The discovery of unusual items in the search for crucial paperwork - Paul Nero

Items which Paul found during a search for paperwork

Items which Paul found during a search for paperwork - Credit: Paul Nero

Paul Nero, of Radio Exe, writes for the Journal

Paul at his desk

Paul at his desk - Credit: Paul Nero

Filing’s not really my thing. I tried it once. It didn’t really work out.

This has come back to bite this week because more than a decade ago the lovely Exmouth Victorian house in which I live had a spot of work done. Encouraged by a government incentive, our walls were injected with a foamy substance we were told would help stop climate change and the house moving nearer to the sea, or possibly in it.

The building company, which may have been called something along the lines of Takeyouforafool Incorporated, turned up with outsized syringes, squirted what they needed to squirt, took our cash and promptly closed down. Needless to say, the fabric of the building’s been in decline ever since.

Happily, there’s an Ombudsman ready to step in. All he needs is the original certificate of works and an invoice from 2009. “You should have it on file,” he says.

This gentleman clearly hasn’t seen my desk (pictured). And truth be told, neither have I for many years, because it’s underneath mounds of paper. But as this could save the house, a paperwork trail needs to be tracked down.

For a procrastinator, a hunt for essential paper is a dream assignment, and a diversion from meaningful work. It pays dividends in some respects too. There’s a card from my godson changing the date of his wedding which I hadn’t clocked when it arrived. An exercise book with old ideas, some in a form of shorthand I can no longer read. And a receipt for a Chinese meal taken in 2010 attached to a mould of my bottom set of teeth.

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They may indeed by someone else’s teeth, who’s to know?

The most irritating discovery is a book called ‘Clear Your Desk’, proving that some years ago I must have had good intentions to tidy up. I’ve put it aside for future reference.

What I really need is a brilliant, patient and tolerant apprentice whom I can tutor in the art of procrastination. At Radio Exe, we’re searching for Devon’s Outstanding Apprentice right now, in association with RGB Building Supplies. Head to by 31 January if you know of such talent. They could bag £400 in vouchers, a prestigious title and some media coverage they can show future generations. Only if they can find the records decades hence, of course.

In the meantime, perhaps they could also help out with my desk

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