... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

Wednesday 30 January 2019

Marie and me

Loyal reader Frank commented on Monday's post about my nascent anthropomorphised pottery emotional vegetable receptacle collection 'I may be completely off the mark here but I'm betting Marie Kondo's philosophy is not yours.'

Well, Frank, I wouldn't say you were completely off the mark, but, in many ways I am a follower of Marie Kondo. You only have to look at my drawers:

Completely and utterly Kondo'd.

I am not following her TV exploits, but I bought The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying a few years ago, and did indeed put quite a lot of it into practice, and found it very helpful. Sadly I can't refer to it now as I have lent it to Sebastian, in the hope (not yet realised) of passing on a little of that magic.

I did work through her categories, deciding what to keep and what to throw away. There are some things I will keep forever and ever and ever, but I am actually quite a ruthless chucker-awayer of the other ninety-eight percent of my stuff. Particularly with clothes, I have a lot of churn. I still like my own method for wardrobe sorting (sadly the post has lost its photos) and it's overdue being applied again. For quite a while after moving to the new house, I didn't acquire many more clothes, being at a safer distance from the charity shops of Broomhill and Crookes. But - as noted on Monday - it's becoming all to easy to slip into Hillsborough, which has at least half a dozen and - with a few exceptions - a lot more keenly priced than the ones up the hill. To complicate things, I'm now the sort of affluent professional who can occasionally justify splurging on a new dress (very rarely anything else - half an outfit never feels like such good value) in the sale, and they obviously can't be got rid of, ever.

The key element of Marie Kondo's philosophy, it strikes me, is that you should keep things (and only things) which 'spark joy' - or if that has lost a little in translation, that make you smile. And my sad onions and disappointed celery absolutely do fulfil that function, and are, therefore, it seems to me, completely in line with her philosophy. Mr Celery is in fact already earning his keep:
Yes, I do have a lot of old tat painstakingly collected historic artefacts. I am also (almost) obsessively tidy. They are curated as carefully as any museum or gallery collection, arranged and positioned to the inch (or less, if I'm honest). I wish I weren't like this. People come to my house and say 'I wish I could be as tidy as you.' But I go to their joyfully chaotic homes, where things are genuinely, spontaneously (dis)ordered rather than carefully contrived, and I wish that, just sometimes, I could be as untidy. But as I can't, perhaps buying things that are intrinsically superfluous is the next best thing.


  1. Having seen your photos today and read your eyesw, I am now completely in love with you... :-)

  2. I typed "words", honest!

    (How do I edit)

  3. I think you can only delete and start again... much more fun to leave it as it was :-) For my part, I can't help wondering whether this is the first time in the history of the English language, ever, that the words 'nascent anthropomorphised pottery emotional vegetable receptacle collection' have appeared together in that order. I'd like to think so.

  4. Replies
    1. It is a pity that you needed 'vegetable'. Without it, your collection would have been your 'prance'., which strikes me as delightful.

      Of course the vegetable jars may be your fifth prance, in which case I take it all back.