Mr B was always proud of his prudent approach to our household finances. Indeed, he likes to remind me that only once in our married life did we find ourselves unwittingly overdrawn, which was on our return from our honeymoon
to find we had missed our first monthly payment (£6/3/4) on the furniture for our flat. More of which later...
Had I not been made well aware of his financial
probity over the years, I would have been more surprised than I actually was to come across a large box full of accountancy books detailing every item of our household expenditure for the whole decade of the 1990s. Yes, indeed, yet another “treasure”
from the loft which I must now deal with.
There was but one course of action, given that I really didn’t like the idea of anyone ferreting through our rubbish
bins and coming across so much personal information. (Please remember this for future reference.) I set forth to Tesco’s (other stores would doubtless be similarly obliging) to invest in a new shredder.
In recent months, the Youngest of the Darling Daughters has been kind enough to relieve me of papers requiring the attention of a cross cut shredder, taking them back to dispose of them at her house. Her shredder, however,
has recently packed up, presumably in disgust at how much work it has been given. I feel guilty because I can’t help imagining that I (or, more accurately, my paper work) have played a key role in its demise.
I only had a choice of two shredders at the supermarket, though I am not complaining because, to be strictly honest, too much choice would have been thoroughly discombobulating. One of the two would
shred six papers at a time, the other eight which was the only difference I could find apart from the price. Both were labelled “For Light Use” which worried me a tad because I wasn’t at all sure how one would define the word “light”,
especially in the context of the pile of papers back at my place awaiting shredding. No, it was the papers that needed shredding, not my place, don’t be silly.) I bought the cheaper of the two on the basis that what was a paper or two among friends?
The Youngest of the Darling Daughters tells me she finds shredding the most boring job in the world. I have to say, however, that my Shredding Experience has turned out to
be great fun.
For a start, Mr B had kept every single one of my pay-slips from the date I started work at a local council at the end of 1985. Shredding them
is a bit like watching my salary rise through the years, though rather more quickly than it did in real life. Next I find the invoices for the three cars I bought (how cheap were they, compared to today’s prices?) Each one is a sweet reminder of the
thrill of the purchase, particularly the first brand new car I bought (in the days when I could afford such a luxury) - when the garage presented me with a beautiful bouquet along with the keys of my new wheels.
Oh, look! It’s the Hire Purchase Agreement for the furniture we bought when we were married - I think it was a “job lot” for new marrieds in the days when there were no charity shops to help out with other
people’s cast offs. We bought a double bed with a wardrobe and dressing table, a three piece suite, a dining room table and chairs and a kitchen table and chairs at a cost, with interest, of £211. It seemed like a fortune at the time but we felt
our purchases turned our modest ground floor flat into a veritable palace.
Now here comes the very best part of the whole Shredding Experience. In an attempt
to lessen the pain of disposing of so much of our past, I have been trying, with some success, to find good homes for some of it. Who might want several bin bags of shredded paper, given that it can’t be disposed of in the household recycling bin? At
the suggestion of a neighbour on a local social media site, I approached the Ferring Country Centre who replied immediately to my email, thanking me for thinking of them. “Our ferrets would enjoy using it as bedding and play material,” they explained.
You really couldn’t make it up, now could you?