Friend Jan phones to ask if I’d like to buy his grandmother’s old pump organ. He is scaling down big time, he explains, moving house one last time. Actually, he corrects himself, it’s the penultimate move, the last one being the ABF (absolute bloody final), which is strictly speaking not a move, it’s more of an exit – into eternity.
For now, he’s moving to a cosy little place in a retirement village. It can house only a small selection of his books but the baby grand, the ancient organ, the bulky Cape antiques and his extensive collection of mechanical tools (for building cars, his hobby) have to go. He is stripping away his earthly chattels in order to enter the metaphorical eye of the needle.
Ah, I say, (ever pedantic), you’re busy with döständning. It’s Swedish for death and cleaning. There’s a book about it.
There’s no time for reading now, man, he retorts sharply. And I’m certainly not dead yet!
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