Monday 26 January 2015

I salute you!

I don’t use this blog for meditating – I do that on “Trundling through life” but I’ve been having a few thoughts provoked by the reaction to the dyed bathrobe.

I’m a post-war baby, born 1951.  My mother even had a ration book for me for the first few years of my life but I have no recollection of that.  However, although I was unaware of it at the time, it was the period of post war austerity.  My parents were married in 1940 and so Mother’s housekeeping skills were developed through the war and the ideas of make-do-and-mend were the norm for my childhood.  Paper was saved “for salvage” - we didn’t call it recycling in those days.  Christmas presents were unwrapped very carefully so the paper could be ironed and re-used.  Father grew vegetables.   We ate seasonally.  Most of my clothes were hand-me-downs or home-made.  We had patchwork on our beds not as an expression of artistic ability but as a matter of economic necessity.  Oddments were used because nothing was thrown away until it was beyond repair – shabby chic is definitely a twenty first century concept!

Move forward sixty years and the ideas which I was brought up with don’t look so mean, they look like common sense but most people under forty have to learn those attitudes deliberately.  For me dyeing the bathrobe was actually a very modern thing because Mother would have used it no matter how grotty it looked.  (Incidentally I’ve never been brave enough to dye anything I would wear in public!)

What I’m trying to say is that I am very lucky.  I was brought up learning skills and attitudes which I am able to dredge up from my memory but they are there to be dredged.  I take my hat off to those who are younger than me who are learning them for the first time,

I salute you!

Saturday 24 January 2015

Dyeing for a change

I do like Blogland!  Two people whom I’ve never met have e mailed me to ask if I’m OK because I haven’t been around much.  Thank you – you know who you are!!!!  I think I’ve got the January doldrums.  I can’t dignify it into Seasonal Affective Disorder, it’s just post-Christmas idleness.

I haven’t been quite as busy with the decluttering but I have been doing a few things.  I have an elderly bathrobe (about ten years elderly) which was looking a bit stained and manky even though it is still well up to its job. 

Anyway, I bought some dye and changed it to lilac to match all my other bathroom stuff.  And I am pleased with the results.

I’m even pleaseder (no,  I know there isn’t such a word but I’m so pleased I have decided to invent a new word) with this cupboard.  Sadly I didn’t take a photograph before I sorted it but believe me I couldn’t have stuffed another cookery book in it.  The Sally Ann has now got them and I’ve got enough space to store all the accessories to my Magimix and I’m planning a box of household DIY tools like pliers and screwdrivers for the remaining space.  (You can also see a first aid kit abd some jars of washers and screws and things for the DIY box.)

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Making a start

I've been into the Room of Doom!  I decided that the place to start would be the table.  I think we can all agree that it needed doing.  

I did a quick flick through all the papers to make sure there was nothing urgent and I shredded a few.  Then I scooped everything into a box.  

Which left things looking tidier.  I wondered whether I really need a printer, a printer scanner and a scanner.  I decided I do.  The big printer at the far end is a real workhorse which I've had for so long that the ink cartridges cost next to nothing but for quality printing on fabric I need the more modern one in the middle.  The scanner on that is pretty useless so again I want my ancient scanner.  Pity about that.

I chose ten books to go to the Sally Ann. I was tempted to go see Sally today but it's a twenty mile round trip so even though I've got a couple of bags ready that would be extravagant.

And maybe I should have kept this one.

Tuesday 13 January 2015

The Room of Doom.

Let's be honest, everybody has a drawer/cupboard/room of shame.  Don't they?  Please?  It can't just be me!

When I was in the regular vicars I had to be Grown Up and have a study.  When I retired I thought, "Whooppee!  Second childhood, here I come".  And so I called it my playroom.  

But it became The Room of Doom.  Things went in there never to be seen again. Gremlins ate them. 

Or they bred.  (Look carefully and you'll see two copies of "Blogging for Dummies".)

The gremlins left things on the floor to trip up the  unwary (sadly, me!).

So now it must be tackled.  Big Time.  This is not a small messy place to be sorted in a day.  It will take two or three months to be done properly.


Monday 5 January 2015

A very special find

I tackled another drawer today and sometime over the next few
days the Salvation Army will be pleased that I did.  I had a special find which has delighted me.

It was a very messy drawer, stuffed to the brim with new or barely started sewing projects, bits of fabric, instruction sheets, skeins of thread and all the other stuff that an over-enthusiastic needlewoman collects.  

Some went straight to the bin but  some went into a black bag for the Sally Ann.  The result was a beautifully tidy drawer.

And I found my bear, known as Small Edward.  I'd tucked him in there for safety when I moved and couldn't remember where he was.  A very special find indeed.

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Saturday 3 January 2015

Mess number 2

I tackled the second drawer yesterday.  It wasn't as bad as the first one.  That is not saying much as I couldn't have stuffed another postcard into the first one!

Anyway, the second drawer.  This is how it started.

And this is how it finished.  It doesn't look a lot different!   I've located batteries from various places around the house and emptied them into the boxes in this drawer.  I have got far too many batteries!  Treasures I'd forgotten I had include a tin of dice, a roll of cash bags, a battery charger, a pager/alarm and a first aid kit.

Because this drawer was less of a challenge I also dealt with the Christmas cards, again making gift tags and card pieces of a useful size.  and I've updated my Christmas card database ready for next year.

So that's two ex-messy places created and a potential mess for next Christmas averted.  This can't last!

Thursday 1 January 2015

A start is made

I knew that if I'm to make headway on my new year plan of tidying a messy place each week day I had to start today.  So I decided to do just one small drawer.  It took me two hours.

This how it looked before I started.  I receive quite a lot of thank you cards, an embarrassing quantity of birthday cards, and I also have sympathy cards which I kept after my sister's death.  The drawer appeared to be full of them.

So I took out the cards and had a good look at them.  Some got chopped to form A6 cards which I use a lot in my work.  Some had sections punched out to make gift cards.  Some just went into the bin after one last read.  But some I want to keep.

As I moved the stuff in the drawer I found dressmaker's pattern paper, tooth picks, threads and various other goodies.


The best things were some fabric bowls which a friend had made for me and which to my great shame I had never used.  So the newly made gift tags are now in one bowl and the drawer is tidy(er).

The trouble is that on a photograph it looks no better than when I started.

A girl could get very discouraged!