Wednesday 12 July 2000

books and memories

So a few weeks ago Mum's complaining about the books from the living room which are "strewn" in the back hall. I suggest she puts them into my room if they're getting in the way. She says that she's thinking about getting rid of them, to which I quickly say: "Please don't get rid of any before I get a chance to look through them. I know that there's lots in the living room that I'd like to take!" She agrees.

Today Mum mentions in passing that she had a man come down from the second-hand bookshop and that he took away quite a few of the books that were (still) "strewn" in the back hall. I get really upset at this - these are my memories, books on the countries we lived in during my childhood, plus books that I've always read or wanted to read and always expected to be around, books I expected to inherit and wouldn't have dreamt of taking away unasked. She actually said sorry (most unusual). I'd been trying to lift her mood, which was pretty low, but I couldn't help myself telling her how upset I was by what she'd done and I made her look up the number of the bookshop so that I can ring them tomorrow. She says, in mitigation that having them reminds her of Japan and Dad and that she doesn't want to be reminded. What's next, then, the furniture? The pictures? Why is she spending another £5000 on work a house that will also inevitably remind her of these things, and which will get progressively empty as she sells off our memories?

I am a little peeved, to say the least. Most of those books are priceless to me - totally irreplaceable.

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