What to do about G


Who or what you ask is G and what if anythin does it have to do with stuff. Well, today we enter the last phase of that time of year where the many not the few exhibit signs of compulsive buying disorder and even when those drowning in stuff feel compelled to buy more. The post could thus have focused on how this time is really an opportunity to give away stuff and to help others with the gift of time not things. A reminder to not waste food just because we can and a link perhaps to tips on freezing and purchase of non perishables. Good stuff but not what I have planned.


The letter g on my laptop keyboard only now works intermittently. With autocorrect and auto complete this is less of an issue than you might think but still an irritation every time I try to type ood morning.  On the zero waste trail the first stop should not be replace but Repair. I enthusiastically googled ‘how to fix stuck laptop keyboard key youtube’ and was spoilt for choice.

But as well as the enthusastic “thanks this was a life saver” in the comments there was also  “…it looks easy on this video, bu depending on the model, this is borderline impossible to do without breaking one of the little bars of the mounts that attach to the hooks on the keyboard. This plastic doesn’t stretch very easily. If you are ordering parts, I recommend that you order more than one of the same key that you need to replace, in case you break it trying to get it on.” Hmm… to remove or not remove that G!

Plan B suggested by fellow stuffoholic was to CTRL C the G and then CTRL V as necessary. They sometimes like to check how far I will go to avoid buyin somethin new.

The dilemma therefore was to risk repair and potentially make matters worse or opt for a world where I live without g , avoid words with g and tell my family and friends ‘thins may never be ood aain’.  As I mused, I realised that for all my ‘broken’ stuff I need to decide if it can be repaired and if not does it need to be rehomed and/or replaced. To decide how much for a simple life I need things around me that work or will I feel better if I can live with those that need to be gently (like that) coaxed to work. Do I need to take more chances that miht work out because if they do things will be better. No answers today but we and the minions wish you Seasons reetings and a Happy New Year.

Open the box

Today I am reviewing the solutions to a problem that has plagued my adult life… how to manage paper. More specifically, all those bits of paper which cannot be thrown out because I intend to look at them again some day.


My earliest solution, dating back 25 years, has slowly evolved into the Drawer that Must Never be Opened. All was well until its bottom started to bow under the weight of all that stuff & shutting it would often depend upon removing an item or three.


Rather than throwing out the excess tonnage, I moved on to Solution #2 (aka Pretty Boxes.) These effortlessly transform heaps of ugly paperwork into organised loveliness. But one box quickly filled, then two, three, four…

DSC_0129My 3rd solution looks positively organised. No randomness here; I spy alphabetical tabs! A concertina file was my attempt at bringing order to the problem of unread magazines. A decluttering article advised me to tear out any pages I wanted to refer back to, then recycle the rest of the magazine. Into the file went the vital articles. Alas, the appeal of this solution was short lived.. a quick glance under my bed earlier this year revealed in excess of 150 (complete) magazines.

So… here’s an interesting question… do I ever return to these carefully saved pieces of paper? Aside from the occasional scrabble for an old receipt in the Drawer that Must Never be Opened… the answer is no.

Today I decided it was time to finally take a second look at some of this stuff (and most probably redirect it to the recycling bin.) Here’s a brief selection of what I found:

  • 2006 Guardian interview with Eoin Colfer, possibly saved to remind me to buy his latest Artemis Fowl book (which has now been out for 11 years.)
  • 2003 article, Light Your Fire- Planning for Clarity & Confidence in Your Life. “Cinderella didn’t get to go to the ball because she thought it might be a nice idea. She desperately wanted to go…” made me desperately want to chuck this article.
  • Radio Times free audio book, The Feast of the Drowned… a Doctor Who story read by David Tennant. Sadly, this CD is part 2. If anyone has the first & wonders how the story ended, it’s all yours!
  • 2007 The Independant full page photograph of Bill Oddie. Nope, no idea.
  • Instructions for an Action Watch, which I can’t recall owning.
  • Advice on planting a blackthorn/sloe: “it’s extremely hardy and will grow happily in any soil & in almost any position.” I succeeded in finding the one position it couldn’t tolerate & in ten years it has produced a total of half a dozen sloes.
  • 2005 BFI  list of the 50 films your children should see by the age of 14. I asked my 20 something son how many of these he’d seen & the answer was a paltry 16. One more example of how I’ve clearly failed my children. Thanks for that, BFI.

I could go on, but I shan’t. I think you’ve got the picture. The concertina file is empty now. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be tackling the drawer and boxes. From today, I’ll be far more discerning about which bits of paper need to stay in my life. And never again am I saving an article from a magazine for future reference.

The upside of this whole process? Finding old school photos, letters from family & my children’s art… all of which belong in a Pretty Box.

No words

Today the cold continues to slow me to a halt and the post title not cryptic but a fact. Today, to find some words, I choose to quote myself rather than some well known author or wit.

” Fishing has never appealed as a pastime. Why would I want to catch a fish for fun when it was minding it’s own business and meant me no harm. Sitting on the banks of a river pretending to fish quite a different matter. So today notice on virtual door says “gone Fishin”.  Imagine the buttercups peeping out from grassy river bank. Sitting under large umbrella to shade me from sun. Not expecting to catch anything except a little peace and quiet. That’ll do me nicely for today.

Today Gone Fishin. As ever if this is not enough then with food waste in mind . Here a use for the bread mountain and a little theatre too. Bon Appetite.

“….Her delicate hands using such precision to cut the crusts off the bread. I remember wondering to myself if it hurt the bread’s feelings that we didn’t like him just as he was.….”