Week three – I discovered a place

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My current reading pile

Readings sent me their weekly list of books to read, there were some really good ones – books shortlisted for a prizes, some of them look really good and I want to read them. This provides me with a quandary – I have hundreds of books already that I haven’t read, they all looked really interesting when I bought them. I just don’t have enough time to read all the books I want to, what with working, procrastinating about working, lying on the couch, sitting in the garden looking at the weeds playing with the dog and everything.

 

So if I buy them, the chances are I wont read them, but I would like to have access to them on the off chance I find some spare reading time. What should I do? If only there was a place where you could just borrow books (preferably for nothing), read them and take them back…… Yes I rediscovered the local library.

 

Well I never – libraries are the best places ever- like a free bookshop but without the guilt. They have all the books and you can just pop on the website and reserve the ones you want.

I looked up the local library website and sure enough they have all the books I wanted, I reserved one I will save the others until I have time to read them.

 

My Mum and Dad always got her books from the library, they had a mobile library that came to the village. If one of the oldies didn’t turn up to get their books somebody would contact them to make sure they were OK. The library came in a really old van that would regularly break down and there was a phone tree of library users who would phone each other and let everyone know, what an amazing community service.

 

I have been a big fan of the elibrary for ages but am really enjoying reacquainting myself with the solid resources now. Me and the dog wander down and pick up my books (she is not much of a reader) meeting people along the way – it is all very lovely and I can fully recommend it. I am definitely a library person now.

Stuff what I mended, part one

A new occasional section on stuff that has been mended rather than replaced

Sue has reminded me of a few more almost purchases, I don’t even realise I am doing it.  The saucepan lids had cracked handles, excellent at letting steam out, particularly when draining vegetables.  Having been burnt by the scalding steam about three days out of five I declared that I was chucking all the saucepans in the bin.  Before I got the chance Sue had sourced and had delivered new lids which I affixed to said saucepans and there you go – new saucepans and at a fraction of the cost – who knew you could get replacement handles for saucepan lids?

I like to think of myself as pretty handy and it has to be said I am a very good darner – thanks to excellent training from my Mum.  But in truth I am a bit rubbish. I really did glue my fingers together when trying to fix the oven door with superglue (while my fingers were firmly attached to each other the door was sadly not).  I broke my tablet screen when I took it apart because it wouldn’t boot up (it did boot up afterwards – but the touch screen wouldn’t work).  However I will persevere because when I do fix things it makes me really happy and not a little pleased with myself.

Week two – I almost bought a…….

This week I nearly bought a fridge, and a hat – both without even really realising what I was doing.

How did this happen?

Well, after a couple of rather warm days our 10-year-old fridge started making very loud noises. Its cooling power was also diminished and the beer was not chilled. It was obviously a very sad fridge and I was a sad person, contemplating mouldy food and warm beer (no comments about British beer being warm – it is not warm just not freezing).

Living without a fridge in the middle of a Melbourne summer was not an attractive option. I found myself online looking up potential replacements, star ratings, reviews, size, running costs etc – it was all an excellent form of procrastination. I soon found a suitable replacement and was all ready to break my pledge – after all a fridge is essential.

When Sue came home I explained the problem and the solution I had come up with only to be countered by ‘shouldn’t we just get it fixed’. I hadn’t even considered this as an option, in fact I didn’t realise you could mend fridges but it turns out you can. So for about 10% of the cost of a new one it was up and running again. The repairman said we should get another 5 years out of it – who knew (probably everyone except me actually). So I guess I almost failed my first test but was saved by Sue and a very nice fridge repairman.  He also fixed the fridge light and I cleaned it out too so it is like having a new fridge anyway.

The almost hat purchase was at the tennis, it was only $5 and you can never have too many hats. Only luckily I remembered you can have too many hats and I already do, so I didn’t, buy it.

 

Diary of my stuff reduction adventure – week 1

Here goes

OK I am a bit behind because, while I started this whole thing at the beginning of the year getting the blog happening has taken a bit longer – because frankly I didn’t even really know what a blog was.  So over the next couple of weeks I will work to get us all caught up – don’t worry i know what I am doing…..

Week one – will I do it?

The idea is there and I want to do it, but should I tell anyone? Once I announce my idea I will have to either:

  1. do it – which seriously means not buying stuff
  2. take the teasing from my friends when I fail.

I am pretty keen on the idea, I really want to break my stuff addiction but maybe I should just do it quietly – tell the world when I have succeeded. It is a nice idea, smugly telling the world (well the tiny part of my world that would be interested) on December 31 that I have bought nothing and have saved enough to buy a….. (what would I buy? It couldn’t be stuff).

But in truth that’s not going to work, I am going to need something to keep me honest, and a public profile along with the possibility of humiliation and teasing is probably just the ticket.

I announced my idea on Facebook and then tried to work out how you do a blog.

PS thanks Scotty for the spell/word check – there should be prizes for that too!

Confession time

I will confess when I err so here goes.

I bought a book, but it is not just any book, it is one I have wanted for a while and is a map book of the Great Ocean Road Walk. I am planning to do the walk in April and have been trying to get this book for some time. I don’t feel too bad about this as it is an essential tool to do this walk – it has all the information you need, there is a website but internet access is patchy on the walk to say the least.   The only other option I could see was printing off bits from the website or borrowing the book – I probably could have done that but I will need it for a couple of months for planning (perhaps not need but want) and then on the actual walk where it is likely to get a bit battered. Is that an excuse or a valid reason? Tell me what you think.

Stuff a description

The problem

I would not describe myself as an avid consumer, I don’t like shopping, I don’t feel the need to always have the latest gizmos or clothes and I am not a collector. However I do seem to have a lot of stuff. I have a wardrobe full of clothes (most I don’t wear), shelves of books (that I intend to read) gadgets, useful gizmos and draws full of, well stuff. I can’t find what I need because of all the stuff I don’t – I am drowning in stuff.

 

How it has happened

It could be my aversion to shopping has helped fuel my stuff collection, if I find something I like I will often buy two so I don’t have to go shopping again. I also love certain types of stuff, mainly linked to walking, cycling and camping, there is a great deal of stuff that can be linked to these hobbies. When I get an adventure in mind I feel its success will be based on the stuff I take. In truth half the newly bought stuff stays behind mainly due to space and weight restrictions but I definitely get stuff obsessed before a big trip.

 

The solution

I think it would be quite possible for me to go for a year without buying stuff and still have everything I need (and some). Perhaps a year off will help me break my bad habits and hopefully give me back some cupboard space too. So my plan is to go for 12 months without buying any stuff, specifically no camping gear, bike gear, clothes, books, stationary, gadgets etc. Food and, naturally, alcohol is fine as are airline tickets and holidays. If something essential breaks I will first try and fix it before replacing it only if it is absolutely necessary.