Autumn is here!

I'm back, just in time for autumn:

I really wanted to write something, I did, but I've been struggling to find the words quite frankly, or at least words that will be interesting enough to publish.

The past few years I've undergone massive personal changes, mostly good and needed ones. I'm a very different person to the young mum that started her first frugal and simple living blog seven years ago. I've cut out so much deadwood these past few years - clutter, activities and ideas about the world - I'm gradually deciding which seeds to plant in their place. Cutting out the Internet chatter has been wonderful for this - its hard to decide what you want and what is important when you are bombarded by 'influencers' and other peoples opinions and lifestyles all day. I thoroughly recommend unplugging once in a while.

September always brings me around to fresh starts. The temptation to abandon this blog and start over is strong, but I'm resisting my inbuilt fickleness and perfectionism. This place needs a fresh lick of paint and some new category tags, which I'll work on over the next few weeks. I have plenty of ideas to work with, I just need to get back in the swing of things.

Stew and dumplings for dinner - it feels like a storm is coming. I love this time of year.



I'm still living the low-tech life here. When the current charge for this bodged old laptop dies, that's the end of it - the charger fell apart last week. Perhaps that will light a fire under my rear to find a new laptop or netbook. I loathe shopping and always put ot off until the last possible moment - and truth be told my low-internet life has had it's perks. Back soon x


Chillin' Tuesday

I'm almost fully recovered from my organisational meltdown. I'm back on a system and things are working well. I have a weekly plan to do certain tasks on certain days; and life is starting to run smoothly again.

I used to think that housework was a never ending chore and even though I had a lot of downtime due to procrastination, I never got to just relax. I always felt guilty for the things that I should be doing. Now even if the house is a sty, I know that I have a system and a schedule in place to deal with it. I still feel a little guilt, but it's lessening. I never thought sticking to a routine would be so freeing.

I've set aside Tuesday as my free 'day'. All of the kiddos are out at school, so I do my daily chores and the rest of the day is mine until school's out. It's taken me years to come around to the idea that I can take time off, but I'm just a better person when I do. The kids generally follow my lead and if I am calm, relaxed and happy I can respond to them as such.

Unfortunately yesterday was such an odd day weatherwise, alternating wet and biting with dry and mild all day, I stayed in for most of it.

I started rereading this book, one of my absolute favourites:

Written during the great depression, it always gets me out of a thrift-induced deprivation funk. And speaking of orchids:

Mr PL once rescued this one for 50p from the yellow sticker pile, it was in a sorry state. This is its 3rd year of flowering. I can have orchids on my budget.
I drank unholy amounts of tea and ate an unhealthy amount of coffee cake:

In the afternoon I risked the elements and took myself off to my local yarn store:

Lots of bright colours and greys, the picture doesn't do them justice.

And that was that.



That was a little longer blog break than I expected - we've had a tech meltdown here.

I hope that you and your loved-ones are safe and calm after the terrible events of the past few weeks; and I hope that you are keeping ahold of your sanity during this political campaign.

I can't believe we're nearly at the solstice already. The California poppies are blooming and they really are this vibrant. Little things are just the tonic at times like these.

Normal service will resume shortly.  


Hot mess

My name is Aurora and I don't adult well.

The chaos of the Easter break has reminded me that I'm still the daydreaming, flighty space cadet that I was as a 4 year old starting primary school (my first taste of shit getting real) in life. I'm easily distracted and need constant prompting to get through the day without veering off on unproductive tangents. I've had a lifelong struggle with project management, time management and stuff management. I have numerous unfinished projects that seemed like a great (and manageable!) idea at the time and I have a list of goals that I'm resigned to never achieving because I just KNOW it will all fall apart.

Unfortunately, this impacts almost every part of my life, from friendships (C.H.A.O.S. - Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome as Flylady put it so succinctly) to parenting (almost nothing makes you a worst parent than being an overwhelmed irritable stress ball) to finances (whoops, forgot to write a budget again!). It's a little terrifying, and very depressing, to think that this will be my lot in life - stuck in a cycle of never really getting where I want to go, whether it's an appointment or a life goal.

I've adopted various organisational methods over the years, with varying success. When I firmly embraced minimalism I stupidly assumed that the holy grail was white space and an empty schedule; and truly, it does help. But I'll never be able to manage the minutiae of my life with just an appointment diary and my wits.

I'm trying out a couple of things that will hopefully help, including sleeping with said diary under my pillow to make sure I actually look at it once a day (last month I missed a hospital appointment that I had written down, set a phone reminder for AND thought about the night before. Seriously, I'm that bad). I've actually replaced that diary with a notebook and have been trying my hand at Bullet journalling this week, we'll see how it goes.

I shall report back next week. I need a few days to get on top of the backlog and come up with a plan.



I didn't intend to disappear for the best part of a month, but my brain collided head on with the half term break and it wasn't pretty. Things fall apart, but tomorrow it's back to school - things will be rebuilt again.

What happened during the interval? A camping holiday was had, a budget overreached, housework and laundry spilled over. Out in the wider world wars raged, elections were called - and a most glorious thing happened:

Pompey were promoted and a pitch invaded. I heart this club.


On scavenging

Last week a couple of curtain hooks in our bedroom snapped; and I'd used up the last of the spares the last time it happened. I was miffed at the thought of having to buy a pack during a no spend week.

And then I found these in the wood chips at the local park:

I've no idea why they were there; perhaps they were left over from The Most Fancily Furnished Den Ever Built or something.

Last week I needed cable ties and the front of the school was littered with rubber bands from unfurled artworks being sent home. In the past I've picked up paperclips, unused nails, a copper olive that we used to fix a leaking radiator valve, a wooden dowel that became a plant support and a metal hair clip still on it's packaging - I only ever need one, to occasionally hold back my fringe. I know people get squeamish about picking things of the street, but that's what soap and water are for. There are classier people than me who do it too, like Bea Johnson and her hair ties

Picking up litter has saved a trip into town, some plastic packaging, unnecessary clutter, and several quid this week. The universe has had my thrifty back and I love it.