Wednesday, July 27, 2011

the reading dilemma

I think reading must be one of my favourite things in the world to do. Perhaps I should qualify that statement. I thinking reading quality literature is one of my favourite things in the world to do. And yet when I finished a wonderful book and I want to dive right into another, I can't. It's like I need to have a little break and read something trashy or just ponder what I have read before I jump into the next work.

I've just finished reading Geraldine Brooks' novel, Caleb's Crossing. It's another absorbing, evocative work (she really is AMAZING) that completely transports the reader into a different time and place. Seventeenth Century Puritan America. But after I consumed the book and spent many days thinking on her characters and her eloquent prose I couldn't read another thing. It felt almost disloyal to pick up another book so quickly. Has anyone else ever experienced this?

Another couple of quick literary recommendations: 
  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  • The Dark Room by Rachel Seiffert
  • Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey
  • A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

the quest for clean surfaces....

Mr Neat, the kids and I had a rather different holiday this time around. Mainly because Mr Neat is being Mr Boss at work and couldn't be on holidays. But we still went away. To Manly.

One of Mr Neat's former colleagues and his family went off to Japan for two weeks so we minded their gorgeous home a few minutes walk from the beach. Lovely. 

Anyway the brave couple who lent us their house have two daughters and their house is so.... so neat. It's a cute old brick house that has been well restored (listen to me the real estate maven) but what amazed me was how easy it was to neaten everything. There were built in cupboards galore and everything had a home. So now I'm thinking, 'Is that actually possible in a home where I am a resident?' One of our problems, apart from me and my tendency to collect and create clutter, is an appalling lack of storage. We have an eclectic (read cheap a***) approach to furnishing our home. Op shops, garage sales, cast offs and side of the road numbers... I think the only new thing we've ever bought from a real shop was our bed. And that was 16 years ago. 

So how to achieve this nirvana-like state of tidiness? Mr Neat has a straightforward approach. There is stuff in the way, therefore there is too much stuff, therefore we should chuck out the stuff that is in the way. At which point I get sweaty palms and I wish I weren't so sentimental and hoardy. No we don't have too much stuff, I argue, we just have too few places to put what we have...

But after dusting the sand off my head I realised that he could be onto something. Of course, for me, the first place to start is: The Study. That's a misnomer if ever there was one. It should be called the dump. Cos that's where I dump stuff when I don't know where to put it. In fact The Dump has become so cluttered recently that I can't actually do any work in there at all. I have to take a deep breath, grab what I need and scurry away to work *somewhere else*. So I'm going to go through the stuff in there and be ruthless. 

Wish me luck!

x Sarah

PS Sorry for a really boring and really long post without any pictures.

Monday, July 18, 2011

big fat brooch sale on etsy

Well I'm back from two weeks of slacking off and my first big job is to tidy out my hovel that I call a study. To that end I'm starting a rolling sale to shift some items that I need to be rid off. So to start with.... BROOCHES. On etsy. If you look at the left hand menu you can see some of the beauties on offer. They are less than wholesale. So please, buy up! They really are lovely bargains and you can just pop one in your present drawer for someone special. Also because the Australian dollar is so strong they are even BIGGER bargains! So what are you waiting for!

x Sarah