His fifteen year old Early Learning Centre car mat lined the bottom of the chest perfectly. This mat, together with the orange binoculars and ELC police tabard (that must be in the loft) were symbolic of LB’s early childhood.
So, what other things made the cut? Here’s a selection, clockwise from the top lefthand corner;
Hat collection. A baseball cap for every occasion including the treasured Olympia Horse Show cap and Reading Bus cap. The dude was a hat kind of geezer.
Box of small bits. (More) bus tickets, bling, his ipod shuffle, passport, figures, business cards, plastic coins and paper money.
Playmobile coach, ambulance, street cleaner, emergency service personnel. And obligatory person in a stretcher. LB’s imagination was never far from ‘an emergency situation’.
Pupil of the Week sheets, a Valentine’s card made for a future girlfriend, pictures of models (though not the black and white picture of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley LB kept for months until he saw a colour picture of her and chucked it in the bin. Blue eyes were a definite no for him, in any potential girlfriend. Even a top model). School work (with weekly news.. again hilarious), timetables, leaflets, drawings and septic tank pages from the Reading Yellow Pages.
Books and DVDs. All the regular suspects that anyone who reads this blog could guess at by now.
Various notebooks. As previously documented on these pages.
Larger books and magazines. Including The Mighty Book of Boosh, Olympia Horse Show programme (2010), complete Great Britain Passenger Timetable (1975-76), bus and lorry magazines.
Hornby model buildings, Olympia rosette, Woody and Virgil toys, Linx deodorant, well worn or customised die cast models from the ‘Connor.Co scrap metal depot’, his electric shaver and 18th birthday celebration decoration from school. Not sure why the shaver is included really, as shaving was always a dread activity. It could be the bodily connection (kind of similar but different to the smelly t-shirts, which are staying at the side of the bed for now. Easy smell access at panicky night time moments).
Two things deserve a special mention.
LB’s ‘Wanted. A Friend’ poster from a few years ago, which is both hilarious and sad. Hilarious as the ‘successful applicant’ is Joe H (of the Afghanistan phone call fame). Once Joe left school LB asked over and over; “Where’s Joe H, Mum?” and laughed his socks off when I’d (always) reply “Joe H?! He’s got trouble written all over him. With a big T.” Hours of chuckling. LB loved Joe’s anarchic character. But I find it sad how straightforward LB’s friend criteria are; someone to cheer him on, listen to him and be there for him. Someone kind and fun. He was such a simple and gentle dude. It’s heartbreaking to think about his last months.
How could this have happened????
And the little bag of shells from the mermaids. I got the kids to search for these, so we could put them in LB’s coffin. They couldn’t find them amongst the mess in his room (and under the bed which was rumoured to include a half eaten Chinese takeaway, as LB regularly told his teachers to their amusement). Maybe we’ll give the shells a sneaky burial under the snowdrops and bluebells we’re allowed to plant around his grave.
The strange, half relationship between LB, things and place is making no sense to me. But it’s all we’ve got right now. So we’re just doing what feels right.
The saddest of sad times.