Wednesday 12 September 2018

Blogging again ...

... after several months. I've missed you blog, it's nice to be back.

Such a lot has happened so there's no better place to start than with today.
There are 4 teenagers downstairs - aged 19. One of them is mine. They'd been gaming all night, then spread themselves across the various sofas in the house for a couple of hours sleep.

I was going to steer clear but I couldn't help myself. Old habits die hard. I had to come down and make a ton of pancakes and fix a ton of toppings to go with them. It was just like old times , with one difference. They'd all grown up . One year at university has turned them into young men but the tales are still hilarious, their appetites huge and the laughter just as plentiful.

So as I wait out the week ( 3 days and counting ) until 'U' day when my own teen sets off to university having taken a gap year, I yearn for all those old play dates when they'd empty the fridge and pantry like a plague of locusts and leave a mountain of trainers piled up in the hallway. I would feign slight irritation but I loved every minute of it.

The talk around the breakfast table was ... worst hangovers , cheapest quickest meals to cook in Uni halls and why you don't need to bring a collander - a long running joke in our family. I've baked a batch of brownies which I'll cool in the fridge until they resemble chocolate fudge and then send them of with a small parcek which will have been devoured by the time they reach their respective homes.

Trying not to think about hwat an empty nest is going to feel like next week but it's not working.

Friday 30 March 2018

Good Friday is not that good

Well it may have been for Jesus but so far it's poured with rain and the one place I wanted to visit was closed and the church I went to in order to light a candle had locked its doors ( on Good Friday - really ?) and I narrowly averted getting a parking tocket because apparently Good Friday doesn't count as a Bank Holiday - I beg to differ.

I need a project so I've taken on what I rather grandly refer to as a laundry room - otherwise known as a pokey cupboard off the kitchen. Kirstie Allsop would be relieved that I hadn't committed the heinous Dometic Goddess crime of having my washing appliances actually in the kitchen - God forbid.

You'd be amazed what has come out of that pokey little hell home or maybe you wouldn't because everyone has a Pandora's boxful of crap lurking somewhere in the house where they stash things they never use but can't bear to part with ... don't they ?

23 vases
2 microwavable neck pillow things
201 odd socks
3 fly swatters
1 mop bucket I haven't used in 20 odd years
1 candle making kit
Assorted bundles of garden rafia
1 picnic raclette set - oh yes we raclette the hell out of cheese every time we go on a picnic
8 bottles of various stain removers none of which have ever removed a single stain
21 underwater battery operated tealights
17 plastic trays
4 First Aid kits but I can never find a plaster when I need one
1 microwave egg poacher
2 laundry bags for fancy lingerie about as mush use as a chocolate teapot
1 Chocolate Teapot
1 Turkish coffee percolator
3 bottles of unctious liquid that came with some hideous stained glass diffuser contraption
Aforementioned Stained glass thing
A 3 tier wire cupcake display piece of nonsense
2 flocked black crows
5m of grimey vinyl tablecovering
3 , yes 3, boxes of cocktail sticks ....

On that last item, when did I ever think I would need around 300 cocktail sausages spiked ?

Feeling overwhelmed, I've come upstairs to escape, wondering when we'll ever be able to eat at our kitchen table again which is now piled high with sundry items. I've filled 3 binbags with junk and will be going back in to tackle the socks when I've written this. This may be the longest blog entry I've ever written. I've already googled Pinterest for Laundry Room inspiration which left me quivering with regret. They'd all been Cath Kidstoned to death and it's doubtful whether any laundry ever takes place in any of them. Don't go there if you don't want to spend the rest of the Bank Holiday wallowing in Pinterest envy - and yes Mr Parking Warden ... Good Friday IS a Bank Holiday actually.

Before and after photos to follow.

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Spring Cleaning

Why on earth do we feel compelled to clean out our nests at this time of year ? I could set my clock by it.

I'm starting in the bedroom. The ghastly clothes have gone ( 3 bin bags full ) and now I've started on accessories. Down to a handful of bags ( smart, casual, cross-body, beach and shopper ) just 3 hats ( I never wear them anyway ) and now I've strated on scarves. What's with the scarves ? Ghastly chiifon ones, most I've never worn, masters of disguise ( big boobs ) , things with tassels and pom poms hanging off them ... the list is endless. Anything that was grey of beige ( greige ? ) has gone too. I've filled another binbag.

It's not as if I've ever worn any of them once, maybe twice.

Don't even start me on PJs. Christmas ones ( one day a year for goodness sake) , slinky ones, fluffy ones, ones that look like they belong to a 14 year old. I'm running out of bin bags.

Next stop wrapping paper. I've decided that only things associated with going to bed and waking up should be in the bedroom so that includes, dressing, hair drying, make-up and bedtime reading material. Why then is the bedroom now a multi-purpose sewing room, wrapping station, unwanted cushion depository and harbinger of boxes for items that might breakdown and need returning to the manufacturer ? Not to mention abandoned hobbies like calligraphy ( one of these days ) silversmithing, picture framing, quilting and beading.

Books have got out of control ever since DH dispensed with our bookshelves in favour of an antique boat in a glass cabinet that takes up half of the hallway. Coats have gone downstairs onto the coathooks, empty spectacle cases of which I have amassed about a dozen have gone in the bin. The emergency present drawer remains , used only last week when DH asked ( at 8am in the morning ) if I had any 'spare' gifts for a member of his staff who was into writing and travel. I came up trumps with a Moleskine Travelers Notebook and a wallet full of stylish pencils. And yes, I was able to provide an emergency wimple for a friend off to a Tarts and Vicars party without a costume and an outsized comedy sombrero when I needed to dress up as a Mexican bandit, all hauled from the emergency dressing up box that lurks in a bedroom cupboard drawer.

NO MORE . Bedrooms are for sleeping in. They are not a cabinet full of curiosities.

So, the next time I need a grey/beige, life sized rabbit costume or a tasselled and pom-pom adorned scarf with matching beach bag and I find that the cupboard is empty, I will only have myself to blame.

Friday 26 January 2018

Never done things by halves

This year I'm turning Sixty - it was less scary to write it as a word rather than in numbers. I'm not at all perturbed by this. On the contrary, I say ' Bring It On ! ' In fact, I now realise that I've always expressed my age as that of the year in which I turn that age so I'm always one year ahead of the game. That's just my way of getting used to it. If you say it often enough you start to believe it and as I'm a September girl, I have a nine month run up to actually turning that age ,which seems to be enough time to get my head around it. So in fact, I've been feeling psychologically sixty for about a month now.

So it's the biggie. I hope there are many more but I'm realistically aware of the fact that as bodies age, their ability to remain supple, mobile and flexible dwindles - an inversely proportional problem ( I always see things in mathematical terms - an occupational hazard) . That's why I embarked on a training regime 3 months ago and have not only lost an impressive amount of weight but I've also started to slow down the ageing process ... up to a point.

There's no point in dealing with the physical aspects only, so I'm also embarking on a year of activities to nourish my soul and mind. It's also an excuse to start a new notebook as if I ever needed one ... excuse that is , not notebook, of which I have plenty.

So, here's the first item on the list so far ...

  • Re-ignite my Scottish roots. This will include something to do with haggis on Burns Night and a visit to the Hebrides ( Outer not Inner.  Remember, I don't do things by halves ) . Why travel half way round the world to see turquoise waters when it's right on our doorstep here in the UK? I've always had a fantasy to rent a croft and re-invent myself as an Islander ever since watching Ring of Bright Water.  You know the way some films just have that effect on you ? You watch it and feel forever changed. This is also the sort of pipe dream statement that makes a Western Islander hopping mad and rightly so. I'm such a Londoner really.  This is what I'm expecting in my head ....

This may be closer to reality ...

More to follow... watch this space.

Thursday 4 January 2018

Welcome 2018

I am starting this year's musings 3 stone lighter and with a new resolve to take better care of myself.
Thanks to Cathy Zielske, all round good egg and funny lady, I have signed up for Fit 2018 - her online course designed to get you taking care and owning your helath - both physical and mental. Anything that gets you moving, crafting, writing and taking note of what's important in life gets my vote.

This is a big year - well aren't they all ? Well yes, but this year in particular is going to be HUGE. For starters I get to celebrate a pretty significant birthday. Eldest beloved son has just left home to set up a whole new life with his lovely girlfriend. Youngest beloved son is embarking on a trip of a lifetime to Tanzania to spread some love in the world and will then be leaving home in the Autumn to start his University adventure studying a subject which is so dear to his heart - music. The tragic loss of a very dear friend at the end of last year prompted him to seize life with both hands and make every moment count. Soemthing we should all be doing but somehow we get sidetracked from it by the minutiae of everyday life and all its tiresome details.

I aim to spend less time doing chores, cleaning and superfluous activities . With this in mind I am gently de-cluttering my personal posessions down to a capsule wardrobe ( 5 tops , 5 bottoms, one coat and just my undies ... big pants will have to go ) . My kitchen cupboards will contain wholesome and nutritious real foods and .... ( this is the BIG one ) I am aiming to reduce my spending dramatically to include only food, essential household items which will support the streamlining of my life. This will include a re-cycling bin, some basic fitness equipment and books - and that's all. Yeah right ... no really ... this is the plan. Let's see how much I manage to acheive.