Saturday, June 03, 2017

Trees And The Titanic (Sepia Saturday 370)

I have spent most of the day rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic - which is a good description of the process of tidying my room. The drive to undertake such a task is stimulated by a variety of factors - my man-flu inspired recognition of mortality, the impending arrival of a rubbish skip, and the fact that it has become increasingly difficult to gain access to, and egress from, the room. The process involves moving piles of books, papers, old photographs, and miscellaneous detritus from one location to another, in the vague hope that a small percentage can be consigned to the rubbish bin. I have to confess that I occasionally dream that I have discovered an unknown room in our house, a room so empty it demands to by filled by row after row, stack upon stack, of large plastic boxes. I can consign everything I own - books, papers, gadgets, pens, stickers, copper coins from British East Africa, the odd annoying relative - into such boxes and lay them to rest in that room. I would then take one box out at a time, bring it to my room (which, of course, would be as clean and uncluttered as a Pathologist's dissection room), and examine each object at leisure. I could roll the East African Shilling around in my hand and feel its satisfying weight, I could re-read The Name of the Rose, rediscover the joys of my electric pencil sharpener, and have a satisfying conversation with Cousin Stanley.

In mid-sort, I remembered that I hadn't posted my Sepia Saturday submission this week. I am sure that I have a perfect match for the theme somewhere, but given the current state of the Titanic deckchairs, I will have to go with a couple of old shots of mine which feature trees. The first photograph is of someone felling a tree - but for the life of me I can't remember who it was! I am normally fairly good at remembering photographs I too forty or fifty years ago - whilst at the same time not being able to remember what time I arranged to meet my wife at the shops - but on this occasion I am at a loss. I can only hope that the tree-feller was a friend of mine who is still around and my well find this photograph after doing a Google search for "pictures of me when I was young and used to chop trees down". In which case I invite them to drop me a line and let me know how they are going on.

I know exactly where my second photograph was taken - it was the junction of Briggate and Saddleworth Road in Elland, West Yorkshire. It shows an old mill chimney which, at some time, has been truncated for safety reasons. I assume the tree has grown at the top of the chimney, but I can't seem to get rid of the thought that within the remaining chimney a tall tree trunk grows.



  1. Great stuff Alan- good luck with the de-cluttering. I felt sure your wonderful postcard of The Major Oak and its guardian wouldp op up here.

  2. Nice shot of the tree-chopping.

    And I know all too well what it's like to try to eliminate stuff accumulated during many years of living. I have a lot of things that nobody will wish to inherit!

  3. Two great photos - I remember seeing trees growing out of the roofs and chimneys in derelict mill buildings in the Scottish Borders. Good luck with your decluttering - or did you find you just put everything back , albeit in a tidier fashion?

  4. The tree 'growing out of the chimney' is rather interesting. About the tidying - have you found, now, you can't find anything? That's usually what happens when you try to straighten things up. I was a typical teen - rarely cleaning my room. My mother would sigh on her way past my door & ask me to at least close it. Then on day I hit on a plan. While I was doing a rare tidying, I hid a substantial amount money in a couple of places figuring after a while I'd forget where I'd put it and there would come a time when I would need it and therefore, clean my room to find it. I have to admit I was surprised that it actually worked. :)

  5. I've got so many projects on the back burner, it's stacked like a chimney as well...and may soon have a tree growing out of it. I've been saddened by seeing trees starting to root in some gutters of older houses which aren't care for enough. Clutter? Me? I've got a great avoidance technique. Start something on line I really am interested in, and then start the "declutter activity" but leave both of them in the unfinished I spend a lot of my time going back and forth between them. Never finishing of course.

  6. My best and friend and I refer to what you are doing as sorting. We sort. This means we quickly get a pile of stuff which we then ponder over, piece by piece, until it's too late in the day to do anything about it so we put it back where it started. Now if we say to others we were sorting they will think we were gathering things to give to Goodwill or the Salvation Army store. Nope, just sorting through memories brought on by old things.

    Nice tree in the chimney. Must be a nightmare for Santa.

  7. I had a daffodil grow up through the base of a birdbath when the bowl had broken and fallen. Sorry, just can't compete with a tree in a chimney.

  8. I don't have quite as much clutter as I used to have because I moved last year. However,I still haven't tackled the paper shredding I should have done before I moved--the kind of papers you don't want someone to find in the trash.


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