It’s almost time for me to share a recent walk across the Quantocks but before I get to that, I need to share my latest battle in the fight against clutter.
Here we are in 2014. With spring only a few months away, some people might be turning their attention to the annual tradition of spring cleaning… But does anyone ever actually do it? At this time or even at all?
I imagine it’s like a friend of mine said recently, with regards to people who set a date for beginning their diet… That date soon passes and they haven’t even begun to alter their daily food intake. How many of us set New Year’s resolutions that we fail to follow through with?
Setting dates for doing things we don’t particularly want to do is, in my opinion, another form of procrastination.
But moving house has prompted me to look at what I’m living with and to gradually put the non-essential items to one side. Within my first week in this flat, I came up with a box-full of recyclable items that I can live without. You can see those in the photo above.
As I’ve mentioned twice very recently; I moved home last month and I’m now living alone in a small flat (without a workshop). It’s in a village known as Wrington; between Bristol and Weston-super-Mare but still only a few miles from the area in which I have grown up in. Wrington is a new village to me. I mean, I’d not even driven through this area before the initial viewing last month. It’s all exciting and scary at the same time. I could go on about a lot of things but for now, I’ve decided to share with you some photos I’ve taken this evening, which should give you an idea of the what I’m living in and the layout.
In a future post, I intend to take you around the village to show you what it has to offer. A couple of weeks ago, I filmed some video footage for a ‘flat tour’ that I’m yet to upload to YouTube.
This post is about decluttering in the home; a subject that a friend opened my eyes to on her own blog. In the past, you may’ve read about my efforts this year to ‘declutter’ my workshop and the impending ‘loss’ of such a feature of my life has only helped to encourage that. For whatever amount of time I have left, I enjoy my time and my space that much more for the reduction of clutter and sheer reliance only on the more-essential of items. I no longer have to worry about that spray gun I hadn’t used since 2009, or the duplicates of cordless drills lying under almost every shelf. I’ve gained money that I can reinvest in more meaningful areas.
In all of this though, it is important not to neglect home. I have systems that allow me to keep order of various items. To me, they’re organised. To others, they appear chaotic. Whatever my own beliefs; I only allow them to grow and they end up cluttering my floor space.
A brief post to say that I recently bought a new pair of safety boots for my day job and how impressed I’ve been with them so far.
Over the last decade, I’ve come to instantly dislike the ‘cheap, generic’ boots that almost any employer will provide you with on your first day. They were so uncomfortable that I decided to shop around and to start buying my own. I decided I liked the trainer-style of shoe and, after reading a group test review in Good Woodworking magazine, I went for a pair of Makita Hiker boots (yes, there is now irony in that name) and they turned out to be extremely comfortable (after the initial blisters of a busy customer service role in the middle of the summer).
As it happened, Makita footwear were actually made by Dickies and so, the following year, I decided to try a pair of their own (I dislike repetition). These weren’t too bad but I wasn’t as satisfied either and so, I went through a couple more pairs of Dickies boots (three or four in total) before we go back to May 2012, when I popped in to Toolstation and picked up a pair of Black Rock boots for only £25…
They weren’t quite the cheapest boots I’d purchased but they quickly became uncomfortable. They also had those knife-like metal buckles that eventually slice through your laces as you pull them up and I only really stuck with them until a few weeks ago because I’d invested in a pair of insoles – again, that was a trial-and-error experiment in itself; quickly realising that a cheap pair weren’t worth the pain and that you safe find greater comfort with an increase in expenditure.
This year, I was very tempted to return to those faithful old Makitas (now about £10 dearer than they were a year ago) but I didn’t find anything ‘inspiring’ amongst the current Dickies range and somehow (through a general eBay search, I think), I was reminded of the Scruffs brand. After which, I eventually narrowed my selection down to the Lightning II boots at a very reasonable £25 (thanks to eBay).
I could feel the comfort from day one. You can feel the cushioned insoles far ahead of the smooth floor and they’re also arched nicely in the middle to support your feet properly. Laces tighten up nicely, the tongues are big and soft and I think they look good as well!
Thanks for reading and please don’t settle for sore feet in any area of your life! 🙂
Tonight, I’d like to have a little moan about technology, which is usually something I’m in full praise of. This particular issue has been on my mind for several weeks and you’ll have a good idea of where I’m headed with this from the photo below.
As I began to write this post, I’ve just received an e-mail from a customer… It’s made me feel a bit sick inside. It’s not something you would like or expect to see as a maker and I do sincerely hope it’s just a one-off. It’s not their fault and, when I can find the word to reply, I’ll have to acknowledge that it is my responsibility. I might well bring this up in a separate post sometime but, as of right now, I haven’t yet figured out how it could have happened… Mystery, is the word!
This very morning, I was expecting to be driving in to the city of Bristol in order to collect a pack of 1¼in long coarse-thread pocket hole screws with washer heads, so that I could join some 18mm MDF later on today (I’m planning to make a short rip fence for my saw bench). A quick Google search yesterday afternoon to determine the store location revealed that they ceased trading at the beginning of February!
We’re talking about Pan Tools; a name that’s been synonymous with power tool purchases in this city for several years.