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After the death of his beloved wife, Uncle Arch continued to live in the two storey home they’d built as newlyweds 54 years earlier.

He was a collector, which is a nice way of saying a hoarder. He was unwilling to discard anything. His downstairs office was groaning with musty old paperwork.

He had a copy of every tax return he’d ever lodged, as well as an extensive collection of memorabilia from his 60 year career as an accountant.

Upstairs, he’d filled the little house to the brim with desks, chairs, paper shredders, fans, heaters, boxes and cheap Chinese nick-nacks he’d delighted in buying from catalogues.

He’d created his own obstacle course from sunroom to bedroom.  Electric cords snaked across the lounge room carpet in a higgledy piggledy fashion – and he was going to get bitten one day.

He rejected out of hand any suggestion of moving to a more suitable home.

“No, no, no” was all he said.

One day, after the umpteenth fall, it was time for some straight talking.

“It’s just this way, Arch. You can act now and have some say over what happens in your life, or you can wait for a catastrophic event to occur, in which case other people will be making decisions for you.”

He gave the standard response, “No, no, no.”  There was no more to be said.

Three months later, he tripped as he struggled out of the armchair in the sunroom and dived head first into the wall opposite, fracturing a vertebra in his neck.

The decision had just been made for him.