something I very likely will do with this blog by the end of this year, as I once vowed to do if I finally found someone (though I can’t find it here, and searching through old posts is difficult anyway with the current interface).

All the years I’ve been clinging on to possessions, or simply leaving them out of sight and out of mind, seem to be coming to an end: I helped my mother dispose of a lot of relics from our flat in Worthing, including my old school and university notes, folders of ancient Transformers comics (hole-punched and thus worthless anyway), and even the Lego I grew up with, which meant a certain cathartic moment when I demolished a large tank I’d built for action figures in the early 1990s.  We’ve disposed of other old furniture (including an exercise bike we’ve had for at least two house moves) and household goods (LPs and Christmas trees), and replaced appliances in the kitchen with newer models (though the size of the new fridge meant destructive work had to be done on the surrounding pannelling).

Hopefully we can clear out enough that selling the place and moving on will be easier when the time comes… when my grandmother finally leaves this world peacefully, and no longer needs care.  However, the sad irony is that she’s been the source of income for our household for the past few years: her pension (and that of her husband), combined with the carer’s allowance paid to my mother — and the former will end with her death, while the latter is already suspended due to her being in hospital as her condition worsens.  My mother can’t officially retire for another couple of years, which means she’ll have to find work of her own — but unless she’s lucky to work from home, who’ll look after the dog during the day?

I’ll be back homeworking again soon (though getting assessed by an occupational therapist took patience), a mere six months after entering surgery, and they’ll be happy for me to be back (they say) — but if possible, I’ll be moving back to Worthing just so I can contribute to the household there, and more importantly, leave this rented place in Finchley behind forever.  I’ve lived here for nearly TEN YEARS, longer than literally any other house in my life (the longest time I spent physically living in the Worthing flat was the three academic years 2000-2003, between my undergrad and postgrad days), and I’ve had enough.

Commuting from our Worthing home to Oxford Circus would be horrendous (worse than the 90-minute each-way commute I had to endure for that unpaid 6-week internship in 2014), so I’d be happy to continue homeworking; however, moving to Haywards Heath would be ideal, as I could commute much more easily if my workplace needed me onsite, and there’s also a local neurology hospital which I’ll almost certainly need in the future (I’m awaiting information about my most recent MRI scan, but hopefully this time no news is good news).  The price we’d get for the flat should certainly cover the deposit for a two-bedroom house there, and assuming all goes well with my IT career (and ageism is overcome), I should be able to pay the rest through a mortgage.

There are two new things in my life which I’ve implied above, and certainly want to keep.  I no longer have to think about Scraps, the dog I grew up with, thanks to Lola, the dog we rescued in late 2019 (and who misses me when I’m not there); and I no longer have to remember the girl I very briefly dated in Michigan in 1998, or any of the other women I got nowhere with over the intervening years, because although we’re currently separated by thousands of miles, I know I’ve found that special someone at university (a mere 20 years after graduating!), and we have every hope of being together here once the lockdown ends.

That’d be lovely if things worked out, wouldn’t it?  The four of us living in a house rather than a flat, closer to London but in an affordable area, leaving behind dismal Worthing forever… my mother and the dog, of course, would be like Frasier’s father and Eddie, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  I’ll miss my personal trainer, though since he’s been torturing me via Zoom for over a year now, maybe we’ll continue on that basis and not worry about me attending his gym (or the Castle Climbing Centre, which would take longer to get to and from than it does here).

Moving away from this old house would mean I have to sort out household bills, which is an ordeal in itself that I’ll go into another time, but suffice to say, E.ON still suck, and Affinity won’t take old names off our water bills unless we get their written permission — which is also the situation with TV Licensing, unless either our landlady can sort them out, or we can get our late landlord to give his approval via ouija board!

I’m not in a terrified rush like in late 2014, when it looked like my IT career was over before it had even begun, and I was desperately giving away as much as I could to charity to save bringing too much back to Worthing.  I’m still donating these days, but we’re talking more along the lines of collared shirts I haven’t needed to wear since 2015, and DVD movies I’ve replaced with Blu-rays!  I’m also gathering things to take to the dump (such as old electronics, a broken plastic shelf set, and ancient pairs of worn-out slippers), though I’ll need “best mate’s” help for that, when we can book a slot.

But no way am I donating my many music CDs, 24 DVDs or Judge Dredd collected comics to charity — they come with me wherever I go!  As does this ever-upgraded übercomputer, of course…

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