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Health & Beauty by Rowena Kitchen

want to downsize or clear out our clutter? What about treasuring memories or leaving our possessions for our children? As those women gallop through people’s houses, filling skips with glee, they are destroying the Nation’s heritage. As they implore people to let go of the past by throwing away letters, photos, their first doll and worse, my heart breaks. If it’s not hurting anyone and you don’t have to tunnel through piles of old newspapers to reach the kitchen then what is the harm?

Can you imagine if one of those minimalist Life I

t’s official, we all have too much stuff. It must be true, as there are so very many TV programmes dedicated to showing us how

to throw it all away. Of course we have to dispose of it in a responsible fashion and be diligent about it before we are swamped with our excess.

Rampant consumerism with shopping being one of the most popular hobbies of all time means that it is easier and easier to end up with purchases that have little or no sentimental, monetary or aesthetic value at all. Recycling rubbish has become a worldwide obsession with rules and regulations changing everyday. It’s only a matter of time before the

Battery Police turn up to arrest me for putting a 9volt straight in the bin. Of course, I don’t really put batteries in the bin. The guilt would overwhelm me, I put them in my car and ferry them around for a month or so before remembering, finally, to take them in to the village shop where they have a plastic bucket under the post office counter for such things. I compost kitchen waste along with

Laundry people had popped round to Samuel Pepys place, been met with a teetering pile of dusty diaries, then said ‘What you want to do is shred all that so you can have a clutter free desk with just a tallow candle at one end juxtaposed with a single quill at the other, a cluttered desk is a cluttered mind Mr. Pepys.’ On that note we must thank Leonardo Da Vinci’s cleaning lady for not throwing away, but rather smoothing out, the crumpled pieces of paper littering the studio floor and carefully tucking them into his portfolio.

Air-dried towels act as an exfoliator and circulation stimulator as well as skin cell renewal turnover being hastened through friction.

recycling the big three – papers, bottles, and plastic. I crush all cans, flatten all cardboard, reuse carrier bags and old clothes go to the charity shops. Soon we will be spending more time at the recycling centre than actually using the stuff we are recycling. It may be time consuming but it is important to play

our part. It is the Life Laundry lot that upset me; what if we don’t

Thankfully the Egyptians did not give a hoot about having too many possessions and made great efforts to take it all with them to the next life. Programmes like Time Team and Meet the Ancestors prove there is a deep-seated fascination in our past. We enjoy popular television programmes such as Antiques Road Show and those where people spend up to a year living exactly as the Victorian farmers did, in what appears to be total misery by today’s standards. Farming is not the only subject to be examined in this format but also shopping and eating, hobbies and crafts, vehicles, exercising, ceremonies and even death. Utter bliss and I watch every one of them with undisguised joy.

The sale houses of Christies and Sotheby’s do a roaring trade in the things that made the cut and did not get thrown away, with outrageous prices being paid for militaria, doorknobs, jewels, paintings and things from shipwrecks. It is not just the object, but the story behind it that makes it desirable. To throw it all away would be a tragic mistake. How are future generations going to avoid our mis-


Illustration by Lisa Wyman

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