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  • Writer's pictureGranny Bonnet


Miscellaneous adj: Mixed. Varied.

Containing many different kinds.

What a splendid word miscellaneous is! Although it's fairly long and 'weighty', as words go, it trips nicely off the tongue. No trouble. Clean as a whistle. It sums up the whole and gathers it all together tidily in one place.

In my kitchen we have always had a 'miscellaneous drawer', essential if you are a 'doing' family. This means that if you are looking for a triple-A battery, the nail scissors that normally live in the bathroom or the sticky tape that has gone missing from the study, a scrabble through the oddments in the kitchen drawer will probably reveal just what you are looking for.

Safety pins, string, calculators, old mobile phones. Marbles, mini-screwdriver set, hair clips. Should you need a golf ball for any reason, (none of us plays so I really don't member how long it has been in there or from where it came), or a die for a tossing in a board game (we haven't any that require such a thing either), or a magnet. There they are. Look no further.

Behind its anonymous drawer-front things initially appear chaotic. They are: and yet it is a system that works brilliantly. Instead of senselessly binning 30 year-old McDonald's give-away kid's toys, there they sit should a random child come along wanting. If a new acquaintance mentions that they collect stamps, I can unearth three choice examples from the Bailiwick of Guernsey. If I get so desperately hard-up that I need to consider making approaches to the pawn shop, I might just be tempted to part with the heavy silver bangle I made in evening classes nearly fifty years ago. Might be worth a few bob. You never know!

They say success breeds success and I can attest to that for I now also have a large open 'miscellaneous basket' on the worktop for assorted objects unsuitable for the miscellaneous drawer since they are almost exclusively linked to me and I can keep them (almost) neatly in one place.

My last-minute wants and needs are generally concerned with my handbag. Small notebooks/pens/pencils. Spare lip-balm. Rolled nylon shopping bags. Neatly furled pairs of gloves of the wrong shade for the current bag/boots I'm using and en transit to the glove drawer in the lobby. String for playing with the cat. Entry tickets featuring a grand castle in France that I just like to look at. Ditto a programme for a Japanese Exhibition in Berlin. It has a beautiful Geisha on the front and has been knocking about for nearly ten years now. It's clipped to a small poster advertising Engudisman and Yule that makes me smile. Classically-trained musicians, I remember their comic genius South Bank show. Can't part with either of them. Good memories. Both outings were gifts.

Sometimes I dare myself to just lay newspaper on the kitchen table, tip out the contents of both drawer and basket and chuck stuff in the bin. Not easy. I do feel much, much better though after I've cleared grit and dust from beneath the miscellany, wiped off sticky finger-prints and felt-tipped pen smudges and picked off oddments of blu-tak. Then, as I reinstate all my 'treasures', I can at least justify my actions by admiring the fresh topsy-turvy order I have brought to bear on the miscellany.

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