The best laid plans of mice and men, and me….

The plan was for me to take my trip to France then return to my nearly organised house, have a huge last push blitz and then settle into Making Things to sell.

Well the good news is that I’m back home after my French jaunt.  The bad news is that I broke my arm just before I was due to leave and I can’t drive.  It’s jolly painful as it’s right at the top of the humerus just below the shoulder joint so it can’t be plastered and is just in a sling. No, I wasn’t drunk, I tripped in my friends’ kitchen.

Up until then I was having such an enjoyable time seeing friends, ex-neighbours and the new owners of my house.  However, I am now home after a horribly uncomfortable two-day journey.  I found someone to drive me and my car back to the UK  and I was never so pleased to be in my own surroundings – even though I can’t even sleep properly as I can’t lie down.

It’s surprising how much one can achieve using one hand and teeth but of course the most frustrating thing is that I can’t knit, crochet or sew.  I’m a reader, but I can’t manipulate a book, I can’t do much else as it’s so painful and I’m so slow so I’m reduced to catching up with recorded tv programmes, cleaning up my Documents folder on my laptop, (very definitely needed), – and thank goodness for the French Open tennis.

I’m hoping for a rapid recovery but we shall see.  So much for The Plan.

This is the hot, heavy, badly fitting, uncomfortable medieval instrument of torture that my arm was put into in the French hospital. I was told I had to wear it without taking it off for four weeks.  I have since discovered that it is meant for a man, it was too big and it was put on wrong in the hospital!


It gave me a huge blister on my back but I had ordered a lighter one whilst still in France and it was delivered as I got home so that, at least, is more comfortable.

Later today I go for my first shower and hairwash for two weeks.  I don’t understand why I don’t smell but everyone assures me I don’t. They aren’t the kind to be polite either!

My very lovely doctor arranged for me to be taken to a retirement home where there is a walk-in shower as all of the showers I have access to are over the bath and there’s no way I’I’d be able to manage that.

Yes, I know that there are many worse off than I am and I shouldn’t be whinging, but this is MY misfortune and if it impacts directly it has an effect, the main one being extreme frustration, even though I know I can’t do a thing about it except wait.  I have masses of patience for things like jigsaws, untangling yarn, undoing knots, people and suchlike but this is just maddening.  At least I know that every day it should get a little better and I’m not miserable.  Some aren’t that lucky.

I suppose I’m getting there….

Less than a month, (but only just), since the last post!  A small improvement but hey – it’s progress.


The shelves are now much better placed than they were and the chests and fold-up bed fit nicely into the alcove which gives a little more lengthwise space for when the bed is down.


Although the room is looking chaotic everything is actually much more organised into piles for charity, to sell, to alter, to upcycle and thereby use fabric which is too good to part with.  It’s amazing how much fabric there is in an unpicked denim skirt.

sorting piles 001

However, I’m heading off to France in a few days so I will leave the blitz till I get back. I need to sort out  travel insurance, breakdown cover and car documents.  I never bothered when I lived there as breakdown was included with car insurance and I’d be covered by the NHS for anything else.  I toyed with not bothering but it would be Sod’s Law that I’d regret it so I must check details.

Apart from visiting friends I’m looking forward to seeing what the new owners have done to my house.  They were planning to make some interesting changes as well as putting a conservatory on the front.  At the same time as they bought mine they bought a strip of land adjoining mine making the garden twice the size and a much better shape.

I did a complete renovation when I bought the house as it was in very bad shape and I promised them a set of before and after photos so that is something I must do right now.

It really will be a month before the next post.

Oh, come on. Get on with it!

I can’t believe that these posts are spacing at a month+.  How time rushes by!

I’m not letting myself do all the things I want to until the organisation of this house is properly achieved.  I am far too weak-willed to trust that I would ever get back to it. In addition I am a champion procrastinator.  Sigh.

I am an inveterate hoarder, and daughter of an even worse hoarder, and am trying desperately to change my ways, but old dogs, new tricks….

I have so many things from my mother and grandmother that aren’t really worth keeping save for sentimental reasons and those are the hardest to dispose of.  Whereas I am happy to give some things away, sell, donate to charities, what I cannot do, or only with the greatest of difficulty, is lift the lid of the dustbin.  I’m even thinking I might sell some of my fabric.  What???  Wool – no.

My mother ingrained in me the ‘don’t waste anything – it might come in useful’ ethos.  Consequently I find myself hanging on to all sorts of rubbish, some of it hers.  I have started a pile of, ‘Now listen!  You won’t ever use that, and what do you think you are going to do with a rusty nail, such a small scrap of paper, three square inches of fabric, few inches of yarn,’ and so on.  It’s hard my friends, it’s hard.

I have to say though, that once I start it is quite a liberating feeling. STUFF is a burden and after years of having to buy a house big enough to take my worldly goods I do realise that it needs to be tackled so that it isn’t left to someone else if, (when), I shuffle off this mortal coil.

I’m still unpacking and sorting out and now the charity shops have 98% of my wardrobe.  And kitchen come to that.  It is so difficult fitting into a much smaller house.


Change of heart.  Ready to change these shelves around to being side by side.

 I’ve decided that releasing clothes that no longer fit, thus massively depleting my choice of things I can wear, is a creative way to whittle down my very large fabric stash, (and wool!).  Clever, eh?  What I have to do now is make the time to sew, knit and crochet!

It’s even more necessary than it was before my efforts as I inadvertently took a large bag of clothes I’d intended to keep to wear, to sell or were unworn, still with the labels on, to the charity shop, along with the bags I actually intended for them.  A classic example of overdosing on decluttering.

I have actually read the two blog books I ordered so will be gradually – slowly I expect – be hastening the learning curve for improving what I produce. I haven’t yet told anyone what I’m doing so I hope I can soon magic up something with some shape and structure.  Then I can try it out on friends.  Good fun really.

On a learning curve

I have just realised that today would have been our wedding anniversary if I’d stayed married to my long-divorced ex.  Although I’ve been perfectly happy ever since it does raise a question or two of how different life could have been if we’d stayed married.

I’ve been feeling sad about Helen Bayley who was murdered by the man she thought was her second chance of happiness, only to have been so horribly  deceived.  Thank heavens for all the happy and contented marriages out there which we so often don’t hear about.

My time haas been so taken up with unpacking and sorting out – and I’m still not finished.  The house I’m in now is much smaller than the one I left and has zero storage space.

I have bought industrial shelving, as the cheapest option, to store crates of wool, bags of fabric and various art supplies. These are filling the two spare bedrooms and with them and the as yet unpacked boxes I can hardly get in there.

I brought six dismantled bookcases with me for the downstairs rooms but still have to find some space for more books even though I gave away hundreds, (literally), before I left France.  I keep buying books too, so it’s a problem.

My French house. Not quite derelict when I bought it and subsequently much renovated.

The two I have ordered today are ‘how to’ books on building a blog because, believe me it isn’t as easy as everyone makes out. True, the basics are simple and straightforward but it’s the refinements that are trickier if you want to add a bit of individuality and play around with the appearance.

I’m quite comfortable working  with computers but so much advice relies on one having specialist technical knowledge which is often assumed.  It’s as if they are saying, “Oh right. You are daring to attempt something here so you must be practically an expert.”  Someone will say, “Do this”,  without explaining what “this” is, what it does, how to do it, or pointing the direction to a clear step by step explanation in words of one syllable.  Hence the two new book orders.

I’ll be back when I’ve learned a bit more.

Big mistake!

11th October 2016

It was a very bad idea to set up this blog in August whilst in the throes of moving house and finding somewhere else to live!  I originally started writing this post in September but didn’t publish it.  Now I’m going to try to catch up.

Moving from France back to the UK was relatively straightforward but with many niggling little issues to sort out all at the same time.

Once  back I have sold my French car – for a pathetic price –  bought a UK reg car, found somewhere else to live and gone through all of the fiddly official things such as insurances, road tax, council tax, changing names on utility accounts, setting up phone and broadband and buying things to replace what I left behind.

A sofa and chairs couldn’t be delivered till the end of November and a bed end of October so I bought a fold-up guest bed and am using it half folded during the day to serve as a temporary sofa.  Although I have the keys to the new place from the 14th October the removal men aren’t coming till the day after my bed is delivered on the 23rd so garden chairs are in use in the meantime.  It’s going to be a busy few days.

Washing machine, dishwasher and fridge-freezer deliveries on Thursday, bed on Friday and removals delivery on Saturday.

I might be gone some time……

First blog post

This blog has been at the back of my mind for a couple of years but a combination of procrastination and events delayed it till now.

The name Katactivity, (nothing to do with cats), came about because I have eclectic interests, always have some sort of activity on the go, and I am known as Kate, Kathy or Kathleen depending on whereabouts in the country I am and I expect Kat will be added here.  (Kathleen is my Sunday Best name only used by family or officials!)

My main activities however are primarily craft based – knitting, crochet, sewing, but with the addition of reading, gardening, baking and up till recently DIY.  Actually it would be easier to say what I’m not interested in because I will have a go at anything – especially in the craft field.  I have tried many and there are many more on my list.

Here I will be starting off on events leading up to now.