Re hoarding (You be the judge, 2 December), going through my late father’s many, many boxes with several necessary bin liners at my side, I found a small envelope, sealed, slit open and carefully resealed with Sellotape. I could feel two tiny hard lumps inside it.
Across the envelope flap he’d pencilled “Contains small screw for fixing (possibly) sunglasses”. At some point he’d added a “2” and an “S” in black biro – “2 small screws”. There was also an asterisk in blue biro referring to a note at the side, “*Proves to be too small!” How could I possibly throw this away?
• Five years ago, I cleared the south Wales bungalow of my Aunt Muriel. In her bureau, I discovered a two-inch metal spike carefully placed in a small plastic pouch. An attached label in her schoolteacher script read: “The nail which punctured my tyre during the miners’ strike.”
• When my father died, my mother was able to take to the police station for disposal the tube of mustard gas he had been keeping since the first world war.
St Andrews, Fife
• On clearing his mother’s house after she died, a friend of mine found numerous different sized boxes in her kitchen cupboards, all of them neatly labelled. One said “String – too small to be of any use”.
Greenmount, Greater Manchester
• My late father had a tin labelled “Pieces of string too short to be of use”. I never understood whether this was just a joke, but it did contain bits of string.
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