I'd never be able to give up my sentimental bits and bobs

Desmond Morris
Desmond Morris at home

Desmond Morris has travelled to 107 countries in the course of his 91 years. But his latest adventure is, I imagine, the most daunting. The zoologist, author and surrealist painter is selling the house he has lived in for five decades, and getting rid of most of his possessions.

Grief is the cause of this dramatic dispersal: Morris’s wife of 66 years, Ramona, died in November, leaving him adrift in the marital home. “I have to get away from here,” he says. “Her absence is too acute. I keep wanting to ask her a question and she’s not there.” So he is moving to Ireland to live near his son.

To fit into his new house, Morris must sell thousands of antiques and curiosities picked up on his travels,...

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