Three Things Thursday: 3 August 2017

It may be raining outside, but there are still things to make me happy.


wind and rain outdoors… a jungle inside

My weekly exercise in gratitude – three things that are making me smile – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with happiness.

First, fourteen months of Three Things Thursday. I thought I was coming up to my one year anniversary of this weekly post, but I’ve just checked and I wrote my first regular post (there were occasional ones before) on 2 June 2016. I haven’t missed a week, so that’s 63 posts, which equals 189 things that have made me smile… talk about ‘counting your blessings’!


one ordered, one found whilst browsing

Second, our library. In our small town there is a little library. Although it can’t house huge numbers of books, it’s easy enough to order a book from elsewhere in the county, and it will arrive within a few days. I used to be a big book-buyer, but joining the library means that I can reduce consumption and check out books that I may eventually want to buy.



pretty dress… with pockets

Third, pockets. Last year I had a dress made for me and I specifically requested that it have pockets, because it’s one of the features I look for in my clothes. Women’s clothes often do not have pockets and the history and politics (yes, politics) of this is fascinating…. what could we be hiding in there? If you want to read a bit more, you could start here. Anyway, my clothes are generally pocketed, and those that aren’t, I have plans for.


So, those are three things making me smile this week. What is making you happy?


Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes.

A new policy

I’m not a big fan of manic decluttering, but I have decided to make a concerted effort over the next few weeks to have a bit of a clear out. In the past couple of weeks (inspired by Rev Darkwater’s year [and beyond] of shedding) I have been trying to deal with one thing every day. Yesterday, this took the form of making pudding for the hens from a pot of semolina that had been languishing in a cupboard for way too long.


Some of my book collection… some of them are going to go

In fact, yesterday was particularly good because I also sold a pile of books. I used one of those buying web sites – you type in the ISBN of your book and they make you an offer. It’s very easy and does not involve all the time effort and stress associated with selling items individually via an auction site or shop. Simply agree (or don’t) then pack up the books, print out the address label and attach it to the parcel and drop the package off at the local collection point – in our case one of the newsagents in town. Throughout my life I have preferred to accumulate rather than shed books, but the time has come to admit that I have piles and piles of the things that I will never read again and many of them are simply making me feel weighed down by the past. Time to get rid of them and pass them on to someone who will be able to make use of them.



On the drying rack today

A slower process is associated with dealing with the vintage linens. I have progressed on from handkerchiefs to yards and yards of lace and broderie anglais. My focus at the moment is on laundering all of this, but I really also need to start adding my listings to the etsy shop, which is going to take ages to begin with, but should be worthwhile. In the mean time if anyone is looking for vintage or reclaimed lace, do give me a shout… I probably have what you need!! I’m finding the process of turning a box of tired-looking trimmings into beautiful, starched loveliness rather satisfying. I just hope there will be new homes somewhere out there where it will be loved.

How long I am going to be able to maintain shedding one item each day I don’t know, but I have certainly decided on a strict no net gains policy. This means that if I buy anything (other than consumables) from now on, something that I own will have to go. The house is already cluttered enough and we really feel the need to free up a bit of space (and not just by stuffing things in the loft).

With the arrival of some very special wool today (more on that later), I have another nice strong box in which to send off some more books… and earn some money to pay for the wool! That seems like a good exchange to me these days: text books out, wool in!


STUFF and nonesense

As the summer comes, it’s so much more tempting to be outdoors than inside, but we are currently working on a project that requires spending quite a lot of time in the house… changing the use of some of our living space. I started working in the living room when I was here on my own because it didn’t cause any disturbance and it saved me heating more than one room. Now Mr Snail-of-happiness is at home all the time, it seems silly for me to work there, for us to have a shared office (that I don’t work in because I want solitude) and for him to have a separate workshop/studio. So, the decision is that I will have a small room to work in, the living room will no longer host any work and he will have the big room to do what he likes in, but where the main computer will remain.

All this means that lots of ‘STUFF’ needs to be moved around… and once you start moving STUFF’ you realise how much of it you’ve got. My assessment is that I definitely have too much STUFF. OK, I’ve had lots of years to accumulate it, but I do seem incredibly reluctant to throw it away. I can understand this if something has the potential to be useful, but why oh why had I kept my annual job evaluation sheets from when I was a civil servant over 10 years ago? What was I thinking? Did I envisage a time when I would be applying for another job and someone would say ‘Well, yes we like your cv and your gazillion qualifications plus the glowing references, but could you provide documentary evidence of the courses that your boss suggested you might like to go on in 2001?’ Somehow I have a feeling it’s never going to happen. And so, the old job evaluation sheets are destined for the compost heap.

But it’s not just paperwork I collect… I have also had to dispose of a huge number of padded envelopes. I don’t mean a couple of dozen, I mean several hundred of the things. They were on the top shelf of a large cupboard. Even as I was throwing them away I kept wondering whether I might , some day, regret this rash decision. But I am being strict with myself… drawers are being emptied and the contents evaluated. Supposedly I’m only keeping things that I need. Even with this approach I’ve still got loads of STUFF.

Perhaps my biggest downfall is books… I love them and find them very difficult to part with. Slowly I am weaning myself off buying paperbacks – a Kindle has helped and downloading audiobooks (great way to access books when you’ve spent your whole day editing and the last thing you want to do in the evening is read) – but non fiction books still find their way into the house in abundance. This means that I am in the process of transferring hundreds of books from the shelves in one room to the shelves in a different room. Look on the bright side, though… it’s great exercise.

I’m not sure whether it is good or bad, but Mr S-o-h is also a squirrel (favourite items to collect: electronic equipment). I guess we couldn’t live with each other if one of us was a hoarder and one a minimalist, but our collective collecting has resulted in a house full of STUFF.

So, the time has come to provide myself with a less cluttered space in which to work and I’m hoping that this will encourage my creativity. It will still be like working in a library and I will still have loads of teaching materials to find a home for, but perhaps if I can start with a tidier room I will have a tidier mind and be less likely to commence the collection of extraneous STUFF again… maybe…

… now where did I put that bin bag full of bubble wrap…?

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