The benefits of my new routine are becoming more apparent every day. This morning, a rainy school-holiday day, I sat up in bed reading, eating Easter eggs and throwing the wrappers on the floor, secure in the knowledge, that come hell or high water, after breakfast I would be tidying them all up. And I needed to eat Easter eggs for breakfast, because, due to the rain, I had declared today The Great Semi-Annual Clothes Sorting Day. This event is both feared and despised by children and their parents alike, as twice each year, at the turn of the season, all the new season's clothes need to be brought out of storage and tried on (aaargh) to see if they still fit. With three girls, (one of whom, thank goodness, has stopped growing), I have a lot of stored clothes. Most of them are under my bed, in cardboard boxes, with the size and season marked on them. After these are sealed up and shoved back under the bed after sorting day, all the other clothes that turn up in the wash, or under beds, or hand-me-downs that are given to us, I throw into a large tin trunk that once belonged to my great-grandmother, and now lives on our front balcony where it makes a fine seat.
So this is the battleplan: first, pull all of the boxes out from under my bed (I will be so pathetically glad when we have cupboards). Posy does this, chugging them along like trains into the loungeroom, and sneezing, because they are covered in a six-month veil of dust. I vacuum the tops of the boxes while Rosy brings in armfuls of clothes from the trunk. Now for the fun. An hour and a half of sorting and trying on. At first this is fun, and Rosy powers through her piles. Then it starts to be not fun, and Posy is a)screaming because she has new clothes that she doesn't want to try on, or b)screaming because Rosy has a new dress/tights/skirt etc and she doesn't (although she did two minutes ago). When it becomes extremely not fun for anybody we stop for lunch.
After lunch we are faced with immense teetering piles of clothes that need to packed back into boxes or into drawers, along with piles of summer clothes from drawers needing to go into boxes as well. I think we need less clothes. Oh yes, we also have large piles of clothes which are too small for the smallest child which are going right out the door. I really love that bit. There is no baby in the family who will ever grow into those clothes. No, I am not the tiniest bit sentimental about that. It is two in the afternoon already, and I never want to see another item of clothing ever again. At this point, my only consolation is that all this thrifty clothes hoarding means that I only need to go buy one single item of clothing for one of my daughters, and we are all sorted for clothes this winter. And then the blessed news that The Boy has miraculously not grown out of his winter school uniform. We shall be able to pay the orthodontic bill after all.
Now the only thing left to do (apart from bribing Rosy to put her winter wardrobe away - luckily there are still Easter eggs left), is to vacuum six months of dust from under my bed and put all the boxes away. By then the rain has stopped, and the glittering garden calls me out. So I spend an hour and a half tramping about in my fetching black gumboots, constructing a very darling little herb garden, using the red bricks that we saved when we pulled our kitchen chimney down last year. I had the idea for this garden this morning in bed while reading gardening books and drinking tea. I was very pleased, because I have not known what to do with this tiny patch of ground, and for nine years it has been an eyesore, filled with whatever self-seeded in it, existing in a rainshadow, sitting right at the entrance of the house. Tomorrow I shall fill it with herbs, and it shall be a joy and a delight forever. All because I was able to sit in bed eating Easter eggs without a care in the world. See? Routine is a wonderful thing...
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