life, mindfulness, netflix, thoughts

To Kondo or not to Kondo, that is the question…

I haven’t read her book or seen the Netflix show, and to be honest I probably won’t, mostly because the thought of watching someone sort through their crap just isn’t my thing.

I hate cleaning; don’t get me wrong I can hoover, dust, scrub and mop like a regular little Cinderella but I don’t enjoy doing it. I also hate sorting through my stuff.

I’m a bit of a pack rat, I own a lot of stuff and I know that. But sorting through it stresses me out. My anxiety ridden brain can’t cope with decisions like to throw or to keep.

I have form for making mistakes. I had the perfect denim jacket once, till I donated it with a load of other stuff to Oxfam. Bye bye excellent jacket.

A load of books was accidentally donated while my bedroom was being decorated. They got mixed in with some others and by the time I realised, it was too late.

I am the queen of donation regret, of selling on eBay remorse. Just this week I rescued a hoodie and a skirt from the donation bag at home because it occurred to me that I could put together a cute outfit with those bits.

I understand Marie Kondo’s ethos – the whole sparking joy concept. I even think people totally overreacted to get comments about books (she wasn’t saying you have to get rid of them fyi). I’m even envious of the clever t-shirt folding trick as it looks super neat and tidy, the way I’m not.

My flat could undoubtedly do with a de-clutter, a thorough tidy up, but I don’t trust myself with it all. I get super emotionally attached to objects, and I can’t throw things away.

I’m not a hoarder, although both C and I are definitely holding onto a lot of stuff we could probably live without. I’m donating some bits and pieces this weekend that I culled from my wardrobe when I swapped my summer clothes to winter (several months ago but I have to let things sit so I don’t get all regretful).

I eye up the boxes I haven’t opened since I moved in and think I really should, after 6 years, have a look at what’s in there, but later, after I finish my book.

My dad has gotten into the habit of just chucking everything in a skip and not caring, my mum saves things in hidey holes so he can’t throw away our family photo albums (a thing that he almost did once). Their standoff on what he calls “junk” has been going for at least my entire lifetime.

I’ve got better about certain things – books I can’t imagine re-reading are released into the wild via friends, family and charity shops. But even then I have form for going “Oh crap, I should have kept that book!”

C doesn’t help, he has tonnes of old Warhammer and it takes him about a year to get rid of bits of it. Whenever he does he’s like a puppy wanting his head patted. I wouldn’t mind but he buys new miniatures all the time so I don’t think it evens out.

We don’t have a big flat, and we’re a little squashed in with all the things we can’t quite say goodbye to yet.

If you need me, I’ll be buried under the overloaded bookcase. It’s the way I want to go.

jewellery, life

I still want Bernard’s Watch!*

But doesn’t every 90s kid? The power to stop time would be incredible. I’d certainly get more done. Although I remember Bernard being quite annoying.

I don’t wear a watch in my day to day, mostly because there are clocks in every room but I have noticed that I’ve started to get annoyed having to scrabble around in my bag for my phone whenever I want to know the time.

I used to wear a watch every day, I’ve been through several over the years, from the pinchy banded one my mum gave me aged 10, through a succession of cheap fast fashion ones that broke or fell apart to a sporty waterproof one from the Science Museum (I think I lost that one). I bought a rather nice rose gold one from ASOS, but I don’t think it’s even been on my wrist and I’m not entirely sure where it’s ended up.

The tiny mechanism inside a watch is fascinating

A few months ago I married a man with a penchant for pocket watches, like someone from the 1900s, he loves nothing more that to clip one of the five or six he owns to his clothes. He even gave his best men personalised ones as thank you gifts. On our wedding day he wore his Grandad’s one and his Grandpa’s cuff links, to show that even though they’re no longer here, they’re here.

Watches can be potent memories, my dad had his grandfather’s gold watch, until it was stolen in a burglary. I curse the thieves, may they never have enough time!

I remember the heavy chunky watch my dad wore in his corporate life, he’d take it off after coming home and put it on the arm of the chair. I liked slipping my much smaller wrist in and feeling the heavy links of the band against my arm. It was a reassuring thing, as long as the watch was there my dad was home with us. He travelled a lot for work and the watch being gone meant he was too.

The only person I can think of that still wears one every day is my mum, she’s worn the same one for years, although both the band and the batteries have been replaced several times. Maybe she should get a new one for Christmas?

There’s something quite satisfying about wearing a watch, sometjing that says “I am in control”. Which I never am.

There was a little girl playing with her brother in the park the other day, she had a kids plastic watch on, and was telling her brother quite loudly that it was home time, showing him her watch. Now that is the kind of watch I need, home time, tea time, nap time.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find any watches like that here but I did spot lots of bargains if you were planning on treating yourself or someone else to some new arm candy. This site collects all the best bargains and even gives you tips on how to decide which watch suits you best.

*this post contains gifted or sponsored content but all words and opinions are my own.

healthy, life, skincare

Stay Cool Kids

The sizzle of sunburn is not something I enjoy so I am very grateful for Past Me who stocked up on suncream. Here’s my top tips for keeping your complexion healthy and avoiding lobster doom whether you’re going abroad or staying home.  

­čî╗Use suncream every day and top it up regularly, especially if you’re outside during the day. 

­čî╗Drink lots of water, you get dehydrated quickly in the summer and being taken to hospital and put on a drip can really wreck your holiday. Buy a water bottle and carry it with you – pop it in the fridge before you go out to keep it cool. 

­čî╗Moisturise! Your skin gets thirsty too and needs love. 

­čî╗Stay out of the midday sun – the hottest part of the day is the worst. 

­čî╗Eat delicious water filled nutrients in watermelon, cucumber, and other fruits. Ideally eat things in season as they taste better. 

­čî╗Don’t forget our furry pals – they can’t take off their fluffy jackets so make sure they have plenty of water, add an ice cube or two to help them stay cool. 

­čî╗Stop sleeping under your winter duvet! If you need covers a light blanket or spare sheet instead so you don’t get too hot at night. 

­čî╗Open the windows when you get home. Air out your home and cool it down. If you can, open your doors as well. 

­čî╗Water your plants. Use water left in your kettle or water bottles rather than pour it away. If you have a garden get a water butt – they’re inexpensive and will save on your water bills, as long as it rains. 

­čî╗Most importantly have fun! 

adventures, fun stuff, life

My BorrowMyDoggy experience

At the beginning of the year I signed up to BorrowMyDoggy – a service designed to connect dog owners with dog lovers who can’t have their own canine chum. 

Our flat is too small, we are both out all day and we don’t have a garden so having a dog is currently out of the question. 

I took advantage of a special offer on the price of the membership, otherwise it might be a bit pricey for some. 

I created a profile and messaged a few local dog owners (it gives you an approximate location) but nothing happened. 

A few weeks ago I got a reply from a lady who lives across the dual carriageway from me (about 10 minutes walk) – how lucky was that! 

I met Flick and her human, Susan, and we had a chat and a cuddle (Flick) and now Flick and I go to the park a few times a week for a walk and a play. For an older dog she’s very keen on running around the park and exploring the messages left my other dogs.

She’s a smart pup who goes into school to hear children read and help them build their confidence so she’s super friendly and gentle. Hopefully soon she’ll be coming over for a picnic and a sleepover. 

I’ve really enjoyed using the service so far and will be seeing if I can make any more doggy friends, they are great fun and mean I get outside for some fresh air and exercise, plus science says stroking an animal lowers your blood pressure and can help boost your mental wellbeing. 

The ratties don’t seem too bothered by the slight smell of dog on me after my park outings with Flick luckily. 

My pal Flick

How about you? Anyone used BorrowMyDoggy? What did you think? 

books, fun stuff, life

At the library 

I have always been a member of at least one library or another – at one point 4 (local library near my parents, British Library, uni library and the library I currently use). 

Libraries are wonderful places, offering community services and access to the internet all for free. All you need is a library card. 

Recently my local libraries have gone all high tech – and reduced librarians to computerised check out and card entry doors. I’m not sure I’m a fan. 

Today I returned 2 books (historical crime fiction) and took out 4. Two graphic novels, the reading group book (decided to join it for a bit) and another historical crime novel. 

I also checked out the Cityread London program – but the book in question was checked out! 

Libraries are for everyone – whatever age, race, identity, language you speak, the library is for you too. 

feminism, jewellery, life, relationships, wedding

Wedding Wednesday: Why I chose to wear an engagement ring 

The other day I read a really preachy article (which I don’t have a link to) about why the writer, as a feminist, wouldn’t wear an engagement ring. 

Now I strongly believe that everyone has a right to their own opinion but the tone of the piece and the fact that she was using feminism as her reason really annoyed me. 

I’m a feminist. I believe in equality, equity of the sexes, and a woman’s right to choose what she does with her life and her body. My mum instilled these beliefs in me growing up. 

However, I don’t feel like those beliefs preclude me from wearing my engagement ring. 

I am aware of the original symbolism of wedding rings and the whole patriarchal problematic wedding traditions. But I don’t see the engagement ring on my left hand as a symbol of ownership. 

Nobody, least of all C, owns me. I am my own person, regardless of marital status. 

I see it instead as a symbol of commitment, of a promise to be a team, to stick together, to be a family. I see it as C’s love and mine for him. We’re going to get married, be together for good, legally bound and all that jazz. Not because society says so, but because we want to. 

And that doesn’t contradict my feminism. This is my choice. Isn’t that what women have been fighting for all these years – the ability to make their own choices? 

life, thoughts

The Temp Guide to Life

Since the end of last year I’ve been temping, having quit my job of six years in an effort to restore some equilibrium to my life, here’s what I’ve learnt. 

1. You will receive little to no training so get used to figuring stuff out. 

2. Be on time, time is literally money when you’re paid by the hour. 

3. Get your agency onside – if they like you, you’ll get sent on nicer assignments. 

4. Have your interview patter down – know what you’re going to say and have examples. 

5. Scope out the lunch sitch as soon as you can, is there somewhere to eat your packed lunch or does everyone eat out. 

6. Plan your route, and if you live in London or another city, add extra time to accomodate delays. 

7. Be friendly but remember they are not your friends, it’s unlikely they’ll remember your name in a few weeks time. 

8. Getting paid weekly might sound great but it can wreck havoc with your bill schedule, hold onto your money to make sure your rent gets paid. 

9. All skills are transferable. Yes, even those ones. 

10. You will hate some temp jobs, just think of the money. 

11. You can give your all, but they won’t offer you a permanent role – aka the dream. 

12. You will encounter some really lovely people and some utter arseholes. Your interpersonal skills will be exemplary. 

13. All databases are basically the same – cheap, crap, utterly hackable. 

14. You will never earn enough per hour to put up with some of the utter bullshit in some offices. So don’t. 

15. Admin jobs basically equal office dogsbody, however they dress it up. 

16. You won’t get a leaving gift after three weeks, you might get a ‘thanks’. 

17. There is no holiday or sick pay – but you will still throw the odd sickie because your bed doesn’t judge you for breaking the printer printing off job descriptions to peruse at lunchtime.

18. Make the most of the free internet access and find your next job, polish your CV, fill in application forms etc, you’re probably only being given the shit jobs anyway – ‘make work’ or just tidying cupboards. I don’t get around to tidying my own cupboards so why am I cataloguing your stationery?

19. Get the Wi-fi password, fill the twiddling thumbs time with Twitter polls and trying to work out who that person is in all of your friend’s Instagram posts. 

20. You will become insanely good at filling empty time so you don’t get sent home early, you need the full day’s hours on your timesheet.