Anyone who has witnessed our kitchen table and the “hoardery” in my garret will comprehend that the Marie Kondo method is not generally applied at Ruthven. However, in a few places breaking point has been reached and the cry has rung out “something must be done!” Unusually for us, something has…..
Keith has done sterling work actually reading and then binning the accumulated mountain of his mail on the aforesaid table. Luckily, no summonses were unearthed. We are down now to two smallish foothills. The old kettle that sprung a leak has been tidied away from the kitchen and repurposed as a home for succulents (stolen from Sue). The wellies were even, briefly, set upright in a row (this practice has since been abandoned)
I have sorted my cardis, jumpers and T-shirts into three categories (i) good – can travel (ii) broadly respectable within a 15 mile radius (iii) gardening – not to go beyond the curtelage. Needless to say category (iii) by far outstrips everything else and completely fills a giant wooden coffer at the end of the bed. What I have observed from this process is that a new item spends very little time in category (i). Indeed, a few choice items moved straight to category (ii) on their maiden voyage. Category (ii) represents a true test of strength and quality, and of the steadiness of my hand when consuming curry/red wine. Once relegated to category (iii), however, even flimsy items discover phenomenal reserves of staying power and, whatever I subject them to, refuse to disintegrate sufficiently to merit the bin.
So pleased was I with the tidy jumper shelf, I moved on to give the Marie Kondo treatment to the gravel garden beds marked out for a makeover. Anything in there not positively “sparking joy” is being hoofed out (but not to the bin! they are being rehomed along the back track or potted up for the new border so it is a rather painstaking process and I have a long way to go). Some of this year’s cuttings and seedlings are now sufficiently well established plants to go in to replace the evicted items (a highly satisfactory state of affairs). I am also leaving space for more bulbs. Keith and I managed to agree on a humungous bulb order two nights ago.
I have finally filled all the lavender bags and bagged up the leftover lavender from the TV room. There is still a residual aroma, but you can now get to the TV. (This was felt to be needed as an important fixture involving Notts County was scheduled for this afternoon. A three nil defeat has, sadly, left Keith wondering if perhaps the lavender was not preferable. ) There was a ton of lavender left over from the bags so I have been messing about with this and the rose oil I have been making to produce “kitchen cosmetics”. I have made gallons of rose and lavender water for toner. The first batch of rose oil has been turned into face scrub and bath scrub, which I am steadily working through. Lachlan’s friends Jess is also giving this a go and Laura is trialling the rose and lavender version. (In a few weeks Laura and I will pass for 25 and Jess may need to be readmitted to kindergarten. ) The highlight thus far has been soap making. My safety gear for this process involves wellies, a rubber abattoir apron, rubber gloves, goggles and a long sleeved shirt. (Ishbel has tattle taled and apparently Keith was so concerned that I might run amok with the lye she was positively forbidden from calling me when I was in mid Professor Snape moment. ). There was a very satisfying froth and fizzle when the lye hit the hot water, but that aside it all went fairly well. The soap’s turned out and is now “curing” so there will be no testing for a few weeks. I am dying to crack on with another batch and a different recipe but the sun has come out and the garden beckons….
The annual daucus is rampaging through the borders and has started to form its little birds nest seed heads. I really must get some of these out or we will be wholly overrun next year. All in all a general thinning is called for throughout. I haven’t quite the heart to start the heavy lifting yet – so the only thinning in the garden thus far has been the flower harvest now drying in the attic above the garage. The problem with this, of course, is that it is going to call for extra vases – so bang goes my declutter.
Anyhow, it was a sunny afternoon today and rather than beaver away with any of these projects Lachlan and I left the boys to the footie and went to walk Lyra by the river. It was glorious.