Forget sorting the loft, when I couldn’t fit a loaf of bread in my cupboard I thought it may now be time for a clear out. Do I really need virtually empty mixed herbs at the back of the cupboard, or tinned cannelloni beans best before 2009? I never got around to making that minestrone soup I just bought one! I also have a large selection of half used bags of sugar for various baking adventures, golden, caster, demerera, light brown, dark brown, muscavado, preserving and jam sugar… and I haven’t started on flour yet.
I’m not a hoarder in my house, we have the occasional clearout of paperwork and toys like everyone else. But somehow the kitchen escapes this, we are never going to eat the party bag sweets we don’t like, and will we finish a packet of biscuits ever? If chocolate is involved of course the answer is yes but the rest remains to be seen. Except in the case of the abandoned snickers from the christmas selection boxes…. snickers is the new coffee cream.
I cannot justify throwing out the baking stuff I have gained over the years, one day I may need a gingerbread man shaped cutter? This sounds like classic hoarder territory to me?
Is it the change in season that make us want to tidy up and clear out, or is it the fact that weather is now cold and miserable so I’m indoors looking at it? I think put on the morning tv, turn up the heating and get stuck in to a good clear out, or maybe bake a cake, oh no where did I put the golden caster sugar!
Next week: the cupboard under the stairs
The gallery project now has its own dedicated blog, keeping this blog for my usual random stuff. check it out: gallery project.me
Here is an example from one of the illustrators in our ‘Gallery Project’ to provide personal and bespoke artwork by private commission
This fantastic illustration commissioned for my 30th Birthday. A piece of work to record my life at 30, my likes, interests, family, favourite places etc. Kate does these bespoke pieces of work from your photos and information. Mine is a 1m canvas hanging on a white wall in my hallway.
More of her work can be seen at The Coffee Gallery in Upminster, if you wish to commission your own work prices start from £265, just let me know…
Starting in September I will be organising an amazing mural on a 10m x 4m wall at the end of the Upminster Infant School Hall. Created by another illustrator couple joining us soon.
Here is an example of the map we are going to Create of Upminster for ‘The Gallery Project’. Any ideas what should be in it let me know, I’m thinking The Windmill, The Crumpled Horn, Upminster Park, Cyclists, Dogwalkers, School children on scooters, Yummy mummy with bugaboo, Joggers etc.
It will be available to be seen in the shop by September. Other towns can be created upon request, with your choice of content, your house? or school? or local pub? and people.
My new illustration project can now be seen at:
The Coffee Gallery, 61 Station Road, Upminster, Essex RM14 2SU
Its an exciting new collection of young creative illustrators and artists I’ve put together through contacts I’ve used in my past for graphic design work. They create bespoke illustration and portraits from your photographs and information. Something personal and unique created only for you. Colin at The Coffee Gallery will do you whatever frame/canvas or size you need.
From Emma’s handstitched illustrations as exhibited at Somerset House to Kate’s layered bespoke collages using photographs and textures to create a unique print. Ed’s witty and animated style provides a unique and characterful gift, whereas Abby specialises in portrait illustration incorporating hand drawn line work with texture, colour and a careful combination of negative and positive space.
With more illustrations coming soon (including an illustrated map of Upminster specially commissioned for us), its the perfect destination to find that unusual wedding present, special birthday gift or simply something unique and inspiring for your home. Framed Prices from £205.
All feedback would be much appreciated. Or any particular style you would like to create let me know and I will find it.
I’ve noticed as my daughter has reached the end of her infant school education how much her confidence has grown. She is top of her year, the oldest, more experienced in school life than her reception school mates.
With this comes the added confidence at home, the answering back, the ability to realise when she says no she can stand her ground and refuse to back down. I’ve found myself turning into my mother, phrases such as ‘Because I said so thats why’, ‘Wait until your dad gets home’. I’m starting understand my own mother more now than when I had no children.
My mother was taken from us by breast cancer when I was 21 before I had my daughter, so my motherhood has developed without her help or influence and it amazes me that I’m naturally doing the same things as she did with me when I was younger. One thing that does start to worry me is the mischief I got up to in my teenage years and at university, and I’ve still to reach that phase yet.. although I have a few years before we get there.
I’m grateful that my daughter still likes the park, an ice-cream and is currently counting how many sleeps until her birthday.. 46..
This mumsnet discussion on answering back definitely makes for an interesting read on the subject…
Lauren’s Marvellous Medicine has been set up to receive donations and fundraising, to go directly to Lauren to pay for her cancer treatment that due to various ‘red tape’, she does not “tick the right boxes” to automatically receive from the NHS.
At a recent school coffee morning we held at Upminster Infant School to raise funds for Lauren. It was a combined effort with St Joseph’s School in Upminster. All the mums who supported it were amazing an enormous amount of baked cakes and we managed to raise £996 for her cause.
I am pleased to say they have reached their first target of £25k for her treatment which will allow Lauren to start Avastin when the oncologist advises. We are now moving on to the next stage of fundraising to fund the second cycle of Avastin. This cause is very close to my heart we have both suffered from aggressive Breast Cancers, and have children the same age. She is a very humble and inspirational mum and I wish her all the best for her future.
Lots of events are being planned, please see her facebook page for more details:
This is surprisingly more difficult to think of than you would realise…
I would be one of those large fairground letters with the light lightbulbs on now used as a coffee table or art on the wall.Something that was once bright and lively now recycled into another creative purpose, still looking good but not so vibrant as it used to be!
What would you be?
I’ve recently started a Yoga class, after a 7 year break. I’d forgotten how important it is to look after your whole body and well being. A comment made by our teacher last week made me think, exercising our arms and shoulders he said ‘its important to move our whole body in many different directions as we get older we become more enclosed compared to when we are children we move and jump around the place much more freely.’
How true this is, when we are children we have far less to worry about, children run around, playing, dancing and chatting without thinking about consequences or what people think of them.
As we get older this free expression starts to get replaced with life’s anxieties, worries about what will be, what won’t be, what might happen. If not careful its easy to worry about all sorts of things that as children we wouldn’t of even thought of.
With the whole back to basics attitude that is currently sweeping the nation I take inspiration from my daughter who is happiest playing in the park and running around with her friends with her biggest worry being should we go on the swing or the slide next?
While I sit there thinking, is it gonna rain? what do we have for tea tonight? The sun’s out I better put suncream on my daughter and me! Did I remember to lock the back door?
I’m enjoying getting back into to Yoga, its nearly possible for a few hours to let go and not try to think of everything and everyone all the time.
Life seems so busy and so much to get done all the time, I fully intend to try and take time out more often, and just play for the sake of it. However this slightly backfired this week when for 2 days I didn’t get the washing up done and ended up on the third day eating my breakfast cereal in a kids plastic bowl with a tablespoon… classy!
Ok maybe just a little time off then, ignoring life doesn’t completely work…
Is average ok? I never used to think so, always aim high and be different, exciting. Normal is boring. If someone says you look nice, is this really a compliment or stating the fact that you neither look great or bad? Is an average life just better than a bad one?
I suspect it all comes down to balance, you need the bad to recognise the good and having too much of either isn’t good for anyone.
Average is the middle ground, its the calm, its the everyday. Average isn’t arrogant or showy, nor dramatic or violent, its not excessive in any direction. We are constantly told ‘moderation’ when it comes to alcohol, food, exercise and stress yet the pressure is there to be the best, the fastest, the biggest, the smallest the most famous??
I suspect much like the UK weather life is a mix, we enjoy and remember the great because we experience the bad. At what point can ok be great? It depends on your perspective, for my life right now its nice and average, after all my health dramas returning to the everyday feels great!