Lofty ideals down Memory Lane

I AM in the fortunate position of living in an old house which has a large loft.

In fact, the space twixt upstairs ceiling and roof is cavernous.

At some expense, it would be possible to incorporate this into the house proper but I have long dismissed the idea because it would mean losing a valuable asset – somewhere to hoard things.

The only time my loft has been empty was on the day I moved in. Actually, it was much less than a day before I began putting items up there and it has been filling up nicely ever since.

All manner of things are up there, ranging from long discarded children’s books – both my own and my kids – and toys to now useless computers and odd bits of wood which will come in handy for making something sometime (although that has never happened in decades).

I was reminded of just how much stuff is up there when I opened the loft hatch the other day to deposit a large, empty cardboard box (it will be useful for storing things in).

And I felt sorry for people who live in modern houses who have hardly any room in their poor excuses for lofts or elsewhere in their compact homes for storage.

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How do they manage to squirrel away all those essential future memories? The answer, I learn from a press release which popped into my emails the other day, is self storage facilities. If you don’t have the room at home, hire it elsewhere seems to be the philosophy these days.

One company in the business of providing handy holes for nostalgic hoarders has just conducted a survey among its customers.

This came up with a Top 10 with toys, first edition comics and brand memorabilia ranging from modern day Harry Potter collectables to classic Star Wars, Barbie and Scalextric in top spot.

In second place were favourite outfits that no longer fit. Six out of 10 people who mentioned these said they wanted to store them away to “diet back into” (fat chance of that for most of them I would suggest) while nine out of 10 said they wished to pass them on to their children when they grow up (I bet they will be pleased!) and half said they may sell them but couldn’t imagine letting them go for now.

Also in self storage are photos of family and friends, royal memorabilia, special edition newspapers and magazines, music cassettes, VHS and Betamax tapes (never to be listened to or viewed again, I’m sure, if only because the obsolete equipment to do it won’t be there), electrical items including first mobile phones and computers, love letters from exes, and old greeting and birthday cards.

Examples of some of these items are gathering dust in my loft. They will not be joined by dolls depicting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in their wedding outfits which have just gone on sale at a famous London toy shop. Not when they cost �99.99 for the pair.