the Senior Cat asks. He is standing at one of the kitchen cupboards with a dish in his hand. He has volunteered to "put things away". I accepted and am now wondering about the wisdom of this.
Our kitchen cupboards are not very big - or we have too many things. We have far fewer "things" than we had when my mother was alive. I have gradually cut down on many items. We did not use them. We were never likely to use them. We could substitute something else. Right. Get rid of it.
"Vinnie's" (our local St Vincent de Paul charity shop - used by all denominations and faiths) were the recipients of much of it. Some of it just went into the rubbish collection.
I removed various devices designed to chop things - a knife works just as well for most things. I did retain the egg-slicer. I removed ancient tea-strainers. We retained one. There were some cracked mixing bowls. They went into the rubbish.
I did all this slowly so that my father would not notice too much. He knows things have gone but, as long as he does not know quite what has gone, it does not bother him. On occasion he has even stood there and said, "I think we have too much stuff."
We do indeed have too much. There is another "hard rubbish" collection next week and I am wondering whether I can get away with leaving out another cardboard box of things we really do not need. Someone may come along and take what they need. The rubbish men can take the rest. It is tempting.
But, for now, I have to explain that things get stacked one on top of the other. Obviously that makes sense for plates and dishes of the same size and shape. I have spatial problems but even I can work out how to do that.
That seems to work for my father too - but only on the side of the cupboard where we keep the crockery. On the other side where we keep things like the jam, honey, marmalade, tomato sauce, peanut butter, Vegemite etc he has a problem. He does not see how you can stack any of those things.
Yes, it is a little more difficult but I tell him, " The Vegemite goes on top of the peanut paste." (He still refers to it as peanut paste.)
He shakes his head but does that. "Now that leaves room for the butter dish to go on top of the honey jar."
We strike a problem. "There is something on top of the honey jar."
"Some quince stuff."
The quince paste I bought yesterday morning. It will get used in the quince paste/brie sandwiches for his study group tonight. (I have a reputation to keep up with respect to sandwich fillings.)
"Well that's all right. It is nice and flat. You can put the butter dish on top of that."
He does so and shuts the door, stands there for a moment. Then he says to me,
"I think we have too many things. Do you think you could get rid of some into the hard rubbish collection?"
I will try and find an hour to rush through the cupboards before next Monday morning and the arrival of the rubbish men. After that we may fit everything in.