This is the small attic, where no one is allowed to enter.
I'm sifting and sorting and packing and chucking out. It's disgracefully dusty. But it's getting better.
All the stained glass stuff is packed away safely.
There are three generations of big old things, treasures not in use.
The copper kettle belonged to my great-grandmother, Sophie Van Crombrugge, seen here with her six daughters (her four sons being at school or at work, one assumes).
She looks mild and gentle-natured, doesn't she? Don't be fooled. She was a tartar, according to my mother. She was a great reader. My mother remembered coming to visit after school, often finding her sitting in her rocking chair, all chores done, with her feet propped up just inside the slow oven of the range, reading.
Her kettle was in daily use. My Tante Mimi had it treated later, so that it kept its lustre - my mother tutted at this, considering it sacrilege - but for those of us who can't even keep it dusted, regular polishing would never have happened anyway.
The heavy blue and grey pot held salt, standing in the larder next to my grandmother Rachel Story's range; when she cooked, she would reach into the larder without looking and take a pinch of salt from it. She was a legendary cook.
The white and gold dish was my mother's. For years I kept a little cactus garden in it, and may do so again. Only a long-gone and very wicked cat put an end to the first one (no, cactus spines don't deter cats in the least).
Perhaps the weight of memories, and not the chaos or the dust, is what's making the sorting of the attic such a slow process.