Saturday, 31 January 2015

31/365: More Sorting Required!

Today's task is to empty this borrowed storage crate so that it can be returned to its owner.  I've have a quick rummage through and it looks like most of it will be staying, so the real challenge will be to find a home for everything.

Friday, 30 January 2015

30/365: More Recycling

Another trip to the skip with some more bags of waste paper.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

29/365: Cables, Plugs & Stuff!

As I've been sorting through boxes I've found various plugs, cables and electrical things I don't recognise, which I've been collecting together in a bag for the time being.  I'm hoping to be able to match some of the cables to their respective applicances/gadgets, but I have a feeling that a lot of this stuff is a result of Ced's I'll-save-that-because-it-may-come-in-useful-one-day hoarding habit, so will eventually be disposed of.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

28/365: Reducing the Stash!

I've made a start on reducing my card making stash.  I'm giving everything in this photo to Joy for her Station Harry, Fab Rick and the Yarnbirds enterprise.

I've scheduled this post to go live at the time we're meeting for lunch, so that it doesn't spoil the surprise. 

Photo Pairs

For Helena's Photo Pairs this week I've gone for CLOSED and OPEN.

The Alphabet Project | C is for Cat

Week number 3 of The Alphabet Project brings us to the letter C.
C is for cat
meet Sammy, my neighbour's cat

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

27/365: Sylvie's Vase

So named because it was a gift from my friend, Sylvie, when I left the MoD to start teaching. Quite a lot of our ornaments, etc. are named in this way - that way we always remember who gave them to us!
This is staying. It now lives on the window sill in the living room.

Monday, 26 January 2015

26/365: Really Useful Boxes

I've collected up all the Really Useful Boxes from various places around the house and garage and they are now stacked in the corner of the dining room, next to the bookcase.  They are currently filled with a mixture of card making stuff, doll's house accessories and some of Ced's things, but I'm not sure exactly what.
I want to keep all the paper crafting, wool and fabric in these boxes, so the next stage of the decluttering is to sort through each box and decide exactly what is staying and what is going.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

25/365: Scissors

Sorry, it's another rubbish photo!  I'm still dealing with sorting out the finances so had to hunt around for a decluttering photo for today.

I've opted for the scissor collection that I didn't know I had.  These are the ones I've found so far ... I know there are more, quite a few more in fact, because I haven't found the other dressmaking shears, pinking shears, kitchen scissors or the crafting snips.  And there's bound to be lots he had hoarded away, something you come to accept when you have a hoarder for a partner!  I just hadn't appreciated quite how many there are as they aren't normally kept together.
They're not all staying but I'll make the final decision when I find the rest.   

Saturday, 24 January 2015

24/365: High Finance!

Sorry about the quality of the photo but it'll have to do for today.  The camera battery is being recharged and I won't have time to redo the photo afterwards.
Today is a different sort of decluttering and sorting out, forced on me because I needed to complete my tax return. Apart from the Internet quitting on me and having to re-input all the information over again, twice, the online form has been completed and submitted.  Relieved as I am that it is over for another year, I've decided to take the time to get more organised with this aspect of my life.  While the requirements are still fresh in my head, I'm rejigging my own Excel spread sheet so that the figures I update weekly will give me the cumulative figures I need for the tax return at the end of the year.  I've been meaning to do this for years but never had the time when I was looking after Ced. 
I'm also reviewing my budget.  I use the BudgetBrain app as my starting point as it is very detailed and makes me consider expenses that I always forget!  I don't save my information on there though - I create my own spread sheet to keep an eye on my spending.    

Friday, 23 January 2015

23/365: Challenge Trophy

Yes, I know it looks like a chamber pot but this is the Challenge Trophy we won in a car treasure hunt back in the 1980s. There were three of us in the car and we shared the prize between us - two bottles of wine and two £25 vouchers which I shared with N, and poor old Ced had to make do with the chamber pot Challenge Trophy as his prize for the night's work! 
The treasure hunt was supposed to be an annual event with the Challenge Trophy being passed on to the new winners but this turned out to be the last one, so Ced kept the trophy.
This is staying!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

22/365: Pictures

When I moved in to this house we managed to find some of my pictures and these were put up in the living room, dining room and bedroom.  Lots of searching through boxes, but I just couldn't find the other pictures so the rest of the house has been looking very bare.  So frustrating, as more than anything else, I think that it starts to feel like home when you put the pictures up.
Well today I happened across some more of my pictures, and yes, they were in a place that has been searched numerous times - isn't that always the way!  Guess what I'll be doing this weekend!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

21/365: The Airing Cupboard

This is my pathetic excuse for an airing cupboard - just the one shelf, which is too high for me to reach easily. Most of this stuff is going.  I'm keeping the white sheet (top of pile) and the green/yellow tea towel (bottom right) but all the rest is surplus so is in the car boot sale pile. 

The Alphabet Project | B is for Berries

It's the second week of PODcast's Alphabet Project, so today it is the letter B. 
B is for berries

Photo Pairs

This week, my pair of linked photos for Helena' Photo Pairs show OUTSIDE and INSIDE.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

20/365: Shredding

I'm on the dreaded shredding duty today, something that needs to be done but which I find incredibly boring.  I always put it off for as long as I can, even though I know that it'll be a much longer job when I do finally get around to it. I should do it weekly, when it'll only take a couple of minutes at a time, but ... that would be the sensible, grown up approach, wouldn't it!

Monday, 19 January 2015

19/365: The Lindisfarne Sailor

Back in 1998 when I was working in the MoD, I was sat at my desk feeling a bit sorry for myself because Ced was working away from home.  He was coming home at weekends, but what was supposed to have been a quick two day job had turned into weeks as they found more for him to do, and we couldn't see an end to it.  My office phone rang, so I answered it ... it was Ced:
Ced - "Can you get next week off"
Me - "Why?"
Ced - "We're going on holiday to Lindisfarne"
A quick chat with my boss, and yes, I could have the week off so the following Monday sees us driving up north. Ced then revealed the reason for the last minute holiday - he was as fed up as me, so had told the company he was working for that he was going on holiday next week and so wasn't able to continue working for them.
Company boss - "Oh, where are you going?"
Ced (off the top of his head!) - "We're off to Lindisfarne"
Company boss - "Really! That's lucky ... we've been asked to send someone up to look at some machinery ... you can do it for us! We'll pay for the holiday if you do"

As Ced said, how could he refuse!  The work only took an afternoon and was in the mead factory on the island, where we were also given a guided tour and the opportunity to sample the mead.  The rest of the week was fantastic, one of our best holidays ever.  Ced bought this sailor in one of the craft shops on the island, a memento of a wonderful week.

The Lindisfarne sailor is staying!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

18/365: More Organising

I always have band related stuff here but  have never had a designated place for it, so today I have rectified that omission. I've decided to use the other smaller unit in the living room - deliberately chosen for the fact that it is small, and so will limit the amount of band stuff I keep at home.
This is what it looked like before I started; some videos waiting to be converted to DVD, an empty box (why?!!), guarantees and instruction books and the gadget for fitting the glass shades on the ceiling lights.

This is the result of fifteen minutes sorting:
The videos are still there until I find time to save them to DVD and I've sorted through the guarantees and instruction books, keeping only the ones for the items I still have in the house.  The band stuff I'm currently working on is on the bottom shelf of the cupboard and the stuff piled on top will be taken back to the band cupboard next Saturday.
The empty box has been broken down for recycling and the gadget for the lights is  temporarily in a box with all the batteries and chargers - I still need to find somewhere to keep all that sort of stuff organised and easy to find.

My Day in Photos - Saturday 17th January

I'm joining in with Jane's Photo an Hour, which this month was set for Saturday 17th January 2015.  

Saturday is, thankfully, a later start for me.  I usually get up just before 8 o'clock and, after bathroom business, head downstairs for the first coffee of the day.  Here, I'm in the kitchen waiting for the toaster to pop up some crispy toast to have with my coffee.

9 o'clock, and it's time to leave for the band, collecting two of the teenagers on the way, as they help me teach the beginners.  This is my tenor horn and bag of band music waiting in the hallway.  I always get things ready the night before.

10 o'clock and we're working through some new music. We haven't used this book before, although it's been in the cupboard for years; there are some fun pieces to play and the children seem to be enjoying them - not too difficult but introducing more complicated rhythms that are just enough of a challenge to keep it interesting!

11 o'clock and we've moved onto some different pieces.  I ordered a set of simple arrangements of film music and they've been a big hit with the kids - Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

12 o'clock (well, about 10 past) and we've packed away, the children have been collected and I've locked the school.  As usual, I'm the last one in the car park.

1 o'clock and I'm just finishing the washing up which I didn't bother to do last night!  I've had lunch (ham sandwiches and a banana) and I'm tidying up the kitchen before I settle down for a relaxing afternoon at home.

2 o'clock and I'm pottering around the garden.  I wanted to see what damage, if any, there was as a result of the recent storms.  Luckily, there was very little. One of the clematis was ripped away from the trellis and is looking very sorry for itself, but I've tidied it up and am keeping my fingers crossed for a recovery.

3 o'clock and I've just finished reorganising one of the units in the living room.  I'm updating my blog with my daily photograph.

4 o'clock and I'm just finishing up some lesson planning for next week.  

5 o'clock and I'm enjoying a bit of a play around on the piano.  I hate playing scales on any of the other instruments but, for some strange reason, I find that playing scales on the piano is a good way of relaxing.

6 o'clock and I settle down with a mug of coffee and my book.  I have about 170 pages left to read and I need to finish it by Tuesday in time for the book group meeting.

7 o'clock and I've treated myself to a takeaway - chicken balti, onion bhajis and pilau rice.  They took ages to deliver so this is my I'm-starving-so-just-chuck-it-on-the-plate-and-eat-it-as-soon-as-possible style of presentation.  Yes, I know I'm (supposed to be) on a diet ... I saved the other half of the takeaway to have today (Sunday).

8 o'clock and my final photo of the day.  The rest of the evening was spent cuddled up on the sofa, reading.  By the time I went to bed, I'd finished this book and started on the next one (for the other book group), We Are All Completely Besides Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler.

Just a typical Saturday really, but I enjoyed recording it in this way.  I think Jane sets the date for next month when she posts her own photos.  Why not pop over to her blog to see how all the others spent their day?

Saturday, 17 January 2015

17/365: Getting Organised

Today, I've focused on getting more organised with the 'office' type things.  I no longer have a dedicated office space but do have a need to keep paperwork filed and easy to find.  I've decided to use one of the units in the living room, at least for the time being.  Before I started, it looked like this; untidy, filled with games and Wii accessories:  

Twenty minutes later it looks like this:
For now, the games are staying in this cupboard but the Wii accessories have been packed in a box and moved upstairs.  I plan to keep the Wii set up in the third bedroom when there is enough space, so that's the obvious room to keep all the accessories in as well.
The bottom shelf holds, from L - R, degree stuff, work stuff & cash box, personal papers.

Friday, 16 January 2015

16/365: Oh No, There's More!

I've been sorting through the heaps of stuff in the third bedroom and have uncovered a load more music.  I honestly thought I'd already got to the bottom of that particular problem, but obviously not.  Luckily most of it can just be skipped or given to the band.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

15/365: Scanning Photos

Today's 15 minutes has been used up scanning some photos.  It takes ages, doesn't it?  I have boxes and boxes of photos to sort out, so I've decided that as well as my 15 minutes decluttering every day, I will also do 15 minutes of scanning as well.
I've moved the scanner and laptop to the dining room so that I can do the scanning in between cooking a meal.  It'll soon get done that way.  Hopefully!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Photo Pairs

It's time for Helena's Photo Pairs - choosing two linked photos.  Before you look, I have to say that the photos aren't that good; they haven't worked as well as I expected, but you'll still get what I was trying to show!!  These linked photos are supposed to show OPEN and CLOSED.

The first one is also my entry to PODcast's Alphabet Project, which is starting today with the letter 'A'.

14/365: No More Project Life!

I've followed quite a few of the memory keeping blogs and was keen to have a go myself so I ordered the kit, with the intention of documenting 2008.  The kit had to come from the USA and didn't arrive until April, by which time Ced was in hospital and life as we knew it changed.
I had already taken loads of photos in the first four month of that year, but you only had to look at them in order and the deterioration in Ced's health jumped out at you.  Knowing the prognosis, I decided that I didn't want to document what we thought would be the last year of his life, so the Project Life kit was put to one side.
I've now decided to sell it all, partly because of the association with this time in my life, but also because I've decided that if I want to try memory keeping in the future, then I'll do it digitally and have it printed at the end of the year.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

13/365: Stash!

I'm starting to enjoy this decluttering lark!  Today I found some wool and fabric that I'd completely forgotten about and which is now safely stored in the hessian bag I found yesterday (until I find a better place for it). I have plans for using this!
I also opened up a couple of boxes, which were filled with rubber stamps for making greetings cards that I'd forgotten about - these are now all stored away in the merchant chest in the second bedroom.  I'm not entirely sure that I will continue with the card making in the future but I don't feel ready to make that decision yet - maybe I'll feel differently about it once I have the time and space to do it properly - so for the time being I'm keeping most of my supplies.  Regardless of whether I'll continue with that particular hobby, today it was like rediscovering long lost friends - I'd forgotten about most of my stash!

Monday, 12 January 2015

12/365: Starting on the Third Bedroom

Today I started on the third bedroom.  Everything you can see was in the hessian bag (back left of photo), from left to right:
  • keeping: hessian bag, epilator, CD case full of teaching CDs, new paintbrush, pencil, fluffy instrument cleaner, bag of mouthpiece wipes, earrings, trumpet mute and candlestick.
  • saving for Christmas shoebox appeal: Eeyores (there are actually two, but you can only see one of them in the photo for some reason)
  • selling: key collection (in blue box), tape measure and adapter
  • binning: cardboard, paper  and part of an old camera case (in plastic bag)
Not that much to show for today's 15 minutes of effort but it's one less bag to sort and everything in the photo is now in its proper place. 

Sunday, 11 January 2015

11/365: Making Progress

Today, I've concentrated on making space in the second bedroom.  Nine days ago it looked like this ...

and, after a bit of effort it now looks like this ...

The bookcase (on the left of the earlier photo) has been moved downstairs to the music room and the chair is currently in the living room.  I've cleared the table, making space for a laptop and the scanner, so that I have an area where I can sort out our massive collection of photographs. 

Saturday, 10 January 2015

10/365: Clearing Unwanted Bookmarks

I'm too tired to attempt much in the way of decluttering today but I have set myself the target of doing at least 15 minutes every day, regardless of how I feel, so today I tackled the laptop.  I have a habit of saving bookmarks, with every intention of using the information at some time in the future, but of course I never do! It gets to the stage where I can't easily find the bookmarks that I do need, so today I've used my 15 minutes to purge all the unwanted bookmarks.

Friday, 9 January 2015

9/365: Returning Things!

In this case, sorting out things that belong to the band, which I'll take back tomorrow morning.  Most of it is at home because of all the Christmas playing we did; by the time we'd finished all our commitments, the school was closed for the holiday so it wasn't possible to return the instrument and music, and it's been hanging about here taking up much needed space. I've also found some sheet music which needs to go back in the band cupboard.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Photo Pairs

Helena organises a weekly meme where contributors share a paired of linked photographs. I'm joining in for the first time with a pair of photos - OPEN & CLOSED.

This was one of my Christmas presents from my sister - Helleborus HGC Joel.