Do what you do...

posted on: Tuesday, 19 May 2015

It the most authentic sense, I am true to form. There are elements of me that my husband, who let's not forget is 22 years into this endeavour, describes as 'Completely Lou'. He knows me. I say I won't shop, and then I do. I say I get it, then I don't. I defend a point to the end of the earth and then change my mind the next day. I say I can do it, then I get a crisis of confidence. I am, if nothing else, predictable.

I have a habit where I am utterly and completely affected by my surroundings. I feel the clutter. I hate the clutter. It produces a fog in me. Yet my ability to actually deal with the clutter is somehow compromised. Today, I spent about six hours doing admin. The worst kind of the admin; piles of paper and that necessary exercise where you have to look at and understand every morsel. My back aching with sitting cross-legged on the floor, surrounded. File it. I file away the kid's school reports and think: when will I next need these? When Boo gets married and we need a witty historical reference about her personality. But on the most part with paper...I make a decision about it. Relegate it to the recycling. I am pathological about recycling. Where does it end up? In a conversation last week I lamented my worry that thrown away clothes end up as landfill. The person I was talking to rolled their eyes. Live more. Worry less.

I decided on Sunday that I should get offline. I haven't really entertained this prospect before, despite it being the mainstay of much commentary about modern times. I always felt that whatever lives on line, I could handle. Well I am not so sure. I think we must recognise this and certainly others share the sentiment. I can get consumed with the phone swipe.

My photographic memory tested every time I swipe my phone. Those go-to apps that keep the day rolling; the wait in the traffic bearable. Yes, I confess I have swiped my phone in traffic. Is this the big modern taboo? How many lines of traffic have you sat in to find that fellow car drivers are face-down. Illuminated. It's shameful. I realised that I was on line too much. And this is particularly relevant when it comes to having a teenage child. (Is the term 'teenage child' an oxymoron?) One way to navigate the chasm of parenting is to inhabit the on line world. Instagram and Snapchat and Facebook. So I think I overdid it and now I am going cold turkey. I can't be in that world, no matter how tempting, as frankly the only time I belonged in a teenage place was circa 1988 when I was my daughter's age. I am a grown up now. Didn't you notice?

Meanwhile, whilst we are sharing, the other thing I do is buy food that isn't eaten. There, I said it. Confessional: it seems like such a good idea to plan an elaborate meal midweek and purchase the ingredients, as if I am in fact Nigella the Domestic Goddess. Then the time comes and the inclination fades and frankly, we would all rather have pasta. I have a love/hate relationship with pasta. Oh so simple. Oh so same-y. I am now using different pasta shapes to shake things up; oricchiette anyone?

We are facing the imminent start of building work, which in short means we have ship out of the main part of our house. This is what is prompting the admin purge. I consider the need to clear out of drinks cabinet. Who has a drinks cabinet??! And frankly, am I deluding myself that we live on the set of 'Madmen' and need to pour a swift whiskey at the end of the day? I am wine girl. Spirits rarely feature and honestly, when they do, it's not pretty. I am now facing the prospect of pouring away the obscure contents of out-of-date Tia Maria bottles. And can I just say...Amaretto is never a good idea.

And so it goes. You do what you do, don't you?


  1. A thought provoking post. Since starting the business I seem to spend a considerable amount of time online. Essential in many ways to reach potential customers. The whole promotion thing I am uncomfortable with, but it is a necessary evil. Time spent online, means less time in the "real" world, less time noticing that new flowers are emerging each day. At the moment my new studio has no internet connection, maybe I will wait awhile before connecting it..........

  2. Thank you so much for your writing. I could sign every single word that you wrote; about the food I buy and don’t cook, about going offline, about the clutter and endless paperwork. About beeing predictable...
    I truly love your blog and your thoughts. I wish my English was better, I would comment more often (I’m from Switzerland).
    And yes, I have two children (son 15yrs, daughter 13yrs)
    which both are in a kind of teenage mood, like twins. I appreciate
    your writing about teenagers, it makes me feel less alone
    in this rollercoaster....
    Kind regards form Zurich, Daniella

  3. Good post....thanks for sharing.. very useful for me i will bookmark this for my future needs. Thanks.
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