Rain stopped play

rain Eirik Solhe

For weeks it has been too hot to think let alone blog. Weekly nonetheless we have tried to blog out of a misplaced sense of determination convinced all we needed was it to be ccooler to clear our minds. At last the heavens have wept  but as we hoped has  enthusiasm for words returned, are we keen to be sharing again tales of ‘destuffing’ our homes and lives. Fraid not!!! The exhaustion from the heat has I fear left a deeper mark that will take time to erase.

Never want to disappoint though , I looked back to see if where we were a year ago  might inspire a post on progress.  Ironically, Exhausted appears to be the answer so nothing new there. What insight did this state confer.

A good night’s rest however achieved will make tackling stuff easier and of course stuff tackled will make it easier to get a good night’s sleep. ”

So there you are . Whether rain or shine get some rest. Sweet dreams. zzzzz……..

Something & Nothing

nothingOn the day the UK Met Office issued an amber heatwave warning, it is still too hot to blog. Stuck for a suitable topic, we selected a random page from the little book of mindfulness & found this rather apt quote. As Stuffoholics we are overly concerned with all the Stuff in our lives, but here was a timely reminder that none of it was coming with us when we go.

Unless a spectacular meteorite collision or zombie apocalypse takes us all out in one fell swoop, someone someday will face the sorry task of sifting through all the stuff we’ve left behind. Now, this clutter has already been the cause of enough stress- I hate the thought of it continuing to spread bad karma long after I’ve shuffled off this mortal coil.

I’m not alone in this, as evidenced by a plethora of articles about Swedish Death Cleaning (yet another Scandinavian concept to make us feel guilty, inadequate and in need of arty books/ gingerbread.) This is the Next Big Thing in decluttering and basically involves taking a long hard look at all that stuff and getting rid of it right now, instead of leaving it to become your loved ones’ problem. Guilt is as good a motivator as any, I guess. But nobody wants to anticipate their inevitable demise, so I’m not sure this trend for Death Cleaning will be a lasting one. I’m sure there’s some other Scandinavian concept waiting in the wings to wow us in time for Christmas, with accompanying books, candles & spiced teas.

Meanwhile, it’s too hot for cleaning (death or otherwise.)

If the heatwave’s left you unable to think straight, just follow the example of our moggy friend and Do Nothing.

hot cat


Throwing in the towel! Apply the Pareto principle instead

Another day, another post. Knew Plastic Free July was going to be a challenge and needed serious preparation to make a difference that would make me feel good but … Ahyesbut as my friend says. The list of reasons why it didn’t happen would make a long and dispiriting rather than amusing blog. Today therefore I am simply going to focus on why it is naive to believe that treating plastic as the enemy is going to result in the world we might wish to see unless we understand there is a need to compromise.

My case study is going to be the successful #switchthestick campaign that focused on replacing the plastic stick in cotton buds with paper as well as stopping flushing them down the toilet.

cotton_buds_200s_-_paper_stick priginalFeedback like one below shows that it is not as simple as it seems.

“Paper Stalks: Great for the Environment, Useless to Use

We’ve been using Johnson’s Cotton Buds for decades as they were always the best quality and offered a sturdy and safe to use cotton bud. Whilst I totally agree that disposing of little stalks of plastic is no good for the environment and totally applaud the concept of a recyclable paper based stalk, the design of these new buds is wholly flawed. They easily bend on use making them very unsafe to use. I hope that the design will be modified immediately as we simply cannot purchase these again in their current form.

People are noting that changing from plastic to paper does not seem to allow them to do what they could. It doesn’t help that Johnson’s seem to have also made a change to the bud too which had nothing to do with plastic. Wish they had explained themselves but they have failed to do so. Keeping the old packaging with the most subtle of changes while perhaps intending to reinforce brand loyalty almost feels like they are reluctant and don’t really want to proudly go plastic free.cotton_buds_200s_-_paper_stick

As often after weekly ramble there is no conclusion to draw other than life is difficult and life is easy. So where better to finish than with the same song as last July that always makes us smile 🙂

What has any of this got to do with the Pareto principle. Well this post is an exanple of its application. To finish to an “acceptable” standard would take an hour or more. Is this a good use of my time onn a sweltering daY WHEN streuggling ti think straight and get my hands to hit the right keys. I decided not. It’s 80% there and that shoulkd be enough for you to get the gist. Today’s decluttering life tip is to sometimes live with a job 80 % done and move on .. the effort expended on reaching 100% might be more usefully deployed to achieve 80% of some other goal. Have a nice day.


Think Straight

It is hot. Very hot. Too hot for me and my cat.

On Saturday I went along to Pride in London. It was a hot, colourful, glorious day of celebration. I saw a great placard which read I Can’t Even Think Straight, which made me smile. Though it’s out of context, I pinched the slogan for today’s post…

It is so hot, I can’t even think straight.

As my cat is demonstrating, it’s too hot to do Anything … including blogging. So this is all you get today. Stop staring at your screen and go enjoy the sunshine (or collapse in a sweaty heap in the nearest shade.)

OK, this was a very lazy blog post. I’ll treat you to one last pic. Another clever sign I spotted at Pride.


The Last Post


Today could have been The Last Straw it being the start of #plasticfreejuly but the title captured less ambigiously my current weariness. Having blogged through those cold , dark winter days/nights it is Flaming June which has proved my undoing. A physical together with a mental lethargy, come upon me as the temperature soars. Cognitive haze! Science here my defence for what follows but I suspect it may also reflect this sight too.


A skip full of “stuff” and yet only the shed a little emptier and garden more kempt, the house untouched. The skip holding a sad tale of why it is better to give away than keep. The hallstand that I couldn’t bear to give away ( a refurbishment project that had been on back burner for many years) consigned to the garden until time was found … Only the snow and the rain and the ants had other ideas. All that could be saved were 4 tiles (another project I suspect that will remain unfinished) when if only it had been given  a good home someone might now still be enjoying it. Lesson learnt, don’t hesitate just give it away. What has all this to do with the last straw or last post. Nothing and everything but that’s the point . Maybe now time to lay down pen (metaphorically) if struggling to make sense of my own posts .

My son and I have agreed to never say ‘sayonara’ but always ‘ ja mata ne’ instead.

I’ll do the same dear reader . Let us say Till soon …or till the rain comes.