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The Decluttering Thread


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#46 Zixi

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 08:45

We used to get many bags through the door at the old house but here, we're so far from anything that vaguely resembles civilisation that nothing much comes through the door at all. We've used skips to get rid of stuff here. A lot of it has been rubbish from DIY. Some of it has been rubbish that has accumulated in outbuildings over the last century. Some of it has been interesting and we're planning to hang it in the barn. For example, a piece of a metal cot, complete with illustrations which look Dutch - including one of a child smoking a pipe!


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#47 Norway

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 11:11

Are you a farmer Zixi? I'm heading in that direction....


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#48 Zixi

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 11:41

Are you a farmer Zixi? I'm heading in that direction....

No. I'm not that brave! But we are surrounded by arable farming and horses! The house was original built by a Victorian carpenter so 'The Barn' (our outbuilding) was really a carpenter's workshop (it may have been part of a house long since gone) but it was called The Barn when we bought the house and the name's stuck - partly because it looks like a barn and partly because we told The Collie it was called The Barn.  I think growing your own stuff is a really good thing to do because you can pick it when you want and it's a lesson in the vagaries of weather. It makes one appreciative. At the other house, also near arable farming but not as rural as this, I used to grieve every time I saw the crops not doing as well as they ought. I had to stop myself from knocking on the door of the farm house and saying: I think the wheat is just about ready! I was terrified it would rain and he'd lose the lot. I couldn't farm in that sense. I'd be camping out in the field. And some people are horrendously thoughtless. They'd let children rush through the cornfields, trampling it all. The Collie was taught the countryside code and she wouldn't dream of putting a paw in a field!

 

The garden here is no more than a very bad field with trees. There are all kinds of historical reasons for that, I think. I don't want to tame it. But I would like some flowers and a bit of field that isn't quite as lumpy so The Collie can play without disappearing from view because the vegetation is so tall or because she's been kidnapped by a boa constrictor. :)

 

How about you?


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#49 Norway

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 18:30

Hoping to move to a smallholding with Lincoln Longwool sheep and Gloucester cows next year - watch this space! :)


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#50 Hedgehog

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 21:45

Hoping to move to a smallholding with Lincoln Longwool sheep and Gloucester cows next year - watch this space! :)

And hopefully some friends for Clever Hen?  Is she still with you?


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#51 Zixi

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 07:38

Hoping to move to a smallholding with Lincoln Longwool sheep and Gloucester cows next year - watch this space! :)

They are serious sheep. The rare breeds are special. I like Jacob's sheep too because of the variety of colour. When it's woven or knitted, it's so pretty. We've been putting in British wool carpet here; and two of them are undyed wool but patterned in the form of hounds tooth and a check. I really like that simplicity. I do hope that it works out for you, Norway. My childhood was spent in the countryside and returning to that kind of rural situation has brought a peace I can't entirely explain. It's been a decluttering of our lives and I'm pleased we did it. We moved because The Collie needed more space and a more rural existence. But it turns out that it's been good for us too.


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#52 Norway

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 10:17

Yes Hedgehog - a husband for Clever Hen - he can crow the place down and it won't matter in the sticks.

 

Zixi I have a land thing too. I wasn't allowed to be a farmer (cos girlies don't do farming apparently!) but I'm flippin doing it now, having wanted that from the age of 4! Are you in the sticks?


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#53 maggiemay

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 10:50

Xixi - your last two posts rang bells for me.  

We were (fortunate to be!) locked down last year in a semi-rural location - and it was lovely. There is a field with trees.  I reclaimed a forgotten path and an overgrown garden border. I grew salad veggies and herbs from seed and we enjoyed our own produce. There is enormous satisfaction in removing feet of ivy from trees that still have a chance of survival; in attempting to in part recover what someone else planted and cared for decades ago.  We had hedgehogs and pheasants in the field, and a young roe deer visited on Palm Sunday morning. 

We too enjoyed the peace and simplicity, the gentle pace of life. 

Here in suburban London we are increasingly crowded in, overlooked, over-noised. Every residential site that changes hands is subject to the most ridiculous planning applications; every week there seems to be yet another tree missing from our rapidly diminishing skyline. The local light-pollution is appalling - particularly since back gardens became living rooms. 

Last year I would lie awake listening to the silence, and watching the dark - and sometimes the stars - through an uncurtained window.

Norway - good luck with your plans!  I don’t think I want to farm, but I would love to have time and opportunity to make more of the semi-garden on the edge of that field. 


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#54 Norway

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 11:38

Oh go on... you know you want to lie in a snowy barn with your hand up a sheep! :lol: Weirdly, I actually do! :unsure: I may organise a yokel pride rally. Out and proud! :)


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#55 AdLibitum

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 12:27

Zixi and Norway, that kind of place to live sounds wonderful. It's something that's my dream too.

Zixi, how do you find not having people nearby? Is it a haven of peace and quiet or does it feel a bit isolated?
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#56 Zixi

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 15:05

Norway

What was done to children (girls and boys) was awful. I long ago came to the conclusion that gender is no one's business. Go for it!

 

AdLib - I think this answers your question too! Yes, we're in a pretty rural area. No shops. No pub. Just farms and a few houses. It hasn't changed much from Victorian times. Weirdly, there's a railway station (defunct) not far away and the line (single) still operates but not much. I like the sound of trains (so does my husband luckily) so it doesn't bother us. We also bought really good windows for the whole house so we can't hear the outside much in any case. Even really bad storms are just a murmur. It's arable here with quite a lot of horses (extremely well looked after ones ridden by extremely confident and friendly riders). The Collie is great around large animals - it's people she's scared of - so she is fazed by any of it. She's blossomed since we moved so we both think it was worth it. I couldn't have got her any further where she was.

 

It's not lonely. There are other houses - we can see a couple from our upper windows. There's an old farmhouse from my study window. Mr Z's study can see our nearest neighbour. There's farm traffic goes by and bikes! Our house is near a designated cycling area so we see cycling clubs sometimes and what are clearly very keen and committed (pro?) cyclists. They tend to say 'Hello' as they zoom past and some even slow down or stop to say hi. The horse riders yell out hello too as they go by. The road is very narrow (single traffic really) so cars take it slowly and drivers often wave! We walk The Collie every morning, as soon as it's light and we often see another walker who always shares a quick word about the weather. I don't know if this will make sense but we feel more responsible for our surroundings here. It's as maggiemay has said, it's a different pace. I think of it as decluttering the psychological junk. I don't think being 'cluttered' with items is such a problem as psychological clutter and we don't have that here. But it's not for everyone. Some people would feel isolated and lonely and the type of silence we have here would be oppressive.

 

I'm burbling... I'll stop!
 


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#57 AdLibitum

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 15:16

Zixi, that sounds wonderful. And i totally get what you mean about feeling responsibility for one's surroundings.
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#58 Cyrilla

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 20:37

There IS such peace to be gained from nature - it has a healing balm about it.

 

My childhood was one of woods and bluebells and hedgerows and wildflowers and chickens and lying in long grass on long summer days making pictures in the clouds.   

 

Bagpuss escaped from suburbia to Narnia a couple of years ago and would never come back.

 

Maggie - it sounds like heaven - and of course I share your feelings about our local area :(.


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#59 Aquarelle

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 20:40

Our hamlet has 16 houses - quite well spread out.. I sometimes even feel that's too many. I am another space and silence lover.


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#60 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 16 September 2021 - 08:48

Zixi, how do you find not having people nearby? Is it a haven of peace and quiet or does it feel a bit isolated?

 

I sort of second Zixi's reply.  Our immediate neighbourhood consists of 8 houses, quite spread out as per Aquarelle's hamlet.  We can see 2 of them from the house and another couple from the field.  It's brilliant!  We have privacy, can make as much racket as we like when we like, yet we know all our neighbours and any would help us out if we needed it.  We have a sort of barn (it's not old, more of an outbuilding really) that's about the same size as the last house we lived in.

 

Our road eventually goes over a mountain and then passes Ireland's highest mountains and forms a handy back road way to Killarney so in summer we get a few tourists passing and quite a lot of cyclists (presumably super fit - Killarney is about an hour away by car and there's not a lot in between) but in winter it's very quiet.  The biggest source of noise is tractors in summer which can get going pretty early, but you don't notice after a while.  Unlike Zixi, we were too stingy to put in new windows, and storms are our biggest noise source in winter.  You can see the Atlantic from the field so you can imagine what the winds are like!

 

Having said that, I've lived in small places before and prefer them, but there are very few facilities, and absolutely nothing that you can reach without using a car.  The only regular public transport is a once-a-day bus that stops a few km away, though on Saturday night night there's a bus that takes us to a nearby town with a few pubs in it, and as the drivers know us, they drive up the road and pick us up at our house, which is great.  Pre-covid days used to see us tottering up the driveway at going on for 1am most Sunday mornings!  I have a friend who lives in central London, W1 postcode, and he would absolutely hate living here.  I, on the other hand, would consider his lifestyle as something akin to being in ######.

 

Norway: good luck with the sheep.  It's a big responsibility keeping animals.  We used to let the next door farmer put sheep in our field which was nice in a way as we sort of had sheep without the responsibility, but they make a terrible mess and now we don't have them (except when they escape).  We (Mrs G really) have a polytunnel and even that is a pretty fair responsibility!

 

Edit - good grief, I posted this and have yet again triggered the censor, as I did yesterday with a word that I did not think there was anything wrong with at all.  In this post, think opposite of heaven.


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