For Sale

You know when everything gets a bit crazy, and for 5 minutes you just need to seek sanctuary in something completely mindless and mentally re-group? Yeah, so, as much as I hate mobile phones, and how relentlessly humans are bound to these anti-social black rectangles; I am also fickle and weak, and my new favourite ‘down-time’ thing is looking at the awesome stuff people advertise on Facebook’s ‘Marketplace’ .

These are a collection of my most recent favourites, because I feel this is a bandwagon everyone should be jumping on, and you’ll see what I mean…

Showing that alcoholism can not only be organised, but profitable. Brilliant! Pushing the boundaries here and making people think differently about their recycling box.

‘Marketplace’ is also quite an inspirational online space where people see potential in ways perhaps others wouldn’t. There’s always something to take away from it. I’m growing as a person.

Artistry ….. all around. I think it’s an original.

A study in crochet. It’s always difficult to know quite how to make garden furniture assimilate with its surroundings, but I think this really works. And for £10!

Through experience, I don’t believe that’s quite how it works, but maybe there is a not so obvious depth? We are all indeed unique, ‘handmade’, one-of-a-kind.

And it’s true, they are free to make, but thereafter it seems that’s the only bit associated with these products that is….

If in doubt: ten pounds.

Ten pounds.

There are generous souls too on this site! The man giving these away will drive round to your house and deliver it to you…for free! Totally recommend and totally legit. Just don’t ask him what the banging from inside his boot is all about. It seems to make him cross.

Aww, bless you! ‘xxxx’ too. Ten pounds.

Ten pounds, but look at that awesome paving slab arrangement! The proliferation of hard paving in our environment is increasingly becoming a problem due to the large amount of surface run-off it creates, eventually leading to flooding in some areas. It’s great to see more people taking this issue seriously.

Now this swing seat is maybe a bit more pricey, moving away from the popular ‘ten pounds’ pricing strategy, however the ‘visual’ of the quality of its previous occupant I think is all the explanation we need.

It’s the framing of the subject in this one that really does it for me.

Similarly, ‘colour and context’ is bang on the money here.

So you see why I encourage you to join me in this ‘mindless pursuit’, when you can see and learn so much.

Life is beautiful. Live it well.

The Good Day Chart

The Small One sat down one day and drew lots of boxes on a piece of paper:

Me:”What’s that darling?”
TSO: “a Good Day Chart Mummy”
Me: “So how does that work then?”
TSO: “At the end of the day you put a tick in the box if it’s been a good day, and a cross if it’s been a bad day.”

Since the creation of the ‘Good Day Chart’ The Small One has had chronic hayfever, not much sleep, fallen over on numerous occasions, experienced a few disasterous playdates, and her fairy glitter tattoo rubbed off prematurely in the bath (resulting in much sadness). Yet, at the end of the day, the good has always outweighed the bad, a tick goes in the box, and ‘good’ is written underneath.

Small One, you are pretty cool.

The Pearl

In 2004 I ordered a CD from Amazon, and was sent the wrong one, but as it’s music (AND free), there clearly would have been something wrong with me had I not listened to it.

Love it.

‘The way we are’ is the album, by a sort of grungey/alt rock duo called ‘Fleming and John’, and it’s definitely intrinsically linked to most memories I have of my first crack at ‘adulting’. My favourite track (apart from ‘Ugly girl’ for its superb lyrics: “Is she so nice it makes up for her face?”) is ‘The Pearl’. Fleming wrote this after reading a book by John Steinbeck with the same title, and 14 years ago I thought “I’ll read that “. Last week I ordered it, and today I finished it.

The Pearl is one of those sorts of books that you would read in an English Lit class, and want to annotate. It really is so packed with meaning it takes a few a goes to really get everything that is trying to be said, but when you do get there, you are deeply in awe.

The story is set in Bolivia, and the main characters are from a fishing village who don’t have two pennies to rub together, but one day, discover great wealth. The rest of the story unfolds around how this ‘wealth’ literally changes everything, turning the world upside-down. Given a chance, I don’t think many people would be able to finish this book without being made to re-evaluate at least something going on in their life. It is actually that good. You would want to sing about it.

Castle on the Hill

Love really is responsible for some pretty cool things.

Pictured is Wilder’s Folly, or ‘Pigeon Tower’ as it’s also known locally (which is far too utilitarian a name in my view, given its romantic intentions), and was built by Rev Henry Wilder when he fell in love with Joan Thoyts, a local girl from Sulhamstead. The intention of the folly was that Henry and Joan could each see it from their respective dwellings, and would serve as a physical representation of their affections until they could be together. They married in 1768.

The folly is no Taj Mahal, but on my walk this morning when I saw it, it just made me think about how much I love that love can drive people to do extraordinary things. Like, it’s such a powerful emotion, and creates such energy, it feels like it can’t always be contained in your being; it drives you, propels you to ‘act’ in some way.

And then heartbreak can have a similar effect. In the same way that falling in love can make you feel like a Duracell bunny, no longer experiencing the return of your affections can sometimes create a new type of momentum, keeping you running for fear of falling flat on your face. It’s not always a bad thing. It’s a chance for introspection, and wisdom, and the fact you have all this energy to channel into finding balance again means that happiness becomes rather a cause for action, not merely an ambition. Elizabeth Gilbert I think would probably agree.

I wonder if love past and/or present for someone, or something is actually the cause of most action? Other than that carried out through obligation…

Perhaps time for another walk.

The 3am you

Except the watershed for my ‘reveal all’ seems to happen at roughly 11pm. For some reason, this is when my brain ponders the wonders of the universe, and I end up having my most deep and meaningful conversations. It’s something to do with night and the dark, which I think almost gives you the cover to open up. Maybe more conversations should be had in the later hours. Thus also supporting my fervent belief too in siestas.

You don’t always pay for what you get

Annoyingly, I have always been allergic to whichever metal it is they use to make the backs of watches. My skin swells up in red, nobbly, itchy, bumps which are very unpleasant, as am I (I imagine), until the irritation passes. So I largely gave up on the exercise of wearing a timepiece, which again, was probably an unpleasant experience for those around me as they became my time keepers; until I got my first phone, and then had the inconvenience of having to keep it on my person constantly so I wasn’t late. That was until…

THEY STARTED MAKING WATCHES OUT OF WOOD!

I know! Seriously cool! Not only can I wear these, but I LOVE them. Wood in general to be fair. It is my ambition one day to live in a house made entirely from wood. It’s a beautiful material, and comforting, and cosy and just, it has so much soul! Anyway, so I asked for a wooden watch for my Christmas present, and there are loads to choose from, but the one (pictured) had my name on it, and is made somewhere totally random like Outer-Mongolia or something, and cost £8, but I genuinely love it. And I don’t really have prized possessions. What’s more, I have accidentally washed and tumble-dried this watch twice now. And it’s still going. And you just rub a bit of olive oil into the wood and the leather strap, and it comes up just like new. What an awesome thing. And I’m rather inclined to think the best things in life really don’t cost much. I don’t think I need to say any more….

Earth day

Behind with so much already this week, but this was/is my nod to ‘Earth Day’. Which was in fact yesterday. I’ve been getting quite irritated with plastic more recently, and properly wince every time I have to throw some away. Horrible. So one thing that has changed are sandwiches in brown paper bags, not the plastic ‘freezer bags’ as before. Cheaper, recyclable, can store seeds in them, and a total #win if hosting a hyperventilating guest. What’s not to love?

I hate small talk

Generally you have to lead with it, sometimes you don’t (my absolute favourite conversations), but on the whole I just can’t be bothered with it for too long anymore. Particularly with someone I would regard as more than an acquaintance. This is definitely one of my ‘things’ as I’m getting old. It feels like life is far too short for just exchanging niceties; I want to know the good stuff: what makes you happy, angry, sad, motivated, dream, wreckless, inspired, skip, worry…. anything! Talk about things that are real, not things that you think people want to hear or will be impressed by. The best relationships I think are formed out of these sorts of conversations, and my absolute ambition is to have as many of both as humanly possible. I reckon it’s actually how humans make things possible. I love it!