Sunday, 15 May 2011

what I don't do

Ooh, just look at those scrummy redcurrants, all waiting to ripen!

My mum's been visiting this weekend, and we've spent almost all of the weekend in the garden. It was starting to feel a little overwhelming, but a weekend's work has sorted that out, and it feels half manageable again now, although there's still plenty to do.

Stupidly, I didn't take many 'before' photos, and now it's gone all gloomy so my 'after' photos all look like 'before' photos anyway...

In fact, I debated whether to share these at all, they're so uninspiring! And I do like to be inspired when I look back over my little blog.

But then I got to thinking that the reason I started blogging in the first place was to share photos of my garden as it changed over the seasons, and if I was only going to share pretty photos, then I wasn't going to share many photos at all, because my garden mostly *isn't* pretty...

And then I got to thinking about something I've been thinking about a lot lately, about how I witter on here and elsewhere about what I've been up to, and post photos of cakes I've made, and things I've knitted, and that, along with how I'm pretty good at spouting off with life changing advice for other people, sometimes gives people the impression that I'm up to something exciting all the time.

It all came to a head when I read this the other day - goodness knows how I ended up over there, but I did, and I read lots of people's lists about things they *don't* do.

So, for the record, here's some of the things that I *don't* do (and this is by no means an exhaustive list):

* I don't iron.
* I don't change the bed every day. Or even every week.
* I don't have a very clean and tidy house. There's one room I can barely get through the door of.
* I don't always remember people's birthdays
* Sometimes, even when I do remember, I don't get round to doing anything about it for ages (oh dear, this is the worst one!)
* I don't watch much tv
* I don't clean the car, ever
* I don't replace things when they break
* I don't go abroad for holidays. Not a big decision, I just generally don't
* I don't keep on top of the garden as much as I should

I'd best stop there before I start making myself feel bad!

I'm writing this list, not to beat myself with, and not because I think I give the impression that I have such a fabulous life, but as a reminder that sometimes we have more choice about how we spend our time than we might think we do.

Looking at my list gives myself permission to remember that I have choices about how I spend some of my time. If I'm tempted to feel bad because my house isn't as tidy as someone else's, or my vegetables are still all crowded in little tiny pots on the windowsill when they should be in the garden, I can remember that I threw the duster to the wind, left the seedlings to fend for themselves, and went for a bike ride instead.

So, if someone brings up even the (completely laughable) possibility of me washing the car, I will always think 'what else could I do with this time?'

Invariably, I think of something else I'd rather be doing.

Which is why my car is rather grubby, and I bake quite a lot of cakes.


Anyway, as if you needed yet more evidence of how I'm not the perfect gardner, take a look (peeking through hands over your eyes if you like, which is what I'm doing) at this...

Bleurgh! Concrete and rubble, and a whole load more work left to do! Pah!

Still, one day soon I'll be sitting on top of all that, drinking tea and eating more of those cakes, and all this will be a distant memory.

Let's hope it's *very* soon...


  1. Nice rockery :)

    Your list is almost identical to mine. As long as what you aren't doing doesn't affect your ability to get done the stuff you want to do, then it doesn't really need doing anyway.

    Erm, also, are we meant to change the bed every day? Is that the done thing? I fear I was raised by wolves...

  2. Are you me?!

    Aurora - there was a huge debate a while back on a forum that both Jenni & I (and maybe even you!) frequent - it turns out that people change their beds anything from once a day (they were pretty smug, those folk) to once a month (I will admit that one made even me go "urgh!") - I think the average was once a month - once a fortnight.

  3. Pah to ironing I say. Since I moved to the country David has taught me that ironing is for city girls. Who needs to iron a tshirt. I dont iron. Much of my list is similar to yours. As for changing beds daily, well I had enough of that when I was married to the twin of the man from Sleeping with the Enemy but a MONTH - yes urgh. Still I dont judge anybody where housework is concerned each to their own. Like the sign says if the house is spotless then a pretty boring person lives there!

  4. What a fantastic post!

    I may even nick it although my don't do list involves alot of yours!!

    I think the key is how you spend your time and get rid of guilt for it - its not required.

    Maybe I shouldn't do guilt anymore - how uplifting would that be? Imagine a world without guilt - I can hardly think of it!

    Great progress in the garden - the seedlings will wait until theres a day when a bike ride is impossible and they will be set free - they won't mind, mine aren't minding being neglected whilst I try and finish up my writing!

    Viva la 'don't do' list - :) If you see it on my blog - you'll know you've inspired me!

    Change the bed once a day, oh my. If only there were that many hours in the day and to be that bored that you only thought of that to do!

    But I guess we're all different.

    My grass is half mowed (I got bored)
    My veggie bed is half made (I ran out of time)
    My seedlings are locked in thier tiny pots too
    My dog is often slightly neglected due to work
    My house is 'interesting' and I can't remember the last time I bribed a child to hoover.#

    :) brilliant post daffy!!!

  5. Oh goodness I thought I had written that post and put it on your blog by mistake. I always think if you don't dust this week, you can do two weeks worth next week for the same effort as one.

  6. Sooooo glad it's not just me! :) :)