I spent a large part of this weekend chucking out memories. I suspect it’s easier when it’s not your memories that are being flung into a black garbage bag but we had cleared out Mum’s house and the sense of calm induced by large swathes of emptiness got us started on the 40 tonne of photographs we found in every drawer, box and shelf in the 2 bed over- 60’s unit. ‘Here’s that weird kid again, are you sure you don’t know who he is?’ says me holding up a photo. ‘Biff it!’ comes from my brother other side of the table and my husband groans a little from his chair knowing he’ll have to look through even more photos now before he takes them all to the dump. He thinks I don’t know he’s doing it but I am keeping a close eye on him. I understand that he has the interests of a wider world at heart and is looking for photographs of old racing cars and other “important history” but I also know that he is better at retrieving than relieving and right now I can’t bear the sight of any more bad photo’s of my father in various states of inebriation. Dad had the drinking habits of a monk but occasionally he’d let the wild Scotsman out and someone always thought it was a good idea to record him looking like every other drunk on the planet. All photo’s of him wearing shorts are also biffed and many of the ones where the shirts were optional. I’d have also thrown out any photo’s of women during the 80’s but everyone is still alive and who knows when they’ll need something for the funeral. But we did biff many, many groups of nameless elderly ladies and the weddings of people we never knew. The black and white ones stop us though. A picture of the lamb in the pram reminds me that story was true and omg how skinny were my legs? I carefully pile these memories far away from the ugly babies who are going to the dump and I try not to think about what will happen to them in the future when I’ve forgotten where they are. It makes me happy that I am giving some to my sister. She will probably burn them and one day in a fit of mad Maree Kondo’ness I may follow suit but it’s a new week now and I’ve turned my attention to books. Our books. Already I’ve gone through my husband’s book shelves and thrown out the ones I don’t like.