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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Clearing out one's youth

Not to be melodramatic about a spot of tidying, at all...

Things which one realises, when forced to clear out the shelves, that one did not need to keep for periods of between four and thirteen years:

Tickets and travel insurance policies from past holidays;
- leaflets from all museums etc visited on said holidays;
- programmes from every play and opera one's been to, kept in the expectation of reading them before watching later productions of said works and making intelligent comparisons between them, which has yet to happen...;
- Standard Grade Chemistry notes;
- actually, any Standard Grade notes;
- notes from a language course from a summer spent abroad, kept in the hope that one will one day use them to nail the Konjunktiv, even though by any reckoning this will be better done with a grammar book than with messy, not wholly accurate classroom notes;
- prospectuses and open day leaflets from all the universities one didn't go to;
- copies of one's UCAS form;
- notes on college interview procedure;
- letter inviting one to register with the college doctor;
- invoices for battels for every undergraduate term;
- fragmentary OICCU Bible study notes;
- illegal photocopies of the viola part for The Messiah and several British folk songs in easy string orchestra arrangement;
- a box which once contained Trivial Pursuits: The After Dinner Mint Edition...

The recycling people are going to be doing very well. Unless, of course, ours is a local authority which actually incinerates everything, but takes paper away in separate bins to make us feel better about ourselves.

I could, of course, have boxed it all up, attached a list of suggested thesis titles on The Late Twentieth-Century Scottish Female Adolescent Experience, and sent it to a university history/sociology department in the certain knowledge that a funding board in a few years time could not refuse cash for an easy, strictly limited, (boring) results-guaranteed research project... But I'm not sure that any of the local repositories would have taken it off my hands so easily...