Clearing House…

In January we took a six week trip to London to clean out my late uncle’s house in preparation for selling it.

We interspersed our travels out of the city with activities we love to do, but the main thrust of the visit was to get the estate sorted out and any loose ends tied up.

My Uncle Tony lived in Littlehampton and over the weeks we got to know this little sea-side town quite well.

Our first trip found us walking from the station to the High Street to get the lay of the land and buy some supplies for lunch and a cuppa.

We popped into a few thrift shops to enquire about the disposal of the things we may find in the house like clothes and books and furniture.  We found out we needed bags and boxes and a vehicle.

We happened upon an cosy artisan bakery which immediately became our local for morning lattes, bacon baps, savoury pies and pastries.  It was a godsend.

Several visits later and the end of the month in sight we had been through every room, cupboard and drawer, sorted papers and books, emptied files and stacked magazines, checked the attic and out-buildings made phone calls about the baby-grand and the Jaguar.  We carted mementoes and artwork back to London to decide what we would take with us to America and helped my brother load up the larger items and collections of CD’s and  DVD’s into his car.

It was a very emotionally draining few weeks.

Nearing the point where we had combed through his belongings we embarked on the next step of disposing of everything in the house that we didn’t want.  We engaged a company to clear the house and donate its contents to Blind Veterans UK and send the blankets to Battersea Dog’s Home.

Together Hubs and I managed to arrange multiple things to be done on the same day.

By 9 o’clock in the morning we had five able bodied men, three vans, a piano moving firm, a trailer with a hoist – to load the stationary Jaguar onto – to be taken to a garage, started and sold.

We’d hired a builder to repair the leaky porch roof and replace the broken window pane in the front door, the estate agent came to collect keys and have a quick reckie before returning, after the weekend once the house had been cleaned, to take pictures to list it.

And, a kettle on the boil for the umpteen cups of tea that were needed.

Just writing that was exhausting!

Everything went smoothly, the baby-grand went to my brother along with stacks of music.

The  hand-built remote control plane went to the museum at Shoreham Airport along with the upright keyboard gifted to a lady who wanted to learn to play piano.

Books were boxed, clothes bagged, china and glass wrapped, furniture clad in drop cloths; every last piece was cleared out in 8 hours.

Then the cleaner took over and went through the house with a fine tooth comb for two arduous days.

Things were coming along.

Hubs and I had decided to spend the two days by the sea to oversee the proceedings.

We found an air bnb in a classic regency house overlooking the channel; the red door marks the spot where we had magnificent views from the top floor flat, brisk breezes pouring through the open windows and a good glass of wine to help us relax for the evening.

“This would have been a lovely place to bring up the children,” I remarked to Hubs on one of our beach strolls.  He agreed.

We were in walking distance of Littlehampton, home of the artisan bakery and our morning lattes, we had a beach with wind turbines in the distance, restaurants along the high street and fishing boats in the harbour.

One afternoon I walked down to the promenade to photograph what Littlehampton’s sea front was famous for, the longest bench in the country.

I think you’ll agree that calling it a 300 seater bench takes liberties with artistic license but it was very creative.

It had been officially opened to the public on 30th July, 2010 and I took a load off for photo.

When the time came for us to go we packed up, called a taxi and visited Malin Road for the last time

saying farewell to the house in Littlehampton that for so many years had only been an address on an envelope.

I wonder if we’ll ever be back?


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2022-07-22 22:58:47 Reply

Still makes me emotional just seeing the PIX! I’ll never forget those days! So much work and I am glad I was with you.

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