Stuff and that.

Stuff. And yeah. That

Dining Room Diaries – Day Five

Yes, I know I talked about a week last time I wrote – but this is officially the fifth day of looking out the window from my dining room. Today is also the day the kids finished school. For the holidays. Allegedly. Today is also the day my Cleaning Fairy popped us on hold for the duration, and the day my Pilates class got cancelled.

I’m a bit sad.

On the positive side, the Ironing Fairy picked up, and while it might be for the last time, at least I will have smooth clothes for the next week or two. Which brings me to tonight’s topic of discussion.

What does one wear to work when work is the dining room table?

Now, in the past, I’ve always dressed for work to work from home. Not full on fancy with tights and face on and all, but I am dressed in work clothes, and a proper shirt and my hair is dried and I look professional. But this time, dressing properly only lasted til Wednesday. I was in shorts and t-shirt on Thursday and Friday. I’m still trying to work out a routine where I can get at least one decent walk in before I start work; eat a sensible breakfast, do a tiny bit of housework, and still “get to work” at 9am. Sounds easy, but yeah, still getting kids up and getting side tracked by The Shiny… But bloody hell, getting dressed is becoming an exercise in futility. (Also, sadness impacts upon my sartorial decision making. Perhaps I need a kaftan. Or a mu mu?)

Before the world stopped yesterday evening, I went for breakfast with ma homies. I have been having breakfast once a month with a bunch of girlfriends for 16 years. It’s a bit of a habit. Anyway, we went out for breakfast, did the social distancing thing, then I ran a couple of errands… I walked past Peter Alexander – or is it the “Working from Home Uniform Shop”? I do like my pajamies. But if I wear them all day, what would I change into when I finish work for the day?

It’s also starting to get a bit cooler… I had to put the heater on this morning. So, does that mean trackies are appropriate for work? They’re more formal than pjs, and I can still downgrade to pjs when I finish work? And they’re definitely more formal than the exercise tight? Jeans suck after a while. They dig and they poke and they’re singularly unpleasant to sit around in for hours at a time.

Of course, I still have the outstanding issue of no appropriate work trousers that I may have mentioned previously. I was planning to get some made in time for winter – but that’s not going to happen now. How can one have one’s inner leg measured whilst leaving an acceptably social distance? Once these shenanigans abate, I will be hastening rather swiftly into the trouser making establishment to remedy this situation; however, in the mean time… I have no fucking warm pants.

Four weeks at home with no pants. I’m only going to be video conferencing. Who will know, gentle reader, who will know.

The Dining Room Diaries – Week One

Evening, Viewers. How’s your week been? Shit has started to get a bit surreal. I mean, the panic buying and whole toilet paper thing is bizarre enough, but there’s other stuff going on as well. We threw a party last weekend for 150 of our closest friends and fam – it was epic. Everyone was partying like they would never see each other for months. If the party was this weekend, we would have had to cancel. So, maybe they were right?

And there’s been rumour after rumour that school was going to finish early or the holidays were going to go later or something and maybe workplaces might, you know, let everyone work from home. So, I ducked out and panic bought a couple of things for the just in case, like an extra monitor and a decent wireless keyboard with a number pad because I was working from home that day anyway, and seriously, excel is an arsehole at the best of times, let alone on a 14″ screen.

Then people started throwing words around like social distancing and isolation and quarantine. Then it happened. Probably a good idea to take your stuff home. Make sure your numbers are updated. And next thing you know, I’m no longer a boring office clerk. Well. I was never that, but hey. Now, I’m a boring dining room clerk.

I’ve always quite enjoyed working from home. Most of the time, though, it’s been because I’ve had something on I need to deal with in the middle of the day. So, I start nice and early, set up my laptop on a couple of cookbooks and work solidly for a couple of hours, do my thing, work the rest of the day and chuck my laptop back in my bag and my fat cookbooks back on the shelf. And job is done. But this is going to be for a month. And we’ve never seen or done anything like this before. Ever.

Crikey.

Plan is this – I’m going to jot down my thoughts about working from home long term, and document vaguely and in a half-arsed fashion how I manage working full time, and do school at home for a couple of teenagers, one of whom is in his final year of high school… Yeah, not thinking too much about THAT side of things. Ahem. Living history at the moment, so should record it. So here we are…

Anyway.

The Dining Room Diaries – Week One.

There’s a lot to be said for the Dining Room – I have a lovely view of the street and the trees, and the middle aged blokes who have suddenly taken up a morning constitutional that involves huffing and puffing up the hill. If I turn my head the right way, I get a glimpse of the bay. Lovely. At work, I look at two car parks.

The Table itself is quite splendid – it’s very big and has more than enough room for me to spread out all over. Which I do. I am not a tidy person. I like to see all the things. It’s big enough that I can see all the things. My desk at work is quite small. I have things like plants and piles of journals and random bits of crap that I need then lose under layers of paper.

And coffee is like ten steps away. And it’s proper coffee. And it’s free. AND it’s in a proper china cup. Oh, and snacks. There’s snacks. That are also free. And my co-worker is adorable, makes sure I get up every half hour or so to open and close the door for her, and she never lets me eat all the snacks. She’s also quite keen on a walking meeting or two. (Although our last walking meeting ended up with someone needing a night in hospital. Ahem. That will teach someone to eat things that aren’t supposed to be eaten.)

It’s also quite peaceful. I pop the radio on when I start work for a bit of background noise, and aside from that, it’s just me swearing at excel and the doggie making huffy puffy noises when she wants to go look at the possums.

I’m still in contact with my colleagues all the time – we’ve discovered video chats and the internal messenger service that we never used, so there’s plenty of social contact, and plenty of social distance.

But there’s a couple of downsides as well…

  1. I’m suddenly missing around two hours of incidental exercise every day. That’s quite a lot. I’m no longer walking to and from work, I take ten steps for my coffee, rather than walking to the cafe. And my lunch breaks at home have so far involved folding things and putting things away.
  2. My sedentary office job was nowhere near as sedentary as I thought… I’d wander off to the kitchen to fill my water bottle, go talk to someone for five minutes about something or other, walk around the block to nut out a problem… Now I really do sit on my arse all day.
  3. To work from home properly, you need quite a lot of shit. I’ve got a second monitor, a table whatsis to pop my laptop on, and my monitor is on a couple of cook books. I do have a fancy arse office chair, and an ergonomic mouse. Plus all the notebooks and pens and crap.
  4. I can’t print from my work laptop. I have to email it to my phone and print it from there. Or, send it via my ‘printing mule’ (thanks Reg!!!) ready for the next day. I am an analogue thinker. I print a LOT.
  5. I’ve refused to hotdesk on principle for quite a long time – it’s been proven to ruin creativity and well, it’s actually a breeding ground for disease (ew). Now I am at home though, I’m camped on the Dining Table. The Dining Table is a fucking dining table. Sometimes we eat there. Sometimes we do craft there. Sometimes Reg looks at his computer there. The dining table is highly contested real estate. I need to pack up every night.
  6. Fuck, that’s annoying
  7. Maybe the real reason I hate hotdesking is because I am too lazy to pack my shit up every night.

Anyway, this week has all been about learning what I can do from home and what I need to do to adapt so I can do the rest of it. Like printing. And I’ll know by the end of next week what’s happening with the kids.

So there you have it. One week down…Moderately socially distanced, I’m physically interacting with around ten people each day instead of 30+. Not mad. Yet.

D-day minus a couple of days or something

Well, hasn’t the world just gone tits up in the last couple of weeks…


Now, I lived through the whole Y2K bug thingame whatsis twenty years ago (was it really that long ago?) and yeah, I was all totes whatevs about the whole thing and the sum total of my preparation was buying a single eight-pack of candles on New Years Eve on the off chance the power went out. I did use a couple of the candles a few years later when the power actually *did* go out, and the rest got chucked in my Kon Mari frenzy because they got a bit bent and broken over time.

Even back then, there was a little bit of a panic but people stocked up on bottled water and a few dry goods and yeah, she’ll be right mate. None of this building toilet paper castles surrounded by tinned tomato moats. Seriously, though. HOW MUCH TOILET PAPER does one household actually need? No, serious question. We use between two and four rolls a week for four of us, depending on who’s home and you know, other variables. So, a box of 24 extra long rolls will last us for fucking AGES. Eight to 12 weeks. That’s enough. Now, I’m a person who had a bit of a – shall we say phobia – about running out of the foldy white stuff, and I did have to stage an intervention on myself when I realised my stockpile was erm 60 rolls. I now have a TP delivery service and I never run out. Even in a crisis. But I cannot for the life of me understand why on earth the first thing everyone thought of when they heard they might be locked in for a couple of weeks was “fuck, better get a truck load of poo tickets in then”.

I sorta wonder whether some smart arse in the media department somewhere took a pic of a chap who say, had one of those little convenience stores, or a family motel – somewhere where they buy their bog rolls from the supermarket anyway. And this chap had half a dozen 30 packs piled up in the trolley as one would, if one was running a convenience store or motel, and aforementioned smart arse has gone all “ZOMFG LOOKIT THE PANICSSSSSSSSSS” and the rest is fucking history.

Anyway, I’m all set for the crap wrap, but I figure I really should stock up on a couple of bits and pieces, so I start to do my Doomsday Prepping grocery shop. This consists of me thinking errrrrrrm. What will I run out of in a week, I’ll get two. Ticking along nicely until I kept trying to add self raising flour onto my order. Out of stock. Those panickers need self raising flour? What on earth for? My little supermarket has a minimalist baking section because no fucker near where I live fucking bakes. I have to go further afield to get some random stuff I’m after. Flour section is empty. And yeast. Who else buys yeast? Three supermarkets for bakers flour (it has more protein and is better for bread. I am not a total wanker) and FOUR to get two fucking packets of SR flour and a thingy of yeasy.

So yeah, I’m set. I have meat, I have vegetables, the fruit shop reckons they’ll have fresh stuff on an ongoing basis, so eh, that’s alright. I’ve got ingredients, so I can make fancy stuff, so we will not starve. But I give you the tip, the vibe is fucking WEIRD. It’s like Christmas Eve in the food shops, New Years Eve at the bottle shop and 5pm Sunday afternoon everywhere else.

And people are being complete and utter guttersnipes. I want to use a stronger word here, you know which word I mean. You can replace in your head when you read. But, I saw a grown arse woman rip shreds off a wee lass behind the counter at the bakery because she didn’t have what Karen wanted. Now, Karen, it was less than 15 minutes until closing time. I didn’t expect her to have what I wanted at quarter to quitting time. That poor kid. Seriously. Nobody deserved that level of arseholery. And a complete and utter moron at the supermarket screeching at the manager because he could only buy ONE what ever it was. He only left because the manager called the fucking POLICE. To a supermarket. Because he couldn’t buy two packets of tic tacs or something else he already had thirty packets of at home.

Fuck. Be nice to each other.

Changing shit up.

I’ve been giving myself a few long hard talks lately. The kind of talks that end up with eye rolls and shifting from one foot to the other and loads of sighing and whining incessantly about how my life sucks and I’m bored and I’m totally a whiny arsed fourteen year old girl stuck in the body of a middle-aged woman.

I do have Staff for the boring bits of housework, like, the actual cleaning and the ironing. But the cleaning fairy doesn’t do the fucking washing, or tidy up the linen cupboard, or plan the meals or do the groceries. That’s still all down to me. I mean, the fam does a bit, but it’s mostly down to me to at least organise even if I don’t do all of it. But I am a true Queen of Procrastination and I’d rather fuckarse about with my phone or whinge to my friends than actually do the shit I need to do. Which is all very well, except that yeah. I still need to do the shit I need to do.

So, enough of the whining, and more of the pulling my finger out of my self-indulgent arse and even more of the just fucking DO it. Because, you know, most of the time, it takes a lot less energy and effort to just do it, cross the fucking thing off the list, and move onto the next item. Rinse and fucking repeat. Ad nauseam.

My just fucking do it approach to life seems to be paying off… Sort of. Life seems to be meandering along in a marginally less fucked up, slightly more organised kind of way. We’re still eating at stupid late o’clock, and I’m still going to bed even later. BUT… The dry washing is folded and mostly away; dinner has in fact been cooked every night. Take away only occurs when I plan it, and not because I forgot there were SEVEN dinners required in a week, and not, you know. Five. Or sometimes four. Dishes are done and bills are paid more or less on time. Give or take a day or two.

Work is even going orright for a change of pace. Like – actually getting shit done kind of orright. And by change of pace, I mean work is ticking along at a speed that is comfortable instead of insane. Although yeah, have to stop with the leaving at 6pm (that totes does NOT contribute to the eating fucking late and going to bed fucking later. Totally. Not. Probably. Um. Yeah.) I don’t seem to be able to get there on time, but in all honesty, that’s probably a side effect of not going to bed until fucking midnight half the time. And despite my protestations of never a-fucking-gain, wrote a paper. Now, that is in the lap of the gods, but still. On top of all that, I’ve been reading and cooking and doing stuff that’s sorta fun instead of filling my weekend with resentful housework. And I entered a writing competition. Actually did it. Instead of just thinking about it.

I got a multi-cooker for Christmas, so I’ve been learning how to use it. Chocolate puddin all round thank yer mother for the rabbits and that’s all she wrote. And you know those Woollies vegetables last year? Well. I grew beetroots and radishes and lettuces. I did kill a fair few things, but I’ve got a lot of spares to try again once the fucking cucumber dies a natural death. We got this thing called a vegepod, and man, best idea ever. Although carrots fucking suck to grow. Apparently, they grow them in sand and in pipes. Not actually straight in the ground. They taste good, even if you can’t peel the bastards.

Also, one only needs ONE cucumber plant. Not four. I have made cucumber relish and pickled cucumbers and every time people leave my house, they leave with a cucumber in one hand and a jalapeno in the other. Because, while I did only plant one chilli plant, it’s enjoying life in the Pod. A lot. Damn shame the damn cucumber has strangled the capsicum. And the strawberries have mould issues. I shall google it.

Last month, I cooked at least four or five new recipes. That never happens. I also read EIGHT books. That also never happens. Nice mixture of new and old and crime and not and actual books and non-fiction which I also don’t read. And the writing competition, well. Not a hope in hell of winning a prize or anything, because well. Srs competition. Although I did read last year’s winners…

So, I’ve cooked and I’ve read heaps and I’ve written stuff and I’ve grown stuff and I’ve done loads of crochet, and I’ve done the fucking housework. Like a grown up. Who would have thought? Also, who would have thought I could fit so many fucking swears in one less than one thousand word essay.

Stuff.

I haven’t been blogging much lately. No real reason, and my head is full of half started bits and bobs that I’ve not had the energy to convert to something worth reading. Like the Pants Situation. That’s the one where I found some Perfect Pants, disposed of ALL of the less than perfect pants to homes anew, then the allegedly Perfect (but actually complete and utter fuckers) Pants shrank. Did get my money back, but am left pantsless. Which wouldn’t be an issue if we were actually having a normal spring/summer rather than the fuck it’s cold I wish I had pants season we’re currently enjoying. So hey, I look professional from the waist up. And chilly below.

And the follow on from the Winter Clothes Kon Maudy business. That’s the one where I discover that I don’t really have enough “summer” tops if it does actually warm up. This leaves me with another quandary – primarily because I can’t find anything I like that isn’t ridic expense, and I’ll be buggered if I spend $60 on a fucking cotton t-shirt. And after previous Kon Maudy experiences, I’m not buying shit because it will do and it’s better than nowt. But the half arsed spring/summer we’re managing means I am surviving. Did have a Wardrobe Emergency the other day. Well, wasn’t actually a wardrobe emergency, more a trusted the weather forecast combined with the work air-conditioning set on Antarctic instead of Ambient. Easy mistake to make, apparently. Ended up with a new cardy and another long sleeved shirt (oops). Cardy is good (wearing it now. Think it’s down to less than $10 a wear. It will be free by the end of summer). Long sleeved shirt in white and linen. Can’t go wrong really.

So there’s an update on my wardrobe in two paragraphs. More than enough. I have been a tiny bit more stressed than normal lately, too. Just a tiny bit. Lots of stuff that is out of my control going on. While I can control how I react to things, when there’s lots and lots and lots of things that need controllable reactions… to be honest, it’s easier to just run around in circles flapping my hands and yelling fuck you all you fuckers and hide under the doona with a good book and hope all the stuffs goes away.

Coincidentally, one thing I have actually been doing a LOT of is in fact reading. Over the last few years, I’ve managed to read somewhere between 20 and 30 books each year. This is a complete travesty, as BC (before childerbeasts) I would read somewhere between two and four books a week (even while studying and working full time); and if I was going on The Holidays, minimum requirement for a week away was ten books. Over the last few years, I’d be lucky to read 25 books, and as long as I had two books for a week away, set like concrete, mate. This year I have already read FIFTY books, and there’s still a month to go. I started slowly, read a couple of graphic novels, read some old favourites… still prefer police procedurals and urban fantasy. But I’ve discovered Australian Noir. It broke the ice somewhat and I’ve been reading almost like the person formerly known as the Maudy who who formerly read a lot. Of the list in that article, I’ve read most of the authors, and of the ones I have read, I’ve read most of them this year.

Did read a couple of duds (looking at you, Mr Reacher. There comes a time in a bloke’s life he has to face up to retirement. Ahem) BUT there was only one book I didn’t finish. Good year for books though, generally.

The other thing I’ve done is crochet a lot. I discovered I am better at crochet than I thought. I’m now a prize winning crocheter and everything. In two competitions even. Although, it was for the same thing, so yeah. Maybe I’m not that good. Although the bit that won the prizes was pretty damn ace. Anyway, this year, I’ve learned how to do tapestry crochet and overlay crochet and how to crochet in a flat circle. I am mildly impressed with myself. Particularly the project I’m doing now. I thought it would be at the far limit of my abilities, and it’s not. Last time I checked, I was on gauge and everything – which, considering I am a “high and tight” crocheter, is a minor miracle in itself. Maybe I am not shit at crochet? And maybe you can teach a slightly more mature dog new tricks?

I also developed a bit of an obsession with my fitness tracker. I managed to do 10K steps almost every single day (missed less than five days, I think) for about 22 months. That’s pretty good really. But I was obsessed. Tracking my steps and tracking my sleep. And beating myself up over missing my goals with one or the other (ahhhh, I see what’s going on here, something to stress over that is not only in my control, but something that I can control. Who would have thought? Fuck, I’m predictable.)

Anyway, the band on my tracker broke. What was a girl to do?

  • Rush out and buy a new band?
  • Rush out and buy a new tracker?
  • Flap around in a circle a bit and internally debate ordering a new band or a new tracker ?
  • Do nothing?

Weirdly, it turns out I’m doing option 4 for the time being. My particular tracker is superseded, so although it still works fine, it’s a bit harder to find a replacement band for it. If I’m really using it as a “controlled stressor” then that’s a tiny bit fucked up and I should perhaps back away from the tracking for a bit and work out what I was actually getting out of it before I do anything more.

I have been missing the availability of having the time in an easily accessible device (as long as the light was right); so again with the who would have thoughts… I have started wearing my watch on the “wrong” hand instead. Time keeping device, easily accessible, and can read it regardless of light conditions. Unless it’s like proper dark and all. (I am some kind of weirdo right handed right hand wearing watch person. Wearing my watch on my left hand is a bit peculiar. But I will live. And the time is more useful than steps)

So yeah, that’s me. Reading other people’s words instead of writing my own. Tying ever more complex knots in a piece of string. Walking a lot and sleeping not so much. Two big ticket items on my Stress list are more or less resolved, and while I’d still like to run away to a tropical island for a little while, eh. I’ll live.

Kon Maudy reaches the end of the wardrobe

I am currently wearing the last long sleeved shirt in my wardrobe. It prickles and is stiff and a bit scratchy. And the collar goes in my mouth so I chew it. I don’t chew my clothes. I think that’s why it was the last shirt on the rack. I think it’s been stiff and scratchy from day one. And I’m also pretty sure I’ve only worn it maybe twice. Probably because of the scratchy.

It was interesting when I got to the last five or so shirts – there had to be a reason why they were the last ones left, and it got really hard each day to pick what I was going to wear. Aside from El Scratcho, there was another linen shirt that was a”needs must” purchase. Not something I’d usually buy, but I got rather wet on the way to work one day and had to buy a new skin out outfit (seriously, it absolutely pissed down for about five minutes, I got saturated to the skin. Wet t-shirts aren’t work appropriate attire). It did the job, but it’s short in the sleeves and, well just about everywhere else to be honest. Not a favourite.

There is another shirt which is best described as a top. It has raglan sleeves. I really don’t like raglan sleeves. Why do I keep buying stuff with raglan fucking sleeves, then? One of the mysteries of the universe I do believe. I also don’t know whether I like it or not. Eh, I think it might go. Or it might not. I’ll decide when it’s dry. The last two shirts are ancient oxford cloth shirts from Sportscraft. One is maybe eight years old, and the other one is pink. I don’t wear pink. Which is an abject lie. I don’t wear a lot of pink, and I don’t know if this shirt is a pink shirt that I will wear. Confused now. Will stop. I like some pinks I don’t know if I like this pinks. Ok. Backing away from the pinks.

I’m keeping the pink shirt and its purple mate for the time being. Basically, my requirement for a shirt (aside from it fitting), actually my requirement for all my clothes is to wear them and not be aware of them while I am doing so. If I’m aware of my clothing, that means there is a 99.89% chance it fucking shits me and I should probably do away with it. The pink shirt and the purple one don’t shit me, even though they were in the bottom five. I didn’t wear them earlier because the two pairs of trousers I had left clashed with pink and purple (it’s really lilac). Neither really went so well with ocean blue or brown stripes), so I had to wait until black trousers were available again. They’re staying. Well, definitely the purple one. Maybe not the pink one.

AND I FOUND A PAIR OF JEANS!!!

Aaaaaages ago, I bought two pairs of jeans, then promptly put on weight and didn’t wear them. I did pull out one pair but they were a bit jeez, I don’t know exactly. Suffice to say I was aware of them when I wore them, and I don’t enjoy that in a garment. And I assumed that the two pairs were identical. I don’t know why. Anyway, the too big ones were dirty, the nqr pair were also dirty, so I dragged out the other pair. And O.M.F.G. They fit. They’re flattering, go in where I do, out where I do, and they’re really really nice. Unbelievable. (Levi’s 312s, if you’re interested)

Now I have reached the end of my wardrobe, I have:

  • Worn 32 different long sleeved shirts, five short sleeved t-shirts and three long sleeved t-shirts
  • Worn six pairs of work trousers, two pairs of cargo pants and three pairs of jeans
  • Worn two skirts
  • Worn one dress

And I have…

  • Culled five shirts
  • Culled one pair of trousers
  • Threw out one cardigan (I stuck my thumb through a tiny hole. Now it has a yuge hole)
  • Potentially re-homed another pair of trousers and a shirt
  • Probably culled the NQR jeans
  • Realised I have Issues with polyester trousers (particularly when a) there has been an unseasonably warm autumn, and b) one has a window seat)
  • Ditto re tights. Not pleasing.
  • Also, I have a lot of clothes

I do have an effective immediate “Do Not Buy” on long sleeved shirts, and a smallish shopping list of:

  • Jeans (ordered a black pair of the 312s. On sale, too)
  • Navy blue cardigan to replace the one I stuck my thumb through
  • Non-polyester work pants
  • Black shoes
  • Work friendly jumper/cardigan(s)
  • Unicorn Pants (full length exercise tights with a reflective strip and full sized pockets.)

I reckon there’s a fair to middling chance I can accommodate my shopping list without completely destroying my bank balance. I just need to remember legs are only one really long. And I need to back away from the shirts for the foreseeable future. Maybe longer.

Kon Maudy v the wardrobe

Of course you are all desperate to know about my clothes situation and my struggle with “nothing to wear”. A dive into my wardrobe revealed that, contrary to popular belief, I have quite a lot of clothes. I have maybe six pairs of trousers, two winter weight skirts (plus a couple of lighter ones) and a ridiculous number of shirts. Possibly thirty. That’s a LOT of shirts. That’s just my long sleeved ones, I only have one short sleeved shirt, and I think I have five sleeveless ones, plus a heap of plain cotton t-shirts that I wear all through summer. So, I’ve come up with a couple of “rules” to go along with this wardrobe deep dive investigation:

  1. I must wear every single (winter/cold weather appropriate) thing in my wardrobe at least once.
  2. It’s ok if I don’t wear warm weather clothes because it’s actually fucking freezing at the moment.
  3. I am not allowed to buy anything new until I have worn every single item in my wardrobe at least once.
  4. (Item two does not include under garments. And I am allowed to buy more socks)
  5. I am not allowed to re-wear a shirt until I have worn every single one.

So, after a couple or so weeks, how am I getting along? Have I resorted to public nudity? Have I binned the lot?

I have worn ALL my pants, two woolen skirts and I think about 20 ish shirts. I’ve also worn most of my knits, and all of my shoes. Plus, I’ve worn a few warmer weather items because Victorian weather is broken.

So far, I have culled one pair of trousers, and the jury is out on another two pairs. And, I’ve culled three long sleeved shirts. I am down to maybe six shirts that I haven’t worn yet, and the decision about which one to wear is getting harder and harder! I’ve worn all both my winter skirts, and most of my cardigans/jumpers.

The pants that went – They are probably the best looking pants I own, they’re a great length, flattering cut etc etc. BUT (there’s always one of those) they have the most ridiculously pissy little belt that I need to wear because otherwise they chafe awkwardly (a very solid crotch seam v an unfortunate bicycle related injury. Ahem.) The fabric has *no* give – which is not ace when one spends one’s day sitting on one’s arse. And it has the weirdest sort of three dimensional texture. Don’t love them. At all. I re-homed them.

The shirts were all quite nice white based and patterned oxford cloth shirts, but they all have weird stains and are all a bit tired and jaded for work. I think they’re all at least five years old, so probably have done their duty. Plus, I’d just recently bought three new shirts. (This explains why I’m not to buy anything else!!!) (Although socks don’t count. Obvs.) There is one shirt I think I really don’t like (the fabric is coarse) and there are three more that are older than the white ones I culled, and have seen better days.

The two pairs of pants I don’t know if I feel the love for are both wine infused online purchases. They are both simultaneously too long and too short at the same time. I am tallish*. I bought them from an overseas website that has tall people clothes, the plus side being they actually cut the seat properly so they’re not just “whack 5cm onto the hem and call it tall” pants, and the knee is in the right place, not mid way up my thigh. BUT, when I was selecting the size, I’ve picked really really tall instead of just a bit tall so, these pants are too short to be full length and too long to be 7/8 which is what they’re supposed to be. Awkward. I will either take them up or donate them.

Some of my shirts are – well. I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought them. Okay, I do know what I was thinking when I bought them. I tend to go up a size because I have broad shoulders and long arms. Unfortunately, that means I have more than a couple of shirts that are ridiculously big on me while fitting appropriately in the sleeve department. I have to decide what I think about that.

Shoes are a thing as well. Apparently, I have weirdly sized feet. I am between a 9 and a nine and a half, but for some reason, shoe shops around here don’t like to do the half size once you get over a size nine. This gives me the option of a nine which is painfully tight, and a ten which is ridiculously loose. Buying numerous insoles to make a ten fit a nine and a half is annoying.

I currently have three pairs of “work” shoes – two pairs of Rollie Nation Derby Punch (navy and tan), and a pair of NancyBird Mary-Janes (chocolate brown). And my sneakers, which I am currently wearing because I can’t be bothered. They are black. I have issues with ‘nude’ shoes. And I have issues with my tan Rollies because of their perceived nudity. They’re not actually nude. They are sand. Or tan. They look perfectly fine with just about everything I wear them with. (They are in my bag. This may also be contributing to today’s sneaker wearing.)

There is a pair of nice boots languishing in my wardrobe. Very nice boots indeed. They are size ten, so they are slightly too big. I get hot feet, so I don’t like wearing socks with them (which makes them fit), plus, lugging them to work won’t make me cheery. They might have to go out for adoption. Although I should wear them once first. To be sure.

I work in a dubiously heated office that varies from the Sahara at midday to Greenland in mid-winter, often on the same day. Also, I am a lady of a certain age and subject to Tropical Moments. Cardigans are my friend. However, I also walk to and from work in the cooler parts of the day, so jumpers are also my friend. I don’t hate any of my knits to be honest. I have a couple that I don’t really wear all the time, but I do wear them when it’s warmer. And my current faves are three really super over-sized jumpers I got from Country Road last winter, but they pill like absolute pilling machines. Glad they were on sale.

Thought I probably should go through ALL my winter clothes, because still can’t go nude even on the weekend.

Saturday is the chores and errands and driving around in circles day. So, I wore my “Mum Uniform”. Dorky af but practical and comfortable. Of course I ran into every man and his dog that I knew. Also, got rained on a lot. I forgot about rain. It’s wet and quite cold. I wore navy blue chinos – sorta heavy ones. Nice and warm. So, why don’t I wear them? Because they are strange. They have a really high waist, which I don’t particularly like, and a sideways seam just below my knee. I also cracked out the long sleeved t-shirts – I used to wear these to work all the time , and bought three (or four) a couple of years ago and they’ve languished in my wardrobe ever since. They’re on the thin side, but they’re fine under a flanno. I’m not trying to impress anyone when I’m at the supermarket!

I have jeans as well – one pair that is slightly too big, and two pairs that are slightly too small. I wear the too big ones mostly. I have to decide whether the too small ones are *really* too small, or just tight because I won’t wear them.

In summary – because we needs one of those…

  • I have quite a lot of clothes.
  • I don’t need any more shirts, even if I cull another five or so.
  • I do need black shoes.
  • I want another pair of mary janes.
  • I would really like another work skirt
  • I prefer cigarette pants to wider legged pants
  • And I mostly like my shirts to fit on the tailored side
  • Cardigans are better for work, because options.

(*ish is well, I’ve always thought I was 179cm tall; however, Chaos has had a wee growth spurt and is visibly taller than me. He reckons he’s only 177cm. One of us is delusional. I suspect it’s me. Once he is firmly in the 180+ territory (probably next Tuesday), I will reclaim my centimetres.)

Kon Maudy – part the second

Weirdly, about a year ago, I found myself in a similar situation to the one I am finding myself now. Contemplating the consequences of public nudity. Again.

I have nothing to fucking wear.

Well, I do. But I HATE IT ALL. Fuck.

Now, because nothing I currently own (particularly in the bottoms department) sparks joy, I should in fact ditch the whole lot and start again. But, the problem with that is simply I seriously cannot afford to replace every single item in my wardrobe.

Up until a couple of years ago, my work wardrobe consisted of a couple of nice skirts, four pairs of Eva Capri pants from Sportscraft – black, navy, silver and a random colour; plus a selection of shirts and cardigans and voila. Dressed every day. No thinking required. I would replace the capri pants every couple of years as they got a bit tired looking, switch out a shirt or two each season… Like clockwork. Then some bastard decided to new and improve them. They did not fit. Not even close. AND the size up was too fucking big. What sort of arsehole designer does that. Sportscraft. Obviously.

Despite Sportscraft bowing down to the wrath of a million angry middle aged ladies, and re-vamping my favourite pants yet again, I sort of cracked the shits with them and am yet to try out the new ones. So, I investigated some options. I now have a wardrobe full of pants that are eh. Ok. Ish. I guess. And I’ve also lost five of the kilograms that were giving me grief twelve months ago. This means that the pants I bought last winter are a tiny bit on the big side. Annoying. Much. Also, none of them were quite what I was looking for in a work pant. Much more annoying. I don’t want much in a trouser – full length, narrowish legs (but not strangle-y) decent pockets that will hold my mobile phone, id card and wallet so I don’t have to take a bag everywhere. Ditto for skirts. Well, the pocket bit, and fitted.

So, here I am. Hating my clothes. I can’t ditch them all because I can’t afford it, and it would be exceedingly wasteful to toss out half a dozen pairs of pants and a heap of shirts because I’ve taken against them. I could like them again next Tuesday. I am in a mood.

That’s another good reason to not throw anything out. Moods I am having. Not sure if it’s the ladypause or just having the shits on in general. However, I am digress. Pants I have some. Likes I have none. So. What to do?

I have decided that I am going to “review” my trousers (and some of my shirts as well) and see whether my feelings are valid or you know. Nuts.

I have tested two outfits:

  • Blue chinos and a cotton striped shirt, grey jumper – verdict. Shirt’s nice. It can stay. Jumper has sauce on it. Bloody bosoms. Pants need a belt. Might be too big. Wore them with my blue Rollies. Not the right shoes for the pants.
  • Charcoal grey pants, white shirt, red jumper. Love the jumper, that’s a no brainer. Pants were pretty comfy, they just skim my ankles, so I’m not sure if they’re too short or too long. Wore them with Mary Janes. The shirt is too long and annoying. I didn’t like it. Also, it was missing a button. I wore the shirt to pilates and my physio suggested a french tuck. Did it with my tights, and it looked ace. Fixed the button and yeah. Try it with different pants.

Tomorrow, I am trialling some blue dress pants, a different white shirt and a red cardigan. And probably Mary Janes.

So far, I’m not getting rid of anything. Only a million more outfits to go.

Kon Maudy

I’ve just had a wee hiatus. A fortuitous alignment of public holidays meant three days of annual leave gave me ten consecutive days off work. I did spend some of the days off doing family things with the family (as one does) but spent the rest of the time doing those pesky little (if you call five fucking hours of filing little) jobs that you blow off because they’re going to take five hours and when do you ever have five hours that you don’t have to spend at least two of them driving people to places and the rest of the time doing washing.

I also managed to watch the entire Kon Mari telly series on the Netflix before I went on leave. I didn’t know what to expect from the show, and I didn’t expect to discover what I did. As you probably remember, I did the half arsed KM business a couple of years ago, and stopped when I decided my house was tidy enough. So, when I watched the show, I think I was expecting everyone to be the full minimalist and super zen at the end of the experience. What I found was a lot more people like me.

The main thing though that I took out of watching the series, was that for the process to be a success, it had to be about “we” and not “she” (or “he”) – a joint process with everyone in the family taking their share of responsibility; and it wasn’t until that moment where responsibility became a “we” thing that something clicked. The other thing was it’s not about choosing what to discard, it’s choosing what to keep. Which is a different thing all together!

And I also discovered that my level of half arsed-ness really is/was enough.

Of course, when the series came out, all these self righteous wankers latched on to the “first world privilege” aspect where chucking stuff is the privilege of those who can afford to replace it with more stuff. While this might be true for some, eh. Not so much for me. I got rid of about a squintygazillion things, and didn’t really replace them. The process made me a much more discerning shopper, not just in relation to clothes, but to just about everything. And Lordy, the faux outrage about only keeping ten books. Now, I am a book lover. I am almost a book hoarder. I love my books. I love patting them and looking at them and reading them. BUT if I didn’t have the space that I have for books, say, I moved into a tiny house in a paddock somewhere away from everything that’s shitting me at the moment… you know, I reckon I would probably keep a couple of cook books, my recipe book, and maybe half a dozen other books that I really couldn’t live without. So, the idea of keeping only ten books is not as outrageous as it seems.

Which leads me back to the start – doing those pesky not so little jobs that I’ve been ignoring. When I did Kon Mari two or three years ago, I did in fact “do” paper, but like when you clean out the pantry and find that mysterious bottle of something that used to be green, and was past its prime five years ago… This time, I did “paper” properly. And decided I could in fact live without my mobile phone contract from 2002. And the one from 2004 and pretty much every second year between then and 2018. Much paper. Many piles. Several trees. Perhaps a forest.

And the pantry, fridge and freezer – only a bag and a half of rubbish – half used bottles of this and that, ingredients for recipes that nobody liked. It was a thing of beauty until I did the groceries. I cracked the shits when I threw out a bag full of meat from the freezer just before I had my week off. I meal plan on Saturday morning, go to the butcher and get meat, things change, meat didn’t get eaten when it was supposed to and got chucked in the freezer. And some of it shouldn’t have gone in the freezer. Nowt quite like defrosting a lump of meat that’s past it and having to re-write dinner plans on the fly. This week, I have delegated responsibility for meals to the other grown up in the family, so he’s had the fun of coming up with a delicious and nutritious meal for four people, none of whom like the same things. I’m loving it. Not sure whether the other grown up is loving it quite so much.

And I looked at clothes again. But that’s a story for another post.

Far out, brussels sprout

**Just a little something I prepared earlier…

I have had a week of it this week. Nothing major that I can point my finger and go “A-HA. THIS is why my week is a bit shit.” Nope, it was a whole lot of teensy tiny little irritations that all managed to pile up and up until I was looking for a needle of hope in a haystack of irritation. Yeah, I’m a bit woe is fucking me and engaging in quite a lot of bridge building. But the icing on the cake was yesterday.

Lunch.

I got in to work really late, after a couple of appointments; then I had a meeting to go to that started not long after I arrived. I had an hour to grab a bite, eat it and prep for the next meeting, so I went downstairs to the cafe in the building I work in to get something to eat. Now, you’d think that a cafe with 800 captive punters on site, and a couple more hundred across the road would not only be extremely experienced at making all the things, but would also be quick and efficient.  All I wanted was a cheese and tomato toastie and an iced coffee, so down I went.

  • Girlie: Hello. Can I help you?
  • Me: Yes, I would like a skinny iced coffee with ice-cream but no cream, and a cheese and tomato toasted sandwich. Here is my fancy take away cup for you to make the iced coffee in.
  • Girlie: Looks blank. So, that was a skinny latte?
  • Me: Um. Skinny iced coffee.
  • Girlie: Oh. Ok then.
  • Me: and a cheese and tomato toasted sandwich
  • Girlie: Oh. Ok then. That will be $4.50
  • Me: Um. Iced coffee and a toastie?
  • Girlie: Oh. Ok then. $11

I sat down to wait while the Girlie made my lunch. Please note that at this point I am somewhat peckish and really quite under caffeinated. And I am on a very tight time limit.

After a couple of minutes…

  • Girlie: Um. Excuse me. What salads did you want on your sandwich?
  • Me: Um. Just a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich on white?
  • Girlie: Oh. Ok then.

At this point, I am ever so slightly concerned about my lunch. But hey, she must have mixed me up with someone else. Cheese and tomato toastie, iced coffee, all good.

Then the Coffee Girlie appears with my cup in hand…

  • Coffee Girlie: Iced chocolate for Maudy?

Ummmm….

Explained to the poor Coffee Girlie that I actually ordered iced coffee and she looked horrified and ran off to the kitchen with my cup in hand. Another bloke came out and helped her make me a coffee, then handed it over – I asked about my sandwich, and suggested that I was potentially a little bit concerned about what I was going to be eating. He went and investigated.

And there was investigation of a sandwich bag and investigation of a docket and a discussion with another chap and then there was some making of another sandwich – one that didn’t have ham in it. Many apologies and a voucher for a free coffee later… I made it upstairs with some food. And some trepidation.

Fortuitously, it was delicious.