Saturday, January 27, 2018

The big wardrobe clean out

This is not a proper post about the big wardrobe clean up, but part of it was shredding Mother's letters, dating back to the late 1980s. Her letters turned into 7 large garbage bags of shredded paper. It would take a long time to reread them, and I didn't but a couple grabbed my attention.

In 1988 Sister turned 21 and Mother bought her a marquesite? watch for $180 and the cake for her birthday party cost $70.


Somewhat related to Cro's recent post, an aerogram. Mother is a good speller, and I don't know why she continually spells address wrongly. Maybe there is some history to the spelling of address. Wal is my late father. Hew was staying with us while he underwent cancer treatment at a large metropolitan hospital. This written above the usual greeting salutations grabbed my attention.


I just loved Vienna, and so it seems did Sister. You've never had apple strudel until you have had it in Vienna with vanilla sauce, aka a thin custard. What happened in Romania in 1991? Was that when Ceausescu was killed? Or the orphanage scandal? Were Romanians revolting? Joan Kirner was a former Victorian State Premier.


Mother redecorated Sister's bedroom while Sister was swanning about Europe. I am amused about the falling books. 


Yes, all that history has been shredded. Mother wrote honest and personal letters to me and us and no doubt there was something in them that would have offended, hurt or embarrassed all family members. They are goned. 

26 comments:

  1. It must have been hard to shred all that history. I'm wondering who i can trust to burn my diaries without reading them. The only person i can think of so far is myself.

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    1. Marie, it was hard. I know there was a heap of family history in them. Yes, I am clearing the decks of my history, as well as Mother's letters. It rather depends on how personal you were with your diaries. I reckon your children would think it was a shame if you did destroy them, but who knows what you wrote about them?

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    2. Ok Marie, I will make the magnanimous gesture, so post them to me and I will destroy them, but I simply cannot promise to not read them. She did what! Him of all people!

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  2. I am not a hoarder, except for letters, post cards and photos.

    When Ceaușescu was executed in 1989, people breathed a sigh of relief that the brutal dictator was dead. But I wonder if they were totally trusting in Romania's future, by the time your mum was there only two years later.

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    1. Good Lord Hels, not my Mother. She was the recipient of the letters and cards from Sister who was travelling. Mother did cross the border once on her honeymoon into NSW, but that as far as she has ever been.

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  3. I am pleased that you held your mother in great esteem.. My three siblings and myself were dumped into Barnardo's or adopted'. I was the only one to try and make up for the past, it was a waste of time.

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    1. Vest, I suppose I do. She is a troublesome woman now, but she was not always like she now is. I do remember your childhood details from your book and I thank you so much for sending it to me.

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  4. I can picture the books sliding off the bed whilst she was 1/2 under the bookcase shelf - it's something I would do LOL.
    Lore of the net ...it's not hoarding if it's books ;)

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    1. Oh Jayne, she was a mistress at doing such things. Falling down the cinema aile, dropping Jaffas, getting out of control when going down a sand dune and running into a tree. I like you lore of the net. One day I will be brave and get rid of all books I have no intention of reading again. We have done huge book culls. Sister never has. How many bookshelves does she have!

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  5. Always good to shred writings of a personal nature it does take some time though.
    My late father always said, 'don't write anything down that could be used against you in the future'.

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    1. Margaret, you father was wise. R has something hidden away that I once wrote to him. I should not have put pen to paper.

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  6. Anonymous2:15 pm

    I'm not a fan of destroying letters, especially letters which have already been kept so long. They are bound to be interesting some day and by then the trail surely too cold (and at least one of the correspondents too dead) to cause offence.

    Anyway, you've done it now.

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    1. Marcellous, all sorts of things were taken into consideration before I did this, and it really did pain me to shred. Firstly just the sheer number of the letters. No one would go through them all except an historian who was writing Mother's biography, and no one will as it not that interesting to anyone else but family. My sister will be the one who sorts out my things when I die. She is ten years my junior, sports mad and a fitness fanatic and professionally employed. I am none of those and I will die first. Generally in my family, I am the oldest and I will die first and while I did not look, I am sure there are too many things written that would hurt and offend.

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  7. 'Adresse' in French is spelled with one 'd'; maybe she'd been influenced by that.

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    1. Cro, maybe it could be a French influence. She would have learnt French at school. It is weird as she normally does not spell wrongly. I must check old spelling of address.

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  8. I used to own a paper shredder and burned out the motor when shredding things I no longer needed from a previous address, eventually bought another and the same thing happened. I didn't have a lot to shred, mostly bills and receipts, so I'm disappointed at the burnouts. I'd like a shredder that lasts, and one that makes confetti instead of strips. Do you know of such a machine?

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    1. River, we are on our third shredder. We are so important that we need to shred and not let stuff with our names on it go into landfill. The first one we burnt out the motor. The second, R stripped the cog wheels by overloading it. This one makes confetti and while it shuts down for a rest if it is shredding a lot, we have had it a few years and it is good. (Put on spectacles, turn on the big lights and look at machine). Rexel, 50X. I think it came from Officeworks but after I was cross with R for overloading the last one, he paid for this one, so I don't know how much it cost. Does Coles still own Officeworks? Do you get a former staff member discount?

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    2. I think Coles does still own Officeworks, but I no longer get a discount. That cuts out after you've been gone for three months. Lifetime workers I believe still get a discount, those that are there 25 or 30 years I think. Shutting down during excessive shredding is a common feature, they all do that, even some vacuum cleaners do it. And my dvd player.

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  9. I've painted bookshelves in the past and always stood them upside down to paint the undersides of shelves first, then turned them right way up once the shelves were dry to do the rest of the job.

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    1. River, that is far too sensible for my mother who must turn things into a drama. I would only paint the underside of bookcase shelves above one metre. No one will ever see the underside of the bottom ones. No, I don't vacuum under my bed either, unless it is moved for painting or whatever.

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    2. I vacuum under my bed because the build up of fluff and cat hair is just too much to leave it.

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  10. I probably would have read them all, and then decided not to shred them. I don't have much from my past, only a few photos, one shoebox of memories from my past. When I die there is no one to want anything, that is one good thing, there will be no fighting over anything, as everything I own was second hand to start with. I ran into a photo of a car I had in the lat 90's, bought for $200 and my brother and his son decided to spray paint it once. I stuck it in a frame when I found it. You could frame a letter or two, I've seen people do that.

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    1. Strayer, that is probably what the real me would do, sit down and read them all. But, I forced myself to be ruthless. I expect at least one of your relatives will enjoy going through your shoebox.

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  11. Is marquesite still around? I never go near jewellery stores these days...haven't done so in years...I've not clue!

    Such a shame all the letters met their fate with the shredder...but in the name of keeping the peace.... :)

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    1. I've no idea Lee. Glomesh has gone broke. Maybe marquestie is in hiatus and will return. Keeping peace between my sister and her partner, and R is my role in life.

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  12. Oh you could have kept a couple of them surely Andrew?

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