I’ve been getting organised on so many levels this week, sorting out a whole bunch of things I’ve been meaning to do for ages – it’s been properly exhausting! I’d built up an epic to do list (mainly in my head) over the past few months of novel-writing, and with that in a bit of a natural lull and Christmas and Arthur’s birthday fast approaching it was time to tackle it.
It started last Saturday with an afternoon in Totnes for Christmas shopping and a long-overdue haircut. I don’t actually think I’d been to the hairdresser since Arthur was born – and my hair went from this:
Not bad huh? And infinitely more manageable…
The Christmas shopping was pretty successful, though generally rather than getting gifts I was looking for materials… I decided a while ago that I really wanted to try to make most of my presents this year, and though it seems like a bit of a crazy idea I haven’t been able to shake it. So we were trawling charity shops and craft shops and haberdashers for bits and pieces I thought I might be able to use. We did come across one thing we absolutely had to have – I’m making Arthur a doll for Christmas and we came across this gorgeous vintage pram in Oxfam:
You may remember that he rather likes prams, and I imagine this one will be used to push all sorts of things around!
By Monday I had a list of present ideas, a bunch of crafty bits and bobs, and various other things I still had to get online. With the help of Ebay and Etsy (and a little bit of Amazon) that proved to be fairly easy to solve, but there was a bigger issue looming, one which I just couldn’t ignore any longer: the mess.
When we moved into our house it needed top to toe renovation, and the work was finally finished (well, almost) about a week before Arthur was born. We did a reasonable job of getting ourselves sorted, but there were still bags and boxes I hadn’t really touched since the move and Arthur’s arrival obviously added a whole other layer of stuff. Two rooms were really suffering: our bedroom, which the three of us have basically shared since Arthur was born and which was full of piles of his clothes despite him having a perfectly good room of his own, and my study – this is where all the untouched piles had ended up, because after all I only need my desk and computer to write, right?
But suddenly I had a whole host of fairly ambitious craft projects to tackle. I needed somewhere to put my materials where they weren’t going to get sucked into the mess, and I am going to have to set my sewing machine up somewhere.
So I’ve blitzed this room. I’ve thrown out and filed and rehomed and I now actually feel like there’s room to breathe in here. In the process I’ve come across all sorts of interesting things. A whole stack of notebooks for example, from diaries full of teenage angst to teaching planning to gloriously empty pages waiting to be filled. I’d thought I’d lost them all somewhere along the way, so I was very pleased to see them.
There were other things too, piles of papers that I’m very glad I hadn’t just thrown away as hiding in between what looked like rubbish were letters and cards from old friends that I’d forgotten even existed (the letters, not the friends). All safely stashed away now, but not before I reread them all. There have been some very late nights this week…
And of course then there was Arthur’s room. This wasn’t so essential on a practical level, but there were too many things niggling away at me that really needed tackling at some point that I figured I’d just get it done whilst I was feeling efficient.
So I’ve been through all the piles of clothes that I haven’t streamlined since before Easter, putting away two big bags that don’t fit him any more and tidying the rest into his room. I moved some of his toys up that had spilled into the lounge too – in particular his Ikea circus tent which is now a gorgeous little reading nook with cushions and bears and lots of stories. As I was doing all this, the unfinished family trees on the walls were taunting me, so I finally got round to finding some photos to put in them.
Arthur loves them, especially at night when he says goodnight to everyone as part of his bedtime routine. He’s definitely very ready to be spending a bit more time in his room. I’m sure he’ll still come in with us for part of the night, and his play will of course continue to spill out to wherever I am, but there’s something very lovely about him having his own special place too.
And in the midst of all of this I somehow managed to snatch some time to start organising my ideas for my next novel too. It involved coffee, and a beautiful notebook. Bliss.
So all in all an extremely productive and organised week! Now I’d best get on with making those presents…