Should I die unexpectedly before downsizing, I'd like to apologise to whoever gets the job of clearing out my spare room. You're probably reading. One obvious solution would be to chuck the whole lot in a skip - I'll never know, and a lot of the stuff has little meaning other than to me. But some of it will be worth keeping or passing on, I'm sure, whether for sentimental or practical reasons.
So to help you out, I've started an audit. I thought I'd begin with the stack of cardboard boxes alongside the bookcase on the far wall. Don't worry, it's not as bad it sounds.
Bottom cardboard box
• Pocket Scrabble (as used on many a long distance car journey)
• My grandmother's autograph book (To Kitty, with best wishes 5/3/18)
• The top of a bottle of Bart Simpson bubble bath
• A seahorse mobile my Dad made for my brother and I when we were little, except two of the threads have snapped
• A luminous yo-yo
• A luminous magnetic calendar
• Semi-complete set of WeetabixDr Whostand-up cardboard figures (1975)
• Tamagotchi (battery expired)
• Various front door keys to properties the family no longer owns
• Badge for the One DayIn TheLife ofTelevision project (1989)
• I'm Too Sexy badge (from the Right Said Fred album, Up)
• Operation manual for a Casio fx-81 scientific calculator
• Wrapper from a McVities United chocolate biscuit bar (normal, and orange)
• Set of quiz questions from a seriously-out of date quiz
• Two boxes of letters and postcards from the 1980s, a time when people sent letters and postcards because nobody had yet invented email or WhatsApp, some of which are from people long departed, others from people I've long lost touch with, and only one from someone whose Dad was Bob Hoskins
• A sheet of Letraset (Pluto font, red/yellow, I've used up all the As)
• 'Turn off unwanted lights' poster (Central Office of Information, 1979)
• University of Hull Welcome Pack (1986) (includes leaflets for Bridlington - a Golden Rail resort, Hull and the Humber Bridge, and Cleethorpes - Smiles More Fun)
• Two brittle Comic Relief balloons inside a transparent plastic egg
• My Bedford Central Library card (ditto Hertfordshire)
• The ticket from my first pair of Levi's 501s (W32 L32)
Second cardboard box
This one's empty.
Third cardboard box
This one's also empty. See, I told you not to worry.
Fourth cardboard box
This one contains all my old bus timetables. You may have laughed at the time, but some of these are proper heritage now. I mean, where else is anyone going to find timetables for the Isle of Wight (1970), London nightbuses (1972) or Scottish Postbuses (1973)? Don't bin this one, I bet there's are blog readers who'd be happy to take the whole box off your hands.
Top cardboard box
• First Day Cover for the 25th anniversary of the Coronation (31st May 1978)
• Leaflet celebrating the opening of the Harlequin Centre, Watford (1992)
• Hex (paper games for travel and leisure, pad of 50 sheets, 1974)
• Four complete books of Brooke Bond tea cards (The Race Into Space, Adventurers and Explorers, The Sea - Our Other World, History of Aviation)
• A stack of spares and swaps for the above
• Illustrated Collins Bible I was given for my baptism (Leatheroid, gold edges, in original box, 17/6)
• Silver napkin ring given to me for my baptism (in original box from Andrew McCulloch, High Road, Beeston)
• My primary school hymnbook - With Cheerful Voice
• Ordnance Survey One-inch map sheet 160 London N.W. (1970)
• London Transport Souvenir Guide map of the Royal Wedding Route (29th July 1981)
• Box of two dozen 7" singles bought from Oldies Unlimited (includes Beat the Beat by Mari Wilson, Yellow Pearl by Phil Lynott and You Gotta Be A Hustler If You Want To Get On by Sue Wilkinson
• Five free cover discs given away with Record Mirror
• Road map of the M25 (newly opened, 1986)
• A selection of Old Moore's Almanacks (most years, 1978-1991)
• A whole pile of old London Transport and British Rail timetables and maps and leaflets, including A Day At Hampton Court (1974), Changing the Guard (1975), Green Line Coaches map (1975), the Marks and Spencer map of Jubilee Britain (1977), Watford Junction & Croxley Green rail timetable (12 May 1980 until further notice), Central London Bus Map (1981, the radical redesign with the circles), Fares Fair leaflet (starts Oct 4th 1981), Christmas and New Year Travel by Bus and Underground (1982, includes Christmas day trains), East London Line timetable (new improved GLC-funded, 1984), London Underground Large Print map (1985), Inter City timetables from London (all lines, 29th September 1986), Humberlink (1987), Your Scotrail Express Guide (1989), Network SouthEast Fundays Leisure map (1990)... blimey I'd forgotten I had this stuff, there's a veritable treasure chest of hoarded transport ephemera here! I should probably scan some of this lot and post it online somewhere, you'd love it, except if I'd scanned them then technically I wouldn't need to keep them, and that would be wrong, so back into the box they go...