Thursday, November 08, 2007


Well, yesterday it took me a bit more than half an hour to get Mairi's room even semi-presentable. More like two hours, in fact. I came out with two huge black bags of rubbish, an Ikea blue bag filled to the brim with outgrown toys for the charity shop, a box of toys to be put up in the attic in case she misses them (if not, they go to the charity shop in three months) and a box of toys which have been downgraded to garden toys ie I don't care if they get manky out there, they can get binned.

In fact I took out a lot of excess. So why is it her room looks no emptier???

It does look a bit more organised, I suppose. And one of the best things about sorting toys out again is when you reunite sets of things, they can look fresh and interesting again. Last night both kids (Duncan is eleven, you understand) spent two hours playing tea parties in her room, just because I'd found all the plastic sandwich ingerdients that velcro together to make play picnics. It was cute.

Similarly, I also made a determined effort to locate all the bags of yarn and fibre stash which has been squirreled away in the attic for some time, as protection against the builders. It was interesting to find some things that I'd forgotten about, like the two packs of Debbie Bliss Merino DK which I had obviously found on sale somewhere, since it was priced at 50p per ball. And four packs of Rowan Linen Print which had come out the 1p per gram Yarn Mountain at the Knitting and Crochet Guild, one SkipNorth. Ohh, the guilt free joys of stash shopping, lol! Lots of fibre too, especially plain rovings in a rainbow of colours from Wingham Wool Work. And little fancy bits of this and that. Enough to keep me happy on the drum carder for some months...up till next SkipNorth, in fact...

(Memo to self: Must get some of the above photographed, and on Ravelry.)

There were also several bags of old raw fleece. Now when I first started to spin I was pretty indiscriminate about fleeces and used to buy vast quantities of this and that for not a lot from Ebay. Of course then I didn't really have time to wash it all, let alone spin it, so I shoved it up into the attic where it hung around like the proverbial skeleton. Over the years I've come to the conclusion that I'm just not an oatmeal fibre girl, I like colour and a bit of glitz in my handspun! And also, there's quite a lot of variability in temperature in my attic, ranging from sub-zero in the winter to sweltering hot in August. This has done the fleeces no good at fact the words "rancid", "sweaty" and "felted" come into my thoughts here. Fortunately I didn't pay very much for any of this, so I've decided to cut my losses, compost the lot and free up both space and gulit factor.

(And no, it's not worth asking for it. If it was good stuff I just wanted to get rid of then of course I'd be delighted to offer it out, but trust me, no-one wants this old crap.)

Anyway, now that I can actually see the toy shelves in Mairi's bedroom I'm off to do another round in there this morning. Target today is to remove at least 10% of her outgrown toys, if not 20%. Cruel? No, I don't think so. It can get to a point that there's so much clutter in a child's bedroom that they can't see most of what they own, or it's too difficult to get to or there's simply no room to get things out to play. Also there's no free storage space in there at the moment and she got a big hit of new stuff on her birthday last month with no-where to put them, let alone the Christmas gifts she'll get.

Update on the Storecupboard Challenge. It's going well. This is Day 7 and I've actually had quite a lot of fun with this. I've made some very nice meals that have been appreciated, I've spent about half my usual housekeeping budget this week and the cupboards are actually starting to look a bit emptier. Plenty more for next week though.

Today's menu is...

Split Pea and Ham soup with Sunflower Seed and Honey Bread. This is a main course soup, trust me. I'm very good at soups like this.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake. (From the Be-Ro book of course!)

I was a bit surprised to find not one but five tins of pineapple in the pantry, considering it's not something we eat very much. Bit like the four tins of sardines in tomato sauce, I expect. Even the cats don't much like these latter tins, unless I rinse off every trace of tomato.

Edit: Came back to post a picture of the Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Got to keep up the Yarnstorm side, no!


Helen said...

I had a cat who used to lick all the tomato sauce off and leave the pilchards, and then look at us as if to say, Where's my dinner? So we had to mash it all up together, while complaining about the foolishness of mashing up food for a cat. Not that she got pilchards in tomato sauce very often, it was probably when there was a cupboard-clearing of the sort you describe. Nowadays my cupboard tends to fill up with tins of obscure beans.

Ceallach said...

Fishwife, you sound like my sister in cleaning cyclone. I have recently moved the sewing room into the mostly unused extra living room, DD into said sewing room, and now DS bedroom needs well re-arrangeing, disinfecting (being a boy's room) and a coat of paint, which I think is in the garage, but I have not yet tried to find it, as I am not sure that I REALLY want to paint.

How far am I willing to go to avoid my book writing anyway?

But hey, keep up the good work sister.

Did I mention wanting to change the entire master bedroom from blue to peach?

yvette said...

Wow, you are good. No 1 son comes back home this weekend and I have to get rid of all the stuff belonging to his brothers that have migrated into his room! Apparently he might have some excess baggage ;0) that'll be another guitar and new clothes!

Dawn in NL said...

Mouthwatering photo.

You solved a puzzle for me by describing 'main course soups' as I was trying to think of the best translation of the Dutch 'maaltijdsoep' literally meal soup. I also make a lot of these kinds of soups for through the week when we don't have much time for cooking. Current favourites are Dutch pea soup, and curried lentil soup, I also make goulash as a soup. My mother used to make Stovies as a main course soup.

I'm enjoying your store cupboard challenge and you may even inspire a clean out yet LOL.

All the best,

gourdongirl said...

That pineapple upside down cake looks really yummy!