Monthly Archives: September 2012

The little things that make life better.


This post is inspired by something started on that well known parenting site, Mumsnet. Some visionary suggested that it would be a Nice Thing, if Mumsnetters were to send something in the post to another MNer. Lots of people agreed, and after some confusion about who was sending to who, nice things began to fly all over the globe, hither and thither.  I was the lucky recipient of a box of chocolate bears, from a very lovely Swiss chocalatier, and some people made things. It won’t solve Third World debt, or poverty, or prevent war, but sometimes its the little things that make the day go a little better.

Coffee and Life


So. The search to enable one excellent cup of coffee a day, at my house, continues. Let me ramble on about progress so far. I own a cafetiere, but if I use this, I make Too Much Coffee. This, I either drink, and find myself bouncing Tigger-esque around the room, or waste. I hate waste. Also, apparently cafetieres let too many coffee particles through, so a filter is better for you. So I got a filter machine. This worked pretty well, but was a complicated process, possibly made so by me. The coffee it produced was not hot enough for my tastes, so I developed a ritual that involved warming both the jug and the milk. The maker of this machine was Krups. There was then a period of confusion (for me) about the ethics of the company during the Second World War. This turned out to be incorrect, and Krups coffeemakers are not the same makers just a very similar name, but I retired the machine during this time.  Then I decided my life would be complete if only I had a machine that would grind beans also. So, next Christmas Santa brought me just such a machine. Yes, it produces good coffee, but at the time the local availability of beans was limited, and the machine is fairly high maintenance, and requires charcoal filters, and fiddly cleaning. After a while of researching and anticipation, all this came as one of life’s minor disappointments. Also, whilst the coffee is undoubtedly good, I believe that the quality of available ground coffee is pretty good, and in a blind taste test could not tell you which was pre-ground and which wasn’t. A real coffee-buff probably could. Maybe I just don’t have a discerning palate.

Then I thought that I had solved my, admittedly very minor First World Problem. I found an insulated cup and cafetiere combined. Great, one cup, no waste. Do not put it in the dishwasher, the instructions said. So, tilting at windmills, I did just that… Unsurprisingly, it has absorbed some water through the minuscule gap where the two parts of the cup are assembled. Over time, I have allowed my mind to dwell unnecessarily on the probably green and unsavoury state of this imprisoned water. This is not a good idea, and don’t try this at home, folks… Also, the push in part of the cafetiere has become distorted through age, and now maliciously burns me every morning, with the resulting spurting hot coffee.

I just want a coffee-device that does not require ongoing, only obtainable by mail-order consumables. This does not seem to be possible.*

It may be a metaphor for my life, that I want something that does not, in actual fact, exist.


The search for one perfect cup of coffee continues.

* Unless you, dear Reader, know different….?

My name is Parsley, and I am a hoarder…


I would like to be able to stop hoarding so much stuff. It would be nice to live in a home that is not cluttered. I think I am getting better, but sometimes I wonder. I am one of those people who keep things because ‘I might use/need this one day’, regardless of the fact that the cost of the article would be very minor, compared to the sheer annoyance of having the house filled with ‘stuff’. In rational moments, I know that I will very rarely come to need or use this stuff. Pair of weighted balls to roll around in your hands that make a jingling noise anyone? Set of plastic handle things so that I can carry supermarket bags without cutting my hands into ridges? Handbag charm/watch which I am frightened to use because the fitting is very cheap and it keeps falling off? (‘Twas not cheap by the way. Yes, well known fashion-retail brand I did buy it from you, despited having bought previous ‘pretty, shiny things’ that turned out the same).

I suppose it comes from a sense of low-level insecurity. I feel ‘safe’ with this stuff around, protecting me from unknown situations, even though it is annoying and stressful at the same time.

Then there is the cosmetics/toiletries element to this situation. I feel obliged to buy shower gels when they are on special offer, regardless of the fact that there are always some on special offer. I am tempted when there is a new ‘flavour’, which will make my morning shower experience blissful, and my day perfect.I have a whole hat box devoted to this Surplus Stock. The box also contains extras of teeth floss harps, and facial hair-removing cream, in case I ever run out…. I have many face creams, and eye creams, none of which seem to make much diffference. I have several different cleansers on the go at any one time. I use a face wash in the shower, but at night, I have ‘normal’ cleanser, a hot cloth cleanser that I sometimes use, wipes for when I just can’t be bothered but need to make a token effort, a different sort of cleansing water, and another one I got because it looked interesting, and I have started to use it, even though its rightful place is in the Surplus Box… I seem to have a stash of night cream, perfume bought by relatives which I wouldn’t have chosen but feel obliged to use, and hand-cream, which I need to use more often, but I don’t like the sticky feeling it leaves, so tend to leave it until bedtime.

Also, how many pairs of tights and popsocks does one woman need? Surely not as many as me! I am slowly working at using this stuff up, and binning some of the useless stuff, and putting the new and useable in the charity bag.

Please come and tell me I am not on my own here!