We have created our own tradition. Every year, just before Christmas, we head up to Liberty and buy a new decoration for our tree. Usually the chosen decoration is some kind of representation of the year gone by. Last year two kittens came to live with us, and so last year’s decoration was a white cat with a gold collar. This tradition means that we only have one of each decoration in our tree, but to keep things a little less crazy (our house is crazy enough) we have decided to stick to white and gold as a theme. This year, 2012, has been a difficult year for many reasons. As Christmas decorations tend to be of a more jolly and hope filled nature, finding one representing what we have been through… Well, it just wasn’t going to happen. So. This year, we chose to look forward instead. We chose an acorn – as a symbol of our hope that 2013 will be awesome and kick ass. At least.

(You’ll be happy to hear my brother gave me a camera for Christmas. With some instructions. I WILL get better at taking pictures. New Years resolution?)

God Jul, Gott Nytt Ar, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Trolley Dolley.

I have a big project coming up soon, so had to visit the Mother Ship (IKEA) to pick up supplies. I realised too late I still don’t have a car (still), and had already started to experience the oh-my-gawd-how-on-earth-am-I-ever-gonna-get-this-home-I-want-to-die-sweats, when I realised this was the perfect excuse, and the only one I needed, to finally get me one of these!

I’ve been wanting one for SO LONG, but have just been struggling to justify the investment (GBP 9 for a super useful trolley feels like a stretch, but SEK 1600 for a pair of boots feels like a bargain! It’s all a matter of perception). I skipped to the tills (in said boots), and this beauty was soon mahn ahll mahn. I loaded her up, like so:

And off I went, like so:

Now you’re all probably wondering what it was I bought, and what I am using it for, but I’m not telling! Soon enough I shall reveal it all on here. For now, all I can say is that I am absolutely thrilled with my trolley. I’ve named her Dolley.

Dolley, I have a feeling this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

(bonus points to anybody who can tell me what film that line is from – answers in comments please!)

Cleaning out cupboards.

The thing with living in shared accommodation is that there are certain things you cannot change. Or there are certain things that would have needed attention a long time ago, and even though everybody agrees it needs doing, a ‘somebody’ is rearely chosen to actually deal with it. So things pile up. Literarily. This was our larder last week:

The top shelf is mine. Those baskets have large holes in them, so the trick is to stack smaller things on top of larger things. It was crazy. Also, there are 5 people living in this house – how many shelves/baskets do you see? Enough for 4 people. Very strange. So I asked my housemates if it was ok if I took a basket out and put a shelf in instead, and at the same time, did they want to swap their baskets for shelves as well? The answer was yes, and luckily I found 4 shelves of the right size after a clear-out of the stockroom at work! So this cost me about an hour in time, but no money at all.

After emptying out the bottom shelf, I was dealing with this:

A quick wipe/scrub down later:

See, it’s not that it’s difficult, but it’s tedious. And boring. But so satisfying! you can see on this picture that the kitchen really is knackered, and I’m working on a design proposal for my landlord to replace it. I’ll share details of that as and when it happens. The rest of the larder looked the same:

Fast forward and hour or so, everything had been scrubbed and wiped down, and the new shelves were in place! When I emptied the larder, to make sure I wasn’t getting people’s stuff mixed up, I emptied the contents of each shelf into a plastic tub (I used these for my move – they’re great, and obviously really versatile!) which I then just slid back onto the correct shelf. I felt that organising my housemates’ food storage would have been crossing the line! But it looks so much better, no? 🙂

My shelf is the one that is unpacked and the empty one above means Dan is now also invited to use the larder. So far, there’s a very lonely red onion on his shelf, but I’m sure he’ll catch up with the rest of us soon enough…