Friday, 27 April 2012

The Here and Now

I am a very disorganised person.  I am also untidy, but I suspect that comes in part from being disorganised.  I have never developed a place for most of the things in my life.  I mean, I have a cutlery drawer, and an underwear drawer (although my undergarments often sit in the clean washing basket until worn again), but most of my possessions stay where they land, which is not ideal and really needs to change.

Take my crochet hook for example.  I have hundreds of the things, but only one that I use almost every day.  It is a satisfyingly red aluminium 4.5mm hook, and it is the exact right size for Stylecraft Special DK yarn, which I also use almost every day.

You will notice that it has a cork skewered onto the end.  This is because I lose the damn thing almost as often as I use it.  Now that it can't easily fall down the side of the sofa, or roll underneath it, or be picked up unnoticed in a large piece of crochet work, I lose it (and therefore swear) far less frequently.  Of course, it is the only 4.5mm hook I can find, despite having bought three complete sets over recent years, because I only caught on to the cork trick after at least two other hooks vanished into the ether, never to be found again.  Or at least, not until I rake some of my unfinished projects out from my home's various nooks and crannies.

My mother says that I have a grasshopper mind.  Which might go some way towards explaining how I can spend hour upon hour making a blanket, then find a photo of it on my camera a year or so later and wonder what it is!  After a few seconds staring at it vague bells started to ring at the back of my mind.  I sort of recall making it as a blankie for a toddler, when I fancied a shorter project than the 2 kingsize granny stripe blankets I had made in succession.  I also decide to do a colour repeat, to see whether I liked it.  The jury is still out on that.

I've seen worse, but it doesn't wow me.  The point is, though, that I've put it away somewhere and completely forgotten its existence.  It's not so bad that it deserves never to see the light of day again, and it's a waste of time, money and effort if it is never to be used.  This "losing" of things is not deliberate, it's my disorganisation again.  I need to come up with a strategy.  Actually, I need to declutter, because if I didn't have so much stuff, then so much of what I do own would not be out of sight behind newer stuff!  I dare not show you my bedroom.  In fact, I'd not dare show you any room in my house.  I'm not so bad that I'd set any records for filth on "How Clean is Your House", but House Beautiful it is not!

And disorganisation has other, less frivolous consequences.  If I am to be un(der)employed, then I have to cut back on my outgoings.  That has to start with not wasting food. I'm normally not too bad in this area, being a great leftovers consumer and food recycler. (Last night's lefotver soup becomes today's shepherd's pie with the addition of a tin of lentils and some frozen veggie mince).  But I shocked myself earlier in the week when I opened my fridge's veg drawer and found almost the entire contents beyond use.  Including a whole bag of spring greens, not even opened.  This has to stop.  Apart from the financial consideration, it's just plain wrong.

To my shame, I can see carrots (black spotted and slimy), white cabbage (black spotted and dehydrated beyond use) a whole red pepper (wrinkled and with great slimy patches), the two heads of spring cabbage gone yellow (look, the one on the right's starting to flower, bless it) and part of a celeriac root which is pretty much fossilised.  There are a couple of apples lurking in there, too, out of sight.  Ack.  Awful waste.  All headed for the compost heap, which is my only consolation - at least it's not all going to landfill.

After that depressing image, here are a few other, more cheerful aspects of my life at the moment.

I love my garden.  Not to work in, but to look at from the kitchen window as I wash up, and to sit out in with some wine and music and Husband (not necessarily in that order of importance) when the weather is kind.  At the moment it's looking very overgrown, because Husband (who is in exclusive charge of grasscutting) has a note excusing him from heavy work due to a recent hernia repair.  The grass is becoming very, very long.
Here my senior cat demonstrates how far up her side the grass currently reaches.  You can tell from her half-Siamese frosty glare that the current state of her domain is not appreciated.  She is doing her best to help us with this situation by chewing off, eating, and then throwing up on the dining-room carpet as much grass as she can manage, but she's only one cat, dedicated though she may be.

Not all of the garden is looking so neglected.  We also have riots of wallflowers in two old half-barrels.  They perfume the garden with scents of my childhood and delight me whenever I go out there.

And the lilac bush is in flower, proving that I was wrong and Husband was right when he pruned it back so hard last year that I predicted he'd killed the tree.  I only photographed the top part of it, official reason being that it looks wonderful against the current old-jeans colour of the sky.  Real reason is the lower half is obscured by an unlovely rotary clothelines that I can't reach over the long grass to dismantle.

To finish on, here's a photo of my one and only white camelia that's not been rendered brown and crispy-edged by the wind:

Please ignore the two flies inconsiderately bonking on the leaf to the left.  It is spring, after all.


  1. Hi Cathy, Just thought I'd pop over to say hello.

    I can so totally relate to things just vanishing into the ether. I'm trying sooooo hard to pare down my belongings to a manageable level so I can actually find what I already have instead of having to go out and buy another... and it's helping, but it's a very, VERY sloooowwww process.

    BTW I think your crocheting is BEAUTIFUL! I have such a love-hate relationship with crafts. Every now and again I get obsessed with some project or another, and throw myself into it. But I seldom finish. A few years back I designated one cabinet as the place for "projects". Unfortunately, it became the place were all good intentions go to die. So I'm now trying to exercise a bit of discipline in that department, and either finish the projects that are half done or just let them go. Not sure why that's such a challenge for me.

    The flowers look beautiful, and don't worry about the grass - I'm sure it will get dealt with at some point!


  2. Hi Cat. I would just like to say that I have come home after a particularly difficult three days away at work, including a very uncomfortable day of stress-induced indigestion, to find three helpful and supportive comments from you on my blog and it has really made my day. Thank you kindly!
    And thank you too for your lovely comments about my crocheting. As you may have gathered I'm my own worst critic and it means a lot to hear something nice said about my stuff.
    I am gearing myself up to do some decluttering, but due to a very strange childhood (sound familiar at all?) where some less than helpful habits, fears and attitudes were developed, this is particularly hard for me. I'm shivering just thinking about it. And one of the areas that causes the most clutter is - craft UFOs. UnFinished Objects. That's a whole other blog entry, which will be written, so I'll not bang on about it here. But take heart and do revisit those half-made creations. Do you have a crafty friend to whom you could pass those items that you really can't face finishing? That way you'd both win. You'd have more space and a generous glow, and she (or he) would have a nice new project to gloat over.
    The grass is better now, thank you. Husband is healed in the hernia department and back on garden duty, especially on the Sundays that my mother spends at our house. Funny that!

    1. Craft UFO's... I LOVE it! Can't wait to read that post!

  3. That one will definitely need photographs, otherwise no-one will believe me.

  4. Cathy - you should write more, your blog is great!

    I love your crocheting - I used to do lots when I was younger & decided to get back into last year... I've crocheted 2 squares in 18 months... Hopeless! Can't believe we didn't talk about it while you were here...

    Your kitties look lovely.

    Kay xx

  5. Hi Kay - thank you so much for your kind words. I could stand compliments about my writing all day every day! And yes, my cats are a joy. An eccentric, messy, noisy and occasionally barking mad joy, but a joy nonetheless.
    It's probably just as well you didn't get me started on crochet whilst I was with you, because I can be just the tiniest bit obsessive about it. Although since I left work I have to say I've been markedly less so. Maybe I was over-compensating with it. No matter - next time I come I'll be sure to bring some and we can play with it as much as you'd like to. Anything I can do to help rekindle your enthusiasm for the old hook would be a pleasure to me.
    Thank you again for your kind comment.