There's always a good reason to put off clearing out the garage (pencils that need re-arranging into colour order, wet paint to watch dry, that sort of thing). Since I can no longer park my car in the garage, last week-end I found myself fresh out of reasons to put off this mammoth task any longer.

I'd always thought the garage stuff was just one step away from being carted-off to the recycling centre. How wrong I was!

I quickly found myself on an unexpected trip down memory lane, sparked off by the re-discovery of my first camping stove, passed down to me by my late Grandfather. I no longer have the huge, orange, canvas frame tent I inherited at the same time some 37 years ago (he had colour-coded the many poles with electrical tape so I couldn't go wrong), but thanks to my unkempt garage I do still have this little stove, and guess what? It still works.

I spent the afternoon polishing the stove up, feeding the old leather straps with leather balm, re-setting the hinges and fitting it with fresh gas.

It might be old, but it has all I need from a camping stove. It's compact, lightweight, in working order and it's still here.

This find got me thinking about all the memories that pour out of inanimate objects, and how the right kit can last a very long time.

The garage remains a mess.