Two In, Six Out.

For the first time in a long time I bought new clothes yesterday. I didn’t stick to my zero waste principles but I’ve given myself a pass because I’ve sent six items off to recycling and charity. I have many empty hangers and my wardrobe looks sparse. I’m wearing a new top right now and it sparks a lot of joy. I had been in a frump slump for some time, wearing the same things over and over, many of which were quite old and a little dated. I’ve decided on buying some more new things, things which I have spent time trying on and which I love, and which are a little more expensive than usual. It’s nice to wear something that’s up to date, and I think Marjorie would approve.

Since that post, I have worked on my physique, I have weeded out what I don’t like and I have stuck to my resolve in terms of buying. I have four pairs of flat shoes, two of which are a little uncomfortable and run down, and two of which are extremely comfortable and run down. I’m planning on getting rid of all of them as soon as I find one pair that’s comfortable and stylish.

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Two In, Six Out.

Marjorie Was The KonMari Of Her Day.

I think Marjorie gave us some of advice Marie Kondo is currently spreading around the world back in the 1930s. She tells us clutter is at outdated as modesty and that no one can live with musty heirlooms without becoming a bit musty herself. She advised that perhaps you didn’t need to spend a lot of money to improve your living quarters and that the best thing to do before opening your wallet was to clear out the clutter, give away the junk you don’t like and scrub the place clean. One of her cases like a ‘clean, scrubbed look’, a look to which I am becoming increasingly partial.

Our rooms are all painted the same colour and all our floors are wooden, which I love because they get dusty, you can see the dust and you can get rid of it. I tidied my bookshelves last night and the reorganisation resulted in more books going off to places new, discarding a few that were past any more rereads and more of a clean, scrubbed look overall. Marjorie cautioned us to keep our homes places to which we’d want to return, lest we succumb to having to decide Will I Or Won’t I, a problem which she says every woman has to settle for herself.

She’d agree with a lot of the current craze for minimalism and keeping only the things you love and which spark joy, even if she probably never considered that idea. She’d probably be more brusque and less sympathetic about why you’d want to keep something that looks like junk, but I think a ‘clean, scrubbed look’ is something many can relate to wanting.

Marjorie Was The KonMari Of Her Day.

When Life Hands You Lemons (And Leftover Egg Yolks)…..

I made a big pavlova for dessert over the weekend. It’s my failsafe, tried and tested dessert but the only problem is the leftover egg yolks that invariably end up going off in a jar in my fridge because I didn’t fancy carbonara within a day or two. This week I’m off work and, therefore, feeling, as Marjorie might have put it, a little domestic. I bought some lemons today and whipped up a big jar of lemon curd. It’s a delicious balance of sweet and sharp and the colour glows nicely. Yummy.

I use a similar recipe to this, but I always use whatever egg yolks I have and throw in one whole eggs. I learned the hard way this is not something to make in a rush. The slower you go, the better.

When Life Hands You Lemons (And Leftover Egg Yolks)…..

What Am I Saving This For?

Last year, I decided to save the money I’d usually spend on impulse clothes purchases and keep it aside as a lump sum to spend after a visit with a personal shopper. I dutifully stopped myself buying all the tempting bargains I’d usually give into and, in September, went along for my appointment. I was taking a hint from Marjorie.

I spent an hour and a half trying on clothes, some of which I loved on sight, others of which I hated and most of which were outside my comfort zone for reasons of colour, style or price. I ended up spending a lot of money on two skirts, a pair of black jeggings, a pair of jeans, several tops, a dress and a cardigan.

I’ve worn every single thing, with the exception of one blue top, countless times. The dress is something I wear at least once a week, usually more, the jeans are a staple and meant I ditched all but one of the other pairs I was indifferent about and all the tops and skirts are on heavy rotation for work, play and other occasions.

The one blue top is something I love, but never seem to wear, maybe because it feels a little too ‘dressy’ for work, yet doesn’t fire me up when I want to get dressed up for a night out, and until now I’d considered it too nice for ‘everyday’ wear. On Sunday I was looking for something to wear with the black jeggings and I pulled the top out and put it on.

Yes, it was dressy. Yes, it was too nice for ‘everyday’ wear. Yes, I said, yes, I will wear you today. It felt nice to put something that still feels new to me on, and feel a little bit overdressed for what turned out to be a day mainly spent reorganising two rooms and doing some serious decluttering.

So I’ve learned my lesson. Within reason, I’m going to wear the things I’ve been saving for ‘some day’ more regularly. It’ll mean some other things will get a bit more rest between wears and my wardrobe options have expanded without spending a penny.

What Am I Saving This For?

A Weekend During Which I Took To My Bed

I was poorly this past weekend. Nothing I can put my finger on but by Saturday afternoon my eyes were so tired I had to take out my contact lenses and Sunday consisted of lying prostrate on my incredibly comfortable bed, reading my ever expanding collection of Chalet School books and periodically enjoying tea and toast.

Marjorie is quite clear on what a lady should do when feeling unwell and illustrates same in her Cases. Lucky for me, I don’t live alone while trying to like it and my husband was a superb nurse. I’ve rallied since but my exercise regime has gone by the wayside for a few days now and getting to and from work is as energetic as I got today.

Thankfully, on arriving in work my spirits were lifted by a padded envelope on my desk, wherein was a copy of yet another Chalet School book I’d preordered from Girls Gone By. I must stop myself ordering any more until I’ve read my (slightly odd in terms of their ordering compared to the series numbers) latest pile. I will give a shout out to Encore Books though. Impressive service, right down to a refund on a delivery charge and a nice little message with the order docket. Will use again.

A Weekend During Which I Took To My Bed

Gumption. Or, in layperson’s terms, Getting on in the world.

Marjorie is pretty big on Gumption. It’s the kind of quality that you’ll know when you see it in action. For me, having gumption means not complaining about minor difficulties and reminding myself that certain problems are not that stressful in the grand scheme of things.

Work this week was long and tiring. So much so that I’ve broken one of our ‘good’ plates and let a few other necessities slide. And had far more coffee than is good for me. This morning I made myself go for a run, and I’ve been reaping the physical and mental benefits all day. I need to have more gumption about work. It really doesn’t dominate my life the way so many other people’s jobs seem to, and most of the time I don’t need to remind myself how lucky I am to work in an usual profession doing something most people who enjoy writing would love to do.

Gumption. Or, in layperson’s terms, Getting on in the world.

YOU’D BETTER SKIP THIS ONE…

… is Marjorie’s chapter on budgeting. She outlines a variety of her ‘cases’, some of whom fritter their money away, others of whom have various ways of making sure their money works for them. While I don’t have a budget for ice compared to the single ladies enjoying life in the 1930s, her stern approach rings true today. If you don’t know where you stand, life can be very difficult indeed.

I will freely admit I was better at handling my money when I had less of it to handle. When I was 15 I got regular babysitting jobs and when I turned 16 I got a proper part-time job and ever since then I’ve been in the working world. A little overspending caused me a lot of anxiety and I made a resolution to try much harder to acknowledge where my money was going.

I’m in the very fortunate position of not having to worry too much about how all the bills will be covered, but I sometimes wonder where my budgeting skills from leaner days have gone. One of my orchids is to make more of an effort to ensure that I stay on top on my money and, to paraphrase Marjorie, it’s less painful to know where you stand.

YOU’D BETTER SKIP THIS ONE…