Autumn cleaning? Is that a thing? I like to think so.
Last weekend I headed back home for a few days, in order to recharge my batteries. As well as to do some autumn cleaning and sorting out. I am quite ruthless (do I need this item? No? Why is it still here?) and other family members are not. So my help was needed to ensure ruthlessness prevailed.
We spent a very productive day in the loft. Sorting out stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. We ended up filling the car with stuff to take to a local charity shop.
We donated: jigsaws, clothes (bearing in mind my brother and I are both in our twenties, a lot of the clothes were for much younger children and had been in that loft a while!), board games, books, a few more jigsaws, some bags and some other assorted bits and pieces.
I found a whole pen pot of pens, and spent a few minutes testing them, which is something I've always enjoyed doing. I also found this game in the loft which I remember vividly from my childhood.
I decided to make something before it went in the charity bag. I ran out of green pegs, but I improvised some sort of flower arrangement. It was quite therapeutic.
I also found in the loft my collection of items I've bought travelling, yet don't have space for where I live - I need to buy a house so I can display them properly! I have a beautiful batik from Swaziland (it's about A2 size and needs some sort of frame so it can be hung up), a large coffee sack from a coffee plantation in Guatemala (when I have lots of money I'd like to have a coffee table custom-made, with this bag as the top of the table with a glass cover) and a wall hanging from Ecuador (which definitely needs some sort of frame and a large expanse of wall on which to hang it!). As I don't have anywhere to put these (yet) they were lovingly admired then folded up and put away again. One day, one day...
As happens whenever I go home, I found quite a lot of stuff I wanted to bring back. Not all of it had been in the loft!
Mum's book group read The Goldfinch which I've been wanting to read for ages, so that swiftly got packed. Along with some other books that appeared on the bookcase in my room. Mum had also been given one of the 'books are my bag' totes, and didn't want it, so that was packed too!
Everyone went out one afternoon, leaving me alone in the house. So I took advantage of this, and spent some time playing the piano. I had lessons throughout my childhood, and got to a reasonable standard (although nowhere near as good as my Mum, who is amazing). There are certain pieces of music I like playing, and will play over and over again. I am never as fast as I think I am, so I have to make myself slow down until my fingers have remembered what they are doing and I can go at the pace I want!
One of my favourite pieces of music is Handel's Arrival of the Queen of Sheba. I absolutely love it, and when I was younger I was given a book of classical music for beginners, so all the pieces are easy to play (well, relatively easy). The pages also have cute illustrations and snippets of information about the composer. I always think I can play this really fast, I then remember I can't, and so have to do it over and over again until I actually can. I love it.
Once upon a time I was given this Illustrated Treasure of Disney Songs and I flick through it to play my favourite songs (those from Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King). This music is much harder than the other book, especially the Elton John songs - so I cheat and just play the melody, or cheat even more and just get Mum to play it for me!
When I want to play something 'proper' I always go back to the pieces from my Grade 6 exam. Not that I ever took the exam, but I definitely learned the pieces at some stage. The music has the notes my piano teacher made on them, and I still need them today as I have bad habits and weak spots!
Saturday was a tad stressful, as Sponge, the whitest cat in the whole wide world, had gone missing. We had no idea where he had gone, and his sister Treacle kept popping in and out of all the rooms, as if looking for him. He was eventually found, roughly 22 hours after he'd gone missing, in a hedge in the front garden. He was rescued, ate three saucers of food, had lots of cuddles, then promptly ran back outside. Cats. They do their own thing!
On a shopping trip into town I found this ridiculously cute owl door/drawer knob. I've bought it for a Christmas present for an Owl friend of mine (an owl! and in the traditional Guiding blue colour!) and I'm now persuading Ben that we do want to replace all the drawer knobs in our flat with these owls. He remains unconvinced.
Autumn cleaning has been continuing apace here too...more bags have been taking to charity, and I'm trying to bring in a bit more order. Crochet has kind of taken over the arm chair and surrounding space (what with two large blankets in progress) so I need to sort that out, especially as I can't find the ball of yarn I need, the next colour in sequence, and I don't want to have to order more!
I possibly need to tidy up my desk as well...from where I'm sitting, my arms are touching the piles of paper either side of my laptop, I got a replacement bank card in the post recently which I know is in an envelope here somewhere, and I realised it was particularly bad earlier when there wasn't enough room to put down my cup of tea! That's my plan for this evening sorted. Maybe my desk is where that missing ball of yarn will turn out to be...