Tuesday, 28 April 2015

118/365: X is for ... the eXpertise

So far this year my decluttering efforts have been focused on the things I want to get rid of.  All very necessary as there is so much that needs to go, but this month I'm having a bit of a change and will be looking at the special items I want to keep.
Click here to see the list of blogs participating in the 2015 A to Z Challenge.

X is always difficult to do isn't it!  So, opting for the sound instead of the initial letter ... X is for eXpertise.

As with all couples we had certain jobs around the house that were ours; I took care of the shopping, ironing, sewing etc, and Ced was responsible for mowing the lawn, cleaning out the grate in the winter, putting out the bins etc. We both shared kitchen duties but one of the jobs that was exclusively his was to sharpen the knives, which he did regularly and usually when I was at work so I didn't ever see it being done.

Fast forward a few years to the diagnosis of his illness and the inevitable outcome, and from various conversations it was becoming clear that one of his biggest worries was how I'd manage when he was no longer with me ... particularly, how would I cope with doing all the little things that he'd always done such as bleeding the radiators, checking the pressure on the heating system, checking tyres and oil on the car, and ... sharpening the knives.  It's not that he thought I wasn't capable but that he knew I didn't know how to do most of these things so the way forward, and to take away that anxiety, was for him to teach me. Some things were easy and I understood and took over responsibility for them straight away but I just couldn't get the hang of sharpening knives.  It took me ages to grasp how to do it properly and it's the final practical thing he ever taught me.

I'm eternally grateful that, at such a difficult time for him as he tried to come to terms with a terminal illness, he found it possible to consider me and help me prepare for my future without him.


  1. As hard as it might have been, Ced was very wise to realize his time with you was limited and to prepare you for life without him. I don't know how to sharpen knives or to do the other things you listed, maybe I better start learning them just in case.


  2. Just beautiful Eileen. Many of the stories behind your treasures have moved me but this was the one that moved me to tears.

  3. The gift of knowledge is one of the most important and valued. So empowering. Wonderful that Ced took the time to think of and pass on the necessary skills.
    I need to learn many of the things on your list; funny you should mention bleeding radiators - I have been putting it off for weeks but tomorrow's the day! Hoping this will remedy my groaning/whistling pipes, though I fear boiler pressure might be to blame :o(

  4. What a lovely post Eileen, Ced sounds like a wonderful man and husband. It's funny how we have designated jobs and not think to much about it. Well done you on managing to do it all :))