Sunday, July 08, 2012

Excavations Up My Back Passage - An Introduction

I developed a pronounced desire to de-clutter whilst I was away on holiday, to such an extent that one of my first actions on returning home was to order a large skip. Perhaps it is a response to living in a small ship's cabin surrounded by only those objects I could fit into a suitcase, perhaps I have lost patience with a house that is almost bursting at the seams with the detritus of modern living. Whatever the reason, I am anxious to start a new phase in my life: a leaner, cleaner, meaner phase. Where better to start than with the small passage that runs down the side of the house where the roof plunges down towards ground level like Icarus with melted wings. This back passage can only be navigated by adopting a strange, Quasimodo-like gait, and therefore has become a dumping ground for all those things one no longer uses or needs but can't bring oneself to throw away. However, there is a tide in the affairs of man which taken at the flood leads on to a de-cluttered house. That tide is now. 

Before going away on holiday I set my digital TV recorder to record an episode of the archaeological programme Time Team (for those who don't know it, each episode features a group of enthusiastic experts digging up an old Roman villa or Anglo-Saxon long-house, or such like). Unfortunately I must have pressed the wrong button for I have now discovered the hard  disk contains 47 hour long episodes (they are constantly repeating various series on a variety of digital channels). Not liking waste, I am determined to sit through all 47 hours of excavations rather than just press the delete button, and this has engendered an enthusiasm for all things archaeological. The discipline of carefully removing layer after layer and painstakingly recording finds, however seemingly insignificant, has become part of my very nature, and it is a discipline I intent to make full use of over the coming weeks.

We are therefore proud to announce that the summer season here at News From Nowhere will feature a new twice-weekly series which has been provisionally titled "Excavations Up My Back Passage". The first episode will appear tomorrow : I bet you can hardly wait.

22 comments:

  1. Hmmmmm... It sounds like you need to turn archaeologist before you become a feature on the American TV show "Hoarders"!

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    1. haha..Roy..I was thinking the same thing!

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  2. You must wear a brightly coloured jumper when excavating.... oh, no, they sacked him, didn't they....

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  3. Does this classify you as an 'ancient Briton'?

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  4. Here in the States, an "excavation up my back passage" might be taken as a euphemism for a colonoscopy. But, I can clearly see that is not your intent, so I will go along for the ride and look forward to digging through the ephemera of your life with you. Sounds like a good time. I await Episode 1.

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  5. Of such are yard sales and flea markets born. Do you ship?

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  6. I think you are just setting a bad example for the rest of us. Here I was just sitting enjoying a nice cup of. . . . . .

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  7. I shall be following your decluttering with interest as personally I'm not very good at it ;)

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  8. I got bit by this bug about 6 years ago. You'll love it..it's addicting, satisfying, and liberating. Can't wait for the series!

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  9. We can all declutter. I have a garage full of stuff.

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  10. While my sexual orientation brought up odd images, given the title, I can tell you I am an expert at decluttering. Pity we don't live on the same side of the Atlantic. I will certainly enjoy the process as you rid yourself of unneeded baggage but do make sure to keep what is pertinent... and to know the difference between rubbish and keepsakes. This sounds SO exciting!!
    (In the GOOD way... as far as "back passage" goes!!)
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  11. I would really like to see the Quasimodo-like gait...

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  12. Every now and again I too get bitten by the de-cluttering bug. I recently squeezed into the cupboard above the stairs. Cannot report any exciting archeological finds though - a box of old cassette tapes (which I determinedly did not investigate or else I'd have been there all year reliving significant moments and relationships from the past) and an old electric blanket of dubious provenance being the most interesting discoveries. Both went to the tip! Good luck! It's a noble aim.

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  13. Good luck Alan. I know the feeling. We have been working at it the last five years. we sometimes list all the things we have got rid of. Then we look around and see all the junk we still have.

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  14. I need to do this too. When we moved to MN from CA finally in 2005, I had lots of room and had decluttered....what happened? Our home is very full, I acquired (inherited)lots of things that I could not let go and now the stuff feels too much. We just returned from 2 weeks on the road in our motor home where I managed quite nicely with way less stuff. Stuff, it is something we accumulate until it owns us!

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  15. PS We keep that because, you just never know when it might be something you need. I can almost guarantee that "as soon as you toss it you will have a need for it....such that you may have to purchase something to replace it..."

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  16. I hope that's a stock photo and not really your back stairs but in any case, can't wait to see what you dig out.

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  17. Oh, yes, I love looking at other people's stuff. And I especially want to know about that little lamb lying upside down.

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  18. I am certain that you will find some long forgotten treasures..but will you be strong and donate them or just pack them away again? I am a wimp. I have so much I should just sell some..good "stuff" treasures. In fact I bought another treasure at a Flea Market today...certainly there is a cure. I will watch for your post:)

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  19. Haha! All that Time Team to watch. I find the programme either unmissably enthralling or comically boring - the latter when they manage to spend half an hour not finding anything: episodes which lend themselves to Pythonesque parody. The Post in the Thames springs to mind. It might be in there somewhere, among the 47 hours!

    Looking forward to your excavations.

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  20. Well it sounds more interesting than a colonoscopy. You are on the way to becoming a minimalist, I hope you succeed and then tell me how to do it..

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  21. It is amazing what a vacation can cause so you want to change things. We use to spend vacations in a small cabin like place and we were always amazed as to how large our home was in comparison when we returned.

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