Sunday 30 June 2019

Not Using the Stuff

Another weekend, another car boot sale, this time in Tal y Bont which is a few miles along the road from us.  We were selling lots of the stuff that was previously in cupboards, on shelves and most definitely no longer needed by us.

We did really well, and made a grand total of £158.50.  The heat took it's toll though and we were both exhausted by the time we got home at 3.30pm,  But the truck was much lighter and now I have a couple of empty boxes and lots of empty hangers to fill ready for next time.

The dogs came with us and lay in the shade of the truck, and thanks to a very naughty Daddy they enjoyed a whole ice cream cornet to themselves.  

As well as being the car boot sale this month it was the Annual Bike Show, with bikers from all over the area turning up on their large and not so large motorbikes.  Competitions were had and raffle tickets drawn.  The ladies in the Memorial Hall cafe sold out of bread rolls for the bacon and sausage buns that were for sale and someone had to be sent out for fresh supplies to keep the bikers and car booters fed.  

All in all it was a good day ... and it was nice to see blog reader Gill and her hubby Mike again.

Sue xx

Saturday 29 June 2019

At the end of the day ...

Sometimes you need to take it back gently

A whisper here a whisper there

Sometimes you have to fight for what is yours

But if it's yours

Take it back

And there is always time for coffee

Oh, and a spot of free WiFi


Friday 28 June 2019

The Clothes I Thought Were Me ...

I'm still prepping for this weekends car boot sale.
After yesterday's big sort through and weeding out session on the book shelves I thought I would turn my attention to my clothes today for a bit of a change.  Although I did add a few more books to the box to fill it right up, it didn't feel right leaving a few gaps.

There are lots of clothes, some new but lots picked up from charity shops that I buy when in a buying mood and wear a few times before catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror, or catch my reflection in a shop window and think ... 'that's just not me'.  Then they get washed hung in the wardrobe and left to languish.

Well today they stopped languishing and were hung and priced before you could could even say 'what were you thinking'  😄

My retail background comes out when I fill up a clothes rail and  even selling at a car boot sale the clothes get 'colour blocked'.  It really does set them off to their best advantage and mean that people come over to have a look at our stall.

I hope this hot weather cools down a little bit for Saturday though, I really do not do well with this heat ... although it's been great for drying some spontaneous washing of Summer clothes that I discovered packed away ... that I had totally forgotten I had.

I did that well with my sorting out that I have even been able to make up two bundles of ten coat hangers to sell off.  We don't need as many hangers if we don't have so many clothes.

Sue xx

Thursday 27 June 2019

The Books I Thought I Needed

I'm slowly but surely emptying the shelves of the books I thought I needed

The books bought to inspire me to do things I thought I wanted to do

The books that offered a glimpse into another lifestyle

The one I thought I wanted

Seeing the shelves empty

Slowly and methodically

Shows me that this was not the case

They were there to tease me

To remind me

Maybe to try and make me sad at money spent 

But now I have taken back the power

I can make gaps appear

I can change my possessions to suit me

The me that is now

The me that is actually me

It's so easy

And so invigorating

To see shelves emptying and boxes filling

And as the books go

New vistas appear

New horizons waiting to be discovered

More time to read


There are books that are treasures

That will never leave and will always live on my shelves

And in my heart

Sue xx


Wednesday 26 June 2019

Sweeping to Simplicity

I sorted through all the kitchen cupboards a couple of months ago, indeed I originally sorted them through them last year.  But I'm finding that this decluttering lark is best done in sweeps.  

The first sweep is all the stuff you don't like and is oh so easy.  Then sometime later comes the sweep of all the things that you quite like but just don't use.  Next comes another sweep gathering together all the things that you realise should perhaps have gone sooner but were being kept because of memories they hold, uses they might have, occasions when they might come in handy and sometimes because they cost you more than you would usually have spent.

The final and most rewarding sweep is when you forget to worry about any of the guilt trips, the preconceptions, the might be usefuls etc etc

This cupboard has been well and truly swept ... and is now I think in it's final look, holding things that we use regularly, or have been used very recently.  There's no excess, nothing that jars or annoys me and there is just enough of everything if we have people round, workmen for coffees etc.

Or is there an egg cup or two too many ....

The cupboard next to the Aga did look like this first thing this morning ...

 ... now this is it.

The tea towel drawer under the worktop in what I think is it's final state. 

It only gave up four pie tins (I'll never need eight!!), a charger that fits nothing we own, some waxed discs for jam making and some disposable piping bags ... we don't eat anything with piped cream on top, so why on earth have these lasted here so long?

As you can see in some areas we are getting right down to the nitty gritty, and it's a good feeling.   While waiting for the kettle to boil I choose a place to sort though in the kitchen and I still find bits and bobs to add to the car boot sale box.

As we simplify our lives a calm descends and it's very addictive.  Luckily I still have a few areas in which to feed my addiction, and a couple more months of car boot sales in this area to turn the excess into cash.

Sue xx

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Searching for Simplicity

I've just started reading a new book.  

I don't remember buying this one, but it was on the shelves when I was sorting out for the car boot sale and it's simplicity caught my eye immediately.

It made me laugh when after a couple of pages the book started to minimise itself ... jettisoning pages with every page turn.  By the time I finish reading it I guess it will either be kept carefully or be in the recycling box as a little stack of paper rather than being a book I can sell on.

It had an immediate effect anyway, to the left of me as I was sat at the breakfast bar reading was our kitchen pen pot, rather too full of things that weren't actually pens for my liking.

So it was sorted through until I was happy with it's contents, things were either relocated or thrown away.

First little minimise done!!

Sue xx

Friday 21 June 2019

I should let you into a secret ...

... I did this last night.

Hang on, I hear you say ... you did this weeks ago!

No I did this weeks ago. 

Previously this area had looked this, then I wallpapered it ... then the wallpaper came loose at the edges, so I stuck it down.  Then one hot sunny day when Alan was sat at the table reading the paper and I was reading on the sofa, we heard a soft crack ... then a bit of a whoosh.   We looked at each other, then at the wall.  

The paper was, how shall I put it ... disengaging from the wall.  We were in stitches, it shouldn't have been funny, but it was 😂😃🤣

After much thinking about it, it was my eldest son Simon who suggested what could be the answer, PVA glue on the wall before pasting both the paper and the wall with ordinary wall paper paste.

So Wednesday night saw me getting sticky with PVA and then last night I rehung the wallpaper.  

It only took a couple of hours as obviously the paper was all cut to size with holes already made for the electric sockets and switches.

And now here we are back to this.

I could have just kept quiet ... but I couldn't I'm blogger through and through ... and an honest one at that.   😂😀🤣

Sue xx

Tuesday 18 June 2019

A Trailer, A Lonely Crow and a Fisherman

This year we are selling everything we no longer use, need or no longer want.  It seems that my yearning for simplicity has really rubbed off on Alan big style!!

 Last weekend he sold the Ifor Williams tipper trailer that we have had since we started our new life in the country over ten years ago.  It was used to transport  farm equipment,  horse manure in industrial sized quantities and has been used for many, many other things besides, including moving house twice.

Now instead of a trailer sat in the driveway being of no use to anyone other than Mr Crow ... who has sat on it every morning for over a year to talk to his reflection in the workshop window ... the money we have made from the sale of it is funding a little jaunt to Amsterdam.  Another capital city to cross off our list of capitals visited since we met.  I've even dyed my hair back to light brown to match my passport, after a brief foray into the dark side 😄

We intend to enjoy time together, try new things, have fun times, make memories and most importantly of all ... relax.

Sue xx

Monday 17 June 2019

Thankful ...

We don't have it all

Indeed we are getting rid of lots of what we do have

The things that are left at the end of this year

Will be the things we really need

Really want

And we will be thankful

But even on the journey we are thankful

Thankful for a roof over our heads

Food in our tummies

Love in our families

Thankful for all that we have, all that we are and all that we will be.


Sunday 16 June 2019

Empty Rails and New Experiences

We had a really good day at the Car Boot Sale yesterday.

As you can see from this photo we mostly had books for sale and a number of larger items that were on a plastic sheet at the end of the table, some pieces of furniture, pig troughs, gardening stuff and a small oven.  I also had a rail of clothes which sold really well at just £1 an item.

There weren't as many sellers as in previous months as the forecast had been a bit hit and miss, but this boded well for us, less choice means people look long and hard at what is on offer on your stall rather than rushing forwards to the next one.

And the weather was lovely, a little bit breezy but sunny and warm all throughout the sale.

My helpers all fell asleep after a couple of hours, so I cracked on alone.  But I made sure I got photographic evidence of the snoozing in the sunshine ... just for posterity you understand  ;-)

We got home with an almost empty clothes rail, lots of empty boxes and the grand total of £172.20.  Not a bad days work, and another step towards simplicity.

We've continued selling today and have just managed to sell Alan's tipper trailer on Facebook Marketplace.  The money we make on it is paying for a little holiday for us in a couple of weeks.  How much better a bit of travel and some new experiences than something we aren't using anymore sitting unwanted on the driveway.

I'm blogging over on my other blog ... Challenging Myself ... every day this week as it Ration Challenge week.  I hope to see you there  :-)

I'm just about to set off back to Van life and the sun is shining, I'm taking small pleasures wherever I can find them 💜

Sue xx

Thursday 13 June 2019

Trust the Journey

Sometimes we really do have to simply trust the journey

It doesn't take that much bravery

Just a willingness to take a step or a leap of faith

We are all just one decision away from a totally different life

Even if the Pug does look worried

Wednesday 12 June 2019

Something Good ...

Walking the riverbank with Suky was the only thing that kept me sane last week.  Losing myself in nature, birdsong, the smell of freshly mown grass after heavy rain showers.  Driving all the way to Manchester for a hug from my Mum, never under-estimate the power of a hug from your Mum.

Stopping to watch the river, high after heavy rains, thundering by and grabbing a photo to remind myself that just as the water rushes by, life does go on.  Something good has to come out of all this ...

At the end of last week I felt it was necessary to take a step back to reassess all that I am, we are, doing.  And all that came to mind was the need to carry on with the simplification of our lives.  To carry on with the jettisoning of all that is excess, all that is surplus to living a smaller and simpler life.

We don't need things.  

Things to dust, things to clean, things waiting to be read, queuing up in the back of your mind exerting their pressure whether you realise it or not.  Things that take your time and sap your energy with their needs.

We need time.

Time to live, time to breathe, time to relish moments and time to love those that love us.  Time to seek out those that want to know us, to share in our lives.  We need to take the time to learn to understand and to make sense of all that happens to us.  We need time to take a step back and see our lives from the outside, to see where changes, nips and tucks or expansions can be made.  

We need time to see where the step down from this mad, mad consumerist society that we are being pulled into is ... and if we are brave enough, time to take it.  To jump ship from all that we currently have and do and want.

If Bella's short, sweet and wonderful life taught me anything it is that you should take each day as it comes and live your life to the fullest.  Enjoy all the little moments, those moments full of blowing leaves to watch and chase, birdsong to listen to, water to splash in or jump over.  Say yes to adventures, always be willing to travel even if the destination is unknown.  Trust in the world, your world ... and those that share it with you.

Like the photo above I have to let something good and hopeful grow out of something sad, it's the only way.

Sue xx

Thursday 6 June 2019

My Darling Bella Boo

Bella died cuddled in my arms at the vets yesterday afternoon. 

She came into our lives only two months ago like a little whirlwind of joyful puppy energy. She brought happiness and laughter to everyone she came into contact with ... family, friends, neighbours here on the caravan park, and complete strangers whenever we were out and about with her. Peoples eyes would light up as we approached and big beaming smiles were all she ever saw coming towards her.

A beautiful little dog that touched so many hearts. 

Her first journey with us, heading for home..

Watched over from day one.

Adored by Mavis ❤

One of the hillside gang.

Sleeping in the office while we worked, always close, always safe.

But brave enough to bask in the sunshine while I gardened close by.

Sharing her little bed with big sister Suky ...

... and big sister Mavis.

Playing 'selfies' with Mum.

And afternoon naps with Dad.

Exploring Granny's garden ...

 ... and hogging the table at a family meal out.

A short life,  lived well.

We were all so honoured to have shared it.

Cagnolino Bella Sunrise

14th February 2019 - 5th June 2019

In our lives from the day she was born, in our hearts forever.

 Rest in Peace my little Bella Boo 🌹♥️🌹