I also had to deal with the sheer accumulation of pointless collections. Hundreds of old coins - not valuable ones, but just the now out-of-date variety from 20-30 years ago. Countless old magazines and journals. Old clocks and watches - none of which had been kept nicely but just stuck in cupboards or in the loft. Barometers galore - not even nice ones, just rather dated instruments made of mahogany and all showing different barometric pressures. The vast majority of my cousin's stuff would be what I would call "car-boot" category where you'd get a couple of pounds for each one.
Add to that hundreds of dust-covered CDs and DVDs which even a charity shop won't accept in these days of media-streaming. There were literally thousands of books - we found 30 boxes of 100 each in the loft (each box with a nicely indexed list of its contents on top!). I don't even know how we will even get them out of the loft and we'll have to leave it to the house-clearance specialists.
Even the house is dilapidated with huge subsidence cracks running through it. We had a surveyor in yesterday who told us that it couldn't be sold as a habitable home but would have to go for auction or as a cash-sale to a builder. And this is highly prestigious private road with beautiful properties all around.
The only bright spot is that we have now adopted Hilary, Gerard's 60 year old tortoise. She has settled in very well here. It took me a while to tortoise-proof the garden but it was a delight last weekend to see her walking around exploring her new domain and looking perfectly at home here. Here is a drawing I did of her. Another generation of children is now feeding her kale and tomatoes, fascinated by the way she pops her head out of her shell and takes whole cabbage stalks from their hands.