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I'm Jane McIntyre, a voiceover and writer, formerly an award-winning BBC radio newsreader and producer. My blog covers life, love and loss; travel, coffee and chocolate; with some heartfelt pieces in the mix about my late dad, who had dementia. Just a click away, I'm half of the team behind - two empty nesters who whizzed round the world in 57 days.

Friday 5 September 2014

Trash in the attic? Worth HOW much??

Have you ever counted how many `flog-yer-gubbins-in-a-fleece-without-being- fleeced` and `antiques-owned-by-aristocracy-feigning-surprise` type shows there are on daytime TV now?

No--nor had I--but when I was housesitting recently, I found myself with time on my hands and a large mug of coffee, and so did some channel surfing.

Honestly, the TV listings are now packed tighter than a car-boot trestle table with shows like these. You know...people raising a bit of revenue from an ornament. People who `know about antiques`(they have monacles and things), battling to flog other people`s cast-offs for the biggest profit. Teams, even, trying to be first to spot a gem amongst the junk.

We lost Dad recently, and face a fair bit of sorting, ourselves. I always knew it would be a hard task--not just because he`d lived 85 years--but because he was loath to part with many of the items he`d accumulated over that time.We have box upon box; drawers and shelves, and oh yes. The files and folders.

That`s one reason why, as I recorded here, I try to cull my own clutter from time to time. You never know, I might find something useful, or valuable myself.

I mean--don`t you just love it on the Antiques Road Show... when they tell someone really nice that a painting is 'genuine...' or that the piece of pottery they dug up in the garden is 'Actually Very Important'.

Usually, I want to shake the well heeled, tweed jacketed brigade who don't miss a beat when informed that the mahoosive painting of a Man on a Horse is worth twenty grand. I mean... come on - they knew. 'Ooh, we'd never sell it,' they say. I would. Give me a painting worth twenty grand and I'd be off down the auctioneers. Then the travel agent's.Via the cake shop.

Still. A recent monsoon gave me the chance to sort through stuff in a big pine chest of drawers in the spare room. I needed it for clothes, not 'stuff ' , quite honestly, so I had a root through.

(If you're one of the Antiques Road Show team, and you fancy valuing any of this stuff, by the way, contact me via this blog. We can keep it discreet. Snigger.)

First off - the headline news: no diamonds. No works of art .No historical documents (apart from my O and A level certificates). Here's what... for some reason... I've chosen to save in a drawer, for decades.

1) My dad's old  brown leather Boys' Brigade belt. Must be from the 30s. Brass clasp.

2) Mum's autograph book from the 1940s. Someone called Irene Soar signed it. And she added a little ditty. As you did in those days. Clearly, she thought mum would find it useful. It reads: "She who sitteth on a tintack, shall surely rise". Really? Is that some kind of wartime code? Or maybe mum's elocution exercise that day. She spoke proper, see?

3) A Geliot Whitman sub's Depth Scale. Sounds dodgy,but is ok really. Ask a sub-editor.

4) My first ever journalist's contacts book. (Who even HAS them these days?) featuring the telephone numbers of several royal palaces; some radical health campaigners, and quite a few MPs and ministers of state (many now deceased.) We didn't have the internet then.

5) A signed photograph 'to Jane, from Elton John'. It's genuine. I had platform shoes. It has 'provenance'. It also has the Sellotape marks on the corners where I stuck it to my wall.

6) The last ever edition of the London Evening News. (Do I still need this?) Lead story: that it was the last ever edition.

7) A batch of love letters from boys in several European countries. And a few here in England. (I could find you, but I promise not to...) Ahh. The things you realise, looking back. What a load of old baloney.

8) A boxed edition of Saturday Night Fever. Fabulous.

9)The diary of Jane McIntyre, aged 15: "All morning revising French. But I can't stop thinking about Paul T. He's so gorgeous. I'm definitely going to talk to him at youth club on Friday. I've got to"...!

10) And the most precious of all: A sealed, crumpled letter from our youngest daughter to Santa Claus. I must have *stashed it away*. I don't know if I dare open it. I might later.

So there. Several drawers of gubbins. And some golden memories. You can bid if you like. But I won't sell.

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