Monday, February 03, 2014

January 31st

So here it is - the last day of January!  And considering that I failed to achieve any large, meaningful projects over the break I decided to jump up on Friday morning and tackle the scariest room in our house.  The cupboard.  As you can see, even entering the cupboard is a matter for negotiating life insurance and calling the Public Trustee.

Mostly the cupboard is, obviously, the place of no return.  There are items in here that are actually used daily, others used weekly and others that should have been removed from the home years ago.

As a result we are forced to negotiate the space regularly, whilst simultaneously holding it as a place-of-no-return.  Orwell's doublethink has nothing on this state of mind.

The weird thing is that I do regularly tidy it up.  But I guess I'm never ruthless enough with what is in there, what we use it for and what we want to use it for in the future.  Combined with our need to clear out the bookcase in the lounge room, I was on a mission to get this space cleared for my own mental clarity.

This photo was taken halfway through.  At the very start of the morning I had started on the cupboard and was immediately made aware of the twin issues I face - the cupboard held many bulk dry goods and the pantry in the kitchen was in a similar state of disarray.  So I swept my broom of organisation through the pantry first, and then set to task on the cupboard.  By the time I was at this stage I'd been working hard and fast for a few hours and I realised that I hadn't eaten for the day.

Of course as soon as you realise that you suddenly feel as though nothing can be accomplished until you eat right then and there.  But I knew my energy would flag, so I pushed on through.

I filled the recycling bin.  I nearly filled the rubbish bin.  I filled the back of the car with an op-shop delivery.  And I finally crashed at about 12.30pm, just in time to lie down on the bed, eat an egg sandwich and read some more of The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

The result is a lot more accessible for everyone.  I placed all of our board games on the bottom shelf, the music box on the floor, our tubs for food were cleared of all that were of odd and unused sizes and even a jigsaw puzzle spot was created.

I was exhausted.  But I had also vowed to run down the road and take some photos of the local 'corner' store that was closing down after a generation of serving the local community.  However after racing down there I was unceremoniously rebuffed in my requests to take some photos - understandably they were upset at closing down but I was a little sad that I didn't get a chance to take some photos that I could have passed on to them as well of their last day in trading.

The change in plans did mean that I had some extra time to do little more than sit in a cafe and read some more of my novel.  Ted was pretty tired too, as you can see.  But there was no exhaustion that could abate our excitement at watching the final of TAR which we watch all together on Friday evenings.  What started as an accidental watching of The Mole with Harriet when Teddy was hospitalised with croup one night has evolved into a Friday night meal watching a show together.  It is actually quite pleasant, especially considering how Fridays used to previously be an evening of writhing and screaming in exhaustion; now they are calm and focused.  We all talk throughout the show on the behaviours of the teams, about the cultures and mores of the countries they visit, and the geography of their flights. 

So the end of January saw us with two school children, a clean cupboard and pantry, and luckily, no Max and Katie winning the race.  Stay tuned for Teddy's Amazing Race birthday party in February!

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