Isn't it amazing what you find when you have a big clear out?
I've been clearing out for about two weeks now and that is just my bedroom!
To be fair, though, I have had a brief sojourn to London in the middle of it as well as work.
The photo above is a print I made when I took a ten-week photo film processing course at Shiney Row college.
I always remembered making it with my small glass figure of a T-Rex I bought from the National Glass Centre, the "moon" is a pretty paperweight I got when I left secondary school.
It was made in a darkroom by arranging the items on light sensitive paper and exposing it to the light to create the image.
I always loved the beautiful, ghostly effect it created on the Rex yet a couple of years after completing the course I was unable to find it. I had every other print and photo I had taken along with the exposure-testing strips, but no Rex!
Having resigned myself to the fact it was lost for good I retained it only as a memory.
Then I began this massive clear out. I had a massive clear out last year, too, that one only took a week when my parents were away on holiday.
This one was truly epic. Again going on Marie Kondo's advice in her book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying" - no, really, bear with me - I got rid of a lot of stuff I did not love.
The one thing I did not sort through on my clear out last year was my photos. How can I pick and choose from my photos?!
Today, however, would be the day.
I found it surprisingly easy, actually. Family shots and photos of my nephews I kept and will give some to Mam to sort through as she wishes.
I knew immediately which photos I loved, keeping a keen eye out for some, finding other pleasant surprises along the way.
Finally I had a small "keep" pile on the sofa and a huge "throw out" pile scattered over my bed.
Then I tackled the negatives.
Most of the prints I had thrown away, but I found two negatives that I wanted to keep having failed to find the prints. In the back of my mind I was looking for the negative (if there was one, which now I come to think of it, there wouldn't be) of my Rex print. I did not find it.
I thought I had finished sorting, when a large photo folder caught my eye under the pile of empty albums and photo sleeves.
Thinking I knew what was inside, I pulled it out and opened it.
I haven't had such a shock since I found Jim Steinman's "Bad For Good" vinyl album at the back of the S's in a tiny record shop off Park Lane Interchange years ago.
There, among the expected blown up photos of Meat Loaf and the QM2, was my lost Rex print.
The last folder in the last box of the last section that I sorted through had the one print I would have given my right eye to see again.
I nearly dropped it. Needless to say it is going into a 10x8 frame and onto my wall as soon as possible!
As per Kondo's book, it does feel different when you have a major clear out. Not only my room and physical living space but my mind, too. You realise what you need and what you can live without, not to mention the joy and satisfaction when you find a long-lost treasure.