Oh god, the hoarding.

OK, so you know that nice lady who says that decluttering your linen takes 10-15 minutes? Yeah.

  • I did 7.5 hours of ironing before I lost track of the time. 7.5 HOURS. The way it goes is you iron a duvet cover with the fancy, difficult edging, then right at the end of ironing the duvet cover for 45 minutes you discover a hole or a stain or something else wrong with it. Poppers that don’t do up. This also especially applies to fitted sheets. You can spend ages ironing a fitted sheet and then in very last bit you iron there will be some disfiguring stain or hole that disqualifies it from being your best linen.
  • I own 15-20 duvet covers. I do not know how that happened.
  • I only own about 6 bottom sheets and nearly all of them are marked or flawed in some way.
  • I have too many sets of matching pillowcases where one pillowcase has eyeliner or mascara stains on it that I can’t get out.
  • I can now fold a fitted sheet, not that brilliantly, but okay.

I’ve never felt hoarding tendencies so strongly before today. Normally I am good at decluttering, I can pitch things and not feel bad for their loss. But I need to let go of a lot of bed linen, a lot. Some of it, I was glad to see the back of:

  • Two depressing duvet covers with matching pillow cases that are 20 years old and that don’t have particularly good memories attached to them and that I don’t use. One threadbare Postman Pat pillowcase. A couple of sheets for a single bed (I own no such bed). Duvet covers that are grey and industrial and make my bedroom look like a man lives there.

Some of it is much harder to let go of!!

  • Duvet covers where there is nothing at all wrong with them except I have too many. I can hardly bear to let go of them. There’s a big part of my brain that keeps going “but you might need them! they’re perfectly fine! they might come in handy!” But realistically, what is going to happen? Am I going to have 15 guests come to stay? No, I am not. And anyway I don’t have 15 duvets that I could put that many covers on. And I don’t have the storage space for all this crap, I really don’t. It’s got to go.

Anyway. I have managed to get it down to 4 sets of linen. 4.5 if you count one duplicate duvet cover that I can’t bear to part with because it is particularly nice, this being why I bought two. I don’t know why I am obsessing. It’s not even expensive stuff. I looked on Amazon and you can get duvet covers just like this for £8 and pillowcases are going for 55p each.

Here are three of my sets of fully ironed linen. As you can see, I succeeded in making each set fit inside a pillowcase and pinned the parcels shut with dressmakers’ pins like so. That’s my Portmeirion tea set in the background, which I will show you properly another time.

folded sheets

Right, I must do a bit more ironing for the last parcel of linen, then all the rest of it is going out the door. And that’s me done for today. Needless to say, I have not started on the towels.

More horrifying scenes of domestic squalor.

As you know, beloved readers, TLYW is not just about skipping around London and indeed the world, going to art museums and operas, even though these things are very important. It is about trying to find out how to live. How to organise yourself, how to discipline yourself, how to get all your work done, how to arrange things so that they are as comfortable as possible today while not being liable to fuck you up tomorrow. How to provide for your own needs.

You would think this would be easy, being single and not part of a family unit but I think it is in some ways harder. You have the freedom to curate your home and your life the exact way you want but it also gives you the freedom to trash your house if you have tendencies in the direction of untidiness, hoarding, thinking the housework only needs to be done 2-3 times/year, etc.

I suddenly find myself in the middle of a massive episode of decluttering, the like of which we have not seen for probably a couple of years. This is because I have thoroughly filled up my so-called spare room with rails of dresses, with the result that there’s no room left for all the other junk I routinely throw in there. So, bit by bit, I am pulling it out into the hall and rationalising it as much as possible. A lot of it is just cardboard boxes of assorted crap, old papers, 19 tubs of lip balm, etc.

That’s when it occurred to me that there were sheets and towels in about five different locations around the flat, so I gathered them all together. Those two boxes on the right are all towels. That’s not counting kitchen towels. The entire tower on the left is bed linen.

linen

Clearly, this is too much bed linen for one person. Even if I have a guest sleeping on the sofa bed and we both vomit on ourselves in the night, I still only need 4 sets of bed linen in total. So I am going to use this lady’s advice to rationalise down to 4 sets, stuffing each set inside of one of its own pillowcases.

She says it is a 10-15 minute task but as we all know, I am shit at housework, so I will time myself and find out how long it actually takes.

Then I will rationalise the towels. The objective is to make all the bed linen and towels fit into this cupboard.

linen cupboard

Wish me luck. This is not particularly what I wanted to be doing, I have a lot of work on and I would rather be at the gym if I have any free time, but it is what it is. I have a lot of clothes now, and I know which I like more between new dresses and old duvet covers. Something had to give.

ironing

I’ll post photos when done. Oh god, this is going to involve folding fitted sheets and everything.

Work

For a few days after I came out of hospital, with my injured wrist and my bloaty head (both mostly recovered), I did well at maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I went outdoors and exercised every day, building up my stamina and mileage. I avoided sugar after 10am. I ate meals at set times, following a schedule that was dictated by the need to take antibiotics on an empty stomach.

Then, work. A new contract came in. It looks like a big project. We are yet to find out how much the customer is willing to spend. If they pay the full amount we are asking for then I’ve just covered my expenses for the rest of 2017. If they pay a quarter of that, it is still worth having and I can justify going on holiday, so yay for work and money.

As a result, I’ve been extremely busy writing proposals and whatnot. My lifestyle instantly plummeted into something horrible where I ate chocolate cake and ice cream like it was an Olympic event and sat at my desk for 18 hours/day.

Anyway, the paperwork is done now. I’ve gained a couple of pounds but it’s my own fault. My flat is completely and utterly trashed and I need to clean up right now even if it is midnight because that’s how urgent it is.

When I found my wallet just now, after having lost it for several days, part of my brain instantly went ‘That’s enough housework for today! Let’s play video games!’ But I am resisting because I am being responsible.

There is an exciting week ahead featuring opera, ballet and possibly a couple of dates.

General Health, Diet & Lifestyle News

Things are proceeding fairly well chez Gloria. I am being responsible and taking charge of some things.

I joyfully reunited with my hot periodontist who rebuilt one side of my face five years ago. I was so pleased to see him. He is much more pro-active than my other dentist and we really like each other. We had a workman-like discussion about what to do with the other side of my face. I feel no fear as I am a battle-hardened warrior now where dentistry is concerned. He is going to do about three episodes of gum cleaning to reduce the size of my pockets and then we are going to see about doing another sinus lift and putting in two more titanium implants. I had six last time, on the right side, so two on the left side does not make me break a sweat. It makes me laugh to think of how phobic I used to be of the dentist. The way I talk to him now, it is like getting the car serviced or building an extension on the house.

I gained a bunch of weight this month for no obvious reason, which I am v unhappy about, but I am dealing with it responsibly by cutting back on my food intake, esp carbs, and exercising every day (mix of outdoor walking, swimming and treadmill). If that doesn’t take care of it pretty rapidly, I will increase the amount of exercise until it starts working. In 2013 I used to go out for walks of 17km on a near daily basis and spare fat does not stand much of a chance against that kind of regime. So I am working back up to that.

I spent 90 minutes cleaning the kitchen today, which means I can cook, because while I am dieting I am also in the mood for thinking about meal planning and food preparation. I’ve just bought a fondue set, having wanted one my whole life and so I will soon make fondue with broccoli and cauliflower to dip in the cheese instead of bread. V excited.

On top of all this, I managed to finish a book, I’ve just read Every Day Is Mother’s Day, the first novel of Hilary Mantel (1985). It was very well-written and frequently funny but also rather dark and depressing so I shall not drag you through a long review. It was like shopping in a particularly bleak and wet corner of Britain on early-closing day.

I could collect a bunch of achievement points for all this but it wasn’t a huge effort so I shall wait until I’ve done something that required more effort, such as filling out paperwork for the mortgage and pensions guy.

Snot.

Bloody hell, I have a terrible cold. This is what you get for going to the gym. I went to the gym assiduously, caught a cold which then prevented me from going to the gym for several days, recovered, immediately returned to the gym, caught another cold. A worse one.

I am miserable today. My diary is incredibly full. I am behind on my work because I didn’t get anything done yesterday, which is a problem because I am busy at work next week. My social diary is also crammed, which isn’t very compatible with heavy cold symptoms. What all this means is that I have to spend today getting on top of housework and essential office tasks instead of going to the gym and then playing video games, which is what I actually wanted to do today.

I am still going out this evening. I have an expensive ticket for something that I am not prepared to miss.

In which I take on slightly too much, because it’s all I know how to do.

Crikey. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself, it is that I do better when I am busy. After thinking that I was going to have a nice, relaxing time, further to leaving the World’s Worst Company, my life is bursting at the seams with activity. I hardly know what to tackle next. Let’s have a quick roundup of non-work things.

  • Gym. I am in the gym regularly and although I’m not yet weighing myself, I can feel that I’m starting to lose some of the fat that I stacked on over Xmas. My pot belly will be the last thing to go and I am not ruling out liposuction if I can make time for it. Gym uses up a lot of time and, as we all know, you have to keep going several times a week if not every day, but it is well worth it.
  • Dentist. I am at the dentist aaaallllll the time. Fillings, cleaning, this and that. Periodontist on the 22nd.
  • Other beauty stuff. Hairdresser because my hair goes grey so fast. Laser hair clinic. I need to see my Botox man again, haven’t seen him since October.
  • Dating. I am very popular with boys at the moment, which is very welcome after being unmercifully dumped by someone I’d sustained a 14- or 15-month relationship with. I went on a date yesterday with an absolutely beautiful model who kissed me at the tube station. When I say model, I don’t mean some 50-year-old, silver-haired character actor, I mean an actual model.
  • Art and Culcha. So much of this. I saw the South Africa exhibition that is currently on at the British Museum and will blog about it separately. I am going out again over the coming weekend to hear more music.

british-museum-south-africa

  • Choir. Is this evening. Need to wash my hair and iron a dress because it’s a big social event of the week.
  • Friends. I have miraculously seen 4 of my long-suffering friends who have to wait two years in between meetings.
  • Housework. I can tell I am super busy because the house is getting out of control again even though I only cleaned it up last week. I still have not unpacked the boxes that I brought away with me from the World’s Worst Job and I seriously want to clean and renovate the back room, which is now my clothes room.
  • Gaming. I have done no video gaming for a solid week, even though I am desperate to get back into it. I am absolutely desperate to play Battlefield 1 and Resident Evil 7.

battlefield-1resident-evil-7-hands

So there you go. The things on that list, as well as work, are merely the things I’m actually managing to do plus the most immediate priorities. We won’t even mention the second tier of priorities, such as playing other video games, reading, pursuing half a dozen other hobbies and trying to get back into learning Chinese.

I am getting enough sleep, so there’s that.

If you can’t find something, clean up.

FFS. This is not what I had on my agenda today. My plan for today was: go out and get some exercise; go to the Natural History Museum; go to friend’s anniversary party this evening, bearing gift which was purchased earlier in the day.

It’s already 11am and I’m still at home. I managed to thoroughly lose my phone within 5 or 10 minutes of waking up and I can’t find it anywhere so I’m cleaning my house instead getting everything else done. I suppose it was about time I did some more housework, a month seems to have elapsed since the last bout. I have no idea how other people manage to stay on top of it.

Previous Older Entries