First of all I feel that I should issue a warning about this post - it contains pictures of some rather untidy nooks in my house, entirely disarranged and totally unedited, apart from my attempts to brighten up the pictures so that you can see through the gloom. I am writing in response to an initiative called Moments which comes from the wonderful blog A Commonplace Life, where the idea is to show more of real life on our blogs.
I discovered this via Sarah at Red Gingham and Floss at Troc Broc and Recoup', and felt that I should take up their challenge to show more of the messy bits of life. I started blogging with the aim of encouraging myself to look on the positive side of life and take joy in the everyday place which I find myself, and I haven't aimed to present a picture of perfection, but I have tried to concentrate on the beauty in mundane things. Of course, in the process, the mess gets edited out because I have been trying to look beyond the mess. So today the task is to see the beauty in a spontaneous vision of the places where I work and create - none artfully arranged, just pictured as they were when I wandered about the house with my camera.
But for those of you who have a sensitive disposition, I will start off by showing my side of the swap that I have just done with Sarah, who started me along this track (the messy pictures are for you, Sarah!). A little while ago she indicated on her blog that she rather admires the pretty tea towels she has seen on English blogs, the like of which she cannot obtain in New Zealand. So I offered to send a few bits of English prettiness down south.
As we are both participants in the Dottie Angel Ultimate Challenge, charity shops were my first port of call and I found three tea towels good enough to send overseas, but I didn't want to disappoint Sarah with a bundle of old tat, and as my version of the Challenge allows for buying new craft supplies and also presents for others, where a suitable secondhand or handmade alternative is not available, then I felt I could buy some new ones (especially as Sarah is probably going to turn them into bags or presents herself).
And, what was more, these all came in pairs, and the twins I can use as my patent recyclable wrapping paper which I mentioned in this post.
And now, having softened you up with a little domestic pulchritude, I propose to present something a little less artful, in the way of domestic disorder.
As he plonked himself down on the sofa in the kitchen (yes, the holiday sofa is now in the kitchen - I need somewhere warm for my afternoon nap), a sofa heaped with a surplus of miscellaneous cushions, crochet granny blankets and my knitting bag made from an old skirt, my dear brother-in-law, Bob the Builder, this morning very amiably expressed the sentiment that perhaps we needed to build an extension. I did respond that I knew that the subtext to this comment was the fact that I have a lot of, shall we say, 'stuff', and that sometimes I dream of living in a minimalist white modern box of the sort that is his stock-in-trade - it would be so much more forgiving on the dusting front. But he knows me well enough to pronounce that minimalism is not really my style. He is right, of course: wellies and pinnies would be quite out of place in such a clean and tasteful setting.
And you have seen from my previous post that I have issues with crossing to the other side of the road when a charity shop looms into view. I did bite the bullet when we turned some rooms over to B&B: you can just imagine how much stuff had to be turned out (or maybe not if you are not of an acquisitive, what's that lying by the side of the road? sort of disposition) and I did hand over nearly a dozen bags to charity shops, rather than liberating them in the other direction, as is more usually the case.
But then when my parents moved to a smaller house, I am afraid that I felt impelled to rehome not inconsiderable amounts of furniture and china, mainly because I knew it was all the sort of stuff that I would pay good money for if I saw it in a charity shop.
Some of my nearest and dearest now have a habit of handing me their charity shop bags to rifle through before they finally dispose of the treasures inside, or very kindly informing me if they have something to take to the tip, because I will probably save them the journey.
So I think that we have established that my house is ranged quite densely with domestic artefacts, but sometimes it does distress me slightly that these artefacts are not ranged as neatly as they might be.
I grew up in a very tidy house, my close female relatives have very clean and tidy houses, and I live so often in a state of disorder with dog hair lapping at my ankles; I do dream of living in a well-regulated household, but I become distracted by poetry and knitting and the exquisite potentiality of yarn and fabric, and when I wake up the disorder has multiplied exponentially. I am very grateful that I have a Head Chef otherwise I might well starve poetically, all the while knitting my fingers to the bone.
Which is why my pictures tend to be close-up, I think: this means that no extraneous mess need be visible and I am fascinated by the representative quality of domestic minutiae, probably because it sure beats doing the dusting.
But after these pictures of my workspace, I will leave you with this one thought for a Sunday afternoon: whose desk is the messiest of all (no, it's not mine!)?