Archives for category: Doing nothing

Not strictly  true title, or slightly unfair but anyway here is the story.

On Sunday I drove my two children to my mother-in-law’s and left them there until today. They had a great time. I had a two hour drive back home involving lots of start/stop driving on the M25 and then another 90minute drive back to pick them up and a very wet 2 hour drive back home (with more crawling along, all the way until the M4).  The two days in between I was at home completely on my own (husband is away working in Egypt), I have not been this completely alone for almost 12 1/2 years.

And how did I spend my two days I hear you ask?

I made this:


It is not quite finished, but I am pretty pleased with it so far. My sewing machine was working beautifully for once- just incase you don’t get the significance this was the denim sewing project conjured out of nothing for the IKEA photo shoot.

Of course I did many, many more things over my two days including going for a walk, clearing out the porch and office. I also did the weekly shop and went to the library.

After returning library books and taking out new ones using the new library machine, I decided to self scan my shopping and pay using the self serve tills- thinking I could probably manage to get through the morning without talking to another adult. I would have managed this if I hadn’t needed help with the self scan till and then spilt my free coffee and had to ask for it be cleaned up. Obviously clumsy people can’t choose to be recluses. Oh well.




So a month into the project and I am already noticing changes in our lifestyle and home life.

The big change is everywhere is tidier! All the recycling is in one place, and I have begun to create a routine of recycling- when I have lots of plastic bags to recycle these go straight into the car and I post them into the correct bin when I am next at the supermarket. This is a definite improvement as I have been known to drive around for months with 3 bags of old plastic bags in my car and more spilling out of their hiding place at home. Recycling the plastic things that the council don’t take has also become easier- I used to put them in a bag outside the door and then empty all the rain and slugs and gunk out before taking them in car to be recycled- now they are living inside our house until the box is full and then recycled when I do my weekly shop. Ideal.

The whole area by the back door is much tidier- something has happened to my children, instead of leaving their shoes under cupboards and behind chairs in the kitchen they automatically put their shoes away in the shoe rack! It is amazing.

Something else has happened to my daughter (and for those of you that know her this is a pretty big step) she has voluntarily removed some books from her room !! She has even said that she no longer wants some of her books and they can go. (We have put some in the loft so she can keep them for her children, she laughed at this idea until I pointed out the bookshelf at the top of the stairs full of my old books.) We have recycled several old colouring books- in total she has given up over 30 things! Her bookshelf now has space  for her new favourite books. My son has helped me sort out the summerhouse and has collected his unwanted things together to sell at a table top sale, next job for him is to sort out the things in his room.

I have begun to get rid of things as well. The children’s toys in the loft have been sorted and several toddler toys have been donated to, a charity that my husband’s parents are involved with. We have also given them a bag of old children’s shoes, school uniform and coats. Why, oh why I kept every pair of my children’s grown out of shoes is beyond me- but what else can you do with them?

Since beginning of January we have removed from our house 35 books to the charity shop, 72 items to Roaf and 11 items to friends with young children. Over 100 things that we just didn’t need anymore, most of it came out of the loft, put away when the children were smaller. It was difficult back then to part with it but it becomes easier when the times they played with it are more distant.

My son’s cub pack are doing an environmental awareness activity badge. He has to keep a 4 week diary of the ways he has saved energy at home. As he was already in charge of after school curtain closing he has quite an easy task- he did decide to remind me to have a shorter shower this morning.

Getting organised is a good feeling, it is nice to know that at the end of this everything left in our house will have been chosen to be there.

Is there a difference between getting organised and decluttering? I do not feel I have really reduced clutter, I think I have just started putting things away more.  Hmm maybe that does reduce  clutter.

So that is a brief look at how it’s all going, the small changes that are happening in our life.






my two children created a band.  P was on drums and percussion, made out of unturned plastic containers, a wooden snake and a comb, T was string and vocals, with a guitar made out of paper, sellotape and elastic bands. A wonderful song about goodys followed.


We have also been making beads from mached newspaper. P and I tore newspaper into small pieces, covered it with boiling water and left it to stand for a couple of hours. I then added lots of PVA glue and the three of us made balls of grey mush, squeezing out as much liquid as possible.


They are supposed to take a few days to dry, then we drill holes through the middle to make beads, and then paint and varnish them. Will let you know how they turned out.

What a sobering title for this post, I have been finding it increasingly hard to post on this blog lately simply because we haven’t been doing any rubbish crafting. My children are growing up too fast, the youngest one is at school 5 mornings a week and when he gets home he would much rather watch a bit of telly or play UNO than  do anything crafty. The problem has been trying to find something he can engage with and be excited about.

The things he seems to like doing are

1. playing UNO

2. playing with his sister

3. playing LEGO

4. playing UNO

5. watching telly

6. playing on the computer/ iPad/ Wii

7. making a mess (today I discovered a whole toilet roll carefully rolled from kitchen to lounge, hooked over the airer on the radiator and rolled back again)

8. playing UNO

Not much scope for crafting there. We did make some LEGO style storage tubs. We took a margarine tub and glued bottle tops onto it, then covered it in shiny, metallic chocolate wrappers (it was a golden one for treasure). We got about halfway through and he decided he’d had enough.  So there we are, any rubbish crafting I do now will have to be done by me, on my own- nowhere near as much fun. Maybe it’s not just the children that are growing up.

If I have painted a picture of my son as slightly lacking in imagination and being slightly UNO obsessed it was not intentional. He is an amazing person (although I am biased), they are learning about electricity at school this week, and he was pondering how he could take the pinball machine into school to show them (as it runs on electricity). He decided ‘If we had a bag bigger than the pinball machine and a friendly giant we could take the pinball maching into school.’  Yes, I suppose we could.

The two of my children together seem to amuse themselves with not much input from me, here are some photos of the bench they made out of branches they found  when we went on a picnic. Together they dragged or carried all the branches to where we were sitting and then worked to put them all together.  I wonder if this interest for outdoor art could be used to make some garden art out of the many, many, many sticks we still seem to bring home from everywhere we go….

It’s been a while since my last post. Not much rubbish crafting has gone on, and I now no longer have a toddler so maybe I need to start a new blog (or change the title of this one). But that is for another day, this is just an indulgent post about my children.

Last Fathers Day my daughter indignantly asked when Children’s Day was. I crossly answered ” Everyday is Children’s Day,”  a phrase that she has often repeated back to me- usually when I am trying to get her to tidy her room or some other task she doesn’t like.  To her a Children’s Day involves going somewhere special, or getting something new, something remarkable, different or exciting.  A day spent at home is never going to be considered a ‘Children’s Day’ by a six year old.

We spent all of today outside, the children scooted and cycled up and down the path while I cut the hedge. When they got bored with that  they got the litter-grabbing stick and dragged the recycling box up and down the path picking up the rubbish.  After lunch they dug in the newly made flower bed, emptied a bucket of stinky water on the path, helped me rebuild their den, performed circus tricks on the climbing frame using some blue rope, gathered up grass cuttings to make a nest for…. (I have no idea what for) and then finally decided being outside was boring.


After a quick snack we iced my son’s cake for his birthday day out tomorrow and then they disappeared upstairs for an hour. I found out later they emptied out my daughter’s toy box and pretended it was a bed. Apparently one was sleeping in it, the other on top of it (hmm best I didn’t know that until later).  After tea they tidied up and then had icecream (just a cone and a flake for my son) – oh and it was Kelly’s Clotted Cream icecream.  After bath they watched the end of Strictly Come Dancing and then off to bed. 

Yep, everyday is Children’s Day, not just the exciting and different ones, but the unremarkable ones as well. And they are the ones I like best.