Hi everyone

Moving home in the UK can be very stressful as it was for us, and it had quite an impact on my physical self and I shall be talking about that in my next post (not to worry, as I’m sorting myself out) but today it’s about how we’ve managed to unpack in record time mainly because we’ve cut back and de-cluttered big time.

I’m a great believer in de-cluttering partly because it feels so good (really it does) and partly because I hold strong views on how we should leave this world.  Yes, read that last part of that sentence again, because I hold very strong views about this. I would agree that I possess baggage that not everyone will have. Caring for my mother including a lot of responsibility and physical work moving her nearer to us and then clearing her flat after she passed.  First of all, she had no plans for her very old age, and second there was absolutely no one else that could take on this responsibility while, at the same time, I was parenting my teenage children rather badly I feel.  Twenty-five years on I still feel the guilt and the conflicted feelings of who I should be with at any one moment, and all of that compounded by holding down a post in a national project based in London.

So, having cleared two further houses, this time Mr F’s relatives I said, no I swore, I will do things differently, and hence we now live in an over-65 block of flats (an English expression) managed by a proper housing association (Hanover Anchor) with all the activities and indeed support there if we want them, although can I emphasise this is not ‘assisted living’.  But you can live in this type of housing until you are very frail indeed, then there might be another decision  to make or not, as there are residents here who have the paid-for carers coming in until the end of their life.

Yes, my strong views include thinking not about the older age of retirement with the constant holidays (I met a few of those people quite recently!) or gardening or pursuing all the things you could never do whilst working (and such a privilege it is to do those things. Many can’t for reasons such as health and poverty and that moving goalpost of retirement age shifting later and later) but truly I believe we should face our very old age, when you can’t do anything. Yes, think about that – and plan. So it is not down to someone else to pick up the pieces – see, I do have my issues!  Apologies for my rant but on the other hand that is how I feel.

Anyway back to the here and now!

Unlike the majority who live in this type of flat we have bought our flat as has everyone else in this block. We are owners rather than renters. And so it is our right, of course, to do our flat up as we like.

Would you like to have a look?

Of course, de-cluttering doesn’t preclude being a ‘collector’ because we are now very into the ‘mid-century’ look. Here’s our latest find bought, where else, in a charity shop!

I love these. What’s more Mr F has found a coffee pot on Ebay – woo hoo! Below is another shot of the cabinet where the Mid-winter coffee set is displayed. De-cluttering for me is a cathartic experience, I get a lot of pleasure sorting out cupboards and sifting out things that I don’t need/want but it doesn’t mean getting rid of everything. The key thing is to know why you’re keeping things and then having a place for them.

Note the two teapots. I used to have many teapots – all for display – so out they went two years ago when we moved to our first small flat. The Poole pottery vase and jug on the top right belonged to my mother so I do keep the valued treasures.  And that little table is where I write.  I don’t have an office.  As a writer I write because I can’t not write so I don’t need an office, but actually it feels good to write at that spot. Mind you, we have two bedrooms and one of them is the ‘office’ with no bed, instead it’s full of books down one side and Mr F’s humungous (yet sleek) desk with his Mac and various other technical bits and bobs.  My reference books are part of this library and I store other admin stuff in that room.  It’s really untidy at the moment. There are no boxes to be unpacked, but there’s no pic of that room because it’s bit of a mess – although, remember, we haven’t been here a month yet.

Our actual bedroom is great and super tidy but it is smaller than the last place, and has a much smaller wardrobe but I have been so good and downsized my clothes a lot.  See the evidence.

I haven’t got a place for these extra hangers. So most of them will go. No pic of the bedroom (another time) but here’s the sitting-room. We have a balcony where I’ll grow lots of plants. It’s bare at the moment as I don’t want random plastic pots in it, instead I shall design that space and it’s a work in progress 🙂

We don’t miss the greenery outside our last flat as this time we have lots of sky and we like knowing what the ‘weather’ has in store! Every night there have been glorious sunsets, which we love to see.

The pic doesn’t really portray the vista as we see it.  In the distance on the right is a sign for ‘Bingo’. Some of you might be horrified by this urban scene but we absolutely love it. Who’s seen Blade Runner 2049?  That shot of the huge neon ads? We see something like that every night. It’s our idea of heaven! True!

Here’s the other settee in the sitting-room. Sunday papers on the little table at the side. And an alcove on the north wall below with Mr F’s gran’s green glass globes (we don’t know what they are) on top of an Ikea cabinet plus a modern lamp.

And here’s the kitchen.

I’d like to tweek the shape of the kitchen slightly but that would be, in actuality, a lot of expense so I’ll live with it. The blue lights? Not my choice but I think they’re so funny.

And here’s our entrance hall.  The mid-century mirror is a recent buy in a local vintage shop.

I could write here as the white Ikea desk/dressing table could give me the space to spread out papers, but at the moment I like the low light ‘mood’ look.

The metal number plate was bought twenty years ago in Florida! I like to pick up random things and they seem to have come together so well in this flat.

And here I am getting ready for a Sunday walk. Still not getting the weather outside quite right. We’re a corner flat on the top floor facing north and west and there was a cool wind from the north, which was on our backs until we reached the sea-front and there it was sheltered from the wind and hot!

I had far too many clothes on and as we walked along the prom in the distance we could see people in bikinis!

If you look closer at this pic you’ll see there was a motor-bike rally converging on the Brighton sea-front. There was a lot of noise and excitement! And turning our heads the other way?

More bikes and a sparkling sea.

That’s all for now. The next post is about exercise and the importance of consistency when we exercise. I’m talking about how it is for me here, and gosh, do I need consistency! More about this next week 🙂

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper

P.S. This post has been delayed slightly because I’ve written elsewhere on My Other Blog.   On this other platform I write about societal issues and over the last couple of years most of the pieces have been about Brexit – no surprise there! My reasons for this other blog is to keep my political views separate from the fashion blog and to clear my head. In these challenging times I feel I have to set things out for my sanity more than anything! I also write for those of you living outside the UK to get more detail perhaps than your national media provides.  Link if you want is on the side if reading on a PC/Mac or at the bottom if on a phone but do note that I hold strong views on Boris and Brexit!

Thanks to all who read my latest piece there – and do follow on that blog for more. I don’t write every week, btw, it averages about once or occasionally twice a month  🙂


49 thoughts on “A glimpse of our streamlined and de-cluttered apartment

  • 11th September 2019 at 11:24 am

    Hi Penny, enjoyed your post as usual. Thought you may like to know that those lovely green globes are probably Victorian green glass dumps which are paperweights or doorstops which were made up of left over glass which would have otherwise been dumped, hence the name. Liz x

    • 12th September 2019 at 8:26 am

      Gosh, you’re the first person ever to tell Mr F (otherwise known as Bill) exactly what his gran’s glass globes are. They are much treasured and very pretty and we love them but it is great to know how they came about and of course their shape – it just makes sense! Thank you so much 🙂

  • 11th September 2019 at 11:30 am

    Hello Penny. I wanted to thank you for sharing your very clear sighted and compassionate views on various aspects of ageing. Currently I am caring for my husband who has a variety of debilitating and restricting illnesses and, as a result, I quite often feel isolated & sometimes lonely, even though we have a loving family. I find I agree with many of your views on a range of topics/issues so await your blogs with anticipation. I enjoy reading them enormously & although I don’t actually know you, I feel I have a kindred spirit in you. I’m sure I am not the only person who feels uplifted and comforted by your words and presence on the web so thank you. Kindest regards, Anne Cramb

    • 11th September 2019 at 1:33 pm

      I grew up with that dinner service!

      • 13th September 2019 at 8:18 am

        Oh wow, Jacquie. They are lovely, I think, and the coffee pot from Ebay has arrived and is great!

    • 12th September 2019 at 8:39 am

      Oh my goodness Anne thank you so much for your kind words about the blog. I just write how it is for me and it’s good to know it resonates with readers.

      RE: your caring situation. I worked for and with carers both locally and nationally (Carers Impact – it was called) and you know there wasn’t anything I didn’t know about caring. And then I became a carer of my mother and I realised I knew absolutely sweet fa. It is such a unique position caring for a very close relative and until you do and come up against the lack of support and the knowledge that it really is up to the carer to do it all – in my case I was my mother’s manager, so to speak, the hours I spent on the phone. Not the same as physical caring but …. I won’t go on and I could!!!!

      However, what I will say is it’s really important that you take time and care for yourself. As in take time out to be on your own and treat yourself. I’m sure you do but you know, if you don’t then don’t over do it and get tired and ill yourself – and I can say that to you because I’ve been there 🙂 Also are there are any carers centres or carers workers near you???? There is support out there, your GP might know, but often they don’t, although I do see notices in my current GP surgery about caring. You might think it won’t do for me – but you never know.

      All very best and you take care x

  • 11th September 2019 at 12:19 pm

    Love it Penny! It all looks so bright and colourful and easy to keep tidy! We have an old cottage which is full of antique furniture and lots of things! I have to admit that I’m at the stage where I feel I would like to declutter but so many of the things have sentimental value and I’m not sure how I would feel if I got rid. I do take your point about leaving someone else to sort it all out in the end and as we have no children this task would fall on the shoulders of our lovely nieces – that’s not fair I know. Maybe I’ll be able to start small and send a few unimportant pieces to charity shops, to be honest a lot of things are in drawers or cupboards and don’t see the light of day.
    As always your posts are interesting and thought provoking.
    I wish you health and happiness in your new home.
    Best wishes Chrissie

    • 12th September 2019 at 8:54 am

      Thank you Chrissie for your good wishes. The thing is about the de-cluttering is that I’ve been doing it for over 2 years now. But even before that we moved from a large house to a large and very old cottage, to a small and quite old terraced house to a modern flat two years ago – and each time we moved we lost or got rid of furniture and then – the ornaments and collections. The tablecloths I collected….. And the different crockery sets…… Now it’s the mid-century look so we do still collect 🙂

      I have kept the sentimental and precious things belonging to my mother. But everything has to be out and on display, because why otherwise do I have them?

      I tell you what’s an interesting experience – trying to give away the sentimental and precious things. You quickly realise they mean nothing to the younger generation. It’s actually a very very hard lesson. Oh – you don’t want…? Gosh. OK. Hmm. So I began realise they were only being kept because I like the things. And then I asked myself do I keep this……

      One thing I thought of is that around each precious thing you want to keep you write a story about its provenance and why it’s in your possession. Have I done it? I have not! But one day……!!!!!

      Thanks again for your comment and good wishes 🙂

      • 17th September 2019 at 7:07 pm

        Hello Chrissie and Penny,
        I’m a bit late to the party, but feel strongly that downsizing and de-cluttering isn’t for everyone – including me! We downsized nearly four years ago and there’s hardly a day goes by that I don’t regret it. Our beautiful (secondhand) furniture gone; the piles of pictures stashed in the loft because we don’t have the wall space; I hate it and can’t wait to move somewhere bigger! And I’ve no qualms about leaving everything for our kids to sort out: if between the four of them they can’t hire a skip for Ma and Pa’s rubbish, it’s a pretty poor show. I love your crockery Penny! We had Midwinter Country Garden on our wedding list in 1968 and still use what remains of it! Keep up the wonderful blogging. Best wishes, Jeanette

        • 18th September 2019 at 8:59 am

          Hi Jeanette and so pleased you’ve commented as we are all different and we all take different paths in life. I’m 73 and not one of my friends of a similar age has done the same as us. I think they’re slightly horrified and certainly don’t want to down-size from their often quite large houses or think of their old, old age. With reference to being ‘sensible’ I would say that the last place we were in was not quite right, here in the centre of Brighton this flat is great and a good place to live in for the duration. As for downsizing – I’ve been thinking and indeed planning for this for a very long time. Yet it’s complicated as the thinking also includes our finances so the move and downsizing is right for us.

          The only thing I’d say about leaving it up to the children – if there’s four of them that’s OK. But it wasn’t just the clearing of a house as I had 3 years of caring before that, which of course, I took on willingly, this was all about my mother, after all. But it broke me. So that’s why I absolutely swore I would never inflict (and yes I am using that word) the same experience on my children. I do totally admit to carrying ‘baggage’ that not everyone will have. And I also admit to loving the rearranging of furniture. The trick will be not to be bored when I’ve finished!!!!

          I do hope you move to a place that pleases you – it is important to live in the now and be happy as one can. And it is so interesting to hear different views – thanks so much for your comment 🙂

        • 18th September 2019 at 10:16 am

          The problem for your children may not be just a matter of throwing things in a skip. By the time my Mum died 2 years ago I was both emotionally and physically drained. I have a condition called fibromyalgia & was in constant pain exacerbated by the stress.
          Dad had died the year before and two years before that I’d become their attorney. While not giving physical care there was a lot of trying to get hold of doctors & nurse,s arranging home help, hospital visits etc. My sister was able to help a bit as well but she had her own problems and a dog to consider but my younger sister had MS so most of it was down to me the eldest. We went on holiday only to come back and find something had gone wrong or needed sorting. My Mother in particular became very difficult in her attempts to keep control & I had my first ever ‘melt down’ with her. I did not realise at the time the extent of her cognitive decline. I think you get the picture!
          Fortunately there was only a rented flat to clear – 4 weeks was given – but it was surprisingly upsetting to see furniture they’d had 40+years being hacked to pieces because it had no value. Of course a lot of this is inevitable and necessary and must be done by the family, if there is one. Mum had refused to talk to me about legacies and left it to me to sort out her huge jewellery collection – the way she said it it sounded like a punishment.
          I’m not suggesting you’d want to behave like this but age and infirmity changes people. We’ve also helped an elderly neighbour who was in complete denial about his capabilities & refused to adapt accordingly. I’m with Penny on the downsizing but you are right that we must still enjoy our lives and if you are unhappy with how you are living then of course you need to change that. The balance between living for now and planning for the future is not easy to achieve!

  • 11th September 2019 at 1:53 pm

    I’ve been retired for a year now and this first thing I did was declutter. I know what you mean about holding on to “things”. When my mum passed away it was left to me to sort out her flat at a very difficult and emotional time. I am determined not to leave too many “things” for my children to deal with!

    • 12th September 2019 at 9:05 am

      Yes, with you there. The sorting out of three different houses/flats took a huge amount of time and effort and in my mother’s case it was just so sad and emotional and all the time you have other things going on like work and parenting. I felt so cross with someone who said to me recently, and quite casually, well I don’t care about who deals with my things (it would be his children) as I’ll be dead.

      I get that it’s a bit of an issue with me, but, actually it’s selfish. End of rant – have a good rest of the week!

  • 11th September 2019 at 1:57 pm

    I love reading your blog Penny, you are inspirational and have certainly got me thinking about the possibility of downsizing. Unlike you I just can’t seem to make that decision, I’m such a ditherer. However I am slowly decluttering so I guess that’s a start and I have you to thank for that. Maybe you could invite others who’ve taken the step of downsizing to talk on your blog about their experiences, just a thought. Anyway please keep up the good work.

    • 12th September 2019 at 10:14 am

      Thank you Pauline. Down-sizing is a big step which in my case I had in mind years ago, so no worries if you’ve just begun the process. De-cluttering is a great start 🙂 It’s important I think to face the world eyes wide open (especially now!) but that includes our place in it and our state of health and so on. You can see from the replies that people are thinking about it and I shall write about this subject again at some point, and invite more of a discussion – thanks for the tip which I will take up 🙂

  • 11th September 2019 at 2:18 pm

    Hi Penny, the flat looks great and so do you. I am currently in the process of selling my 4-bed house with a view to downsizing. The situation you have got sounds eminently sensible but I gather that such blocks often come with a hefty service charge and that’s what puts me off – I’m trying to avoid recurring costs wherever possible. What are your thoughts?

    • 12th September 2019 at 10:31 am

      Yes, these flats do have service charges. Ours is nearly £300 a month which is a bit of an ouch – but acceptable. You have to factor in that you do not pay water rates, you get your windows cleaned and all outside maintenance is included, then there’s a garden (in our case a large outside area on top of the garage with many beautiful plants) with all maintenance and work in it, plus the internal communal cleaning of stairs and landings etc. Plus a manager and then an underground car-park which is amazing for where we are and free. And of course, activities if you want them. Plus security.

      You have to do the research. Blocks that have no communal laundry will have a lower service charge, because of the electricity used but with a laundry you personally should have a lower electricity bill.

      Another factor is to be very very careful about the freeholder – ours is a proper housing association with an HQ in England (!) with proper policies for older people. There are other freeholders you must avoid like the plague – absolutely never buy anything managed by one in particular which I won’t name here but there’s a lot been written about this. That means when you look at these flats on Rightmove you have to discard about half the flats available so actually there’s very little out there, which is why we were so stressed at this move – it was the only one. But all resolved now we’re in. Yes, a lot to think about.

  • 11th September 2019 at 3:55 pm

    We basically moved at the same time and then took a trip right afterwards, but you are SO far ahead of me in getting things organized…eeek!!
    I love how you look at this process. It’s truly been a blessing that my mom moved to AZ too because then she purged (somewhat). Before that she was just going to leave it all for me to do (and she had said that…talk about stress). Needless to say she still has a lot, but at least it’s less.
    I just love those blue lights in the kitchen. Talk about fun and interesting. And your view is magnificent, Penny. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Okay, I’ll get going on getting mine ready for you to see too. (I did post our kitchen on Instagram if you want to see it?)

    • 12th September 2019 at 3:26 pm

      Hi Jodie – yes, I think, we are moving sisters! The thing is my back has been really sore with unpacking more than anything but it’s great to be unpacked and then of course, we do have things/possessions/ornaments/heirlooms but not much of these, so that helped.

      And also once I had a whole roomful of books. Oh yes, I didn’t mention the books – they were so hard to get rid of, but I did it. It would be rare for me to keep a novel now – would have to be over and above the best. The hardest books to get rid of were my university books – they kind of said to me, ‘you read this’. But no, I said to myself I haven’t got the space and that was it.

      Good luck with your unpacking and regards to your mother Charlotte, too 🙂


    • 13th September 2019 at 7:32 am

      Hi, and hello to another mover! Yes, it’s great to put things together in a new space but for me the trick will be to not get bored two years on!!!! Actually, no I really really don’t want to move again (so physically demanding) and this time the flat is in such a lovely area which has everything we want – it’s proper city living. Location, location, location as they say and it really matters.

  • 11th September 2019 at 6:52 pm

    Hi Penny your new flat looks lovely! Bright and cheerful and cosy. I too love a good declutter but my situation is that both my children have moved abroad and left me with quite a lot of their bits and pieces! Goodness knows when (if ever!) any of these things will be reclaimed but in the meantime I am obliged to give them house room. I did give down to the charity shop some shoes and sandals that I finally admitted I would never wear again. Pride does feel pain!

    • 13th September 2019 at 7:39 am

      Ah yes, the children’s things in the loft – that was us for years. Luckily our daughter has bought a house with a good-sized loft so two years ago when we moved to the first small flat everything in the loft (and I do mean everything) was transferred to her house. And that was all their childhood collections and things they couldn’t throw away, plus all the things we wanted stored. Funnily enough this new flat has a very large area for storage down in the basement, which is dry and therefore not damp. We are all allocated a space and we will have far more storage space than before. That’s dangerous though as given a space I think you fill it!

      Good luck with the start to your de-cluttering 🙂

  • 11th September 2019 at 7:05 pm

    Oh penny, you know that I would be the luckiest girl on the world of I could live in Brighton! Do you live now near the seafront? At the left of the right of the pier?

    • 13th September 2019 at 7:44 am

      I do live near the seafront! See those pix by the sea – just walk back in a straight line and 5 minutes later you’re at our flat. Look again at the pix and you can see the pier in the distance on one and you can just about catch a glimpse of the marina on the other. So, facing the sea we are to the left of the pier.

  • 11th September 2019 at 10:40 pm

    Dear Penny,
    Yes, planning for our older age with eyes wide open is a wise thing. Your flat near the sea is perfect. Those blue kitchen lights would make me want to dance. Take care. Judy

    • 13th September 2019 at 7:45 am

      Eyes wide open to everything Judy 😉

      They are so funny those lights!

  • 12th September 2019 at 8:04 am

    Lovely, colourful and retro. I’m with you. I’m decluttering my house but also my mums. Honestly I think they didn’t throw anything out but they were war children so the idea of disposing would have been wasteful I suppose. I’m finding lots of retro bits and selling it on fb and antique places. One is a lovely zebra print coffee set.

    • 13th September 2019 at 7:47 am

      Oh good that your mum is allowing that. I really should sell stuff as what I’ve given to charity shops doesn’t bear thinking about.

      The Mid-winter coffee pot has arrived and is ace.

  • 12th September 2019 at 9:06 am

    My mother has been “death cleaning” as it’s called in Sweden for several years. She’s 87 and lives alone, in good health. She had her left cleared and she is continually de-cluttering to the extent where we struggle to find a wine glass! I think it’s very commendable and kind as well.

    You have a great sense of style and colour in your interior design. Love it!

    • 13th September 2019 at 7:52 am

      Well done your mother, I aim be like that. But on the other hand I continue to collect. However, I remember the interviews with the author after the publication of The Gentle Art of Death-Cleansing and they were surprised that her flat wasn’t minimalist. Her place was actually quite full of things but she always pointed out that she’d moved from a very large house to a small flat. Her book is lovely I think and very gentle.

  • 12th September 2019 at 7:48 pm

    Dear Penny,

    You are an honest breath of fresh air. The aging/decluttering/transitioning phase is such an exhausting adventure so many wonderful and challenging ways.

    For whatever reason (probably my own proclivity for meaning and nostalgia), I have ended up with possessions from grandparents, great grandparents, probably a few great-great things and parents, as well as making sure each child has some childhood memorabilia. I am terrific at clearing most everything but these things are in their own category.

    Of my four children one teases me with a post death bonfire, the youngest wants every last stick of things remaining exactly as is (not sure how that can happen, but if anyone can figure that one out she will), one wants virtually nothing and the oldest a few random items that will fit with his decorating/antique schemes.

    What I have started to do (although at times it feels as if I’m about to prematurely jump into the great hereafter), is judiciously notice when a child comments on an item…e.g. bonfire son said he loved the carving on a frame in the kitchen so it’s his no discussion (I’ve taken to putting little notes on the back and under things) and my daughter in law has always loved this funny china moose that belonged to my mother so….off that one goes and so on.

    Not sure what started me in this direction, but your beautiful flat by the ocean, undoubtedly tweaked my admiration for thoughtful simplicity.

    I am sure, as with all of us, need will dictate reassessment. In the meantime, I will live with my garden and generations of stuff and expect that there will be some kind way to resolve varying points of view as time goes on.

    Take care,

    • 13th September 2019 at 8:08 am

      Hello Ellie and so with you on your ‘journey’ through this minefield of what to keep and what not. Funnily enough, I do actually keep a lot of stuff. Early on in my retirement I did a huge amount of family history both on my father’s side and my mother’s. I also published my dad’s memoir of his life in the Indian Army. He’d left 100,000s words of his life in India (and beyond) and all of this is totally sacrosanct. There will be strict instructions not to throw anything relating to his writing and my production of the memoir. To compensate for the lack of words re: my mother I’ve made a pictorial history book of my mother’s life and her family back to great, great grandparents. Not one jot of that is to be thrown. And then there’s family trinkets and stuff all to be kept.

      What has changed a lot is my taste in furnishing and display. It used to be much fussier and more Victorian/Edwardian and that’s gone out of the window. So it’s a more minimalist and colourful look now, which is totally right for this small flat. And I guess you’re a gardener, I was too, so the balcony is going to be fun.

      Thank you so much for your kind comment – have a lovely weekend 🙂

  • 13th September 2019 at 8:08 am

    Dear Penny, thank you for your blog that I came across a few months ago.
    I have recently downsized for many of the same reasons as you.

    I was fortunate that my father had done the same and moved into a flat managed by the same group as yours. He always warned me about another company. I’m sure the same as the one you refer to in one of your replies. The builder sold on the freeholds to an equally awful company. Unfortunately, the town in which I live has four blocks of those retirement flats and few others and I couldn’t bring myself to buy one belonging to said company but I am now in a small block with share of freehold. It doesn’t have the warden/estate manager as retirement flats have. But it does have a lift so I feel I am future proofing myself to some extent.

    I’m still getting used to the change in space from quite a large house to a small flat. But it was the right thing to do. I do so agree with you that it’s important to think about How you are going to cope as you get older and decline.

    But I’m not there yet! Still lots of life to live and enjoy. Including reading your blog. Thank you

    • 13th September 2019 at 10:17 am

      Hello Tricia – good to meet you! Yes, that company which will be nameless is to be avoided at all costs yet it seems to have a lot of this type of housing so that seriously reduces the amount of flats of this type. So good that you knew about it. We (as in the whole block) could if we wished also go for owning the freehold as it is a legal option, but it isn’t necessary as Hanover is a good landlord/freeholder. I think it must be that people don’t do the research and just look at flats.

      And yes, there’s loads more to do in our lives – thank you for reading 🙂

  • 13th September 2019 at 8:11 am

    Your new flat is looking fabulous already and I particularly like your display units. I’m sure you will be very happy there, especially in such a wonderful location.
    My mother was always very minimalistic and I have inherited this trait. I think we all have too much stuff! Nevertheless, I have had different collections over the years. These have included ducks, tea pots and, more recently, snow globes!! This has started since our recent visit to Vienna where snow globes originated, apparently!

    • 13th September 2019 at 10:20 am

      Oh thank you – of course it took some time to arrive at this look. I had loads of teapots and I loved collecting tablecloths, until I realised that once they were bought they were all put away – so I gave myself a good telling off and out the (really lovely) tablecloths went!

  • 13th September 2019 at 3:50 pm

    You already look very settled. (We also have that grey sofa in our conservatory!) How lucky to find something in such a lovely location. You know, I think my parents in law had that coffee set!

    • 16th September 2019 at 7:39 am

      That coffee set! How things and tastes change. Five years ago I wouldn’t have looked at it but now I think – nice!

  • 14th September 2019 at 11:35 am

    So glad that you are happy with your move and it looks like fun living where you are. My concern would be not having a second bedroom that has a bed in it. We have that here and it gets used for occasional visitors but also often when one of us is ill , been sleeping badly etc. Looking forward I can’t see a time when we would not need this, indeed we might need it more, for a carer for instance. At present we have 3 bedrooms and a study, one of the bedrooms being my sewing and ironing (and general junk) room. I could see combining this with a study but we still need 3 rooms in total. We came to this bungalow 15 years ago when we wanted to relocate from a more rural area and did not want another new estate home. Ironically where we used to live has a better bus service into Winchester than we do living 3 miles or so from the centre!
    Him indoors will be 70 in 2 years so we are going to review things then. We’ve moved quite a lot and I have never been anywhere I felt a wrench at leaving – I like change.

    • 16th September 2019 at 7:52 am

      The thing is most flats have 2 bedrooms. Or put it this way, most flats in Brighton have two bedrooms – three and you’d be talking sky-high prices and a very much larger space. Re: putting people up. We don’t! Our children live nearby and only need to visit during the day and we just don’t put friends up, end of. Also, as an aside, these days, I’m not all that comfortable staying with people myself and prefer a hotel where I can totally flop or be slightly ill and no-one would know. Sounds odd, but if you stay with someone it’s quite revealing, don’t you think? If when we get really old and there is a need for someone to stay overnight the red settee in the sitting-room is actually a futon so it could be used, in theory, by one of us, if we need to sleep in another room. Yes, always have a settee that can act as a bed.

      Both of us have looked very hard at our hobbies and activities and have down-sized and de-cluttered those as well. Actually Mr F had the most clutter and over the last few years has been amazing in sifting through and only keeping essential stuff, which for him is all the photographs and family history.

      And you’re a kindred spirit Lynda as I too like change. Mind you the effort of moving is something I do not want to repeat!! And I won’t have to as the area is just perfect. Location, location, location – it really is the key.

  • 16th September 2019 at 6:49 am

    Morning Penny,
    Thanks for sharing your new abode – great look and colours, including the blue lights, which will show off your toenails beautifully! You’ve done well getting so straight in such a short time.
    I have experienced caring and clearing and agree, it is not to be wished on anyone. Your blog is inspiring. All the very best, Mary

    • 16th September 2019 at 7:56 am

      Thanks Mary – the blue lights are such fun! And the caring situation is a human condition that we all experience at some point, but a little thought can make it easier for the children, who in the case of caring for a parent, are usually in their 40s and 50s and have other responsibilities. Yes, a little thought about where you might be when you become frail is just being nice to your children 🙂

  • 16th September 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Having only just read this post I knew at once the green glass globes were paperweights and how lovely they are too!

    I love your new flat and to be right in the heart of Brighton sounds fabulous. I live right in the heart of my town and I love it but I do hanker after the Donegal mountains and sea…

    I am in the process of catching up with everyone’s blogs but haven’t forgotten we agreed to meet up later this year once you are well and truly settled…I’m looking forward to it!

  • 23rd September 2019 at 12:58 pm

    So glad to hear that you are settling in well, Penny. I agree with you that we must make the adjustments for old age whist we are young enough to do so. My Godmother lived in dire conditions in a place that was huge but that she could not afford to maintain. We tried for so long to ‘sell’ the benefits of moving to a fat or semi sheltered housing but she wouldn’t. She used to say that she managed fine. She didn’t – it was everyone else that was doing the managing.

    • 23rd September 2019 at 6:02 pm

      This sounds so familiar to me. I’m so afraid that I too will lose touch with reality as to my ability to cope and remain independent when if fact it will be my family who are doing the ‘managing’ for me. Hence my agreement that we must do it for ourselves while we still can!

    • 25th September 2019 at 7:56 am

      I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog Penny and pleased to hear that you’re settling in to your new flat – it looks lovely and fresh. I agree 100% with your sentiments about taking responsibility for your old age as opposed to doing what my mother did which was to allow her life to descend into chaos while being in complete denial about this. I’ve just read Eloise’s comments and can ditto these – we also tried ‘to sell’ the idea of her relocating to allow us to have daily contact and suggested sheltered housing, supported care for independent living etc. Living 30 miles from my mother and trying to manage her situation for several years became all consuming and following her death 3 months ago I’ve almost finished clearing her house and dealing with the bureaucracy involved. I found it frustrating because my mother’s quality of life could have been so much more comfortable and it’s sad to waste time (often in conflict) which could have been spent differently. This has definitely influenced my personal decisions.

      • 25th September 2019 at 10:31 am

        Although my parents did move into sheltered housing in their early 80’s the two part-time ‘wardens’ were taken away when the flats were transferred to a housing association. They were burgled there for the first time ever by a shameless person who tricked a vulnerable elderly resident into letting him into the building. One thing I would say is how much I underestimated the effect supporting my parents had on me. I thought that once the practicalities were over I would just bounce back but I didn’t. Things were complicated by other family problems and the following year I went to a counsellor which did help. Two years on from Mum’s death & I am coming out of it but it really does take more time than you would like!

  • 5th October 2019 at 5:34 am

    Hello young Lady. I am two years older. 🙂

    I love the table of second photo. Its pattern resembles a popular pattern from quilts, not similar, but anyway.

    Happy weekend!

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