Tuesday, 12 November 2013


Seems to be unending muddle at the moment. Doesn't do much for my spirits to be honest but I keep reminding myself this is all just steps along the way and eventually, at some point, we will all come out the other side enriched by the experience... At least that's the mantra I'm trying to tell myself!

Over the last few weeks, I have been trying to empty and sort and repack. After 20 years in one place, it is astonishing just how much stuff has accumulated! And made doubly difficult by the fact that I'm not actually living in that house now so have been going back in pretty much every spare moment to try to keep on top of the house and garden and begin to make it manageable to move everything out.

I wish I was the kind of person that could just be ruthless and thrash through everything but I seem to have to open every box and sort it bit by bit. I have found some gems along the way - some things that have made me laugh and some that have made me cry - and I have got rid of loads one way and another (hurrah for Freecycle!).

But there is just so much stuff... 

I seem to have enough duvets, sleeping bags and blankets to warm a small army (this is only some!) to say nothing of the endless airbeds... Why???!! No idea! This is pre the days of crochet so all of these came from various trips, family etc. Which is my problem! Everything I find has a memory attached - was given by someone loved or is associated with particular events and there is something very tangible about feeling those memories come back to life as you handle everything. I really struggled to part with the blanket on the top - I think it came on every beach trip or car ride and had every conceivable picnic item dropped on it at one time or another.

But... space is definitely an issue and I have to let things go so I had the bright idea of donating all these to the homeless charities... Only, can you believe it, they don't need them!!! Just as we head into winter it seems they are inundated with similar donations, though I struggle to understand how there can be no takers for a bit of warmth. Tom and I were tempted to take one out with us each time we go into the city and hand them out that way! Looks like they are going to pet charity instead - oh well, might keep a poorly pooch warm somewhere!

We did find this motley crew...

My childhood cuddly toys - from the left, my teddy bear - modelled on Teddy Robinson (anyone remember him?!) complete with dress and pants (no issues with cross dressing in our house!), a rather grubby knitted cat that I don't think I dare wash and a dog that never quite stood up because his head is a bit top heavy for his body! Tom has arranged them on my bed to keep me company!

We also found my Mum's bear...

I remember being slightly frightened of this rather cross looking koala as a child but he must be over 70 years old so I can't really part with him now can I!

Always a bit alarming when you come across a box labelled like this...

You just know that won't be a 5 minute sort out!

My tiny living room quickly descended into this chaos...

I have had to be a bit ruthless and I have scythed my way slowly (is that a bit of a mixed metaphor?!) through it. 

I had piles of Prima magazines - dating back to the very first issue in 1986!!

These were a bit like reading a social commentary of my adult life - with their range of hairstyles, make up and clothes. Some of the content is interesting to as an illustration of how much attitudes have changed - its a reminder of how recently, women were still primarily expected to be homemakers and family cornerstones. Not that there is anything wrong with that, and to a degree it is still true I suspect, but there does seem to be a thread of 'don't worry your little head about anything more serious' in the earlier copies.

I came across some fabulous old patterns too. This one sticks in my mind...

I made it in white mohair (I still have a ball that was left over!) and wore it for the first time at my 18th birthday party. Traumatic. Hadn't accounted for white underwear being much more responsive to the ultraviolet light at the disco... Mortified on the dance floor.

Thank goodness I never subjected my sons to any of these...

I'm not sure they'd have made it out of school alive if I'd made them wear 'Ski Cap' or 'Helmet (with brim down)!!

And I was obviously tempted enough by this stunning jumper pattern to cut it out of the magazine...

But I did find some fabulous pre war embroidery transfers that belonged to my Nanny and a linen tablecloth that has had the embroidery started, plus a baby blanket I started in March 1993 (what was I thinking of trying to knit a complicated pattern for baby no 3?!!) and some incomplete patchwork and a whole load of bits of fabric 'just in case'... So some things have gone back into storage for when the dust has settled and I need a 'project' and some I have jettisoned after a lengthy reminisce.

I have pored over my boys reception writing and paintings, and a whole box of Mothers day, Christmas and Easter cards...

Most of those I just cannot part with...

I still have a box of my diaries, dating back to about 1981 to look at! I should probably just throw them - I know there is going to be a fair amount of teen angst and a lot that will bring a lot of emotions to the fore - but I feel compelled to put myself through it. I can't really explain why. In a way, I think there is a sense of understanding who I am and how I got to be this person in this place in time. And although bits of it are painful in the extreme (notes and cards my husband and I wrote to each other, some before we were even married, my wedding dress...) in some ways they are at least a reminder that it wasn't all a disaster and that we did get married with conviction and for all the right reasons. I'm just at something of a loss to know quite how and when we allowed all those feelings to slip away.

But they did, and we are where we are. I have to believe that once all this muddle is over we will both be in a happier place and can cherish what we had and the contribution we have made to each others lives. 

In the meantime, we are at the mercy of solicitors and estate agents and I just have everything crossed that the t's will be crossed and the i's dotted before too much longer.


  1. So many things for you to do, I think that Koala looks a bit mean also.

  2. Good luck with the rest of your sorting and selling the house. It is a stressful thing to do at the best of times! It's hard to let go of things that you've spent time and money collecting, but it feels good when it's done. You can always scan or photograph things you're not sure about. xx

  3. Good luck with all your sorting out, I think my Grandma made me a top the same as your 18th birthday one, in pale blue! I loved it.

    1. I thought I was the bees knees in that top! Til the disco experience... Been a bit wary of lacy tope ever since... :-D

  4. Goodness those patterns did make me smile. Oh what a life laundry you are undertaking but you sound like you are keeping the most valuable things and taking time over the others.
    It must be emotional and I wish you well xx

    1. I felt like I was in a time warp looking through the patterns, believe me there were more. It seems difficult to believe there was ever a time when anyone thought they were 'the' way to dress! This week feels like a turnaround - I think I am finally getting there and (I almost don't dare say this in case it all goes 'A over T', as my Nanny would have said) I have put an offer on a lovely little house which I really hope will be somewhere to put roots down again. Early days but fingers crossed!! x


Thanks for taking the time to comment! I love to read your thoughts.