reclaim your garden

Excess photo alert: the sun doesn’t often show his face around here!


Here in the UK the sun has been out for three whole days.  That is little short of a miracle and in true British fashion, the weather is pretty much the number one topic of conversation.  It is wonderful, I am a summer person, I hate wearing lots of clothes and can’t wait to be in flip flops loose tops and cut off trousers and leggings.  It certainly makes deciding what to wear in the morning much easier when you only need to wear two items!


Yesterday I took the day off, no work whatsoever.  I lay in the hammock all afternoon and read.  At the perfectly appointed time The Boss came out with a large glass of Pinot Gris.  At this point for fear of wasting the Pinot by inadvertently watering the grass with it I moved to the table and continued to read, sip and listen to the birdsong.


What has made this year in the garden so wonderfully easy is that we decluttered all the outbuildings two years ago.  We no longer have half a deckchair hanging around just in case.  Boxes of garden toys that the girls have grown out of have gone.  In fact yesterday morning the trampoline frame (the pad had long gone) was picked up by a chap who is going to use it to make a polytunnel (Freegle is wonderful for letting things go to new and better homes).  We now use our hammock and deck chairs, I sit out in the courtyard with a cup of tea, we play ping pong in the meadow.


Dolly enjoying a doze in the sun.

It is so easy to stuff seasonal things away where you can’t see them out of season, but then come summer (or winter and where are the snow chains?) and the effort of digging through all the rubbish is so depressing that it is easy to be tempted by those special offers and just go out and by some new chairs or ping pong bats.

Remember the Hanging Gardens of Brancepeth?  Now look at them.


It’s lovely out there, take advantage of that, clear out one bit of one garage/outbuilding/shed.  Reclaim your summer.

Love Gillie x

in only half a day….

How the mighty are fallen.  Operation Purge 2013 went remarkably well.  The house has taken on a new lease of life, I am loving my considerably more modest wardrobe and even the Christmas decorations were cut by half and rehomed this year.

But, and there is always a “but”.  Not all is quite as it seems.  First I have purged more books but haven’t got around to taking them up to Gateshead.


Then there is the “stuff that must go to auction”.  There is also the “stuff for charity that has been collected since Christmas” and finally there is the “stuff in the outbuildings”.  The latter is the most scary.

Regular nagging by the Singers (who are keen for us to tidy up and move to somewhere that is within  a day’s walking distance to a bus stop) was starting to get on my nerves.  Hadn’t they noticed quite how much had been done already, didn’t they  notice that I did have other jobs other than chief clutter cutter?  However, they were right.

So today we:

  • Booked a visit from the auction house;
  • Booked a skip for the stuff that just can’t go anywhere else;
  • Sorted auction and charity to either side of the Gin Gan;


The current charity pile

  • Dismantled the broken ping pong table (and no it’s not repairable we have tried several times) and collected all the garden rubbish for a bonfire;
  • Emptied COMPLETELY two outbuildings;
  • Put a whole load of stuff of Freegle.

IMG_1212[1]Rollerblades anyone?

It is only 3.00pm, we didn’t start until 11.00 and we stopped for lunch.  We are not whirling dervishes, and we had regular tea breaks.  See it doesn’t have to take all day, look how much we achieved in just half a day.  Granted we had a head start in that for the most part we were just sorting stuff that had already been designated in the out pile, but we had put it off for so long because it seemed too much to face.  And it wasn’t

What have you been putting off?