Monday, 15 October 2018

Fall out.....

Since my last post I have been mostly photographing and listing dozens and dozens of items on the website.

It's a tedious task but there's nothing else to do but methodically work my way though it all.  It's heartening to see that the boxes of 'things to list' are gradually emptying, and the boxes of 'things which have been listed' are gradually filling, so I'm cautiously optimistic that I might, possibly, be winning.

However I'm impatient to get on with new projects... both miniature and full scale, as I'm aware that we're coming to that time of year when I need to unearth my SAD lamp and make a point of enjoying the last few weeks of reasonably light evenings before the clocks change at the end of this month.

I do envy people for whom autumn is their favourite season.  I really try to embrace it each year, but I usually fail miserably.

The days get shorter, the weather colder and gloomier.  Granted, our trees put on a reasonable show for a few weeks but then we invariably get a gale and all the colourful foliage ends up in sludgy, slippery drifts where it slowly rots away.

At least winter is just one step away from spring, and by the time we reach March I start to feel more optimistic and energised, sloughing off my winter torpor and looking forward to the warmer days and sunlit evenings to come.

Autumn though..... bleargh *sigh* 

Which is why I always like to have a few interesting projects up my sleeve... to see me though the coming dreary, dark months.  There are a few areas of the house which could do with a makeover, so I've been Pinteresting for ideas.  And as the workroom begins to take shape again after my blitz, I'm also looking forward to several new mini endeavours over the coming weeks.

So watch this space.....

Monday, 8 October 2018

Home straight......

Following Small Dog's pep talk yesterday, I dug deep and by late afternoon today I finally feel I'm on the home straight with my workroom re-organisation.  Admittedly there are still pockets of stuff for which I haven't found an obvious home, but the floor is finally clear and has been thoroughly hoovered, and most of the work surfaces are clean and empty.

Now that the worst is over, I can take my time this week to re-decorate the fronts of all the wooden drawers, and label them.  And at least while that is ongoing, I can carry on with other things.

Predictably, Small Dog is taking full credit for the transformation from total mess to almost tidy.  She's wandered into the workroom from time to time today in order to bask in her own glory.

However, one of the brainwaves for which she can't claim ownership is that I'm using some of the newly liberated storage boxes for 'work in progress'.  Hitherto I've had workmats scattered throughout the room,  covered with various unfinished projects.  

Yes.... stupid.  I know.

Sometimes I just run out of steam on a particular project, and hope that by leaving it out it might shame me into completing it.

That's all complete bollocks of course.

All they do is gather dust and clutter up work surfaces which could be put to better use.  So from now on, if I stop work on anything for more than a day, it will go neatly into a box, labelled with the contents.  I need to guard against amassing dozens of the WiP boxes though.  I'm only intending to use four, and when all of those are full I have pledged to complete whatever's in them.

Hmmm..... we'll see how well THAT goes.

I also need to realise that this latest re-organisation won't be the last.  As more spaces become vacant, I'll need to do it again.... and again.

However,  I now have 4 large boxes of miscellaneous miniatures, materials, tools and components which are deemed surplus to requirements, which have to be photographed and listed for sale on the website, so that's quite enough to be going on with.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Armageddon - Day 3

With the workroom now at Maximum Mess, I've hit a wall.

I keep wandering in, slowly turning round while I assess the mayhem, then skulking back out again...defeated.

I think the problem is, and bear with me here, I've now created pockets of empty space, and I don't know what to do with them.  I've always worked on the basis that empty spaces are there to be filled, so I'm struggling with the concept of leaving them empty.

You'd think, wouldn't you, that as I've been gradually downsizing the contents of the workroom for what feels like forever, I'd be glad to finally get to the point where I can clearly see the results of my labours.

Surely, empty spaces are A Good Thing?

I think I need to reboot my brain in order to see the room as half full, rather than half empty.

Even Small Dog is perplexed.

Scene: Sandra's workroom, which seems to have exploded.  Small Dog wanders in, carefully placing her tiny paws in the miniscule areas of clear space on the floor and surveys the devastation.

SD: *incredulously*  Mumm.... seeriyuslie.... WTF?!
Me: *chastingly* Language SD?!
SD: *chastised* Sorrie mumm.... butt reelie..... W. T. aktewl. F thoe?
Me: *sighing* Yes.  I agree.  I don't know WHAT I was thinking.
SD:*tries to find a space to sit, gives up and perches on a pile of papers* Iff yue doant mined me sayen... thiss iss anuthr fyne mess yuve gott yorself intoo.
Me:*defeatedly*  Yes.  You're right of course SD.  I thought it would be done and dusted by now.  I'm exhausted though, and it just keeps getting worse and worse.
SD: *soothingly* Doant wurrie mumm..... itts onlie a littel bitt wurs than ewsual. Hav yue konsiderd getten a skipp?
Me: *resignedly* Hmm.... or a black hole.  Perhaps if I had a black hole I could just sweep it all inside and just forget about it.
SD:*carefully*  Off korse.... thiss is reelie displaismint aktivitie... isent itt?
Me:*bristling* Displacement activity?!  Not at all.  This is a completely justified exercise... absolutely necessary in order to reorganise and consolidate, and sort out, and..... *trails off guiltily*
SD:*triumphant* Ha... ai new itt!  Yue hav maid this dogollmitey mess in ordur to avoyd doen UTHUR stuf that yue hav to do.  Yue hav maid the wurkroom kompleetlie unewsible DELIBURRAITLIE!
Me: *thoughtfully* Hmm... you know you may have something there SD.  I hadn't realised....
SD: *warming to her theme* Ai thort so. Yue ar avoyen doen yore tacks arent yue?
Me:*deflatedly* Well yes.... I need to complete my tax self assessment and submit it... but...
SD:*interrupting* And alsew.... yore buke.  Yue shude be wurken on yore buke.
Me: *firmly* Ah, now there I HAVE been making progress.  I have completely restructured it because it just wasn't working as it was.  Granted there's still a lot to do, but I'm much happier with the new format.
SD:*encouragingly* Gude!  Wel dunn.  Sew if yue kan jusst cleer upp this terribul mess yue kan gett on with itt thenn.
Me: *enthusiastically* Yes! Yes, I will! Thank you so much for this little chat SD.  You've helped enormously!
SD: *smugly* Kno problimm.   Yore welkumm.  Happie to helpp. 

A few minutes later, alerted to the sound of clicky tapping from the office....

Me:*calling from the workroom* SD.... are you using my laptop?  You are, aren't you?  What are you doing?
SD: *brightly* Neerlie phinished mumm.... aim just adden 'Moativashunal Speeker' to mai Cee Vee......
Me: *sigh*

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Armageddon - Day 2

There is a very apposite saying which absolutely resonates with me today.... *You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs*

Another totally appropriate one is *The darkest hour is always before the dawn*

Also, completely relevant is *WTF do you think you're doing, you muppet?*

Having systematically dismantled both ends of the workroom yesterday, creating an unholy guddle in the middle..... this morning I cheerfully started to rake out the contents of the remaining cupboards, reasoning that since I'd already made a mess, a bit more wouldn't hurt.

I expect you've already spotted the flaw in an otherwise damn fine plan as there are now piles of stuff over EVERY surface including the floor and I'm having to pirouette, tiptoe and climb around them as if I'm playing a surreal game of solo Twister.

Progress is slow, punctuated by cries of "So THAT'S where that got to!" and "Blimey... I'd forgotten all about THAT!" and "Ay Carumba!!! Why on earth did I ever put that in THERE?!"

I feel a bit like an archaeologist, unearthing long-forgotten treasures.  There's definitely a lot of dust.

And webs.

Many webs.... *shudder*

And even the occasional large desiccated spider husk... which makes me wonder if there is an ever larger, more predatory spider skulking just out of sight.  Biding its time....

There have been points today when I have questioned the wisdom of what I'm doing.  Looking around the workroom, it's hard to imagine it ever being tidy again. However the die has been cast and I've no alternative but to keep going.

Of course, inevitably, the chaos hasn't been contained to the workroom.  The 'surplus to requirements' wall unit has taken up residence in the hall, pending collection and transport to its new home.  Various boxes and miscellaneous stuff have been moved into the dining room, pending final decisions on their fate.  So not only have I messed up the workroom, I've also infested the dining room and hall. 

So yayyyy me.
What can I say... it's a rare talent.  A gift.

Friday, 5 October 2018

I'm back.....

Yoo hoooooo!  Yes, it's me!  I'm back!

It's been quite a year thus far....

An important milestone birthday *tick*
A two week odyssey round my homeland *tick*
A wonderful CP ceremony with my beloved *tick*
Two overseas holidays *tick*

But with only one quarter of the year left I have to get my act together and return to reality full time.

Easier said than done.

So today I took a turavee (as my Granny would have said) and spent a lot of time turning my perfectly serviceable, nominally tidy workroom into a scene from the Apocalypse. 

In my defence, there is method in my madness.

As my downsizing exercise gathers pace I now have quite a bit of empty space in assorted cupboards, so I decided to re-organise and consolidate, losing one wall unit cupboard in the process.  Also I have 5 IKEA Moppe wooden storage units, which have a variety of different sized drawers.

Up till now, I haven't really used them as efficiently as I should, and some of them were fairly inaccessible, due to the overhead wall unit on one side and the fact that the worktop spaces in front of them are usually covered with 'work in progress projects'

So I've moved all the storage units to the space where the wall unit was, freeing up a whole swathe of worktop where they were before, and making them all fully accessible from my desk chair in the process.

Here is the area behind my chair now, minus the wall unit....

Still a work in progress... that spare box doesn't look right there!
However, as it's been over 5 years since I originally decorated the front of each drawer, the printed papers have faded over time, so I want to return them to their former glory.  
This week I've reorganised and consolidated most of the storage boxes in the main open-fronted wall unit, relabelling them and replacing the equally faded and tatty paper inserts in them too.

Newly reorganised storage boxes with crisp new printed inserts
Hopefully, over the coming week, as I gradually fill up all the empty Moppe unit drawers, I'll release more space elsewhere and be able to free up more of the furniture.

That's the plan anyway.

However in the meantime, this is the current state of play in the workroom.

It's obviously such a mess that I can't actually work in there, so over this coming cold and wet weekend I'll be ploughing through the mess and putting the room to rights.

I'm actually quite looking forward to it in a masochistic sort of way.  Moreover, as it's the weekend, a consolatory glass of wine may have to be involved, although I'll have to clear a space for it first.

To be continued.......

Monday, 17 September 2018

Normal service.....?

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

In the meantime, here's a dancing guinea pig.

You're welcome.....

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Pinterest goals.....

I strongly suspect I'm not the only Pinterest aficionado who avidly collects pins on a multitude of boards, never to look at them again.  It doesn't help that once Pinterest knows what you like to pin, it sends you emails every few days with pins you might like... it's like offering someone who's on a diet, but has no willpower, a selection of chocolates.


As regular readers will know, there's nothing I like better than spending some time many hours on Pinterest, flitting from one delight to another, pinning freely as I go.  It's my favourite time-wasting  procrastinating  research tool.

It's definitely a form of electronic hoarding, and there are very probably PA groups which operate like AA with members having to admit to their addiction before they can move on....

" name is Sandra, and I'm a Pinaholic"

So, in an effort to justify my Pinterest addiction I'm going to make a concerted effort to actually DO something with them, as opposed to keeping them locked away in cyberspace.

I have one board in particular, which taunts me every time I pin something to it.  It's titled Inspirational Toy Dolls and contains 245 pins showing beautiful vintage dolls which I particularly admire and which I'd like to try to recreate in micro-miniature.

Here is a small random selection.....

Exquisite, aren't they?  

However, with one exception they are all quite large dolls... most are taller than 24".
Whereas I'll be trying to recreate their costumes and style using porcelain dolls under 2" tall.

Quite a size/scale discrepancy! 

But hey.... you know I like a challenge.... right? 

So, starting this week, I'm going to pick one at random and attempt to recreate a micro-miniature version.
My plan is to do one each week, many of which will end up in La Mignonette (my own French doll shop) but others might find their way either to the website, Etsy or Ebay.

I'll also document the results here..... what could possibly go wrong?! 

*cue hysterical laughter* 

Monday, 23 July 2018

Tipping point......

Yes, I know I haven't posted for absolutely A-G-E-S.  There's been a lot going on.... most of it good, including a wonderful holiday in France with lovely friends.

While we still have a few things in the pipeline for the second half of the year, it's mostly business as usual and I've been back to work, continuing the workroom downsizing exercise, which has finally reached a 'point of no return' tipping point.

Cupboards are beginning to echo, boxes have emptied and disappeared, many of my storage drawers are similarly empty and my stash of miniature goodies is now irrevocably depleted.  That said, I've downsized all the 'easy' stuff, and I'm now spending longer considering whether to keep or sell particular miniatures from my collection.

I'm also now at the point where I will not be producing any more toy kits.... the small number I have left are in the Discontinued Kits area of the website and there are no more than a few of any of them.  Which leaves the boxes of assorted kit components, which are also now being listed on the website HERE.

I am still planning my final workshop project pack which should be ready in the autumn and full details will be posted here in due course.  It should have been done and dusted ages ago, but I keep adding more and more to it from my dwindling stash.

So what next...?  Well, probably a slight change of direction, a website makeover and a different path for a while, pursuing a project close to my heart, which will hopefully take me up to full retirement in a few years time.

In a way I'm going full circle, back to my 'first love'... tiny dolls.  Hopefully my new offerings will find favour with non-miniaturists too... collectors of small, lovely things not necessarily for doll's house purposes.

We'll see.

Still lots of ideas swirling around, bouncing off each other and forming new and different possibilities.

In the meantime though, the August Mini Miniature Show kicks off on 2nd August, and although I'm not offering a workshop pack this time, I still have lots of things to photograph and list.

Better get on with it then.

Toodle pip! 

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Flash Sale.... ends today!

Just a very brief post to let you know that we have a Flash Sale running this weekend, which ends today (Sunday 17 June)

There are discounts on both dressed and undressed toy dolls, as well as many new items in my Downsizing Sale.

Also new discontinued kits, toys and dolls......
Limited stocks across the website and when they're gone they're really gone!

All on the website HERE

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Miscellaneous musings.....

So.... over a week after returning from our Scottish odyssey and I've been very lax about updating the blog.

My bad.

The holiday was brilliant... time spent with friends, jaw-dropping scenery, sampling local delicacies (NOT deep-fried Mars bars!) and generally enjoying the land of my birth.

The view from our garden in Argyll

Spotted en route from west to east

The view from our flat in North Berwick

Small Dog 'relacksen' after a hard day's sightseeing.....
Since our return I've been in a whirlwind of 'stuff to do'.  Aside from the interminable unpacking, I've been casting, soft-cleaning, updating the website and attempting to blitz the house.

Plus here we are, almost halfway through the year, and I'm still a long way away from completing my 60th birthday year goals.


In other news, due to the post-holiday laundry mountain, our washing machine exploded the other day.  PP spent several hours trying to mend it, but in the end admitted defeat.  The bearings had gone (don't they always?) and despite watching several You Tube videos showing how to replace them, it entailed taking the entire machine to pieces....a mend-it step too far.  So we've had to grit our teeth and order a new one which arrives (hopefully) later this week.


In other, other news, one of my 60th year goals is to get a (possibly electric) bicycle so research is ongoing.

This is how I imagine I might look.....

And THIS is closer to how I will actually look....


Thursday, 3 May 2018

Get thee to a growlery......

A dog-loving friend of mine posted this on her FB page the other day and it really struck a chord with me....

Today I am taking a break from the despised soft-cleaning to tackle the even more hated annual accounts.

Or I should be.

I keep wandering into the dining room, surveying the big box which contains all of my 2017-18 paperwork, sighing deeply, then wandering back out again.  I have made half-hearted attempts to tidy up in the workroom, until my conscience forced me to do something useful. 


So I printed out a set of labels and stuck them onto envelopes which will contain the month-by-month expenses and receipts.  However, far from being buoyed by this admittedly paltry progress, I felt annoyed at my lack of anything approaching progress.

So I have decided that what I REALLY need is a growlery.

Scene: Sandra is dallying from room to room, trying to find something to do, nominally more urgent than starting the annual accounts.  A small, but menacing growl, alerts her to the presence of Small Dog, who has deserted her customary spot in the office and is standing in the sitting room doorway.

SD: *self importantly* Whott is this rubish abowt yue kneading a growllury?
Me: *dramatically... throwing myself down on the sofa* It's my restless, questing spirit SD.  I am out of sorts and in an ill humour.  I need somewhere quiet and soothing to restore my equilibrium.
SD: *derisively* Eckwillibryum?  Bollox....Yue knead to wooman upp and just gett on with itt.  Growllury indeeed.  
*warming to her theme*  If eniwun in this hows kneads a growllury itts ME!  
Alsew.... beein orl dramatick and kollapsen on the sofar is MY job.  Yue ar the karm and kollektid wun!
Me:*tremulously* Oh... but SD.... I am stricken.  It's the accounts you know. I simply can't go on..... *sobs into cushion*
SD:*suspiciously* Yure taken the pis.. arrnt yue. Maken fun of me jusst becoss ai am sensitif and hav phyner pheelens.  Itts mai artistick tempramint as wel yue kno.
Me:*thoughtfully* Well, yes.  Of course. You are indeed the Sarah Bernhardt of the doggy world.
SD:*preening* Ai shal taik thatt as a komplimint!
Me: As you wish SD.  As you wish....


Tuesday, 1 May 2018

All play and no work....

As penance for being such a sybarite for the duration of my birthday week, I'm atoning by tackling two of the most despised and unpleasant business-related tasks.... our annual accounts and a mega batch of soft cleaning.

Of the two, the soft cleaning is infinitely preferable, despite it causing me to lose the will to live.  I started yesterday.... possibly the coldest, most miserable April day in the history of ever, so I was on a hiding to nothing right from the get-go.

Oh it all starts well enough.  Nice hot water for the soft-cleaning bit, the initial enthusiasm for tackling a very necessary task, the determination to see it though and do the best job possible.

But after a while, the nice hot water goes lukewarm, then tepid, and because it happens so gradually I don't really notice until I stop for a break and suddenly realise that my hands are FREEZING COLD! 

And husky.

As in 'dessicated husk' not the dog or the smouldering sexy voice.


Scene: Sandra is at her laptop, composing a long overdue blog post about the vagaries and discomforts of soft-cleaning.  She becomes aware of a small, furry presence staring intently at the laptop screen.

Small Dog: *emphatically* Butt... ai DO absewlootlie hav a smolldurring secksy vois.
Me:*dismissively* Not when you're barking your silly head off up the garden you haven't.
SD: *suspiciously* And whotts this abowt a husckie.  Hav yue bean konsorten with uthr dogs.  Ai hav warrnd yue befour abowt thatt.....
Me: *mollifyingly* I most certainly have not been consorting with other dogs SD....Oh light of my life.
SD:*unmollified* Harrumph.... ai am knott so shure.  Yue oftin kum hoam smellen of strainj dogs.  Ai am knott stewpid yue kno.
Me:  Perish the thought SD.  You are my only and bestest dog in the world.
SD: *settling back down in her basket* Hmmm. Yess.... gude thing too! 

So, anyway.... soft cleaning.  Horrid job *shudder*

Annual accounts *sigh* also a horrid job, involving a tsunami of receipts and invoices which all have to be inspected and corralled into envelopes then all the numbers are laboriously entered into my 'idiot-proof' Excel spreadsheeet and jiggled until they all add up. 

It generally takes an entire day just to get organised to do it... necessitating clearing off the dining table so that I can spread everything out into neat piles, remembering to leave a clear space so that I can repeatedly bang my head on it when the figures refuse to reconcile, which is a depressingly regular occurrence. 

So yes... my week is shaping up just fine and dandy thanks.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

V for Vendetta.....

We've had an 'unwelcome' visitor in the garden.

I've named him Ratty McRatFace and he has discovered an all-you-can-eat buffet underneath the bird feeders at the top of the garden.


I'm of the 'live and let live' school of creature management, and given that we live behind acres of ancient woodland, in which there are undoubtedly more examples of Rattus Norvegicus than you could shake a stick at, I'm fairly sanguine about a small furry creature foraging in what he regards as 'his' garden.

However, he's now turning up with his +1, aka Ratty Muldoon, and PP is putting her foot down.

I will also mention in passing that we have a boney fido ratting terrior in the house, who has shown zero interest in the rodent invasion, taking place under her sniffy little nose.

Scene.  Earlier today. Ratty McRatFace and Ratty Muldoon are spotted having an alfresco feast.

Me: *excitedly* Small Dog!  Quickly!  See them OFF!!!

SD exits in a flurry of fur and barking and runs in totally the opposite direction.  Rats beat a hasty exit, although they could easily have finished their snack and strolled off in a leisurely manner.  
SD eventually picks up the scent trail and sets up a storm of barking, kicking her heels, wee-ing profusely and generally demonstrating that she knows what she's doing.  After several minutes of this, she runs back down the steps and barrels back into the kitchen where I intercept her.

Me: *icily*  You ran in totally the wrong direction.  You're rubbish.

SD:*doggedly* Murrm... yue kno nuthen abowt ratt manijment.  Ai hav to lul them intoo a fawls sens of sekewritie.  

Me: *sceptically* Is that right? So what is your plan...?

SD: *warming to her theme*  Aah. Wel.  Ai thort ai wude issew them with a "Sees and Deesistt Ordur".... reekwesting them to kwitt the premissis fourthwith.

Me: *speechless* That's it is it.... That's your 'plan'?

SD:*defensively* Wel OBVEEYUSLY ai will bak it upp with akshun.  And reesunible fours.  Ai am, when orl is sed and dun, a Prowd and Nobell Yorkshier Terrior and the blud of jenerashuns of ratten terriors floes threw mai vains.

Me: *raised eyebrow* You have ONE WEEK.   Just sort them out please or we'll have to take matters into our own hands. 

SD:* strolls off towards her basket* Itts orl undur kontrole.  Jusst leev it tue me.  Now iff yue wil eckews me.... ai knead a napp.

Me: *sigh*

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Going... going......!

Back to work this week... although the Easter Bank Holiday does at least mean that the working week is shorter than normal.

Finally got the last bespoke menagerie pullalong toy kit kits finished and packaged, and the final batch have all gone out in the post this week.

Last batch of bespoke pullalong toy kits....

I've made up my few remaining animals into kits which are now listed on the website, in the discontinued kits category HERE

I only have a few of each kit, the animals available are Lion Cub, Siberian Tiger Cub, Zebra and Fox Terrier.  When these last ones are gone that's it... I won't be making any more.

Jaunty Fox Terrier Pullalong Toy Kit

Lion Cub Pullalong Toy Kit

Siberian Tiger Pullalong Toy Kit

Zebra Pullalong Toy Kit

Empty space in the workroom is now becoming more noticeable as I'm gradually working my way through every box, drawer, shelf and cupboard.....

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Sandra fights back......

We're now quarter way through the year.... how on earth did THAT happen?  It feels like January was only yesterday but here we are, apparently in spring?!

I'll admit to being a tad discombobulated as I've been poorly for the past several weeks, and time has felt like it's running backwards.  It started as a common or garden cold, which lingered, and worsened, and emigrated south into my chest.  I was prescribed antibiotics but although my chest infection is clearing up, I have now developed ear ache and still feel thoroughly out of sorts.

And tired.

Sooooo tired.

I've been sleeping 12-14 hours straight and STILL waking up feeling exhausted.

My body is a battleground, with competing warring factions fighting for the upper hand..... I can imagine it a bit like that film where the chap is shrunk down and injected into somebody.... Innerspace.... or Fantastic Voyage or something.....

Scene: Inside Sandra.... 

Left to right - Dry Eye, Colitis, Multiple Sclerosis
This unholy trinity of chronic diseases, buoyed by my lingering lurgy, are assembled, making battle plans.....

Dry Eye: *scratchily* hmmm.... I can make her eyelids feel like they're lined with sandpaper..... phnha, phnha.... and when she wakes up in the night her eyeballs will be stuck to the inside of the lids...... phnha..... so she will have to TEAR them apart!!!!!   *maniacal laughter*

Colitis:*gurglily* Harghshshshh.  Good, but not enough.  I will give her uncontrollable dire rear.  Uncontrollable AND unpredictable.  Also severe, griping pain in her guts.  Like something is boring through her intestines with a rusty corkscrew...... ahhhh... the effluvium.....

Multiple Sclerosis: *icily* Pah!  Amateurs. Blundering around with your dry eyes and your dire rear.  This requires finesse.... the touch of a master.

*warming to his theme* Pain..... exquisite pain.  Slicing along nerves.  Myriad electric shocks... some imperceptible, hinting of what's to come.  
Numbness.... blissful after pain, but laced with icy pins and needles.  

Dry Eye: *desiccatedly* Look.....If she can't see properly she'll start to panic.....

Colitis:*bubblingly* Oh shut up... you're only here because of me. I can reduce her to a gibbering wreck within a few hours.... releasing her from the bathroom momentarily only to send her racing back.... like norovirus squared.

Multiple Sclerosis: *spikily* ENOUGH!  You ALL are only here because of me.  I have reduced her immune system to zero. I trump ALL of you!

*uneasy silence*

Dry Eye: *clearing throat... dryly* Well yes.... of course.  Just don't underestimate the power of eye discomfort..... burning, sticking, blurring.......

Colitis: *loosely* Trust me..... losing control of your bowels is not a good thing.  It erodes your self-esteem, renders you helpless.... like a baby.

Multiple Sclerosis: *placatingly* Friends..... we must all work together.  Weave an intricate tapestry of discomfort and pain. 
I will add fatigue.... not mere 'tiredness' but a bone-weary lack of all energy whereby putting one foot in front of the other requires gargantuan effort.  
I will elevate the slivers of pain to a waterfall of neuropathy, tumbling her into a fugue state, relieved only temporarily by opiates, further separating her from reality.
We.... WE can do this thing!

Sandra: *weakly*  D'you know what?  

All: *collective bemusement*

Sandra: *emphatically* You.... the lot of you.....Can all FU*K OFF right now!

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Pantry porn......

I posted a while ago about downsizing the contents of my workroom so that everything will fit into a craft armoire.  I still have a way to go with this possibly impossible plan, but that hasn't prevented me from spending many hours on Pinterest, salivating over other people's craft storage solutions.

The gold standard is, of course, the Workbox, but even when it's closed it's a bit of a behemoth and has a hefty price tag to boot. It also requires a LOT of space to open fully... around 9 feet!

Then there are lots of DIY solutions, many based on IKEA hacks....

It would also be eminently possible to convert a bog-standard wardrobe into a nifty craft cupboard......

However, what I'd really like is something like this.....

Wonderful corner cupboard.... perfect use of space!

Apparently this particular photo has been saved over 300,000 times (!) so I'm not the only one who can see its potential as something other than a pantry.  The media are calling the interest in cupboards like this 'pantry porn' and it's apparently, now, A. Thing.

That aside, I particularly like the way that the interior sides have useful storage, rather than simply having shelves which extend all the way from back to front.

There's a chap in Bexhill who makes pantry cupboards very like these and it's tempting to see how much something similar would cost.  As my workroom cupboards gradually empty, I could easily lose the run of kitchen base units along one wall, freeing up the space for a cupboard like this.  There's even enough space inside to store a folding table and chair, in which case I could lose the big desktop which dominates the entire room.

Hmmm.....I might just have to do more Pinteresting on this cold and snowy afternoon for more ideas.....

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Play Doh and Runnin'.....

Our little granddaughter (aka Gigglefidget) is a force of nature.  She's nearly two and has life completely sussed.

She was staying with us last week, and in the morning, as we were heading downstairs, we had this conversation....

Me: Are you ready for breakfast?
Gigglefidget: YEAAAHHHHH!
Me: What would you like?
Me: Pancake?
Me: And what do you want to do after breakfast..?
GF: Play Doh and runnin'...... YEAAHHH!

I recently relayed this conversation to my Lovely Daughter, who shared my opinion that life just doesn't get any better than that and it's probably all downhill from then on.

It's only when you're all grown up and looking back that you realise that childhood years are the pinnacle of pleasure.  No worries or responsibilities... endless opportunities for play and unbridled enthusiasm and optimism for life.


The old homily that school days are the best days of your life, never rings true at the time.  All those tests and exams... mounting pressure to succeed year on year.

Then work... a whole new set of pressures. Then family, responsibilities, problems.......

Then, much later, comes a point where none of that seems to matter as much.  We become more comfortable in our own skin, more sure of who we are and what we want from life.  As years pass and our remaining time shortens, priorities change.

With my 60th birthday now just a few weeks away, an inevitable introspection has descended.  Decade birthdays seem to do that thing..... I felt it when I hit 40... and again at 50.  Now, approaching 60, traditionally the age at which women retired, it's impossible not to look back and try to quantify what I've achieved in my six decades. And to look forward, to then next (hopefully) ten or fifteen years.

Of course I can't actually retire now until I'm 66... and I'm unconvinced I'll fully be able to, even then.  But I do want to change the way I work and what I do for my remaining working years.

Basically more 'Play Doh and runnin'......

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Stuff's last stand.....

You know how it is.

You live in a place for 15 years and stuff accumulates.

It's inexorable and inevitable.

It doesn't help that we work from home, but the workroom stuff is a whole different issue,  at which I'm chipping away, day after day.

No, it's the rest of the house where we're having a rout, specifically upstairs... corralling and rounding up all the extraneous stuff for which we have no further use.

It also doesn't help that apart from one small understairs cupboard, we have absolutely no built-in storage.  Apparently modern houses these days aren't built with any thought to storage whatsoever.  

To be fair, there has always been one bedroom which has performed the function of Stuff Repository.  For years it was the smallest bedroom, but that has now been transformed into a gorgeous Peter Rabbit themed bedroom for Gigglefidget.  So all the stuff from that room migrated into the third bedroom, pending the sale of my lovely desk.

The lovely desk went just after Christmas, and since then we've been girding our collective loins to tackle the remaining mountain of stuff in order to clear and redecorate the room and transform it from stuff storage room into a functioning bedroom again.

So once again we've hoiked out all the stuff and deposited it in the guest bedroom, which is always kept 'guest ready'.   The plan is that we will shortly have two 'guest ready' bedrooms but in the interim period, which is set to last for a maximum of three days, THIS is how our guest bedroom looks.


Yes I know.

Shocking.... isn't it?

Granted, most of it is new bed stuff for the third bedroom.... bed frame, headboard, footboard, bed slats, mattress, duvet, pillows etc, plus all the books from the bookcase but there still seems to be a lot of "what the hell will we do with THIS" items, the fate of which will be decided over the next three days.

I'm anticipating that a lot of it will go to our local hospice charity shop.  Other stuff will be offered on Freecycle and the rest will be off to our local recycling facility.

So.... three days to restore upstairs to some semblance of normality. *holds head in hands*

Anyway... today PP and I have finally begun painting the now empty third bedroom.  PP did the small brush fiddly cutting in stuff  at the top and bottom, round sockets etc, and I did the broad strokes rollering.  It's not a very big room so we optimistically thought that we'd get it done in a couple of hours.


It didn't help that we ran out of paint and PP had to go to B&Q for another tub.

It didn't help that the sun came out and blinded us so we couldn't see where we'd been.

It didn't help that although the original colour was a very pale blue it's still going to need three coats of paint.

It didn't help that Small Dog assumed the role of site inspector and kept strolling in to make 'helpful' comments.

Hmmm.... mumm, yue knead moar paynt in thatt trai....

Mumm.... whyl yure upp thatt laddr, ai kan see a bitt yue misst.  Kno knott ther... ovur THER... jusst beeyond yure reetsh.


 It's taken most the of the day and after two coats we threw in the towel.  The final coat will have to be done on Monday.  We're now both hobbling around, moaning and groaning about the pain in our respective backs/shoulders/hips/knees/feet and I'm fairly confident that tomorrow we won't be able to move, but hey ho.  At least it's started. 

This evening I intend to do armchair shopping for curtains, duvet set etc for when we eventually get to do the 'fun stuff'.  It can't come too soon.....

In the meantime though......