J has long-lived genes; she also has long legs in her jeans and it is these two connected things that are at the root of my Dorian Graypresent crisis. I have to find a way to outlive her because I can’t live without her!

I need the Elixir of Life or the name of Dorian Gray’s portrait artist!

‘Why!’ I hear you cry. Well, I’ll tell you why; because she is a semi-minimalist who has designs on my ‘things’, that’s why!

She thinks I should give my stuff away when I’ve finished with it – you know; read a book and pass it on. Watch a DVD and pass it on. I keep explaining, life isn’t like that for me; these are ‘my things’! OK, I don’t mind parting with the odd crap book or DVD, but she’s actually talking about loads of this stuff. I mean, what are the extra book shelves we had fitted in the entrance hall because the ones in the lounge were full up for? My books and DVDs; that’s what they’re for!

What are the shelves in the office for if not my boxes of radio-controlled model aircraft that I haven’t touched since I stopped modeling to join my neighbours in their battle to end the destruction of Kocadere Valley? Go on, answer me that! I will get back to them at some stage, probably when I get fed up with this blogging lark.

It was the same when we moved here, all those screws and nuts and bolts and washers that I’d painstakingly collected over the years were left behind in the UK. It’s taken me 14 years to get back to some semblance of normality by taking apart and saving bits from every discarded or broken item we’ve had since. Yet still J will pass comment on all the ‘rubbish’ I accumulate – Huh! Wasn’t rubbish when the toilet cistern went kaput and I fixed it with bits from my ‘accumulated junk’, was it?

Gollum My PreciousSo, now you see my dilemma, J says it’s a sickness as a result of my deprived childhood, but I disagree. I love pulling down some of my old books and sniffing and feeling the ‘patina’ of age. Turning a few pages and remembering the story as if it was only yesterday that I read it (sometimes it was only yesterday but that’s another story some day, if I can remember). Before you ask; no, I don’t sit and caress DVDs although I might well watch them again someday. Actually, I re-watch the ‘Alien’ quartet every year because I’m mesmerised (Jack (in joke)) by Lootenant Ripley.

So, what I need is a working recipe for long life so that I can outlast J and her obsessive compulsion to dispossess me of my possessions, I couldn’t stand being on my last legs and knowing I’d still be warm when she got the ‘Totters’ in – ‘My Precious!’

(for US english speakers – totters are rag and bone men)

Alan Fenn, Okcular Koyu