Tag Archives: De-clutter

Easter break


The running weekend for my youngest almost did not happen as the black dog lingered. Eventually she set off back to Manchester but remained in two minds about the whole thing. Then the ferry she was meant to catch crashed into something….and all travel plans went haywire. After lots of talking she decided to try and find an alternate route and if that was not going to be possible, just come home.

She made it – a ferry at 2:15 in the morning to arrive to do a 10 k run.

In the meantime oldest is back and full of stories about life up north. She plays Japanese pop all the time, which I really don’t get, but otherwise she is well and that makes me happy.

We took a big pile of items to the tip and charity shop including all the ex’s clothes that he left behind. There was a sense of finality with that.

I fell out of the shower and in the night bumped into the headboard on my bed and now have a big red bruise/scrape on both my ankle and forehead.

All my siblings are in touch a lot now about the pending move for my parents. They have left it so late to buy a house that they will be forced to rent in the short term. We think they are just overwhelmed by the whole process of closing this chapter of their lives.

I have not been in touch with dear ones of late but will do so soon…. you know who you are!

May you all have a peaceful, happy Easter break. x





Jumping the gun a little


I have found a house that I imagine I would like to live in and am going to see it on Saturday. In fact it is more or less the dream place for me, but I know that without the money in place to make an offer – this little venture will lead to a bit of heart ache…

The move is coming closer though and and some point the search must begin.

Also, one idea is that if I see a smaller house it will make it more easy to rid myself of more bits and pieces long before the move happens.

And, I do like looking at houses.



Plodding on


Still struggling a bit with the black dog, or its shadow at least, which has made routine tasks challenging this week. Things are being done in tiny increments, rather than in energetic blitzes.

He in Paradise has let me know that his company has now been dissolved and that the money will be available soon…but the flat is not selling and the agents are about as useful as a chocolate teapot! The tenant tells me that 7 flats have sold in the street in the last half year…..and they are all with other agents….but, we are almost half way to me getting out of here.

Oldest daughter went back, somewhat better than she arrived, and now youngest is here to run in the GRIM challenge in Aldershot tomorrow with some friends. (Can’t post a link for some reason, but it is a muddy race over army training grounds…). I am driver and photographer and am looking forward to it. They will be filthy, wet and cold at the end…..

Uni started this week with a gruelling month of lectures planned before the next placement starts in March. The exam results were fair to middling. Whether I resit will be determined on the results of the essay. Two low scores means a definite yes. I have a personal target for my grade average…

Today 7 DVDs went to the charity shop.  7 less things.

Little steps….the day will come when I can put up photos of an empty house.





Writing from a warm bed – and an update later in the day


Wind is tossing the birds about and rain is lashing against the window. Eldest Daughter and I were up till about 2:30 this morning. It was a celebration of sorts. The end of the semester (the essay was submitted 5 hours before the deadline) for me and acceptance for her about her recent breakup. We watched The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp. It was a hoot and just right for a bit of silliness after all the recent angst.

Just before submission and reading through the thing, again, I began to worry that the question had not been answered properly. It’s bit of a problem when one doesn’t even know if it HAS been answered or not too…….In fact that wee worm of worry lingers still. Time will tell. Academic writing is hard work, non of this blog-like rambling allowed!

There are now four days of no academic commitment. Four whole days for US, for getting stuck into the house, cleaning it (nasty!), ridding it of more THINGS and getting ready for the day I move.

It also means Eldest Daughter can have more of my attention, she has been very patient with me locked away day and night, writing. And she is brilliant at editing and referencing, really helpful….She needs loads of TLC right now and I am happy that we are going to get a bit of time for that.

We might not get the best weather over the next few days, so long seaside walks may be off the cards, but we can still hang out and have fun be good to ourselves and each other.


After a slow morning reading blogs, loving Zero Waste Home especially, Daughter and I headed to town, she had things to see to. We ate lunch out, something healthy for me and comforting for her. (I know I said I was going to be frugal, but we were both tired and somewhat delicate after last night….).

We had a poke around the charity shops, but spent nothing there. The weather continued to be horrible and town was very quiet.

Once home I tackled part of the garage. A sideboard and sofa are to go, as well as the dining table and chairs from inside the house, but the sideboard had to be emptied.

For shame! Boxes of new, unopened wine glasses in the original carrier bag….they never even made it into the house. They have probably been there 6 years, or more? Dozens more cut glass and crystal glasses that he has had for more than twenty five years, plates, a whopping big cafetiere, faded old placemats and a broken Tiffany lamp (not allowed to chuck it because he might fix it one day….). Decisions were made. Some items went into his keep pile – i.e. I cannot decide for him so they will go to him and he can take over. The new glasses will come with me to replace the odd collection I have. A big box of stuff went to the charity shop and the rest went to the tip.

I even got to empty motor oil into the giant ‘can’ for that purpose at the tip and was really chuffed.

When I dropped off the bits to the Red Cross, the lady told me the van has broken down and they won’t be collecting this week after all. Pity really as I was looking forward to seeing the space in the garage. Another time….

Finally, another one of the drawers in the kitchen has been streamlined down to ONE of everything THAT I ACTUALLY USE (except chopsticks, we have a few pairs of those). Things not used are all on the way out.










A weird thing to do, or is it just me?


Facebook revealed a photo of the ex today, uploaded by a friend, of him and his first wife at their wedding. There was some banter about him holding his stomach in and a comment from someone I have seen in the last few months saying ‘ how nice to see….’ (name of ex-wife).

It hurt, and here is why. That marriage ended in tears and then very, very sadly a few months later in the death of his wife.

The person who commented about his wife, was once a bit unkind about her, to ME.

Since that marriage, we were married, but it seemed as if the last ten years just DO NOT exist.

So, here I am getting all upset and hurt, then I started thinking how very odd to put up a photo that is so OLD. He looks nothing like that now. It was not (according to him) a happy relationship, but there was the photo for all to see. What on earth was the point?

So weird, or is it me just thinking that?

Once I manned up, I started, tentatively tackling my ever growing ‘to do’ list. More stuff for the charity shop, and they are coming with the van next week to take some of the bulkier bits of furniture….

Student Finance has agreed to lend me money – never thought I would be happy to be in debt, but it is going to seriously help over the next few months. I emptied my pound coin and penny jar and had over £50 which was banked.

I am now about to start more work and have a gym date at uni in the morning before hitting the library and seeing the head of the program.








Had a major one yesterday – all overcome with emotion and hurt. Some hard self examination and reflection about being a NICER, KINDER soul. I could really work on that! Basically beat myself up about a lot of stuff, got teary, did a little study and a lot of procrastinating.

Today was a little better. It started though, with a big unexpected expense as my laptop was not talking to the printer and a call to the helpline revealed that my IP address had been hacked and there were over 45,000 Trojans in the system….slowing shutting down all I have.

I paid for them to fix it, it took a couple of hours but both laptops are clean and protected now. The Internet was fine, just the IP address.

That motivated me to record the expense and have started using and adapting the budget template from Blonde on a Budget‘s blog to get an idea of spends.

The solicitor also sent me a requested letter about my marital status and financial situation so that I can apply for a little more bursary and the accountant has sent all my tax returns so that the girls can apply for a bit more help.

So even with my head under the duvet, things still got done!!

While it is clear there can be no extravagance, I did knock for my neighbour, who spends days on end alone and asked if she would like to have a coffee with me in town as there were errands to run. It was nice and a break from the desk.

Daily, small downsizing tasks are being performed too. Yesterday a wardrobe was emptied, today all the old office paraphernalia that was in this room has been collected in one space to be donated.

Little and often is my mantra for dealing with the big things that are freaking me out!

About to do a pasta bake for dinner/lunchbox tomorrow and food for daughter while I am on shift.

PS. Daughter ran 18k in the foulest, coldest, wettest, windiest weather the other day. She was dripping and splashing through water ankle deep. To accompany her I fashioned a waterproof ensemble from wellies, a raincoat tied around my waist, apron like to keep the rain off my legs, rain coat, worn traditionally, gloves (leather) but covered with bright blue surgical gloves for water proofing, scarf and waterproof hat to keep the rain off my face. The brim of which sent waterfall like torrents onto my legs if I looked down…..

Think, The Lady in the Van, only on a bike.




And Breathe….or run


The blog has changed.

Things could not be more chaotic, stressful, unsettled, scary and sad right now. After ten years we have called it quits. I waver from wanting to weep to feeling extremely calm. I often feel overwhelmed and swamped by what is to come. There is so much to discuss and do.

The girls head to uni over the next two weeks. One for the first time, to Manchester to do Physics. Her sister heads back north too to head up the Japanese Society at her uni, and to study as well!! I start my second year next week too. I am learning how to be a nurse.

There is more, but not for here and now.

There has to be a way to cope when one is so stretched, to find energy when one can barely think and to live a healthy, quiet life while storms rage around you.

My take on that is to finally work to develop a sense of order in my life.  In the last week (we have been back from a visit to family in Australia only a WEEK!), I have emptied drawers and cupboards and have filled bags with unwanted, unused items. It has been hard and humiliating at times. What the hell was I thinking hanging on to so much tat to put on e-bay for so long? I thought of the money wasted, (mostly second hand stuff, I am not a big retail shopper), the space it all took, the odd sense I must have had to want to own it in the first place and the realisation that it did not make me feel one bit better. Then I took about 90% of it to the charity shop and gave it all away. The rest was dumped.

To look at the house you could not tell. BUT, I plan to keep going. Only my stuff, my clothes, books, bits and bobs.

I plan not to buy anything unless I NEED it, and for every thing I buy at least one item will go.

I plan to save money (more on this later…) by shopping better, planning better and making pack lunches for uni.

I plan to continue my running regime because it lifts my spirits and makes me fitter

and I plan to breathe.

At 54 it is tough to be undoing a life and starting another one. But here goes.