Posts Tagged ‘spring cleaning’

this is the end, this is not the end

“How come I end up where I started?
How come I end up where I went wrong?
Won’t take my eyes off the ball again,
First you reel me out and then you cut the string.”
– 15 Step, Radiohead

My previous post ‘on…becoming whole‘ is the last entry I’m going to write for a while.

When I moved my website hosting onto WordPress, I had visions that adding artwork, designs and painted models would be easier. I wanted my blog to be a place of joy and creativity, to showcase my (considerable) talents and share my art and hobbies with the world.

Instead, I quickly started diarising my thoughts, anxieties and worries on this platform. For a while, I was able to delude myself that the process was somehow cathartic. That by getting the thoughts out of my head and written down, I would be able to let go of them and in so doing, lighten my outlook.

That clearly hasn’t worked. No, rather I have used this platform to perpetuate my own negative internal thoughts. I have created a place that oscillates wildly from art and attempts at humour, to mawkish and hard-to-follow outpourings of blackness.

So, a break then.

I’ve given the site a new theme, fresh and summery (hope you approve!) ready for when I move back in.

I want to go off for a bit, and do some fun things rather than feel beholden to this electronic joy-sucker.

I’m gonna go and do fun things with my endlessly forgiving wife Verity. My best, most fun friends – Kate and Alan, Emma, Rich and Roberta, Colin and Mel, Joe and Katie.

I’m gonna re-find my creative muses and stretch my artistic boundaries.

I’m gonna do the things I enjoy – cooking and entertaining for friends, going shopping, taking walks.

In short, I’m gonna be the real me. Me, on a good day.

On… Failure

So you find me, dishevelled, sweaty and grubby at the tail of end of what should have been a fulfilling weekend.

Instead, I feel thoroughly worthless, useless and pathetic.

I have, it would be fair to say, failed in my task to board the available floor space on the loft. I have failed in adding extra insulation (the broken insulation boards scattered around the loft are proof of that). And I knew from the get-go that doing even simple tasks like moving a light switch would be beyond me.

I have, however, screwed boards that barely Tongue and Groove. I have cut huge holes to go round beams where my measuring skills deserted me. I have left unfinished edges and awkward gaps after blunting 2 jigsaw blades and not understanding how to cut the loft boards any differently.

Failure sits heavy on the shoulders, and makes the world seem so bleak. I’m sure I’ll get over it, but how to prevent it in future?

One answer is to never try, to just get someone else to do it. That seems sad and a loss of learning opportunities. Then again, have I learnt anything? Other than that I am incompetent, that my abilities don’t even come close to the things I want to do.

This weekend, I wanted to relax, and to paint and get a sense of personal satisfaction after a couple of tough weeks at work.

Instead I am exhausted, I have wasted time, money and effort on achieving nothing. And now, I move into another week at work feeling more pathetic and pointless and stressed than I have done in a long, long time.

Attic monkeys

…or “I bet that you look good on the loft boards”.

Our loft is the filthiest place I have ever had the misfortune to spend a weekend. Filthier than a Thai ladyboy ping-pong tournament. Filthier than Sid James’ laugh. Filthy.

Those that know me will know I’ve never been one for hard work, getting grubby or carrying out macho tasks. That’s not to say I’m lazy, I can graft when required, I’d just rather being doing something else. Sitting, for instance.

So, on hands and knees in a dimly lit attic, cutting, drilling and boarding the loft while being brushed delicately with thick, black cobwebs* – not gonna make it onto my top ten best things ever! list.

That being said, I’ve boarded over half the available space, and have only the tricky edges and neatening up to do now. Insulation board will help box and tidy the edges of the space, and I can now fit Henry up there to vacuum with his cheery, snorty nose.

A nourishing breakfast (something warm as it’s really cold today) and I’ll venture back up. Wish me luck, and I may return with pictures…

*A lot like being kissed by the thin, dessicated lips of a Mummy. I imagine.**

** Not that I imagine that kind of thing, it’s creepy and weird.***

*** If however, Mummies are your thing, I meant no offence.

the “Spare Oom” pt. 2

I promised an update on the adventures in de-junking my life, and here it is. With pictures!

To recap, we had let our spare room fill with 3 years of the detritus that gets swept along with this tide called ‘life’. We even had some boxes we’d never unpacked…(*)

This is some of what we’re talking about here:

Part of the shame More shame...

Day 1

Taking a deep breath, and armed only with a giant mug of tea (brewed strong, 2 sugars, worker tea), we ventured in…

Clearing some floor space, the first task was to move mattress no.2 and the 6’x4′ MDF boards. We shall call this epoch “the breaking of the seals”:


With no way out of the room, and only a tide of shame before us, we had no option but to press on. After around 2 hours’ work, we had cleared sufficient floor space that Verity was able to leave, returning with ham rolls. And more tea.

After 3 more hours, and with the light fading fast, we retreated to set up base camp, and review the days’ progress. We had achieved much, but at what cost? The upstairs landing had suffered badly:

spread 'em!


As light broke, we returned to where we had left the night before. Dejected, tired and cold, the odds against us seemed insurmountable.

And then, when all hope was gone, salvation!

The dazzling beauty

With renewed vigour, we set about tidying and sorting.

Oh how we tidied! We sorted like the wind. We tidied like Vikings!

We boxed, we filed, we ragged, we charity-ed, we junked and we earmarked. No stone of sorting was left unturned.

And so, with:

  • 5 black refuse sacks of rubbish;
  • 2 meaty piles of recycling;
  • 3 bags of charity shop clothing;
  • a pile of waste electricals;
  • 3½ feet of back issues of “White Dwarf” (don’t ask!)

We had finally achieved, if not minimalism, a firm step away from erm, maximilism?

lovely, ain't it?

And this, this lovely pile of sorted loveliness, is all for the attic:

aspiring to loft-y heights

But that, dear reader, is a story for another day…

(*) I know, I know, it’s slovenly and sinful! But you’ve got a box just like it in your house too. Anyone who says different is a liar.