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Crawling Through Treacle

christmas stressTrying to juggle everything seems to become ever harder and there never seems to be a let up.  Christmas is now very much on the horizon and I have no idea how I am going to get that one sorted.  At the moment I am just about keeping all my juggling balls in the air, but it doesn’t take much to threaten that.

This week I am really very busy with work and I think the same will be true next week too.  That means that other stuff takes a back seat like housework and Christmas shopping, but sooner or later they will become urgent too and something else will have to give.  Hopefully, work will be a bit less frantic then and I’ll be able to continue to manage everything, but you never know how things will work out.  The alternative is to take time out of other things, you know like ‘me time’.  The trouble with that is that it means life isn’t good to live and it doesn’t motivate you to get though.  Thankfully some of my ‘me time’ stuff finishes early for Christmas, so I will get a bit of extra time then without feeling that I am missing out in some way.

I often wonder if there is a way that I could get smarter, more organised and make it all work more smoothly.  I did do some stuff early in a bout of organisation a few months ago, so that does help now.  Maybe I should have done more then, but I expect there were other things to juggle then too – there always is, isn’t there?

How do you manage to keep everything running fairly smoothly?  How do you cope with Christmas? How will you make it work this year? Do you ever drop your juggling balls?

A New Washing Machine?

When we bought our current washing machine we were very short of cash.  We’d not long moved house and I wasn’t really earning anything to speak of from my online freelance writing work.  We couldn’t really manage without one for long (even with my parents along the same street). So what to do?

We eventually worked out that we had points on our credit card, which could be swapped for vouchers for a particular store.  I scoured the site trying to find the best value machine possible.  I found something that ticked the boxes and we bought it with the vouchers and paid the rest in cash.

Frankly though, it’s been a disappointment.  We bought a brand we’d never heard of and I’m guessing there was a reason why.  The machine is noisy and the spin isn’t very efficient.  Sometimes the washing is still dripping wet and I have to respin it.  The timer clock that I was looking forward to (our last machine didn’t have one) is a work of fiction.  The main cycle I use claims to last an hour when you put it on, but it takes 1 hour and 20 minutes.  It doesn’t have a 30 degrees programme either, it’s either 20 or 40 degrees and nothing in between.

Washing MachineThe annoying thing is that if we were replacing it now, whilst we would still want a good value machine, we could afford to invest in a better brand.  We’d like a brand with a reputation for reliability, one that we can trust.    Paying a little more for that peace of mind wouldn’t be such a problem and we’d like to be able to pick and choose a few features like bigger capacity and lower noise.

I’ve been window shopping a little, seeing what is out there and what we might buy if a) our machine dies b) I persuade the other half that the current washer is just too annoying to continue with.  I’ve been quite taken with Panasonic washing machines, they seem to be good value.  Wish me luck with persuading the husband!

My Kitchen

smeg range cooker in my kitchenMy dream kitchen is pretty much the one I left behind at our last house.  It was a kitchen we’d done a lot of work to create.

We had a strange ‘utility room’ which served no utility as it had no power and no water.  Knocking down this wall really helped open up the space and paved the way for creating a very large kitchen indeed.

Then we had a lot of fun choosing kitchen cupboards, wall and floor tiles.  Eventually, everything slipped into place and our kitchen was complete.  It was wonderful and a real selling point for our home when we came to sell.

Sadly, our new house has a dated, tired kitchen, but it’s about to have a makeover.  I can’t wait in a way, but I’m dreading the mess and the upheaval.  Wish me luck!