24 June 2006

kitchen view of yard sale

Yard Sale!

I may run a mile from "Negotiating with Nippon", but I love a cleaning job from the bottom up.

The store room 'neath the kitchen has needed a going-over - and duude, we're talking a des res basement apartment-size space here, perfect for an illegal immigrant family on good speaking terms, or a bachelor curmudgeon (who? where? what?).

early view of window areaSo I pin up my Greek lesson cues on the walls and strip down to posing briefs and bare tan-needing pot-belly and start work.

First off, I am not alone.

My dear, the rats who've been living there rent-free, not to mention the skeletons of their ancestors; also dead birds and all sorts of creepy-crawlies and snakey thangs - all v sulky at being disturbed after 10-yrs' spongeing off mama.

Out they slither or run, to be met by Sam posing as hunting dawg, who scampers after them with convincing yelps and hollers.

Benefits of Ignorance: I know nowt about what's to be kept, so out it all goes for a Yard Sale to be presided over by Yours Truly and a brace of Yorkshire Lassies who 'know about these things'.

There's also a gang of cowboy recyclers who turn up, cast an eye over the junk, offer you 17/6 for the lot and off they tootle.

patio viewIt's actually huge fun and I've unearthed all sorts of goodies from way back:

  • Complete sets of porcelain from when Mum packed up to leave Hong Kong in late 1970s, cheapo stuff then, totally out of production now and worth tons
  • About 200 vinyl LPs packed to last and never opened - Lehrer, Burl Ives, all those stereo experimentals; Charlie Kunz; all my Elvis I thought Dad had ceremonially pyred
  • All them Rodgers & Hammerstein et al the old folks grooved to;
  • Paul Robeson, Hank W snr (was there ever another?), Harry Lauder, Platters, Tommy Steele, Bert Weedon, Al 'Golden Guitar' Caiola, George Formby (naughty ukelele wizard - "When I'm Cleaning Windows", yeh?
  • Veritable treasure trove.
  • upper viewDad's old golf clubs, plus a titchy notebook with his precise notages:

    "Jul 12. 1530hrs. Light fair. Long shot to #15th. Wood, aim 2 o'clock bushy top tree left of yellow house."

    "Friendly 4some. Self, P vs TD and L. T unreliable on sand and water shots. Conceded water but accompanied him to next sand shot."

    If that's not nailing a guy for cheating, swallows don't dive to drink from the pool.

    chests in placeI have nothing of my father's by way of his writing and now I do.

    Is not all golf: even on the fairway he was thinking

  • "MG Oil - check level for leak.
  • Club orange juice better than home. Ask brand
  • Pool level - unlikely leak; more likely guests' unseemly splashing."

    (Oh, dad! You so rocked; why did we never talk?)

    Out with the old, in with the cleaner stuff and scrubbing.

    tool wall in early stageBack of top shelf, Magnavox stereo set, 2 massive speakers and tube amp like they don't make no more.

    Quick clean and it's booming.

    Thinks: Rent out cottage for mega rent to tourist suckers (never liked the idea of a whole 2 mins trudge up to home cooking), nest in basement.

    walls scrubbedAll this while, lugging and wheezing stuff in and out, glancing at my Greek lingo cues:

  • Puff - 'Well hey there' - wheeze - 'you must be new here' - grunt - 'perhaps I can show you around?'
  • Puff - 'my that's a fine sunset' - cough wheeze
  • 'Yo, big guy, I saw that space first'
  • Cough - 'OK, this is it: Spectator, Athens News and a pack of Karelia - no need check, the Speccie is 4.20, total 7.50, got it right here, even da small change.
  • electrics Why thank you, my Greek isnt as good as it'll become, I'm taking lessons.
  • Ciao, guys. Kalo hypno''.

    tools in placeHere in siesta country, between noonish and 2ish one bids 'good snooze'.

    I bid Ioanni and Pauline kalo ipno the other day as he dragged her off with that lecherous curl to his lip and she looked back pleadingly with a "Dunno how much hypno I'll fit in. He's a bit of goer."

    Life in Greece!

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