We’ve been giving the house a good clean today. The sun has shone and the windows are wide open. We’re both out for hours every day and the house is shut up with the pets in it. It gets a bit……you know…….funky! Our sofas are nearly ten years old and they too are getting a bit………..well, dare I say it? Fusty. I use upholstery cleaner every so often and it freshens them up but they are showing signs of age.
Everything else in our house is second hand and looking a bit faded. I’m shopping around the car boot sales and second hand shops for a few bits and pieces to snazz the place up. I’m bidding on an arm chair on ebay (max price £8!) and I’ll keep my eyes open for bits and pieces to make the place more homely. Nonetheless, if you’ve ever seen ‘How clean is your house?’ with Kim and Aggie, you will know that a good old clean up can make a house look brand new.
Today, I’ve cleaned out the Dyson with warm soapy water and that smells sweeter. I’ve washed the broom, the dust pan and brush and fitted a new mop head. We’ve mended the curtains, where the hem had come down and the curtain hooks were missing. We’ve tidied out the utility room and sorted all of the recycling. We’ve washed the cushion covers and they are blowing in the breeze.
We are making do with everything we have even though I could happily replace the lot of it! I could easily get on the Internet and order new covers for my sofas, a nice rug, some paint for the walls and a few pictures and they in time will need replacing. I know this all sounds stoical and self righteous but it’s too easy to live for what you can buy and too easy to live for what is just momentary and transient. I stopped shopping in 2008 and the second anniversary of not buying anything new has passed (other than underwear, toiletries and essentials for work) and I’ve not looked back. What started as a social experiment has now become a way of life.
I was not so honest in my blog yesterday. I had a hard time in Tavistock. Wealth, conspicuous consumerism, wall to wall posh cars and four by fours were every where. There are truly fantastic local businesses selling food and needed goods but there was a proliferation of kitch, ‘shabby-chic’ and ‘design’ for self and homes. Other than what I saw in the grocers window, I couldn’t see the need for any of it. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed mooching around the charity shops and the pannier market and the scenery and architecture of the place was just beautiful, but the trinkets and tit bits just made me feel giddy with its ‘plushness’.
At heart, I’m just a simply country girl who knows the most beautiful thing in my house is the view of the countryside from my windows. The greatest treasures I have can’t be bought. My furniture may have seen better day and the house might be a bit fusty and out of date but it’s what I have and I’m glad I’m making do and mending. I got off the consumer merry go round and I never want to get back on it again.