Tuesday, 1 August 2006

Paring Down For Summer

This coming Saturday, I have to work all day, and then go from work to the wedding reception of dear Carl’s cousin. And really, truly, in my wardrobe, not a thing to wear!

I am sure you will appreciate the horror of that situation- and I have tried, I really have, to rectify it. I just could not find a thing, anywhere. I have been out every lunch hour for a week, and been thwarted at every turn. So at last, I appealed to Carl to take me to Mattalan- I had never ever been before, but a friend suggested it, so away we went.

Oh, I am so glad I did! I got a new dress for the wedding, a set of new underwear to go with the dress, a fabulous pink enamel colander (somehow the pasta tastes better!) and a gorgeous ironing board cover- all for £26!

I was also really excited by their homewear section. Wonderful vintage floral style duvet covers, a good Nigella-a-like kitchen range…and all…so cheap!

I don’t know if it is the horrors in Lebanon, or just the few cool crisp mornings I have been lucky enough to enjoy, but my nesting instinct is kicking in right now. I find myself planning my Seasonal Scrub. For anyone who doesn’t know, go to www.brocantehome.com and look in the archive for round about last September. It is the most marvellous spring clean in that you do September time to get yourself all ready to nest up for the autumn.

Yes I know it is far too hot and early to be Autumn yet, but….I have a lot of clutter. And the one rule of the Seasonal Scrub (apart from pouring oneself a large gin and tonic at the end) is that it is about cleaning, not decluttering. Magazines are my own downfall. Of course there are some (Martha Stewart Living) that I cannot part with, but a lot of the others, I am going to be ruthless with, and tear out pages that I want to keep, and get rid of the rest. Then come autumn when the nights are for cozying inside, I am going to trim them nicely, sort them out, and make myself lovely scrapbooks of articles and recipes and interviews.

So August for me is going to be my month of decluttering in preparation for the seasonal scrub. Nothing too strenuous, it is too hot for that. Just a gentle paring down, which I think suits summer somehow. I shall also plan my Seasonal Scrub, and even better, start to plan my post-scrub treats.

You see, once all the scrubbing and cleaning is done, each room gets some kind of tiny lovely treat. Last year the bedroom had a new scented candle; the kitchen a week’s worth of new tea towels- fresh flowers for the living room, and a luxurious bubble bath for the bathroom.

This year, I know I fancy a slow cooker for the kitchen (more of an extravagance than usual I know, but I love the idea of coming home to dinner cooked) and also a new oven glove. I have those fabulous tea towels that are blue with pink roses on, and I want an oven glove to match. For the living room, perhaps a throw and some cushion covers for the sofa, in soft snugly shades of cream and chocolate brown. (Mattalan here I come!) For the bedroom I am not too sure yet- perhaps I will find a soft old blanket to make hot water bottle covers from. And for the bathroom, a soft new math mat.

These, along with my glass of gin and tonic will be my ‘carrots’ to get all the work done. My little treats to save up for and source and look forward to.


Daisy Lupin said...

Oh you just cannot beat matalan for imitations of better products I got some beautiful kitchen casseroles, and quiche dishes in the same duck egg blue as Nigella's stuff. Love primark too for cheap and cheerful jewellery you can play about with and the larger primark's sell good cheap bedding, throws and candles. YOu can't those two shops and charity shops. I have read a few Rebecca Shaw's they really are a lovely soothing quick read.

Midori said...

I used to have a slow cooker and it was totally marvellous. As I am currently without one (but adoring to use my large Le Creuset casserole), I make at least double portions portions on a sunday and then reheat on a Monday. Sometimes the reheated version is better!

I also have folder for recipes and magazine articles, but I've had to restrict my self to the really useful ones or my folders would be over flowing!

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