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 🙂