The Gentle Art Of Swedish Death Cleaning

There was a time in my life when I thought television equalisation (as it was called) for regional areas was an important issue. I’d grown up in Lismore in Northern NSW with just two television stations, and then suddenly there were three, and then suddenly there were four. And now there are many more. And then suddenly “Northern Star Holdings” (my local newspaper) became a major player in Australian television. But as I looked at my copy of the Senate Report into Television Equalisation which was in one of my cupboards, I thought, quite bluntly, “Why the f…. do I still have this?”

TV Equalisation

Having been inspired by the book “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning”, I’m undertaking a clean-out of my life right now. The author’s advice is generally “have a moment with all of your precious items, remember why they were important, and then throw them out”. But, as I sit and remember things, and scan some of them for prosperity, I think it won’t be an overnight job. It could take some time.

Having worked as a radio presenter for a number of years, I’ve accumulated far too many books. For the most part I’ve kept books I’ve read, books which were associated with a radio interview. But many years later, I have to wonder why I still have them. Why do I still have a book about television equalisation? Why do I still have a book about the introduction of the goods and services tax?

In cleaning out my book-case, I’ve decided to keep only those books with a genuine, long-term memory for me, and those which have been signed by the author. So far, the “reject pile” is much larger than the “keep” pile. I’m “donating” the reject pile to the back laneway, and so far, the response has been positive. Really awful books, with no interest, have gone straight to the recycling bin.

Many Books

In doing my clean-out, I also found this, which I’d imagine is from the late 1990s. I tried to peal off the tag to see the complete message, but it got stuck. I think it says something along the lines of “I might shag someone else tonight, but keep you up my sleeve in case, because you’re boyfriend material.”


In case the writer of this recognises their hand-writing, I’m available!

PS: I’m not dying.


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