House back to normal

I always find the house looks strange and a bit bare when I take the Christmas decorations down. Still, I’m excited about all the sorting and decorating I’m going to be doing this year!

Post-Christmas house
Big plans for this place.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Thought Beings – ‘Shakedown’

Stuff I like about my parents’ house #7: this awesome new plant of my dad’s

Inspired by my sister-in-law Steff, who’s been filling her Toronto home with plants over the last couple of years, Dad has recently started collecting houseplants again.  For reference, back in the ’80s, our family home looked like this:

Family home in 1984
Trailing plants and wooden furniture and a brand new 1984 Grundig TV, oh my!  That table the TV is sitting on has been living with me and Geth for over a decade now, although it’s a bit worse for wear these days.

…as you may remember from my Now! #2 review.  Anyway, this is the way I always visualise the house from when I was growing up, with plants trailing down from every bookshelf.  Most of them were spider plants, and I loved the shape of the leaves.  Unfortunately, they all eventually died (Dad says this is because Mum was always over-watering them!) and so the house was plant-less for quite some time.

This last year, however, Dad has been breeding spider plants again (and I don’t think Mum’s allowed to water them anymore).  They’re growing and multiplying very rapidly, and so I’ve been promised one for my own house.  I’m a bit nervous about taking one, because I’m probably as bad as Mum at killing plants (I’m still in mourning for Basil the basil plant, who did not survive our time at our last house), but Dad says spider plants are quite easy to maintain, so we’ll see.

Anyway, Dad also got this gorgeous new plant, which is the subject of the post!

I’m not sure what it’s called, but it’s beautifully spiky.

It goes really nicely with the spider plants.  It’s so nice to see the house full of plants again – just like it was back in the ’80s!

Bookshelves…part two

The bookshelves I put up on Monday now have books on them…

The piles of extra books on top are only temporary.

…which took a lot longer than it should have done today.  I also still have a lot more books to put away elsewhere in the house once I have done enough Tetrising to get more bookshelves in place, so we’re not done by a long shot.

What it has done is given me a bit more room to get on with the study project next week.  Which is not nearly as pretty as putting books on shelves, but I really do need to get on with it.

Bookshelves…part one

Well, I’ve been trying to get round to it for a few days, but today I finally got the bookshelves in place in the bedroom.  Or the frames, at least:

Bookshelf frames
Bookshelves! They will look a lot better when they’ve got books on them.

These are Ikea Billy bookshelves that we’ve had for well over a decade – Geth adopted them from his PhD supervisor when he was living in his first flat in Edinburgh, circa 2004.  As such, they’re made in a slightly different way from modern Billy bookshelves, which was fun when I was trying to remember how to put them together earlier!  I’ve not put the shelves or books on yet, because I want to live with the frames for a couple of days and see if there are any issues such as always bumping into bookshelf corners etc., as it’s quite a small bedroom.

Assuming no such issues, I will get it done later this week though.  It’ll be nice to have access to some of our books again.


I was planning to build some bookcases today, but I realised I’d totally forgotten where I’d put my bag of screws for said bookcases.  However, I suspected they might be buried at the bottom of my endless bags of bags of different types of fixings, so I decided it was a good time to get round to sorting them all into the various hobby boxes that Geth and Dad had found me for the purpose.

DIY organisation
Approximately three million different types of screws, nails, nuts and bolts, each with their own individual compartment.

The point of this is that it will be a lot easier to find things among my ridiculous array of fittings from now on.  It also takes up a lot less space than all the plastic bags I was using:

DIY organisation
Screws organised at last! I feel 0.06% more at peace this evening.

A boring task, but it’s one more step towards an organised house.  The bookcases, meanwhile, will be tomorrow’s project.

Unearthing the CD collection

Today’s boxes from the study were largely full of CDs.  Piles and piles of them.  And I don’t think I’ve found them all yet.

A small selection of the unearthed CDs.

As the move has caused me to switch, by and large, to a de-hoarding state of mind, I’ve got a feeling I will be getting rid of a lot of the music CDs.  We’ll see how much space I’ve got for them when I finally put up the CD shelves (which is a long way down the line).  In the meantime, at least the extra space on the DVD shelves is getting some use!

The study project begins!

I finally made a start on the study today…

…and immediately ran into some technical problems.

So I had my wee workstation all set up in the living room, with the scanner and shredder ready to start scanning and shredding all the mountains of paper in the study that I want to keep digitally but not physically.  Except they weren’t.  The scanner/printer we have is apparently set up to scan to Geth’s laptop rather than mine (and I don’t want to be reliant on Geth’s laptop for this project, first because it creates extra work to keep moving all the files, secondly because Geth needs it on days when he’s working from home, and thirdly because Geth never cleans his laptop and so it is super gross and I don’t like touching it).  The shredder, meanwhile, won’t work because it’s jammed from the last time we had to shred a lot of stuff (which I’m pretty sure was when we were still living in Southampton, shortly before we moved to Newcastle, so late 2014?).

I have possibly sort of fixed the first issue, because I found some memory cards in the first of the study boxes that I went through today, so I can just switch the scanner to scan to a memory card rather than a laptop.  As for the second issue, Geth has promised to attempt some drunken maintenance with an old unused plastic card (which was how we fixed it the last time this happened) when he gets back from his work dinner tonight.

Hopefully that will all work, or else emptying the study is going to be trickier than I’d foreseen.

Back to the house project

Well, after a couple of months that were taken up with work and holidays, I finally have time over the next few weeks to get on with the house again.

The main project is the study, which is still just a pile of boxes, but there’s a few other things to do as well – mainly putting up bookcases and Tetris-ing things around.  I’m mainly working this week, but at the weekend I will have time to get started on the bookcases –  meaning we’ll have access to our books for the first time since January.  Exciting!  I’ve almost forgotten what we actually have.

I’m glad I’ll finally be able to get into that study next week as well – I’m looking forward to having a whole extra room.  Eventually.

Clean house therapy

I hate cleaning, but as I didn’t have time to do it during my month-long busy work period, the house was a pigsty by the end of last week.  What’s more, we’ve got people in the house who aren’t us at various points over the next few weeks, so today I just gritted my teeth and got on with it.  The house is clean and tidy now, and I feel so much better for it.

Generally, clutter and mess really depress me, so in an ideal world I would just clean the house once a week in order to keep on top of it and keep my surroundings pleasant and comforting.  However, sometimes there just isn’t the time, and as a result my mood drops, often without me realising why.

Having cleaned, I feel so much better tonight than I have done all week!  I’d feel even better if the house was properly finished in terms of the piles of boxes that are still unpacked, but that’s still a few months away.  One step at a time.