We’re off to France soon. I was at home today so able to get a lot of preparations done. First on my list was going through our perishable food and using as much of it as possible, so we have dinners and lunches for the next week all sorted. We’ll bring whatever’s left with us, either to eat on the ferry (given that the food on board hasn’t really been worth the money we’ve paid for it) or during our holiday.
Last year, I realised for the money we spent on hot drinks on the ferry we could have bought a kettle and made our own, much nicer, tea and coffee in our cabin. Today I bought the smallest ‘proper’ kettle I could find, having researched travel kettles and rejected them on the grounds of cost and being far too small. We’ll bring cups with us and bypass the disposable cups I still feel guilty about using last year.
I’m bringing cloth wipes and tea towels with us, as I ended up using far too many paper towels last year. You live, you learn. Ditto bringing our own containers for the supermarket, and we hope to hit the local markets for plastic wrapping free produce.
I need this holiday very badly. Planning is all part of the fun.
It’s Pride … week? I didn’t know it was a week until I looked it up.
It’s two years since I voted for equality for my gay citizens.
It’s 34 years since Ireland voted to make me equal to a zygote.
We have a gay Taoiseach.
He doesn’t seem to think abortion is a class issue when the truth is rich women like me who can travel have better access to it than others.
I don’t want to detract from the progress we’ve made since I was a child.
But, sometimes it’s hard to feel proud of Ireland, or loved by it.
Getting home early from work and being able to enjoy a walk after dinner.
Planning for all kinds of future possibilities.
A friend in work getting two madeleines from a cafe and generously passing one onto me to enjoy with my coffee.
18 days to holidays.
Washing fresh from the line, ready for ironing. I love ironing.
My actual wardrobe, that is, not the clothes and accessories therein. I don’t love our fitted wardrobes. They came with the house and they aren’t a layout I would choose. They take up an entire wall of our bedroom, yet we don’t seem to have enough storage. There are no drawers, only shelves and oddly positioned hangers. We cannot justify the expense and bother of changing them because they are perfectly fine and don’t cause a huge amount of stress or thought.
I’ve been rearranging the wardrobes since we moved in last year, never to my complete satisfaction. Today I had some time to spare and tackled them again. I removed a couple of hanging rails and put an old Ikea Expedit 2×2 cube unit in their place inside the wardrobe, thereby giving myself some extra storage options and creating a nice spot for my handbags and jewellery box. This meant freeing up some shelves, and was a good opportunity to put some rarely used things (like the heated rollers that spark some joy but I last used on New Year’s Eve) in the less accessible spots.
I reorganised our shoes so they’re all in one spot and I sorted through my husbands suits and shirts, matching pants to jackets and putting some winter things elsewhere. We can now squeeze our linens for our holiday into the bottom of his wardrobe and free up space in our spare bedroom.
I still don’t love the wardrobe but in the spirit of Konmari, I thanked it for its service and I do appreciate that this is the kind of thing I can spend my time doing on a beautiful summer day.
The Vermeer exhibit and seeing just how amazing art can be in sculptural form.
Hot weather for two days, resulting in BBQs, meals out, coffees under our browning lilac tree and general good form.
Fishing tops out of a bag destined to the recycling bin and deciding they need to be back in rotation as part of my no clothes buying until further notice decision.
Geraniums I had written off but replanted in the hope they’d surprise me blooming into life.
Looking forward to a hot shower at the end of a hot day. Bliss.
I ordered a box of vegetables and a large fruit bag from a farm delivery service. I’ve ordered before and to be quite honest I have never been 100% happy with the price and quantity, but I have given it a chance because the food is organic, comes with minimal packaging that can be returned and often throws up unusual options I can’t get unwrapped in local shops.
This week, I felt a little ripped off with the fruit. It is nice fruit, but it is expensive. Like, really expensive – I could have bought twice the amount if I had decided non-organic and packaged food was perfectly fine. It’s hard to reconcile spending so much on so little, when there are other alternatives.
Today I went to Lidl and Aldi for the first time in a long time – I had time on my hands so this was a good use of it. I got organic milk and meat (in packaging which may or may not be recyclable, I need to check). I got a lot of (non-organic) fruit and some minimally wrapped vegetables. I bit the bullet and stocked up on some plastic packed pulses and nuts because, to be honest, the prices were very low compared to other options. And I stocked up on organic porridge oats in paper wrapping and passata in glass jars.
I unpacked everything and pondered on my purchases. It is really hard to actively choose to spend more money to buy anything loose when the quality is comparable. I like to support small businesses and organic farming and sustainability. However, the costs are something that’s certainly got to be factored in. I want to spend less, save more, and achieve financial security in the least amount of time possible. I want to be a good citizen and a responsible consumer.
It shouldn’t be one or the other. It’s really annoying when you’re left to choose between the organic fruit and vegetables wrapped in plastic and the ‘normal’ stuff that’s not creating waste in my bin. I have to wonder why the organic bananas need to be wrapped in plastic but the ‘normal’ ones don’t.
It is really frustrating to be weighing up the relative merits of every choice. I know it is an absolute privilege to have the time and head space to do so, and I am thankful every day for being lucky enough to be able to make these choices.
Last year I bought an Instax camera on impulse. I loved it. It came on holidays with us and I enjoyed having Real Photos instead of who knows how many digital images that would probably never see the light of day. Then, disaster struck. It was dropped on our tiled kitchen floor and the plastic bits at the front popped out. I scooped up everything, popped the bits and camera into a ziplock bag, shoved it in a cupboard and then told myself to get the camera fixed every time I opened said cupboard and saw the bag.
This week, I had some spare time before work so I popped along to the camera shop where I bought it and asked about having it fixed. I was told it was probably not worth it, based on the cost involved, and I accepted that, put everything bag in the ziplock bag, put the bag in my handbag and went on my way. The bag haunted me on my bedside table this week, a table I like to keep clear or with only a book or two and a lamp on it.
Tonight, I looked at the bag, took the pieces out and thought to myself that even though I am no engineer and have very little patience surely it couldn’t be that complicated. When himself came home, I handed him a project after dinner. Some 15 minutes later, our beloved Instax was back in business, the proof of which was an extremely unflattering picture of the two of us.
I am going to try to make do and mend more. I have a terrible weakness when it comes to waiting for things. I want them here and I want them now, and the monetary cost is usually something I’ve been willing to put up with. I need to pause, look, think and act in a more considered way. I have a working camera now. And I love my husband.