RSS Feed

‘Uncategorized’ Category

  1. Latitude – the review

    July 29, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    There’s only one review of Latitude that counts, and that’s mine. I kid – anyone’s but mine. I went having never attended a festival before, not having camped since before Lara was born and, to be honest, I was bloody knackered to start with. All pictures are care of my amazing husband Alex. Do bear in mind also that it wasn’t me just on my tod, as the article suggests. The nearest I came to putting up the tent was attaching the interior bed compartment using the toggles.

    latitude logo

    I’m a virgin. A festival virgin. When the opportunity arose to review Latitude festival for the Southwold Organ, it was an impossible invitation to pass up.

    And so it was on Thursday afternoon that I found myself pitching a tent and desperate to get my hands on an elusive programme detailing the delights that awaited further afield in the myriad of tents and stages. While the lack of full schedules prior to the festival had been disappointing, the official programme promised delights from Bloc Party, Foals, Eddie Izzard, Kraftwerk and many others.

    Studio Festi

    A stroll into the main arena in search of dinner led me to a wondrous sight – every kind of food was available, as well as several ‘bars’ offering your beverage of choice in a Latitude eco pint glass, or rather, plastic. Latitude have a great eco policy and the provision of recycling facilities throughout the site was notable.

    Having taken in the atmosphere and walked the main areas to familiarise myself with the stages, I chanced upon Studio Festi performing their stunning Water Dance upon the lake. The beauty of an aerial ballet whilst suspended from a moon-like sphere combined with ballerinas upon giant swans was merely a reminder that entering a festival is like entering a wonderland, an escape from the real world and a celebration of the arts. At the opposite end of the spectrum, I was taken in by Craig Charles’ funk and soul DJ set in the middle of the woods. Alas, while the festival stalwarts were being hyped up by this showman, it was time for me to retire to bed.

    As Friday morning rolled around, I started the day with a bit of a self indulgent geek fest – celebrating the 50th anniversary of a certain time travelling chap, And Remember… We Care productions gave us Dr Who and the Latitudes which left everyone chortling with enough in-jokes to keep us nerds happy and plenty of pop culture references to keep the whole audience laughing. Spit the K9 Dog, anyone? I then strolled over to the Obelisk arena – no-one seems in any great rush at a festival which is a real break from the whirlwind of every day life – to an uplifting opening set from The Leisure Society. Such a bright and fun performance followed, with dedications to festival goers and ukuleles used to great effect.


    From there I bounced over to the comedy tent, lapping up the great talent available.  Lee Nelson made a brilliant MC and drew the crowd together. Nick Helm and the Helmettes gave a great performance, true to their gross overuse of profanity, but this did come to alienate what was an otherwise willing audience.

    Hot footing it back over to the Obelisk arena, I and hundreds of others relaxed in the beautiful sunshine to the summer sounds of Tim Burgess. His laid back attitude was the perfect accompaniment to the hottest day of the festival, with his summery track Oh No I Love You getting the crowd to their feet. Particular note should go to the lead guitarist [Ed: think this is Mark Collins, original Charlatans guitarist, but no confirmation] who made light work of some great solos.

    A short interlude for lunch and it was back to the Comedy Tent for Tiffany Stevenson, a change from the schedule appearance but a welcome one at that. Her wry observational quips regarding middle class life were appropriate for a festival where the majority of attendees were just that, a point made by many of the comedians and acts throughout the weekend.

    I was fortunate enough to have been passing the BBC 6 Music arena in time to catch some of Beth Orton’s set. Orton has taken her time to return to the public eye, crafting her latest songs to perfection. Her beautiful tones reverberated through the tent with everyone both inside and out of the venue hooked.

    By the early evening it was time to settle in to the main arena for a brilliant line up of acts taking me through the night. Cat Power and her awesomely smoky vocals were lapped up by a packed audience in a set including Cherokee and Metal Heart. Next up were the Maccabees. I was privileged to be allowed access to the Vodafone VIP tower, a viewing platform with fantastic sightlines to the stage. From here it was clear to see that the boys were loving the atmosphere just as much as those watching.  Love You Better had everyone jumping and whooping as did Pelican.


    The main stage headliners for the night were introduced by Steve Lamacq for BBC 6 Music as part of a live broadcast. Bloc Party played their longest set ever to a packed arena with a terrific mix of tracks from their current album ‘Four’ and audience pleasers including Helicopter and Once More Chance. Kele is a great front man taking mic time to interact directly with the audience. An incredible light show accompanied the band throughout their set. This combined with the brilliant performance overall made this my favourite act of the weekend. Simultaneously, Texas were headlining the BBC 6 Music Stage – the dazzling circus style tent you will have seen accompanying any mention of Latitude Festival. Despite the day’s heat, Sharleen Spiteri positively bounced her way through the set and went down a storm mixing older hits – I Don’t Want A Lover, Halo – with their new songs.

    With Bloc Party’s lasers still searing through the sky, I headed over to the Literary Tent for the evening’s final treat – an interview with Jeremy Dyson, co-creator of the League Of Gentlemen, on his latest novel The Haunted Book. An insightful interview on what scares the human psyche left me with a need to get my hands on that book. (Edit: It’s my birthday in a fortnight. That’s your hint. ) No need for a twitchy walk back to basecamp through the forest though – with impromptu parties, acts and DJs playing through the night, my route was lit with other festival goers enjoying the festivities.

    Latitude’s motto is ‘More Than Just A Music Festival’ and Saturday would prove just that.  Beginning the day with a mooch around the festival to take in the sights was a great choice. After a good old sausage buttie, I walked through the Outdoor Theatre – less a theatre and more a performance space for dozens of acts, some in the open and some encased in small boxed house facades. Performances at Latitude range from those to thousands and those to just four – how many audience members can you really fit in a shed? From there, a walk through the Children’s Area where innumerous activities took place alongside child-focused performances and a stunning helter skelter.

    dylaMy first musical act of the day was Gaz Coombes, formally of Supergrass and now a successful artist in his own right. With his dreamy piano tracks infused with melodic electronica, he was the perfect start to the Saturday. At the same time, Matt Rees was the lead in before the main act in the comedy tent.  Chortle Best Newcomer nominee 2012, Rees was a stand out stand up with advice on how to deal with life’s little troubles. Then one of the festival’s headliners, Dylan Moran. The tent was packed to capacity with many more watching this king of observational comedy on the big screens outside. In a post-50 Shades world, Moran had his own take on erotic literature to enlighten the crowds with.

    I had some time to view the vendors on site. Amongst the many food outlets (a massive range of tastes, most high quality) there were a variety of stalls. Popcorn? Ice cream. Hats? Sandals? Wings. Tails. Ponchos? Bubbles? Juggling? Flower headdresses? Bum bags. Glitter? Tattoos – only temporary, mind. Every stall seemed carefully chosen to extol the virtues of a happy festival goer and all were great fun to observe.

    King Charles (the performer, not the relic) was a surprise joy to find in the afternoon. He’s country music, but he’s not. He’s a bit Noah And The Whale, but he’s not. He’s a bit Paul Simon, but also not. A real upbeat performer, King Charles quickly became another one of my bands to watch.

    tentI managed to catch the second half of the incredibly popular Ballet Boys upon the Waterfront stage, an amazing platform based as you would imagine on the waterfront to allow an audience from all directions, be they beside the stage or on the opposite bank of the river. The graceful yet powerful dances were a real feast for the eyes and the audience were very appreciative. A festival is quite transient – your audience may disappear after the second song in favour of a different tent. However, the Ballet Boys kept the audience’s attentions throughout.

    All this fresh air, good food and walking (you’d not think it’s a healthy lifestyle, festivalling, but it really is) had taken its toll on this normally busy mum so I took my first afternoon nap for years following the excitements of the morning. While I slept, critically acclaimed Trevor Noah took on the comedy tent and won. Daughter gave the audience a treat with their haunting folk echoing from the BBC 6 Music tent. Families met the Gruffalo and Shappi Khorsandi gave the world a piece of her mind, if only she could remember what it was (baby brain).

    yyyRefreshed, I returned to the main festival with a dilemma on who to choose. I elected the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and they did not disappoint. Singer Karen O, dressed in an amazing yellow studded shorts suit, positively bounded across the stage and had the audience screaming within seconds of the band’s appearance. For me, their performance was as good as any of the headline acts for the weekend and I’d like to see more of them in the future. In case you’re wondering, my alternative act of choice was Adam Buxton’s Bug, a fantastic comic review of the inanity of the internet as presented by the BFI and as recommended by many of my peers. Next time, Adam, I promise.

    An act that surprised the crowds was Ultimate Bowie, an amazing, well numbered band with a fantastic front man in the form of Ed Blaney. Blaney possesses a great physical likeness to Ziggy Stardust but an incredible likeness vocally. Closing my eyes, it was a privilege to imagine myself at a genuine Bowie concert. Wisely, Blaney did not try to convince the audience he was indeed Bowie between numbers, instead sharing his own recollections of Bowie’s performances and banter with the band making this a real treat to have been part of.

    richAnd on to the Saturday headliners. Hot Chip are one of the UK’s best pop acts on the scene and they did not disappoint in presenting a showcase of some of their biggest floor fillers interspersed with some surprising new material. Their constantly shifting tunes had the crowd screaming for more. Slipping away, I was able to see one of the highlights of the year’s festival, Richard Ashcroft. For a man who could have lorded over proceedings, he humbly began with an announcement that he was just doing a quick mic check as it was just him and his guitar. There was no need for light shows, big bands or riotous performances. This inspirational songwriter began with some of his old band’s songs to warm up the audience – not that they needed warming up. Within seconds of walking on stage, this seminal performer had everyone in the palm of his hand with his musical soliloquys past and present. A true highlight of the festival.

    And then to the main arena for the weekend’s headliners, Kraftwerk. This group has been triumphantly bringing their future electronica to the world for 40 years. To enthrall a new audience, a highly anticipated 3D concert was promised. It was indeed fantastic for those in the front rows, on raked seating, or otherwise taller than 5’8″. For the rest of us, poor sightlines resulted in the audience thinning out drastically through the set. If you build publicity based on a gimmick and it cannot be delivered, people won’t stick around long to hear the music, whatever the quality. This disappointing visual spectacle did not detract from the highly accomplished Kraftwerk, but alas, I don’t believe any new fans were won that day.

    duckieFor those who disbanded from the main arena throng, other treats awaited. Parties in the Faraway Forest, the cult Disco Shed bringing their fun to Pandora’s Playground, Mark Lamarr’s DJ set in the Film Arena and Duckie’s tried and tested blend of cabaret and music elsewhere.

    As the dawn rose on Sunday morning, so did the campsite with the biggest queue for the showers. A good job it was our last day. We chanced upon the Sunday Assembly, a seemingly non-religious church that celebrates life. A rejuvenating set of songs, chats and services finished with a rousing chorus of I Need A Hero. It really seemed to embody the ethos of the festival – let’s just be really happy to be here in this life, doing what we’re doing, and enjoying it.

    We chanced upon Les Enfants Terribles’ Imaginary Menagerie, a family show reminiscent of the old travelling snake oil salesmen but set within and around a converted horsebox with the performers appearing through every port hole possible. This incredibly slick, fast paced retelling of fables was a true joy to watch with its mixture of comedy, storytelling, music and puppetry a feast to the eyes.


    From what my research on Latitude tells me, it’s the Sunday lunch headliners that really bring in the crowds. For the main arena, Bobby Womack’s soulful tones floated over a packed and appreciative audience. Having received treatment for colon cancer last year, this was impressively not Womack’s first festival of 2013 and I’m sure it won’t be the last. With tracks from his 27th studio album The Bravest Man In The Universe as produced by Damon Albarn and the deep soul tunes which are a beauty to hear, Womack gave the festival a real treat.

    Eddie Izzard was just absolutely perfect in the Comedy Tent. This real force of comedy stopped into Latitude amid a worldwide tour and gave the audience a glimpse into his surreal, wild but incredibly clever thoughts. For real fans of Izzard, this set was a complete hoot with so many references to old material dotted amongst the new pieces. I’m continually surprised by Izzard and his time at Latitude was no exception.

    With so many more acts I would have loved to have seen: Rudimental, Laura Mvula, Nina Conti, Daniel Kitson, Alan Moore’s latest film project, David Schnieder; it was time to return home, tent and all.

    Having popped my festival cherry, I can confirm the following:

    For Latitude certainly, it’s a safe, family friendly festival. The unlimited number of activities and acts available is overwhelming. It’s an experience away from the normal hum drum of every day life. It’s freedom and expression. It’s everything you make it.

    This year’s Latitude Festival ran from Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st July 2013 at Henham Park, Southwold.

  2. Life advice #19: Be eccentric now

    July 27, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    19. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

    kcadb-dark_teeFor me, this is less about wearing purple and eccentricity as getting over what everyone’s expectations are of you and finally living up to your own.

    I’ve tried to fall in to line. I’ve tried to glam it up for events and I’ve tried to wear short shorts over the summer. I’ve tried to have an actual hairstyle. But I’m never comfortable. I’m never myself.

    Finally, I’m just getting on with it. I’ve ditched the short shorts. I’ve made cut offs from my jeans, at a really untrendy a-bit-above-the-knee-and-clearly-used-to-be-longer length. They are more me. And I wear geeky logo t-shirts. The pretty patterns and cuts everyone else wears are just not me. While my peers are off to Malaga, my husband and I are off to a convention. I’m much happier playing a giant game of wink murder than I am clubbing.

    Eccentricity is designated to older people doing what they have always done or wished they had done. So why wait?

    Eccentric? No. I’m just different. I’m me.

  3. Asda – It’s Over.

    July 14, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    Dear Asda,

    We work well together. We have done for years. But – and I’m sorry to say this – you’ve changed. And I can wholeheartedly say that it’s you, not me.

    I remember the days when I’d wheel a tiny newborn through your store, with Little L marvelling at your twinkling lights and I enjoying the delicious calm that settled. And of course when I realised you sold clothes – well, that was a special day.

    That memorable day when I discovered online ordering. Being able to find the second cheapest of everything was a godsend for our budget.

    But then you changed.

    No sooner had you lulled me into a false sense of security with your ‘click and collect’ service, you moved the goalposts. Despite two years, two years of devoted service completing weekly surveys on your Mumdex panel, you went behind my back and changed everything.

    banana400Three times I selected ‘1 kg of bananas, 68p’. Three different shopping loads. And each time, what did I get, Asda? What did you give me, even though you’d promised me a bunch of tasty yellow fruit? One. Sodding. Banana. Each frickin’ time.

    But, you know, I thought I’d persevere. I thought I’d try and work on our relationship. I shrugged off substitutions. I dutifully gave you hours of my life ordering online. And then, the final insult.

    Asda, you took away my price filtering options.

    The one thing that was holding us together, you tore apart.

    I can see why you did it. Money. That’s all you care about really, isn’t it? Not our bond. Not our relationship. Bloody money. ‘Oh no, forget our best comparison feature, we’ll make it hard for people to find the cheapest product and our Price Beating service will be a breeze. We’ll rake it in!’. Well Asda, now I know. You’ve shown your true colours.

    I’m leaving you, Asda. I’ve found someone else.


  4. Life advice #18: Prep then chill

    June 13, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    18. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

    I used to be the most prepared person in the world. Ever. With my Mary Poppins bottomless bag, I was on hand to rescue any situation. On venturing anywhere, I would run through every possible scenario that could evolve through the day and the potential results so that I could be ready for them.

    It was exhausting.

    bagI was overly over prepared, both physically and mentally.  And for every positive potential outcome during the day, there would always be a negative potential outcome which I’d also run through completely in my head. it got to the point where the stress of very unlikely situations was making me nervous. Silly, right?

    And then stuff happened. My mum died. The best advice I have ever been given to this day is still ‘take it an hour at a time’. When your life changes forever in the space of a second, it’s hard to look much further forward than that. I stopped going through all the potential consequences, packing for a natural disaster. Money, keys and Ibuprofen. That’s all you really need.

    Then more stuff happened. Our daughter was born. And while I did revert back to packing enough everything to last a week even for a trip to the shops, I soon got my head back to normal and began preparing for regular eventualities rather than obscure ones.

    Little L has just turned two so heading out is a much easier affair these days. Nappies, wipes, drink, money, keys, Ibuprofen. Money is pretty important unfortunately. It can’t buy you happiness, but by golly, it can enable a trip to Tescos to buy nappies, wipes and a new set of clothes should they be needed in the case of a bottom explosion, or entry to a farm to bust those afternoon blues, or a picnic when we receive a happy phone call from friends heading to a park.

    So now we go with the flow. We have an idea of what’s happening for the day but other than that, we see where the world takes us.

    It’s a much nicer place without the Mary Poppins bag.

  5. Life advice #17: Use the fancy schmancy stuff

    May 29, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    17. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

    Thankfully, this is one piece of advice that I already stick to.

    I am very much the kind of person who, if they don’t need it, doesn’t buy it. That means if we have it, it blooming well gets used until it falls apart. Whether that’s a nice pair of jeans, Little L’s pretty party dresses, new bed linen or some posh plonk, it doesn’t wait for a rainy day.

    We don’t have the budget or childminding facilities to go out on the town, see a show, take in a film, have a meal etc. So we make the most of what we can do at home. We don’t buy all the treats – I plan our grocery shopping meticulously to ensure we only buy what we need – but we make sure we have lovely meals and if we’re given anything nice, it gets used.


    When I said meticulously, I wasn’t kidding.

    I’ve spent the last ten minutes trying to think of anything I am saving for a special occasion, but truth be told, there’s nothing. Well, there’s Little L’s flower girl dress/shoes and they’re being kept back in order to stay clean until the wedding, but the dress will become a dressing up princess outfit soon after and the sandals will be used as normal footwear.

    Alright, there’s my wedding dress, but that’s not exactly something to slip on every now and again. That is being kept. That’s for Little L. And when she’s at the point where she become engaged, it’ll be given to her for her to do with as she wishes – change it, dye it, remodel it, tear off the train and make a bustle – whatever she wants. Because your wedding day is a bit fancy schmancy.

    Even my beloved wedding shoes got used rather than being hidden away and never worn again. When I say used, I really mean it – lovely Jenna wore them for the two week run of Friends of Dorothy (and all the rehearsals leading up to it). Feet and calves of iron, that woman.

    There’s no point keeping things for best.

    Now is best.

  6. Busy Little Bee

    May 20, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    I missed this Saturday’s post. Sorry! This is why.


    Yep, I’m in a show! I’m playing the part of Cinderella’s Stepmother in Into The Woods, but this is no pantomime. I’m stepping out of my safe zone with the first non-panto I’ve been in for yonks. It’s dangerous in them there woods…

    See it, don’t see it and miss out, up to you. But I’ll be there singing my socks off. I’m not hidden in the back; there’s solos and stuff. And I have a wicked dress. Normal service to be resumed once it’s all done!

  7. Life advice #16: You can be happy

    May 11, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    face16. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.

    A friend of mine has been going through a tricky time lately. They run their own business and they’ve worked so hard on it, but it’s at the point where it’s not able to grow any further. They’re starting to question what they are doing and where they are heading. And you know what? Questioning yourself if a very good thing.

    For my friend, questioning themself has led to a realisation – the business is brilliant and has done so well, but they’re not as happy as they could be. So they are freeing themselves from that stress and trying something new.

    My friend is in their 40s. Not that being in your 40s is old, or too late. Far from it. In your 40s, you have been through enough to get the hang of life (just) but have so much more to do ahead of you. My friend had spent the last five years thinking it was too late to change. But through realising that they were the person who decided their fate, not anyone else, they’ve made a really positive change to the road that lays ahead.

    All I can do is support my friend in their new adventures. They’re taking a leap of faith which so far is proving fantastic in terms of a work/life balance. They’re happier than they were. And I know they’ll only get happier from here on in.

    Are you happy?

  8. Life advice #15: You are strong

    May 5, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    15. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

    This isn’t just about the big stuff. I could tell you tales of people who’ve lost limbs through accidents and have gone on to have bionic legs. I could talk about the many people I know (too many) who have lost parents. Children. Yet they have made it through. But I’m not going to talk about them. I’m going to talk about the small things that are a huge deal.

    There are small confidence killers that happen to us all every day. Someone looking your work over and hurrumphing. The person who looks at you like you’re dirt when they’ve decided to overtake you. The realisation that you’ve got to the end of the day and seemingly achieved nothing. These little moments make us feel like we are lesser beings, if only for an instant, but they stay with us and build up over time.

    This week, I did a taster session for a group which the kids loved. I was told afterwards ‘It just wasn’t for us’, and asked if I could try again but just do nursery rhymes etc that the children knew rather than the content that represented what I do. I was a bit taken aback by this – everyone has loved it so far, and surely a taster session for a specific class should represent that class? This knocked me down a peg and left me asking if the product I was offering was good enough.

    That same afternoon, I saw a quote that really irritated me. It was by Yoko Ono.

    yoko copy

    I was still on a downer from the morning’s taster session and this riled me. But then it made me think.  (Damn you, Ono, for making me actually think!) – what would happen if I applied that concept to the owner of that morning’s comment?

    I was empowered. My brain readjusted to the new information. You know what? Pyjama Drama is brilliant. It genuinely is. And the songs and activities are so much fun. So there’s a group that doesn’t like change – that’s why you do tasters. You’re proud of what you do so don’t ditch something fantastic just to rehash The Grand Old Duke Of York for a group that aren’t interested in what you offer.

    This new look at the situation made me feel stronger. It got me out of my funk. It made me feel even more passionate about what I do and gave me added focus.

    It didn’t kill me. It made me stronger.

    So you. Yeah, you. Pick out the last thing someone said that knocked you down. Draw that halo round their head. And get strong.

  9. The next great impressionist

    April 30, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    I’m an alright parent. I try to do one activity a day with/for Little L. I don’t always succeed. We watch a lot of telly. God bless Cbeebies.

    Very, very occasionally I do something that’s not half bad. That happened this week. And I’m so damned chuffed, I’m sharing it with you on here because it’s a brilliant idea and it’s what we’re doing from now on.

    With three birthdays this weekend, we’d already got the presents sorted but not the wrapping paper. Thanks to funny tummies, we skipped on swimming and spent the morning snuggling up under a blanket instead. By lunch, I was feeling like a guilty lazy mum so thought I’d be brave and set up some painting. But what? Then it hit me;

    We’d make our own wrapping paper. We had everything we needed – paints, bib, huge roll of paper from Ikea. So this is how it went down;

    Having set stuff up in the kitchen, I drew three themed pictures; butterflies, jungle and under the sea. These matched the presents.

    2013 04 26 paint 1

    Because I’m lazy, I can’t be doing with paint pallets. Instead, I splurged the paint directly on to the picture tactically. That way Little L could schmoosh it around as she wished.

    2013 04 26 paint 5

    When I say schmoosh, I mean it literally. Having been taught to do so at nursery, Little L automatically started painting and using her hands. It’s all good – I still didn’t have to clean paint pallets so I was happy.

    2013 04 26 paint 7

    And so, to the finished article. Cheap (free!), entertained Little L, and end-of-painting-time-tantrums were avoided by the golden phrase ‘this is the last one now, okay?’

    2013 04 26 paint 8

    I was really rather impressed at what happened next. I put the rag on the table to clean it and Little L took over to do it herself. A child who paints then cleans up after herself. I know, I have no idea either. Blooming well done Busy Bees nursery for training her up, that’s all I say.

    2013 04 26 paint 11

    And that’s your lot. 15 minutes worth of me being impressed at what a mess it wasn’t. Time where Little L was impressively focused. A result that meant funkily wrapped presents. So if you invite Little L to a party, expect a one-of-a-kind wrapping on the gift.

  10. Life advice #14: Clarity, not clutter

    April 27, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    14. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

    Clutter. It’s a family’s best friend. In our house, we do as best we can to make sure we don’t end up with stuff we don’t need. I’m notorious for selling things or Gumtreeing things away once we’re done with them. Bigger things. But clutter – it’s all the little things, isn’t it? Things that we don’t really have a place for, so they become the things that live everywhere.

    Take our mantlepiece for example. We have (left to right) a wooden tortoise brought home from Uganda by our nephew; an empty photo frame box from Boston; our wedding cake toppers; a pack of chalk; one of Little L’s birthday cards (from last month); a ‘congrats’ card for getting Pyjama Drama up and running; a clock; some empty Mario themed sweet tins; an oversize wedding invitation (my fault); drinks holder circles of wood (I can’t remember what they are called right now, okay?); a smelly thingy; the pairs to the tortoise and photo frame box.


    The only thing stopping this from being The Generation Game is a cuddly toy. We don’t need it all. It can all go, or go elsewhere. But it’s still there. And this is just a very small snapshot of our house. And every time I look at it I think ‘ugh, we don’t have a pretty mantlepiece like everyone else. I should really do something about that.’ But I don’t, because we have a child and I just don’t get round to it.

    I need to declutter. I need to hit Ebay with the four boxes of clothes under the bed. I need to sort Little L’s toys. I need to decide what I’m doing with the front garden (whole world of clutter hiding behind the fence). I need that clarity, that space.

    I will post a picture of the mantlepiece again this time next week. Together, we’ll either mock me or celebrate the clarity.