Try as I might I can’t seem to stop feeling a little stressed at the moment.
There seems to be so much to do all of a sudden and so little time in which to do it.
Things need to be moved, cleaned, decorated, purchased, planned, implemented, fixed, fiddled with and just generally manipulated so that everything from my partner’s life fits neatly in with my own.
Combining the lives of two adults that have lived alone with their separate hobbies and tendencies to collect both furniture and trinkets is really tough at times.
What do you get rid of and what do you keep?
Rather shockingly I appear currently appear to be in possession of 99 beautiful shirts and of all the items that I can face getting rid of these appear to be the most impossible to separate myself from….
I’ve resolved therefore (instead of discarding them) to hunt for better storage options – but currently there appear to be no immediately obvious answers with regard to where to put them whilst only in possession of a modest budget.
Despite spending almost three hours wandering around IKEA in Coventry yesterday looking for solutions I came home empty handed.
Well almost empty handed.
If you want free parking then you have to buy something – and if IKEA has one ability above all others it’s to present you with a useful little solutions to problems you never knew you had.
Whilst looking for ideas for my bathroom (my beloved has more of a requirement for shampoo and conditioner than I do in the shower) I found this useful suction cup holder.
I have a habit of buying things in twos for some reason – which in this case is a good thing – because it didn’t occur to me until this morning that this item also made a great under kitchen cupboard spice rack!!!
Not only had I found an unexpectedly joyful use for this I’d also managed to solve another more pressing issue – and that’s the continual hassle of making myself two espressos in the morning.
Typically the pesky conundrum of how to insert as much weaponised coffee into myself as possible involved me making one espresso, drinking it and then making another.
Imagine my surprise when I realised that there are larger cup sizes out there?!!!
Who flipping knew?!
£1.25 for a double sized espresso mug?!
Shut up and take my money IKEA!!!
(The author is well aware that in the background of this highly caffeinated selfie there is also a rotating spice rack sitting on top of his cupboard that is completely unused – but in his defence he won it in a Slimming World raffle and he never liked it. So there.)
But I digress.
I have 99 shirts and nowhere to store them.
The irony is that the overwhelming majority of these have come from charity shops – and although I’ve been very thrifty (usually it costs me around £4 – £6 for a shirt) the reality has now hit me that I will also have to shell out for somewhere to store them.
My current wardrobe is woefully insufficient.
When I was fat (although I was a reclusive diabetic cripple on the verge of a painful death) life was much easier in some respects. I had one pair of 66in trousers and about 3-5 8XL shirts that fitted me.
Most of of the time I resorted to a purple one of them and stayed in that for pretty much every occasion.
My previous inability to express myself through clothing has now produced a rather unintended side effect, and from a shirt perspective I’m very often very much like a child in a sweet shop.
If I find a hat or shirt that’s bright and vibrant I want to wear it – and I prefer to look a little dandy when I’m out and about.
I also notice that my significant other seems to encourage the ‘peacock’ side of my personality.
Occasionally I suspect it’s because she too has this side to herself…
This means that the wardrobe space required for me is significantly more than my partner needs. When I had the house to myself it wasn’t a problem. I just decided that I would put aside a room for my clothes and it wasn’t an issue.
Now it’s not so simple.
This is something I feel quite acutely because I really dislike imbalance, or feeling as if I’m overwhelming someone else with my possessions.
My huge volume of shirts therefore make me feel uneasy.
In an ideal world I would have a bigger house and something like this would be an option.
It’s not though – so the hunt is still on.
I’m not yet ready to part with my pretty things so I might just (at some point in the future) have to convert the loft into a dressing room…
There are worse worries in life mind you – and I’m aware that this is very much a first world problem.
Worrying about having too much of anything is not the life I was born into, so in that respect I count myself as fortunate. I have relatively simple tastes and the world I live in provides for those in plentiful abundance.
It’s still hard to decide how to manage all of this and (diet wise) this has made me want to eat. In truth lately most things do – but I’m trying.
I really am.
I have to make good choices because I’ve been struggling a little with my back and my shoulder.
It’s made swimming something thats painful rather than relaxing so I’ve missed a few days recently (which also doesn’t help with my weight).
These injuries are mostly related to moving and lifting heavy items that are also unwieldy and (even though I’m bending my knees whenever possible) pulling something when I get into an awkward position.
Despite being told that I shouldn’t do such things on my own this includes rather dimwitted feats like dragging an IKEA Billy bookcase up my stairs alone on Monday.
My lower back hasn’t been quite the same ever since.
In my defence it needed to happen. The pending influx of boxes and furniture that’s arriving at the end of the month is making me rather obsessive about organising things so that I can relax and sleep properly – which last night (and the night before) didn’t really happen.
I had a fevered dream that it was all off because I hadn’t prepared enough – causing my partner to reverse her plans to move in with me.
Clearly I also have my own subconscious set of groundless worries about possible rejection that I’ve been pushing to the back of my mind.
All of my supermarket purchases this week have therefore had to be of the profoundly ‘good choice’ variety and I’ve been eating lots and lots of vegetables and fish.
However – it’s still the ‘lots‘ bit that’s tripping me up. My food diary (which I’ve stuck to diligently) is much longer than it really should be.
- 2x oranges
- Half can of mackerel
- Half a pack of chicken slices
- Olives (2-3 syns)
- Salad with mint sauce and whole grain mustard
- 3 squares Lindt chocolate (6 syns)
- Chilli con carne with rice
- 1/4 melon
- 1 Apple
- 2 plums
- Half a nectarine
- 40g oats
- Half apple
- Milk (HE)
- 3.5 syns of cashews
- Apple, plum, nectarine
- Quorn/soya super small snack
- Chicken pieces
- Cherry tomatoes
- M&S Greek style strawberry yoghurt (0.5 syns)
- Butternut squash chips, sweet potato wedges and a green pepper, garlic red onion, courgette, mushroom, chicken, smokey bacon and Quorn
- 40g oats
- Half Nectarine
- Half apple
- Baked potato
- Tub of cottage cheese
- 360g Piri piri chicken pieces
- Gherkins & Tomatoes
- 4 peaches
- Tub of pinepple cottage cheese (3 syns)
- 2 corn on the cob
- Large mackerel salad with olives (15) (3 syns)
- Aldi dominion sugar free sweets & Sugar free mints (12 syns)
- Natural yogurt and frozen berries with pineapple cottage cheese (3 syns)
- Jacket potato with tub of cottage cheese and chives pickles and lettuce
- 2x corn on cob
- 4 peaches
- 2x tubs of pineapple cottage cheese (6 syns)
- Aldi Piri piri smoked mackerel salad with olives (11 syns)
- Berries and natural yogurt
- 6 apples
- Frozen berries and 500g natural yogurt
- Tuna and mackerel salad with some olives and two corn on the cob
- 4x nectarines
- Chicken salad with beetroot and olives – 1 syn
- Aldi sugar free sweets (2 packs) 12 syns
- 6x apples
My problem (as always) is that when I ruminate over things I eat – and even when it’s good food it’s still too much.
However – I’m keeping a diary and I’m being honest with myself about what I’m eating – as well as trying to limit the damage whenever possible.
Sometimes the best you can do is just try and take your mind off things by doing something else – and to this end yesterday morning I headed out with a friend to a place nearby that I’ve never vistied before.
Ufton Fields – which (according to the notice board) is a site of special scientific interest.
Although this isn’t my usual kind of walk (it was short and meandering as opposed to brisk and lengthy) it was a welcome change of pace.
Ufton Fields was just the ticket, because if you march through a place like this without stopping then you’ll miss everything that the beautiful meadows and woods have to offer.
At first glance one may be forgiven for thinking that there’s nothing there.
It initially looks pretty but quite unremarkable.
However – when you stop and look closer at what’s around you things start to move…
There are all manner of little crickets and flies buzzing around the place – and for the first time ever I managed to get close enough to a meadow grasshopper (this is the predominantly green one, whereas the brown one is a field grasshopper link) to film the noise that it makes with it’s back legs.
(Please do watch the above one with the sound turned up, I apologise for the camera shake!)
Other little things are no less interesting – and the common red soldier beetle (link) is (in my view at least) a truly gorgeous little creature.
Where the real spectacle lies however is in the myriad of butterflies that were simply swarming around the bushes and meadows nearby.
I’d seen none of them before.
I dearly wish that I’d brought with me my ‘proper’ camera rather than just my iPhone as it has a much better zoom lens. However it’s all swings and roundabouts. My phone can do 4K video, whereas my camera cannot.
Although I thought that this one with two sets of wings was a moth – it turns out (according to my diligently researching companion that day) that it’s a female large skipper (link).
This slightly fleabitten (but no less wonderful) specimin is called a gatekeeper (link)
This is a ringlet (link).
This one is a female meadow brown (link)
This comma (link) In my view stole the show though- and although I couldn’t quite get close enough for a good cameraphone photo I adore it’s colouring.
I was absolutely buzzing by the time we’d finished our (unbelievably short 1.5 mile) walk.
I was also unaware at the time that my attempts to document the wildlife were in turn being recorded themselves….
However I’m not averse to some furtive photography and am always aware that at some point I may have to fight fire with fire…
So – there we have it.
Some busy days have passed and there are even more busy ones ahead.
I need to get on internet!
Time’s a wasting