(Bella Spring cleaning her room)
So how was Easter?? Not that it’s quite over here yet…kids go back to school tomorrow..but it’s been – needed to be – a quiet, simple time for us just gently shuffling to the waltz of life with two steps forward…three steps back.
But it’s been a hurrah for moral depravity – early on we lost all the electrical sockets upstairs due to a fault with our tumble dryer which took a while to track down…which meant no washer, no dryer..no phone..no alarm clocks..no computer. Such a shame. I personally saw it as proof of the after life and a neon message from above to say opt out: If you were a decorator, you’d have all day to paint. If you were a cleaner, you’d be left to remove 6 months of builder’s dust. If you were a nanny, that would be your job. If you were a writer, at least you’d have a job title. To do all four at once is quite frankly disgraceful and flashy…give up now. So I gave up blogging..
Progress after the builders has been made – the hall is now painted, the cellar is nearly done, but the house is still in great upheaval, mainly because rooms can’t be sorted until various cupboards are painted (which is a god forsaken task and takes time) and carpets are down (due end of April) at which point the spare room can be unpacked.
But actual Easter was delicious: 32 members of the family together at my brother and sister-in-laws for the long weekend. Pretty special. We have three big traditions: Decorating hard boiled eggs for the ‘best dressed egg’ competition.
Charlotte with her trophy! An egg hunt in the garden…
Followed by an egg race using newspaper thwackers to hit said eggs around a cunningly designed course, avoiding the moving obstacle of hungry dogs. Old, blind, Molly wasn’t such a issue…but Olly ran away with Charlie’s egg..there were tears..
All the cousins together..
The period also coincided with The Husband working ridiculous hours (back at 2..up at 6). For most people (read me) this would eventually result in a weeping, gelatinous heap in a far corner. He goes the other way – the insert for the cutlery drawer? sorted. A new recycling bin? found and ordered. Someone to pick up the backlog of washing and ironing after socket disaster? I let out an unprovoked shriek when they appeared at the door. The missing knob to the le cruset dish? We now have a new one. I’m thinking pace and recharge whilst he’s spinning faster and faster, I’m just Hoping I’ll be in a fit state to catch him when he falls…
And then I went to write this post..and discovered he had updated the whole computer ‘to make it run faster’..so much so it didn’t even recognise the printer..it took me twenty minutes to download the new software to get them speaking again. I went to add photos…and realised, before I could I would need to download my entire photo library again….The truth is I actually wrote this post last week…
Two steps forward…three steps back…
Laters, Kate x
I’ve been reading Bea Johnson’s book ‘Zero Waste Home’ with interest – it’s fair to say it’s an eye opener. Whilst there’s no doubt she’s taken her chosen style of living to an extreme (her 4 member family produce just one large jar of rubbish a year)..( I confess that’s less than we manage in a day) and despite the fact the book is written for the American market, there’s no denying the hidden gold between the pages…..she genuinely believes that in our fast-paced, modern world we’ve disconnected from the true reality of our commercialism and the consequences of our voracious, unstoppable actions. By shining a light on something as simple as rubbish she aims to change people’s attitudes in a broader, rippling sense..and make a real difference both to the individual and the planet. Impressive ambitions.
The book reminds me of an article I read in the Times by Caitlin Moran where she admitted that as a poor person she was far more creative: No money to buy it equalled make it or fix it. But now with success, she just throws money at the problem…we think because we can have it all, we should have it all. We even deserve to have it all.
Bea thinks differently: She likes to simplify life right down to needs not wants, equalling less hassle, less waste..less stuff.
And that’s where she and I differ. I understand the simplicity of a clutter free, simplified life…but clutter and old stuff are fundamental to my personal lifeblood. All these pics represent interiors I aspire to with their sense of timeless style and soft edges.
A house without books? Soulless.
No artworks and bedspreads?
(All pics Pinterest)
Or knick knacks and beautiful rugs? It would break my little heart.
But I think there are grey areas where we overlap. And I’d really like to explore her world in little steps..doing something different every month. Watch this space…
Laters, Kate x
(Ear cuff by Ryan Storer, now sold out – Boo!)
Walked into the utility room this morning and found the sock box all over the floor. Again. How many times have I said to the kids if you go for a rummage – leave the room as you find it – if you disturb anything PUT IT BACK? I start moaning to the Husband who’s trying to get dressed. ‘It’s not a big thing, but it’s representative of a larger issue,’ I say. No response. I tell myself don’t linger on the negatives but everyone needs a rant at some point..in the evenings he gets to offload work on me so a voice says, why can’t I moan about my work? I’m the first to say mines not the job that brings in the money, but sometimes it’s the hidden work that holds a family together: It’s the monotonous, grunge, brain numbing stuff that’s like groundhog day every day except it largely remains invisible as if fairies have been at work. So I say, ‘it’s the invisible work I do that needs a bit of respect’. Still no response. I can feel the emotional plates shift like a red rag to a bull…’That’s just perfect, I’m so invisible (read taken for granted) no-one even hears me..I don’t want practical solutions, I don’t want a conference call or a European Summit but just an acknowledgement or a grunt will do’…nadah…I continue, climbing upon my very high horse..’I consider the work of a mother one of the most vital on the planet. It’s the foundations stone that builds future lives, holding them together, keeping them moving forward in a (generally) clean and (hopefully) happy manner..it’s seven days a week, 365 days a year and for all this I get..nothing..zip..zilch..I live off your income and get not one iota of recognition from the government, not a tax break, not nothing..and as for society…well if this is indicative of society’s attitude..'(voice rising in crescendo..)
He pulls out his headphones..’Did you say something, Darling’?
Men. I really just give up.
And from now on I’ll be charging the kids 10p off their pocket money every time they mess up my utility room. A girls gotta earn her money somehow….
Laters, Kate x