One of the benefits of being a pre-tiree with a reducing paid work commitment is that it gives you more time to tackle those jobs for which there was never quite enough time when you were a full-time wage slave. Take going through your clothes, for example.
I would never describe myself as a clothes-horse but even a modest investment in apparel over the years without the compensating reduction in older stuff means that wardrobes, drawers and cupboards start to overflow or not shut properly. The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was when I couldn’t untangle three hangers which had conjoined in a manner reminiscent of those fiendish Japanese metal puzzles in the deepest recesses of a wardrobe inaccessible to man. “That’s it”, I cried, “I’m going to have a good sort out”.
And so I did. There are three criteria in my mind for throwing clothes out. The first is that they are in disrepair. Socks develop holes, the elastic on underpants goes and, for some reason, I have developed a propensity for wearing through the right elbow of my shirts. But I’m reasonably good at recognising when something is beyond repair and toss them out there and then. So this wasn’t going to help much with my clear out.
The second is fashion or rather that the garment has gone out of fashion. But, of course, fashion is cyclical and what is currently unfashionable – about 75% of my wardrobe – will, if I hang on to it, at some uncertain point in time become the height of fashion. So this is no good.
The third is that it no longer fits. For decades my frame has been the epitome of stasis with nary a pound’s deviation in weight. But, somewhat alarmingly, I have been piling on the avoirdupois over the recent months, necessitating an increase in trouser size. Hanging in the wardrobe were around 15 pairs of strides with a waist measurement some two inches lower than that which I can squeeze into now.
There’s something rather dispiriting in trying on 15 pairs of kecks in the vain and uber-optimistic expectation that I might get into them. After four or five pairs I gave up trying to squeeze the waist fastenings around me and for the rest, once they were approaching my waistline, I quickly realised that they weren’t going to fit.
So on the bedroom floor I had a pile of trousers that no longer fitted. What to do? One option was to keep them on the basis that a bit of a diet and a fitness regime would see sufficient weight fall off to ensure that said strides fitted comfortably once more. But then cold realism hit me – that was never going to happen. The only realistic course of action was to get rid – at a stroke solving the chronic space shortage in my wardrobe. And if I did ever by some chance regain my erstwhile waist size, I would be only too delighted to splash the cash to buy some new trews.
But it is not quite as easy as that. My idea was to bundle them up and take them down to one of those clothing bins that litter car parks. But TOWT had other ideas, bless her. After carefully laundering each of them she has been determinedly offering them to any and all of our friends. Alas, she has to date found no takers and the rather depressing pile representing my erstwhile svelte self greets me every time I go into my room. Next week they go, come what may.
Pumpkins have now been successfully transplanted outdoors into grow bags and after a profusion of male flowers I now have three of the all important female ones. Once they open it will be a spot of cross-pollinating. This is what life has come to!