Have you got a loft? And have you any idea what’s up there? Is it a secret hoard of treasures you can’t bear to part with or is it a mystery world of crap you’d be glad to get rid of? I think we all know the answer.
We’re off on a big adventure soon. But before we flit we’re going to have to get rid of a lot of stuff we never use.
I used to skip past articles that talked about ‘decluttering’. But last week I typed it into Google.
The first link in my Search said ‘Transform your home into a permanently tidy, clutter-free space and be amazed at how your whole life changes.’
It was the blurb for a book called The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up by a Japanese, professional tidy-upper lady called Mari Kondo. It’s sold three million copies all over the world and made its author a multi-millionaire.
I didn’t immediately ‘Buy-With- 1-Click’ for one very good reason. Right next to it, on the screen, was another book with a much more provocative title: ‘The Life- Changing Magic Of Not Giving A F*** - How to stop spending time you don’t have doing things you don’t want to do with people you don’t like.’
Wowser! That’s one of the main reasons I love being a freelance. So I ordered it with the fastest click my click-weary fingers could manage.
I was so excited to read it that I was waiting at the door when the Amazon Prime guy turned up later that day. I fumbled it open and on the very first page I read:
“If this book’s title sounds familiar, congratulations! You haven’t been living under a rock, as The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up Has Climbed bestseller lists all over the world. Millions of people have discovered her two-step KonMari Method, discarding items that do not ‘spark joy’ and then organising the ones they have left.
“Well, let me tell you this little book works as advertised. It was almost - dare I say - magic.
“Within hours, I had KonMari’d my husband’s sock drawer, which involves getting rid of socks you don’t like and never wear, then refolding the rest to look like little soldiers standing to attention, so when you open the drawer, you can see all of them in one glance.”
Why she didn’t make her husband do it himself I’ll never know. But in a few minutes, much to my own and my wife’s amusement, I transformed MY sock drawer.
And boom! It was then I was hooked. The loft! Ours is tiny, full of junk we haven’t used since we stored it up there three years ago thinking ‘that’ll come in handy some day.’
Well, ‘some day’ never arrived and we can’t take any of it with us so its days are numbered.
We had the surveyor in yesterday to write a new Home Report for the property and he wanted a look up there. Once he’d left, I wanted a look up there too.
What would I find first? A boat. I found a freaking boat in my loft. Let me qualify that. It’s a boat/armchair/fishing vessel. It’s made from the inflatable inner tube of a lorry tyre.
In the States they call it a belly-boat. Over here, it’s a float tube. You inflate it then sit in it wearing sock waders with little rubber flippers on.
Out into the loch you wade until you can sit comfortably and paddle into deep water. Then you start flyfishing. It was made for me by a famous fly fisherman, the late great Steve Parton and it cost more than I care to admit here. But I only used it twice.
If you know me and you want it, you can have it. Same goes for anything else up there in Gerry’s Mysterious World Of Unwanted Crap.
Mmm, Humble pie, my favourite!
Last week I wrote a piece about violent neo-Nazi groups like the National Front, the Scottish Defence League, National Alliance and Combat 18, putting stickers covered in swastikas in the Kirkgate and on road signs on the way to Leith.
I also mentioned that I’d found hate speech on the Hibees Bounce website, posted, I assumed, by Hibs casuals. Ever since then, I’ve been getting my fair share of Roberta Flack. (As in “The first time ever I saw your face, I wanted to punch it.”)
If you were one of my critics you were right and I’m sorry for getting it wrong.
I’m a journalist, or at least a contributor, to an Edinburgh newspaper and I managed to seriously upset some of my fellow Hibs fans, not to mention the admin team and members at HibeesBounce. It was a careless piece of journalism and I regret it.
Here’s how it happened: before I sent my article in to the Editor, I thought I better check out the behaviour of the neo-Nazi groups I’d been writing about.
I typed ‘Combat 18’ into Google and the first link took me straight to a thread on HibeesBounce. I was so shocked at the racial slurs I saw, I wrongly assumed the posts were fresh and genuine. In fact, all the messages were put up on April Fool’s Day, 2008. What a total fanny I was not to smell a rat and check the date. What can I say? I come from a long line of fannies.
So to all the decent Hibs fans out there who have never made a racist remark in their puff, especially the HibeesBounce members and admin team who do so much unsung work to help refugees and charities like the Dniprokids appeal in Ukraine, I offer my sincere apology.
I was quick to make a private apology to HibeesBounce. I offered to meet them face to face to make peace. I’m delighted to hear they’ve taken those old posts down.
In my opinion, there’s no place for any kind of racist or pro-Nazi language on any football website, even if it’s posted as ‘banter’, even if there’s worse on other teams’ sites, which there undoubtedly is.
I’ve said I’m sorry. Now let’s all re-discover our sense of humour and get rid of the rhetoric on both sides.
That’s the Hibs way.