Time for the twice-yearly ritual at my parents’ house. At some point around the longest day – not down to any spiritual inspiration from the solstice, but because by then even the most hardened pessimists start to concede that summer may have arrived – I get sent to the attic to put up their winter coats and thick jackets, and bring down their summer garb. Invariably the Bringing Down Of The Summer Clothes sparks argument over sheer quantity, the futility of carting things up and down the ladder each season which never get worn, and what should, or shouldn’t, be thrown out this season.
In a fit of enthusiasm my father decided to discard a massive heap of his long-sleeved winter shirts, rather than send them up to the attic yet again. Some have gone to various male relatives, neighbours, the handyman and the usual recipients, these leftovers will be distributed amongst my friends or go to the Salvation Army bin. Somehow whilst up the attic ladder I ended up also agreeing to take away a set of seat cushions for garden chairs and a nasty pastel-peach bedspread. How did that happen? And I can look forward to this all over again in the autumn.