Advent, stuff, soup and resolutions
I’ve just been reading Sue’s blog post about her new reverse advent tradition.
Last New Year, I resolved to get rid of something every day throughout the year. Although I have been taking stuff to the charity shop, I’ve slipped a bit lately, so I’ve taken Sue’s post as a proverbial kick up the backside to get rid of more stuff. The older I get, the less ‘stuff’ I want. I don’t want stuff gathering dust and using up space. I don’t want to acquire more stuff. I don’t want to have to keep moving stuff around, making space for it, storing it, and looking after it. And I definitely don’t want to go shopping for more stuff. Shopping as a pastime is something I’ve never enjoyed and tends to make me hop impatiently from foot to foot like a young child.
So today, when I go to coffee with a friend, I shall take the two carrier bags of books that have been read, or are no longer wanted, to the charity shop. And sort out more ‘stuff’ ready to go.
One of the reasons I need to do this is that I would really like us to extend up into the loft next year or the year after. We have two bedrooms in our little bungalow. One is ours, and the other is used to run the business and house stuff that has nowhere else to be. We would be able to get at least another two bedrooms and a nice bathroom up in the loft. We might even be able to have people to stay!
The gorgeous kitchen extension has made a huge difference to how I feel about living here and is working really well. It makes the place feel roomy and hospitable, and I love working in the kitchen. Plus I simply adore my Armageddon cupboard.
The loft, like a great many lofts countrywide, is stuffed full of stuff. There is a double mattress up there left by the previous occupants. We keep talking about getting rid of it, but it’s behind a lot of other things now, and mattresses are so badoingey, it will be a hell of a job getting it through the loft hatch and down the ladder.
There are lots of boxes of papers that I have to keep in case the taxman wants to see them; Christmas decorations; lots of Mike’s bits and pieces for electricals, bits of wire, plumbing bits etc; storage boxes used in the kitchen; a small chest freezer; spare kitchen type chairs; a huge picture frame, really huge, that I am hoping to be able to use; lots of empty boxes from items purchased ‘in case I need the box to send it back for repair’; and all the other assorted bits and pieces that get put in lofts that you aren’t ready to get rid of.
ALL of it will have to be removed from the loft if we are to have the necessary work done for the conversion. So I really really need to get rid of as much as I possibly can before we get to that stage.
The Christmas decorations will be coming down soon. I don’t put up many decorations, hardly any, but I do like to get the biggest tree I can fit in the house and completely cover it with sparkle I am really looking forward to getting the tree, maybe this weekend, and putting it at the end of the new kitchen. While I’m up in the loft getting the decorations down, maybe I’ll chuck a few extra things down the loft hatch as well, get started on that stash.
One of our traditions is that I get Mike some advent posh (plain) chocolates. Out came the box I bought many years ago from Hotel Chocolat amd I filled it up with choccies. He started on them yesterday, and he’ll have a little box every day until the 25th.
Later……. Well I took the two carrier bags to the charity shop, found a great khaki linen shirt for myself, and a couple of pretty rings, a whole bunch of bangles for a few £’s and donated a bag of 1p and 2p coins, I don’t know, maybe £4 worth. I took a cheque that needed to be paid into the bank to the town with me, and brought it back with me too. Sigh. I even passed the bank! Twice!!
Made another ’empty the fridge’ soup today. Had lots of tasty bits to use up.
In went a pot of wonderful jus from a beef roast, complete with a little dripping on top; the liquor from soaking some sun dried tomatoes; some chopped and crisped chorizo that didn’t get used yesterday; some over salty roasted nuts from yesterday, they were the bottom of the dish, so had gathered all the salt; a couple of wibbly carrots; half an onion; some sliced and cooked apple that was on the turn; some red lentils, of course; the end of a broccoli stalk and a wedge of cabbage that was browning.
It is really delicious, and I have five pots to stash away for the next couple of weeks.
Doesn’t do much for my empty the freezer challenge!!
Take care of your family and your budget
Before putting together the meal planners, Lesley surveyed what was needed. Of the existing 14 meal plans, most are for 2 people so can be sized up or down. Others are for 1, or 4 people