Thursday, 29 October 2020

Mess, Mayhem and Ongoing Reorganisation

 


Mess and Mayhem ... it sums it all up nicely.

I'm in that familiar fug of being surrounded by all my possessions and needing to sort out my living.  In my years on this earth I have now moved house sixteen times, the last eight of them in the sixteen years I have known Alan so I know things will get better, indeed with each passing day something gets better. 

 A kitchen roll holder screwed onto the side of the kitchen cupboard means two items off the worktop and paper towels suddenly being where I can find them without having to search ... yes it's the little things that count.  Although the clock I had put up in the bedroom launched itself back off the wall just as I was getting ready to sleep last night 😄😆


But I've known from arriving where the coffee area was ...


... and Suky's doggy eating and drinking station was quickly established.



With no oven ... it's SO filthy I wouldn't dream of using it and I'm currently awaiting a call from a professional oven  cleaning service ... and no will to cook on the hob, my tea for my first evening was a plate of cheese and crackers with a nod to salad thrown in for health's sake.  Accompanied by my last can of cider as a house-warming party of miniscule proportions.

I knew I had to be up early yesterday to go back to the Van to retrieve the contents of two forgotten about drawers.  I thought I had checked everywhere so carefully and it wasn't until bedtime and me needing a tee-shirt to sleep in, that the penny dropped ... it and more of my clothes were still in the Van!!   

I was there for 8.30am, half an hour before the office staff arrive for work.  I quickly let myself  in and filled a bag with my forgotten clothes and then left as quietly as I had arrived, checking on my way out that I had left no muddy footprints on my beautifully cleaned floors.  We still luckily each have a key to the Van and will keep them until it is sold, so that is how I was able to get back in.  It is still ours and our responsibility until someone else signs on the dotted line.

Being three miles closer to the motorway I decided I would make an early call to Dunelm to see what I could sort out for storage for my clothes at the flat.  I haven't owned a wardrobe in years, the Van obviously had all built in furniture and back home in Wales the wardrobes are also built in.  So I had had the forethought to ask Alan to bring the clothes rail that we used to use at car boot sales with him last weekend.  But that was going to be no use for the knicks and socks etc that I had just rescued from the Van.


It didn't take me long to find these, absolutely perfect as they can go on any hanging rail.  I also bought myself a few other bits and pieces that were very necessary, and treated Suky to a new dog bed from Pets at Home.


It works a treat, although I might actually pick up a couple more of the drawers next time I'm nearby as they will be so much better for keeping the dust off things.


Another couple of new purchases over the weekend were from much closer to home.  I called in the Hospice charity furniture shop again and spotted this bureau that I had seen the week before.  It had been reduced to half price and was now £75 ... it just had to be mine.

The mirror above it was from another little shop on the High Street and for just £20 it also was destined to come home with me.  That perfect mustard colour on a genuine old bevelled edge mirror, just gorgeous.


The inside of the old bureau delights me.


All those letter racks, a pen holder and indent for an ink pot.


Little nooks and crannies that will hold all my office and stationery wares.


Those delightful little drawers.

Is there anybody else that loves little nooks and crannies of usefulness as much as me or am I sadly on my own in this ... I have a hopeful feeling that I am not alone!!  😉

Yesterday I gave it a thorough clean, and found an old bank statement tucked away down the back of the drawers that let me in on the fact that the bureau's previous owner was also called Susan!!  Todays main job is to line the larger bottom drawers with some of a roll of wallpaper I picked up in a different charity shop as they are slightly more marked inside than the lovely little top ones.  And then I will be filling the whole bureau with as much as it can hold, including all my tools and bit and bobs that are currently on the kitchen worktop and in one of the drawers, which will then free up a kitchen drawer for a bit more re-organisation.  Then hopefully I will start to be able to find at least some of my things without a full scale hunt around the flat.


Oh, I would love to have your opinion.

Do you like the header?  It is a photograph of the start of the riverbank twenty paces from my front door ... or did you prefer the simpler worded heading that just said A Small and Simpler Life.  I just can't make up my mind at all so some input would be very welcome.


Sue xx











74 comments:

  1. Hi Sue. Your picture of the riverbank looks lovely. Are you still in Wales or have you moved county? I am very near to Dunelm at Preston. Very handy for bits and bobs!

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    1. I've moved country not just county!! I now live in Garstang, Lancashire. I use the Lancaster/Morecambe border Dunelm.

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  2. Beautiful heading, what a lovey place for walks. When we moved into our last home we bought an 18th century oak bureau, it was so different to our other furniture but our lounge was huge so it fitted in nicely, as you say the little drawers are a treat to see and so useful, it was a farmhouse bureau not a stately home one so I would imagine the land owner sat there ordering feed for his animals and sorting out wages for farm hands. Sadly we downsized when we moved here so it found a new home, furniture with history is nice to have in the home and a mixture of old and new often works.I hope you enjoy arranging your new home and I really can't understand people leaving the oven in such a state, it's disgusting, in the many times we have moved, we have left everything so clean with a new bar of soap in the loo,toilet roll too , the last thing out of the door is me dragging the vacuum cleaner.

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    1. That's exactly how I leave things when I move on. I felt almost guilty walking back into the Van and along the hoovering lines I had left on the carpets. But it was nice to go back and check it didn't smell at all 'doggy'. I had been generous with all the cleaning products I used and left the place with a squirt of air neutraliser in every room and cupboard ... which also didn't smell obvious thank goodness!!

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  3. Oh the little desk is WONDERFUL. I love old furniture and accumulate it mindlessly. As in, when I see a something beautiful, old, and inexpensive, it winds up coming home with me. I will figure out where to put it later. Your idea of mindfully selecting items with an eye towards where they go and what they will be used for is a novel idea, and one that I really shall have to adopt.

    Oh! Look at that old table over there! Excuse me, Sue. I must really run.

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    1. Haha ... you sound like a girl after my own heart. Once the Welsh house sells my little dark wood gate-leg table will come to keep the bureau company and I will have a bit of a matching set.

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  4. Love the new header, new for a new start.
    Your bureau find is a beauty and a mustard mirror, heavens.
    All seems to be coming together for your wonderfully.
    Carry on. I am enjoying this.

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    1. Yep, it's coming together slowly but surely, but I'm in no rush during this local lockdown so I might as well take my time 😃

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  5. I love the header and the bureau. It is all taking shape beautifully. I had to laugh at the clock though!

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    1. I had a laugh too, once I had gotten over the shock 🤣🤣

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  6. I love your new header - just what you need when we are heading into the grey and wet duldrums of winter!

    You had a good buy with your desk and it sounds like it is going to be just the place to find all those bits and bobs you need in a hurry. I need one the size of a ROOM!! I can see that mustard mirror had your name on it too.

    I expect you are up to your ears in sorting everything out, as we are up to our ears in sorting and packing here. Banana boxes are us right now (we won't get the moving boxes until nearer the time). Glad you know where the coffee is - I start the day with an Earl Grey teabag so those will be travelling with us in the car when we move . . .

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    1. The photo was only taken last week, it was much sunnier then than the grey clouds we've got today though.

      Don't forget to label every box in great detail. I hope it all goes smoothly for you 😃

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    2. Says the woman who tossed things into bags and moved. You have really done well.

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    3. Haha ... I was actually thinking that as I typed out my answer to BB's comment ;-)

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  7. It's a new chapter so it definitely needs a new title. I think its perfect!

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  8. I like the new heading and photo. Finding homes for everything is part of the 'making it a home' process. I hope the cleaner for the oven arrives soon and you can get some hot food inside you, especially as it's so miserable outside. X

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    1. Having to try again to find one, the first one can't get here :-(

      I do have the hob though so I can have a bit of a cook up now that I have unpacked more stuff, and I have a microwave arriving tomorrow. :-)

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  9. I like the new header and would love to be sitting on the bank with my toes in the water... next summer !

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    1. The river rose alarmingly in the early hours and Garstang was on high alert, but phew it behaved itself. I have visions of me next Summer taking my elevenses outside and sitting on a checked rug down by the river with Suky snoozing by by side while I read a book.

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  10. Like your new header and photo. Must be lovely living next to a river.

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    1. The sound of the water is beautiful, even though the day is so grey.

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  11. When I clicked on your blog, the first thing I thought, was oh, what a beautiful new header! It's lovely. Have fun putting your new place together. I also really like the blind on your kitchen window.

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    1. I'm glad you like the header. The blind was the prettiest thing in the flat when I moved in. It had been tightly rolled up when I viewed the place, possibly to let as much light in as possible, so it was a nice surprise when I let it down and saw it for the first time.

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  12. I love the new heading and find it amazing that it is so close to your new home! What a perfect place to walk Suky! What a shock the falling clock must have been! It's good it fell before you went to sleep as that would be a rude and frightening wake up call. The new bureau is wonderful and I absolutely love anything that has a lot of nooks and crannies in which to store things! You are definitely not alone in your love of such things. It looks like it could serve as a desk as well.

    Your moving appears to be progressing well and now that you have picked up that last bit from the van you deserve to take a break and catch your breath! I know you must have your mind whirling with things to do but I also know how a move can wear a person out! Take care Sue and have fun!

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    1. Yes, we are walking along the same river that we walked the banks of at the caravan park, just a couple of miles further along, it is beautiful, and Suky prefers it here as she can choose to walk on the grass when it is a bit dryer or the tarmacked path when it's wet. She doesn't like getting her feet wet unnecessarily.

      I am slowing things down now, last night I was exhausted. It's time for a lazy couple of days I think and a bit of a catch up of television watching.

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  13. Love the header, love a nice bureau.

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    1. Thanks, it's all new ... you with your posh new windows and all :-)

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  14. Yes I like the new header. Arilx

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  15. I love the new header. It was the same problem with no wardrobe moving here. We have always had fitted wardrobes as DB was a cabinet maker. I found a beautiful pine one in a charity shop reduced by 25%. Your bureau is beautiful. I have one restored by DB.

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    1. DB sounds like a very handy man to have around. I think I have inherited my love of good furniture from my grandfather who was also a cabinet maker. I had great fun filling all the little compartments of the bureau with my bits and bobs yesterday.

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  16. Love the header! Beautiful and looks so peaceful. Also love your new furniture piece. I also am a fan of crooks and crannies - a place for everything and everything in its place. Ranee (MN) USA

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    1. Thank you. It is easier to be tidy when you have places to put all those little things isn't it :-)

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  17. I agree with everyone else, I love the header! It's cheered me up after such a gloomy day to see some sunshine.
    That bureau is gorgeous and a real bargain. I love all those compartments and what a coincidence that the previous owner was also a Sue, it's fate!
    Suzy looks so cute happily grazing in her new eating area. xxx

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    1. It's hard to believe that the photo was only taken last week, what a change in the weather ... I seem to have brought the gloom with me!!

      Suky has settled in well, although she has been waking me up much earlier than usual so I think she is still feeling a little insecure and needing me around.

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  18. Loving the new look. Your Bureau is gorgeous and I love your flat. What a state to leaves the oven in, I hope the Agents didn't give them their deposit back. Every time I've moved, the house has been cleaned within an inch of its life, as in Army march out clean. The last time we moved I was still cleaning at 3am in the morning. I always leave the light bulbs, new loo rolls too.

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    1. Thank you.

      I don't know if they got their deposit back, the flat has been empty since last September and has changed owners since the last tenants left. I was surprised the inventory person hadn't looked into the oven and noted the state before my tenancy started. I immediately supplied the owner of the flat and the letting agents with a photo of the state of it and had it added to the inventory. One thing is for sure it will be a LOT cleaner when I leave.

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  19. The new header is fab, Sue, and I love the bureau too. I enjoy the smell of a well polished piece of antique furniture.
    Let's hope the oven cleaning company can sort it out sooner rather than later for you. It will be money we'll spent.

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    1. I do need to buy it some lovely lavender smelling furniture polish, it deserves to be fed as well as cleaned :-)

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  20. I love the bureau- gorgeous piece of furniture and it looks as though all if the drawers and racks are intact - fab find :)

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    1. I just had to do a bit of glueing of the wooden runner attachment, you know the little things that come out to support the drop down front and also stick the letter rack/drawers section into place so it didn't drop back onto the drawers, apart from that everything is pretty good considering it's age.

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  21. A lovely sunny header to cheer up a grey week and the extra words are good too.

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    1. It was a glorious Autumn day when I took it, what a difference this past couple of days.

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  22. Down by the river for me. Love your charity shop find. Wishing much happiness in your new flat. Take care.

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  23. Definitely the river picture. How lovely to be so close. Enjoy settling in to your new home

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    1. I think the general consensus is that it's staying. It does brighten up what is a pretty gloomy world at the moment.

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  24. Down by the river! What an inviting view.

    I love your writing desk, it looks early 20th century to me, do you agree? We have a humongous Sea Captain’s chest that’s been in the family for yoinks. There are certain drawers that are designated ‘safe places’, for passports and spare keys and of course stamps (rarely needed these days sadly. I thought the letter rack in yours would look great with special photos along it?

    You are at the muddling-along-but-not-quite-there stage aren’t you, but it’s looking good.

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    1. Yes, I think you are right with your date, it's the sort of thing my grandfather would have made in the 1930s or 40s. I've filled up all the letter rack compartments with pens and pencils etc, so it's now looking a tad cluttered ... but is very useful.

      Yes, I'm definintely at the muddling along stage, every time I go in the spare bedroom I try to come out with at least one thing to find a home for ... it's working, and I will get there eventually I hope!!

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    1. Thank you ... I think the general consensus it that it should stay :-)

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  26. I really like your new header.

    Love the desk and all the little nooks to store office supplies.

    God bless.

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    1. Thank you.

      I've pretty much filled it up now, so it's nice to at least know where some of my bits and pieces are ... although I was hunting high and low for my camera this morning, it was in one of the little side flaps with my storage device, which it seems was too logical for my poor tire mind to fathom.

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  27. Love the new header photo and that wonderful desk!
    I think I'm going to look for a professional oven cleaner service! I could hire my super (she does extra work like that) - but she'll spend half the time gossiping and take ages - I'd rather pay for some sort of neutral service.

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    1. Thank you, it would be nice if I can get someone to do it for me. There's something about cleaning up someone else's greasy mess that I just can't handle at the moment. Although I used to do that no problem when I worked as a holiday flat/caravan cleaner many, many years ago.

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  28. I love the header as well, but I can't make my mind up about which one I prefer. Something about 'A New Life In The Country' still intrigues me. You have made such a massive change and, once again, I hope it all goes well for you and you settle in to your new life. Something about your Welsh home I think I will always love but it is obvious you are not missing any of it. Onwards and upwards Sue and the best of luck.

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    1. This blog has always been called A Smaller and Simpler Life, it is just the photo or wording header that was up for debate and I think the overwhelming opinion is that the photo stays :-)

      I think I moved on from 'Our New Life in the Country' so long ago (indeed that blog stopped before this one began and had no connection, not even a shared email address) that it seems another lifetime ago. No I don't really miss much about Wales ... it is a beautiful place, and our views from the windows of the cottage were to die for, and we got to know some lovely people, but things sadly soured so badly when Alan changed his mind that I could not go back to that way of life. Far too hard and lonely.

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  29. Love the header, also like your biscuit tin! :)

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    1. You would have a shock if you opened it ... it holds Suky's dried dog food, and the other green tin next to it her dog treats 😃🐕

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  30. The bureau is beautiful. I notice more and more that people are starting to 'upcycle' or 'distress' beautiful old furniture which, in my opinion, absolutely destroys it. I suppose it is a matter of taste though. I love the photo in your header.

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    1. The be honest I do think that done well some old furniture can look good upcycled, but my bureau is staying au natural 😃

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  31. As long as there is a coffee area everything else will fall into place in good time. X

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  32. My jaw dropped when I saw your new header photograph. So serene....hope it reflects your own serenity.
    As for your bureau...just gorgeous. Lots of character and very charming.xx

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    1. It is a good photo from my old camera isn't it, for once it caught the light just as it was with no blurry bits.

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  33. I too love the new pic, here in Australia that lush green is quite rare and especially in our hot Summers.Such loveliness will lift hearts in your coming Winter and be a joy to our eyes as our grass turns brown.
    The writing desk was such a good find, so nice to have a lovely old piece with history to take care of and use .

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    1. Oh gosh yes, I do hope you get more rain this year during your Summer season, the land must be parched.

      I would much rather have an older piece of furniture with character and history than a modern mass produced item.

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