It's really difficult isn't it - making life easier for yourself, that is.
Regular readers will recall that making life easier for ourselves is our New Year's Resolution.
Mr B and I are intent on it. Or, rather, I am intent and Mr B is deciding just how far he is prepared to / able to cooperate.
The trouble is that, rather like that other favoured NYR - clearing up
- before you can make life easier, you tend to give yourself even more to do. So it was with today's major activity which involved an attack on Mr B's wardrobe.
It will undoubtedly make his life so much easier
if he can see at a glance what shirts, trousers and jumpers are hanging up in the wardrobe, clean and pressed and shouting: "Wear me!" In order to reach this Nirvana, however, we need to clear out every garment that is (i) too small; (ii) too large; (iii)
too ancient; (iv) too threadbare. In particular as, sadly, Mr B is unable to play bowls anymore, we need to make a pile of his bowls "uniform" and donate it to the Bowls Club to be sold in aid of club funds.
pile has been joined by another containing garments to be taken to a charity shop, a heap of rubbish and, the largest of all, a veritable mountain of clothes he needs to try on to see if they fit and / or if he would not be seen dead wearing them. I am not
looking forward to the Trying On stage. It will be like those horrible half-hours spent in shop dressing rooms wondering why clothes which appear so smart and streamlined on the shop rail look so very, well, lumpy and ill-fitting when actually on me. It is,
of course, all down to the fact that garments simply aren't so well made these days. Isn't it?
Mr B wants to know which charity shop will be graced by his cast-offs. I explain, truthfully, that it will be
whichever of the three charity shops in our local parade I manage to park nearest. I can see he is about to argue so I remind him of our New Year's Resolution to make life easier for ourselves. He has no answer to this. Which is, in itself, amazing.
Inevitably we have turned up a number of unexpected "treasures". These include all the details of the Family Holiday we enjoyed in Normandy eight and a half years ago. Sweet letters from the owners of La Cahudiere, welcoming
us to their beautiful farmhouse set me reminiscing. Just think, I muse, Young Sam was just a baby and we had not a notion that by January 2016 we would have added five more grandchildren to our tally.
on the bed, remembering the evening Sam's parents went out for the evening leaving the rest of us in charge of the Littlest One. I spent ages rocking him and chanting a made-up song about "Little Sammy Ball." When his parents returned home and asked after
their off-spring, I didn't receive the credit I felt I was due. "He took a bit of settling," someone said, "but Mum bored him to sleep..."
One day during that week's holiday, the Youngest of the Darling Daughters
insisted we accompany her and her family on a day out, despite truly dreadful weather. I didn't realise why my absence from the house was required until our return. That's when I found our holiday home decorated with banners (in French, of course) in honour
of my sixtieth birthday, with coq au vin bubbling on the stove and everyone dressed in their finery. It was the most special of so many special evenings over the course of the week.
I sit among the
heap of discarded clothing, the stack of spare coat hangers, the mountain of laundry - and simply remember.
I am wondering if I'll ever complete the task in hand. At this rate my New Year's Resolution
to make life easier for myself seems set to fail. At least as far as Mr B's wardrobe is concerned.
But the remembering - ah, that's something else altogether...