2013 – streamlining

2013 – another year & another new start.

First of I have to say a belated Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to everyone! Due to all sorts of reasons no blog writing was achieved over the festive period – sorry.

All the very best for a happy &healthy 2013!!

Having made many resolutions in the past which sadly have never come to fruition, this year I have made only one-

to have nothing in my life that I do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

A slight twist on the wise words of William Morris.

Luckily Amar, Emma, Alistair & Les Crouquets all fall into both of these categories so for the time being the family unit & our livelihood are safe. Other things less so.

amethyst & semi precious rocks

semi precious rocks - beautiful, so they'll stay!

Coming from a long line of hoarders & having more spare space at Les Crouquets than is good for me, this will not be an easy task.

Most things are potentially useful even if it’s not immediately apparent & you can bet on it that the minute I throw something out I will immediately remember the reason I kept it in the first place. As a result over time the luxurious 320m2 of barn space has gradually diminished.

Things left by the previous owners 7 years ago, stuff we embarrassingly paid removal firms good money to move twice & haven’t touched since, things I couldn’t decide what to do with at the time & more things I just couldn’t bear to part with in spite of not having a need for them anymore are all still languishing somewhere in this once vast cavernous space.

Part of this hoarding tendency stems from an even bigger desire not to add to the landfill pile. I can’t stand waste & will always recycle what I can.

Unfortunately the second hand market is not very well established here. One of the things I miss about home ( for in spite of being perfectly happy living here, Scotland will always be “home”!) is browsing through the 2nd hand book shops & charity shops, not so much for the chance of grabbing a bargain but more for the thrill of finding that special little treasure in the middle of another man’s junk, something with a past and a story to tell & which will never be seen in any of the High Street stores.

The great One Man's Junk moment!

Open a little parenthesis  – My Dad was very interested in history especially war history and one day decided he would like to read The Goebbels Diaries, written by Hitler’s propaganda minister.I set out to buy it for him but it was out of print and in spite of scouring all the specialist shops & leaving no stone unturned I couldn’t find it. The search was started anew every Christmas & birthday for years afterwards but all to no avail.My dad sadly passed away in 2001 never having got to read the book. Then in 2005 I was browsing in a second hand book shop in Innerleithen & there it was.The very book which had eluded me for well over 10 years with a newspaper clipping “bookmark” from 1978 reviewing the book . Of course I just had to buy it. I will probably never read it, it’s really not my thing, so it doesn’t fall into the useful category but the thrill of that special one man’s junk moment belongs very firmly in the beautiful category so the book will stay.I don’t think the French recycling system will ever offer me the same experience  – close parenthesis.

There seems to be a kind of suspicion about the whole process here & charity shops are few and far between. That said The Red Cross has just opened up in Salignac ( the 2nd & 4th Wed and Sat of every month, just to keep to the French tradition of making everything complicated!)so if I can just remember the dates I’ll check it out & see how it operates,hopefully not bringing back more than I take.

I did try freecycle.org but the whole of the Périgord Noir only has 25 members including me and right now has nothing at all to give or take. Maybe I could start a new trend.

But, back to the task in hand – just to make sure all this is not simply idle chat I think I should maybe put my neck on the line….

f the barn at Les Crouquets holiday cottages in the dordogne

Let the decluttering commence! One half of the upstairs barn with stuff left by the previous owners

part of the downstairs barn waiting to be decluttered

There, I’ve done it .I’ve gone public ( if only in a very small way!)  and will now have to face the humiliation if I don’t come back with a neater, more organized version of this same photo in a few posts time.Best to keep the exact deadline just a bit vague!

Amar’ s most definitely not a hoarder & will no doubt have a big part to play, directly or indirectly in this major decluttering project so maybe I’ll be reporting back sooner than I think!!




5 thoughts on “2013 – streamlining

  1. Good for you Elena, if you are expecting me to follow your example you may be disappointed.
    ps dont forget to check what’s in every box before you dispose of it- just remember what happened to me!! (lol)

  2. Elena, with all the amount of plates you have hold a Greek night for your pals (Me included !) eat off of them, then smash them on the floor, then to recycle them again run over them with the golf course roller and create some hardcore for building work or extra gravel, easy really !!

    • Happy New Year to you too!
      The plates were all collected from the gites when we first came here – don’t have enough of anything to make “proper” sets & I’ve been gradually making my through them ever since!! Think I’m going to have to stop now though as the pile never seems to go down!

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