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Pollenia Rudis

Otherwise known as the cluster fly, came to my attention today as a great quantity fell out when the loft door was opened where I am staying.

An ancient family violin was being retrieved from the roof cavity but before we were able to inspect the condition of said instrument we were entertained by the dog,la Espagnol (Springer variety), scurrying around the cream carpet eating the dead and dying insects. She was shooed off with much fake vomming and retching from the assembled children before the remaining carcasses were sucked up for one final whizz round the storage cylinder of the vacuum cleaner.

As it turned out the violin, which in a Victorian version of brand piracy, has Stradivarius imprinted on its innards, is in a derelict sort of state with a broken fingerboard, displaced bridge and something rattling around inside it. Maybe it too swallowed a fly.

A fly eater

Storage

There was a swish car dealers on the A127 into Southend until recently, I think it was a Lexus/Chrysler one, maybe with some Mercedes-Benz thrown in for good measure. I can’t really remember. Anyway, at one end of the recession when we all suddenly had no need for pick and mix from Woolworths at the other end there were these car dealerships closing down and merging with each other because without bags of pick and mix to suck we couldn’t face going on long journeys any more. Which means that we stopped buying Lexuses and Mercs on HP.

So the replacement on the site would be what I wondered, as they ripped down the shiny car showroom. The redevelopment was so not eye-catching that it didn’t catch mine eye until the other day when I noticed we were being treated to a new storage company. You know the ones; the buildings that charge you to lock your crap in their building for as long as you care to keep coughing up. All very well I thought, but this new one is just down the road from an existing rival company. Can we really need so much storage opportunity?

I can’t help but wonder if all this need for storage is directly related to our materialistic lifestyles. We have too much stuff. At this point I will just make a brief disclaimer. People who move and are between houses may need somewhere to store their things and I am quite sure they resent every penny they have to pay out. But what about those people who aren’t moving? What stuff are they storing? What they are not storing, according to the rules and regs, are the following:

Toxic, polluted or contaminated goods
Firearms, munitions or explosives
Radioactive materials – those first three are fair enough
Flammable or hazerdous goods – sic
Living plants or animals – makes sense
Food or perishable goods** – **unless by prior arrangement, so maybe yes to wine and no to my collection of salamis**
Cash and securities
Illegal goods
Waste –because it would obviously be easier to cart it to the storage facility and pay for storage than it would be to put out the rubbish…

For my own part I keep most of my stuff in my car (mainly the overspill from work), but then I am spoilt. When we moved here we had no less than three sheds (but no garage). We now have one shed and a stable door thing that you could keep an anorexic Shetland in, but both are pretty well-utilised and then of course there is the loft. Maybe that’s what’s contributed to the proliferation of these firms: more flats with neither lofts nor sheds. That said I am well aware that a material-free existence is a nirvanic state I should work towards, given that there won’t be much room for rubbish on my retirement narrowboat and I certainly won’t be paying for storage. I bet their business models are predicated on the bulk of their customers paying out for things they can’t bear to part with, have no use for and forget what it was they were paying for after the first year.