Thursday, August 21, 2008

Down and out in Hobart and Tasmania. Also, v2.0 6+1/40

I'm down in lovely old Hobart visiting my parents.

I really love this old town, but there is something about being in my old family home that just brings me down terribly. My parents own a beautiful old bungalow (a bit like this) with views of Mount Wellington (which today is covered in snow- more on that later) that is seriously enormous- it has seven bedrooms, a library, a huge eat-in kitchen plus a dining room with an open fire plus it's on a double block of land with established old silver birch trees and iris beds, with apricot, nectarine and plum trees. But, it is FULL of crap that they haven't thrown out.

They're not hoarders to a totally pathological stage, but just for example, my dad still has the plans for an extension on the house we lived in in Canberra... THIRTY YEARS AGO. Ok, maybe that's sentimental crap, but there's serious new crap too. Like mum always keeps any postbags or post tubes you send 'just in case'. There are just the two of them living here now (they did have a lodger- a law student who is today being admitted to the bar of the supreme court of Tasmania) but they run two fridges plus a chest freezer. About five years ago I rationalised mum's plastics cupboard and put all the excess takeaway containers, old lunchboxes and milkshake makers into a garbage bag, with the strict instructions that what she hadn't had to use in six months was to go to Vinnies. And as soon as I left home she... put it all back in the cupboard.

Granted there is a pile of stuff belonging to me and my siblings that we would be horrified if they threw out- my artworks from year 12, my old school blazer, various dollies and teddies- but again, about 5 years ago I went through my stuff and loaded what I didn't need into a bunch of boxes and marked them clearly to be taken to Vinnies. They're still in my cupboard!!

I'd love to help them. They still drive around in the V6 4.0L station wagon that guzzles 15L of petrol per 100km- and with petrol here about $1.60 a litre, that means, what, $96 for a return trip to Launceston- cheaper to fly- but they refuse to even consider looking for a smaller car. I'[d help my mum sort through her fabric scraps, but she refuses to part with them. Currently I'm sitting in my dad's...?study ?junk room ?train room ?godknowswhat that is literally filled with junk- paper, old maps, files, bits of wire- and a model train setup that is about three metres long and two metres wide- that doesn't even run properly. My sister and I used to share this room when we were little- there is easily enough room for both our beds, two chests of drawers, a dollhouse, several boxes of lego and all the other paraphenalia of childhood, but now you have to walk in sideways, dodging all the junk.

It wouldn't worry me so much if they actually used the stuff that was stored away, but I know for a fact that they have absolutely no idea what is in most of the stored crap. Like my mum's deep freeze- she never goes below the top layer (peas, three litre containers of milk- that's right, there's two of them- frozen bread, vege sausages) and when either me or my sister does a clean out, all the meat at the bottom is well past salvage. Yesterday I threw out some antihistamines that were- get this- 14 years past date. Mum said they weren't hers, but, srsly, after 14 years would you remember what pills you took for your hayfever that year?

It gets me down, and despite the weather today being sunny, crispand clear, I can't even motivate myself to be happy. It's time to go home.

I'll write about the snow when I get home and can get pictures (Dad says there's something wrong with the 'photo program' on his computer, and he won't let anyone- including my sister with an honours degree in information systems- try to sort it out.

Oh and v2.0 is ticking along fine. Nothing much. We have our first appointment with the lovely obstetrician in two weeks time. All my bloods checked out pretty good, good beta, etc etc. No news=good news.

2 Comments:

OpenID thetwinkle said...

sounds like parenting your parents at the same time as a toddler and a 1st trimester bellybean. you must be exhausted!

i have the same list of items in my parents' cupboard.

22/8/08 05:17  
Blogger E, M, and the Little Man said...

OMG I was just dealing with all that when I went to help my mother move last weekend. She absolutely would not let us just go through and get rid of crap - it had to be brought to her on a tray for perusal until she decided what was worth keeping (which in our minds, it wasn't). Maddening!! I can't tell you how many glass jars I recycled. Who needs that much crap?! What is it with the older generation?

22/8/08 12:53  

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