Day 4 Good Clean Fun – Clear out the larder

17 11 2014

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It is essential to clear out the larder every so often. It is the opportunity to throw out any stale biscuits or unused flour; do a bit of a personal stock take and reorder any sauces or herbs that are low in supply; do a Ready Steady Cook and transform your seemingly mismatched ingredients into an inventive family meal and of course clean up any spillages.

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10mins later…

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…perfection now off to do my online shopping with my updated list and use my rediscovered baking ingredients to bake a cake. Maybe a few episodes of Corrie first with one of those Belgium biscuits on my naughty bottom shelf.





Day 3 Good Clean Fun – Window Sills

14 11 2014

Window sill dust

Window sills are a bit of a novelty as I didn’t have any in my previous home. I have however discovered, that while they afford me the space to display some of my knickknacks, they are also dust magnets. So today I banished the cobwebs, dust and debris, so now my ornaments are showcased to perfection on each polished ledge.

Tips: Try to remove dust and dirt before adding any liquid as the muddy residue is difficult to remove from corners and try not to get wood soaked so not to damage the paintwork and make sure you dry the sill thoroughly afterwards.

I used a dry duster to remove any dirt before mixing some detergent in warm water. I used a microfiber cloth to wipe down each surface and dried with a paper kitchen towel. As I was doing this I took the opportunity to dust my ornaments including one of my tea light holders was filled with the remains of a bunch of flowers.

Window sill dirtThis was a moderately satisfying job as the results were visible and I did tackle the window sills in each room so I felt I had achieved something in the kitchen:

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the longue:

Window Sill

master bedroom:

Window sill 2and the baby’s bedroom:

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I am rewarding myself with a cup of tea and a biscuit – but I will be sure not to get any crumbs on the carpet.





Bye bye shoes

17 10 2013
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My current but very depleted shoe collection.

Today I started what I hope will end up being an epic clear out.

With only limited storage available in my current home, the time is long overdue to sort through the rubbish, take a few trips to the dump, and recycle anything that can be recycled, make a few donations to charity and generally clear the decks.

I have a list in mind of little corners of my flat that need my urgent attention; the cupboards that need cleaning inside and out, the clothes I no longer wear occupying space in my wardrobe, the dressing up gear, old photos and magazines, teaching resources and literature (that I never plan to read) and thousands of books that need a new home.

But for some reason, the area by my front door was bothering me and was first to demand my attention.

This sacred little corner is where my shoes live – and anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE my shoes!

But it has also become a space for objects in transit, a purgatory of sorts, somewhere between their previous home and the bin. You know those items that you aren’t quite sure how to dispose of? – Like our broken ironing board, empty heavy duty boxes and cardboard tubes used to deliver posters.

So today I tackled this problem area, ridding my hallway of debris and old tat, vacuuming, washing the walls and even a healthy spray of Febreze for good measure – but it also meant bidding a fond farewell to my collection of retired shoes 😦

It was painful parting with some of my old friends, even with their broken heels, scuff marks and worn leather.

However I am delighted with my clear hallway complete with prized collection of my current footwear – and after a good sort out, I suppose I have made room for a few more pairs…





The future father of my children….has left me a list

24 07 2013

choresFirst morning of the summer holidays – YAY!

But FFOMC is taking pains to ensure that I do not whittle away my days in idleness.

After a glorious lie in I woke to discover a message scribbled hastily onto the back on an envelope in red pen. Not a love note urging me to enjoy my precious and well earned time off but a list of chores for me to complete today.

  1. Washing up
  2. Laundry
  3. Vacuum living room
  4. Clean kitchen
  5. Recycling

Not an entirely unreasonable list but I am loath to set a precedent that these sort of demands are acceptable. The next 5 and a half weeks could potentially feel very long and arduous if I wake up to a new list every morning.

But with the white noise that is daytime television droning away in the background I have made a good start on my summer clean up before I make a start on the activities listed on my summer bucket list.





The future father of my children … wants to be a ‘HOUSE HUSBAND’

20 02 2013

House husband

Despite only being in his early 30’s my husband’s favourite topic for discussion EVERY morning when I drive him to the train station – is his retirement.

He seems to feel now that I am the main wage earner in our household that he should be permitted to give up work and stay home. I have pointed out that he would be unable to draw his pension just yet, but he is undeterred. Recently though he came up with a new strategy that would enable him to hang up his shirt and tie forever – he wants to be a house husband.

Now this is not something that I should simply reject without due consideration. However while I can see both pros and cons of this plan of action, I am not entirely sure that he understands exactly what is involved in being a house husband.

There is a lot to be said for having one parent stay at home to look after the children, and it makes sense that it be whoever has the smallest wage. We could save on the astronomical cost of child care and he could enjoy spending time with our children in the early years of their lives – a privilege denied many fathers.

I would be delighted in many ways to see him taking sole responsibility for looking after babbykins, cleaning our home and making sure there was a cooked meal waiting for me on my return from work every evening.

However I suspect that my interpretation of a ‘house husband’ wildly differs from the ‘World of War craft’ extravaganza that he has in mind. In his head the child will sleep for 90% of the time, be easily pacified, require minimal time and attention while he breezes through about 1hrs worth of housework each day and have the rest of the time to do as he wishes, after all “What do all these housewives do with their days?”

I doubt he has considered how regularly a newborn needs to be fed or the increased workload for the washing machine when coping with ongoing spit-up, nappy changes etc, and for that matter I would question whether he knows how many nappies a baby goes through in a day or how many cuddles are required to stop the crying that occurs for no apparent reason. Has he considered the endless hours he will need to spend watching Tweenies and Sponge Bob or some other nonsense concocted to drive new parents insane? What about playgroup? I am not sure how comfortable I would be if he was the one Dad in a room full of hormonal new Mums, especially if as a hormonal new Mum myself I would be shipped off back to work.

Not to mention that I would be the one to have undergone the major trauma on my body only to go rushing back to the fairly stressful environment of Secondary education. Instead of using my time to bring up my own child I would continue to be subjected to other people’s children – hardly a relief from the responsibility but more an endurance test by day followed by much of the same in the evening when hubby would no doubt expect to hand over the torch!

Who would do night time feeds? With a full day of child care behind him would he ‘man-up’ and leave me to get much needed sleep? If I am to work full time am I absolved from the responsibility of breast feeding? What if breast is actually best?

If he is truly intent on remaining in the house would he ever leave it? Will the pram that will no doubt cost a fortune simply collect dust while he shouts at computer generated images of his ‘online friends’ while juggling our offspring and a variety of stuffed animals in one arm? Does he understand the need for walks in the park, feeding the ducks, swimming, coffee mornings with other ‘Mums’ or jingle tots?

The jury is most definitely out on whether the FFOMC should be permitted to be a stay at home Dad and deliberations may take some time.

For earlier posts about FFOMC check out:





New Year Clear Out

2 01 2013

Many people take the opportunity to have a bit of a clear out at the beginning of the New Year.

This year I am one of them.  I have recently taken a notion to reduce clutter in my home. It may be in part inspired by my discovery of a TV show about Hoarders and identifying my own tendencies to hang onto things I don’t need.

It made me question; why do I feel the need to keep things I neither need nor use?

I hate waste and I hate throwing out anything that may have a purpose at a later date. My job has in part been responsible for my hoarding tendencies with paperwork in particular being a massive issue for me. I am very creative and I keep hold of anything that may stimulate ideas for lessons or that could be adapted as worksheets or resources in school. I often don’t know how I will use the material but I have on many occasions taken inspiration from something in my home that I have held onto for some time waiting for its purpose to become apparent to me.

I also worry that I will discover that I have urgent need of documents such as bank statements, payslips, car insurance information and tax details in the future and therefore am reluctant to risk throwing them away even paperwork relating to vehicles I have long since parted with.

Clothing is another thing that is fast overtaking my available storage space. Even when items have not been worn in a number of years there is always the anticipation of an upcoming event that will demand that this top or that dress be put back into circulation.

Other clutter that is difficult to part with is items with more sentimental value: ornaments, jewellery, and electronic devices. These may be broken, unused or may have simply been replaced.

I wonder why it is so hard to emotionally part with items that have outlived their use.

For me, I know that my financial history is always on my mind and is a huge barrier to my letting go.

My decision to change my job 5 years ago enabled my husband and I to enjoy financial stability. Recognising the impact of a secure working life brings with it a determination to be the best in ones given profession to ensure job security and the prospects for progression/promotion. With this in mind there is some justification for my need to keep hold of anything that may inspire me in the pursuit of the “Outstanding” tag so coveted within the teaching profession.

In times when my organisation and management of household bills was lacking; it came to a point when I had to drag myself back into the black with great difficulty. Perhaps this explains my reluctance to part with paperwork associated with bills and household accounts. A minor tryst with Inland Revenue about two years ago has ensured that I keep every piece of paper regarding my NIS and Tax payments dating back over ten years. The struggle of living in debt for a couple of years has also encouraged me to keep records of spending and bill payments.

With regards our household treasures I remember vividly the efforts I made saving to buy my first VCR and waiting years until I could afford my first car having passed my driving test. I can also recall the struggle to pay my store cards and catalogue bills and credit cards after Christmas each year. Many items which seem of little value now at one point came with a huge cost, not just the RRP but the things given up to acquire them in the first place.

Whatever the reasons it is important not to attribute emotional attachment to things that simply do not matter. So in the first few weeks of January I will be having a clear out and hopefully by next Christmas I will eat my Christmas dinner at my dining room table – assuming I can excavate it from beneath the debris under which it is currently buried.