Saturday, 27 July 2013

Clear out

I am a messy person. No matter how much I try to be tidy I just can't help it. Teamed up with my equally as messy husband who seems to hoard piles and boxes of random things our flat looks like a bomb of clutter has exploded.

Unfortunately, unlike my husband, this drives me insane and makes me very cranky.

Fortunately we're about to do something about it.

In just over a week we're moving house. Well, moving flat. I start a new job soon and my very lovely hubby has agreed to up sticks and move really close to my new job, even though it means a commute for him.

This is the perfect opportunity to have a massive clear out. Over the past few months we have slowly been sorting out our spare room, which is essentially a graveyard for stuff we don't use or need. The idea is that in our new flat we'll be able to fit a bed in it and have guests as opposed to towering stacks of boxes. It feels like we have done a million trips to charity shops and the tip, but the pile of stuff never shrinks.

The last week or so has started a bit of a mad panic. I've been having some tears and tantrums in the run up to moving day. This isn't helped by the 3 night shifts (and 3 days belated honeymoon - yay!), not giving us much time to pack at all.

We uncovered boxes and boxes of stuff that needed to be shredded, but our little shredder can only handle a few pages at a time before it cuts out for an hour to rest (a bit like me). Thankfully the inlaws have a big metal thing for burning, so that's what's we did. It was pretty soothing watching everything just burn up. I might have discovered my inner pyromaniac. all we were missing were some marshmallows to toast over the flames of our old bank statements.

I'm hoping that this big sort out, along with some decent storage ideas (hello underbed boxes!) will be the start of a slightly more ordered, less cluttered life.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

First Attempt at Cushion Covers

At school I loved textiles. Getting to make my own things with the sewing machine was my favourite thing to do. In fact at my graduation from medical school my Dad turned up wearing a tie I had made him when I was 11 at school (and hand painted awfully!).

So much has been happening in the last 12 months; I've changed jobs, moved house, applied (successfully) for specialist training, passed a membership exam, passed the 1st year of my part-time MSc and both met and married the love of my life. It's been quite hectic.

I told myself that I was going to find some me-time in there somewhere.

Very sweetly hubby let me spend some of our wedding pennies on a sewing machine, and I got bought the Great British Sewing Bee book for my birthday.

I'm a bit of a perfectionist. I just want to get everything right immediately, which doesn't always (...or ever) happen. Because of that I thought I better not start with the beautiful tweed jacket and in fact start with something simple.

Since before Christmas I have been promising to make some cushion covers, so that's what I did.

They were pretty simple. I used calico for the main bit of the cushion and dupion silk for the contrast. I adore the rough bobbly bits on dupion. I'd furnish the whole house in it if it wasn't a bit strange. Hubby chose the blue to go with our sofa (which was very kindly donated to us when we moved house).

I had forgotten how hard it is to sew in straight lines, so I'll need a bit more practice. Mostly I'm impressed that I didn't sew my fingers to the cushion covers.

The only fiddly thing was turning each of the ties inside out, it was like wrestling with dead worms. Not that I wrestle worms often.

I'm really really pleased with the finished result. I know that they're very simple, especially for anyone who is very crafty, but they are such a big achievement for me.

Once we've moved house in a couple of weeks I hope to try a couple more bits from the book. Perhaps the PJ bottoms and then maybe I'll move on to one of the simple dresses. I might even treat myself to a dressmakers dummy.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Summer Evening Beach Picnic

I feel like I've been busy doing anything but relaxing for the past year. If I haven't been at work I've been cracking on with an assignment for my MSc. If I haven't been scribbling away at an assignment I've been preparing a presentation, revising for professional exams or cobbling together an audit. If I've had the rare opportunity to not be doing anything related to the above, I've probably been quietly worrying about all the work I have to do.

The beautiful weather this weekend seemed to be a celebration of the fact that on Sunday morning I finally finished all my assignments for the academic year. What better way to celebrate than a picnic?

Hubby has been keeping out of my way all weekend to let me get on with this essay. He's been spending time with his other love, Molly. She has been buffed and polished to a beautiful shine, so it would have been a shame not to take her with us.

This is the first time we've used this picnic hamper, a gift we bought with some wedding money, so we stuffed it full of goodies and strapped it securely to Molly. I wasn't too sure we'd make it in one piece...

Thankfully we made it to the beach, barely a 10 minute drive away. I haven't been totally honest so far. I said we packed the hamper full of goodies, well I didn't actually have any picnic food. Not to let a minor issue like that get in my way I came up with a plan. I'd planned a smoked mackerel stir fry for dinner. Tasty, healthy and gets rid of all the leftover veg in the fridge. So I went with that plan and packed it up like a little takeaway. I also popped in some apricot tart, a bottle of crabbies for me and some chilled water for the driver. I can promise you that a simple stir fry has never tasted so good as it did sitting on the beach.

By sheer luck we picked the best spot on the whole beach. We were far enough away from everyone to have some privacy but just within earshot of a man sitting playing beautiful tunes on his guitar. We ate our dinner watching people playing with their dogs on the beach and couples strolling hand in hand with their feet in the waves. Just when I thought it couldn't get any more idyllic a group of people on horseback cantered past, it was like something from a film.

My pictures don't do it justice. It looks grey and overcast, but it really was anything but. For after 8pm at night it was still beautifully bright and lovely and warm. I didn't want to leave.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

A Blogging Beginning

I am addicted to lifestyle blogs. In fact I've been addicted to many types of blogs in my time. Initially medical student and doctor blogs were my thing while I was trying to decide what I wanted to do with my life. This was closely followed with a mild obsession with food blogs, spending hours salivating over my screen.

More recently I've been unable to pull myself away from lifestyle blogs.

They are the perfect mixture of everything. Some food, some style, some life stories... perfect for someone as nosey as me. It's like peeking into a diary of someone's life. Often when I find a new lifestyle blog I like, I'll spend hours reading back, feeling like I'm reading a life story.

It must be lovely to have that record of things. Life changes. Big events. Happy little events that would otherwise gather dust as a memory in the back of nowhere.

This is why I've decided to start blogging...