'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Sunday 28 June 2015

Learning from Experience

Other people's, in this case. Both sons have moved house recently, and seeing them battling with the sheer quantity of stuff each of them had accumulated over just a few years in relatively small houses, made us think about the amount of junk we have after 25 years in a (too) big house. I've already de-stashed a lot of my books, but that was just a drop in the ocean. I happened to read a post on a blog about tackling decluttering 15 minutes at a time, one room at a time, and we decided that was a good approach. Two of us working together = 30 minutes, and we'd be better motivated - and tougher about getting rid of stuff - working together. So last week we started with the bathrooms, on the grounds that there wasn't much in there, so it was an easy start. And there wasn't much - apart from an embarrassingly large collection of out-of-date over-the-counter medications, which had to be disposed of, together with some tired towels, grubby loofahs, etc.  This week was the turn of our bedroom, which was a somewhat larger task: indeed, had we stuck to 15 minutes a day, we'd still be on the second chest of drawers. But, like emptying the dishwasher, once we'd started we had to finish, so we tackled it one item of furniture per day. After a week, we have dozen bin bags heading for the charity shop, another dozen destined for the dump, empty  space in our wardrobes, and drawers we can actually close. It feels good!  Next week is very full of grandparenting, including a sleepover and a Race for Life, so we will tackle the hall and porch.  Despite this frenetic (?) activity, some needlework has been done. The endless gold glove has ended: I haven't measured it yet, but I think it's getting on for 4 metres to the end of its longest tail - or tentacle, it does tend to grab things. I was going to photograph it outside today, as it's outgrown the stairs, but as it's raining I decided not to bother.
  The tapestry weaving for beginners sample has also been finished. I need to work on my selvedges, but despite appearances the beginning is the same width as the end, which must be a first for my weaving.
And the long heralded, much restarted upside down glove has reached the cuff. Working out how to get the pattern to work in reverse involved a lot of standing on my head. (I lie, I turned the book upside down, but it was almost as confusing.)
I think this will be another long one, but I need to think about how I want to finish it off, which will involve experiments with samples of the fabric, bleach and matches. But not all at the same time.     

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