One of these days I’ll find it, either at the top of a mountain, or the bottom of the ocean. Perhaps in the middle of Calverley Woods, or in our attic, maybe even down the back of the sofa. But it’s there, The Place of Lost Things. And I’ll be reunited with everything I’ve ever lost.
There is quite a catalogue of things I’ve lost, most recently it was my glasses. Disappeared into the ether, one minute they were there, in their lovely yellow-and-white stripey case made by my own fair hand, the next, gone. And the irony? I couldn’t see to look for them. I’m currently wearing Noel’s reading glasses, very fetching they are too.
Then there’s all the gloves, exclusively for my left hand – they just haemorrhage from my pockets, my bags, my hands for heaven’s sake. Where are they? Simple, the Place of Lost Things.
I have a theory that all the things I have lost throughout my life gravitate to this place. Pencils, rubbers, the hood from my gaberdine, my satchel strap, the little nipple from the tip of my grammar school beret. Lost many years ago, but not forgotten. I’ve never been overweight, but when I have lost a few pounds they’ve headed there too – well they have to go somewhere, don’t they? It’s either that or some mountain of fat, or some fat exchange where the pounds I lost go straight to someone else’s belly or thighs.
I did lose my sanity for a little while, the time when three close relatives, including my mum, died within six weeks of each other. It was a surreal experience made more so by the funeral director, the same lovely man on each occasion. He was returning to work after a stroke and was pretty much recovered except his brain wiring wasn’t quite complete. Fortunately his wife was there to correct him when he told us that the sausage roll would be taken by car (“coffin, dear”, she said patiently) and that the chips would be drawn at the end of the service (“curtains, my love”).
That place must be brimming over with roads and byways, a testimony to my almost non-existent sense of direction and automatic tendency to get lost. I suppose if I was looking for all my lost things, I’d get lost too. So probably best not try to find it.
Fortunately my sense of humour will never find its way to The Place of Lost Things, there’s one thing that even I cannot lose!