You know those jobs you promise yourself you will tackle on a rainy day well today was such a day, wet and miserable outside yet clear inside with no appointments or commitments.
So I decided to forgo the filing, leave the laundry and head up to the loft to sort out Andrew’s Den.
When we moved here the first task was to extend upwards into the loft. This house used to belong to the ironstone mine owner and the loft was used as the mine’s offices so there was space up there for three extra rooms, plus storage.
Andrew wanted a train room and a den to play his records. Depending on his mood he could pretend to be a train driver or a DJ.
Over the past seventeen months (is it really that long?) I have left the den to its own devices. Occasionally I have ventured up there and the boys have had the scalextric out but I confess there were still crisp crumbs on the mixing desk!
It is bin day tomorrow so I was ruthless in my throwing out and removed a thick layer of dust from all the surfaces. There’s an unusual aroma of pledge up there now that Andrew wouldn’t approve of.
I wouldn’t say it’s spotless, the carpet still needs a good hoover but with half the scalextric track out I am leaving that for another rainy day.
What I really wanted to sort out today was Andrew’s record collection. He had over a thousand singles and several albums.
I started with the albums, keeping what were mine to start with, adding a few of Andrew’s that took my fancy.
The singles were much more fun to go through. We would sometimes find records to play to each other seeing if the other person could guess the artist, the song, the year. I wish we had played that game more often.
Music was the passion we had most in common, Andrew asked me out at a radio station, getting rid of the record collection is a huge step but I can’t take 5 boxes of records everywhere I go. I have to leave some things behind to build a new life.
I have kept the ones that mean the most to me, songs I really like, some from before I knew Andrew existed.
See You by Depeche Mode always reminds me of youth club.
I remember exactly where I was when True by Spandau Ballet got to number one.
Stars on 45 reminds me of the fair, it seemed to be playing for every ride I went on.
I Will Always Love You comes from The Bodyguard, the first film Andrew took me to see.
Andrew talked in his sleep so Crystal Gayle singing Talking in Your Sleep became a favourite often quoted song.
Number 777 in his collection (yes everything was catalogued) Don’t Leave Me This Way by the Communards, one of my favourite songs to dance to that I would make Andrew play at every disco. Sadly I missed most of the disco years; it was only after he died I discovered the best DJ trophy he won!
Fool if you Think it’s Over by Elkie Brooks was a suggestions Andrew made for his own funeral although we never played it.
And Gilbert O'Sullivan, Alone Again (Naturally) … well just because!
While sorting out I played some records and sang along, belting out the Bonnie Tyler hits and trilling along with Tiffany, so glad this house is detached!
I shed a few tears and shouted at Andrew for leaving such a mess of broken stuff behind.
By the end I’d condensed my happy memories into two small boxes that I will keep with me.
A few records I shall give away.
As for the rest…
…I’m not entirely sure. I want to find somewhere deserving for them or to sell them and give the money to charity, maybe the heart foundation as Andrew died from a heart attack.
If you can help in any way or have a suggestion please get in touch and if there’s an old 45 you would like for your collection just ask me, if I have it I will send it on to you…