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Sunday Times Books LIVE

Anne Townsend

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE


What a temptation to retrieve garbage from outside the Chinese store.

Rucksacks (2), a pair of old boots, a doll (only in knickers) and bicycle wheels.

Outside the Bistro earlier ten black folders from The Cellars, in good nick.

And of course, the super-outsized marrow (or squash) that someone placed outside the street bin next to our gate. Installation Marrow. With a few pricks on the side.

I collected nothing today. As I refrain from investigating lurid news items, and as I check myself every time I have an urge to hoover up gossip or tragic events, what I ask myself is: DO I NEED THIS IN MY UPSTAIRS COMPARTMENTS?

For what purpose do I want the ten plastic folders from The Cellars?

What would I ‘do’ with the naked doll in white cotton knickers?

Is it merely because the merchandise is available, and free?

Will it enhance my life? Once I’ve taken on board yet another lurid abuse story, my mind has to process it, or store it, or get rid of it. And what else could I do instead?

Would it be more productive, relaxing or mentally healthy to walk past those bulging trash cans I passed, from my front door to The Donkey Shed, or to admire the composition of the boxes, and to refrain from taking anything on board. Just because the 24/7 news machine churns out global tragedies, do we want to collect them, for what? It is not in any way useful, joyful or helpful to be a pack mule for the world’s miseries. So why do we offer to absorb the news?



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