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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Not my usual sort of post....


Before I start this post, I just want to thank you all for your lovely comments.  I always read them, and usually reply, but life has been odd recently, and I haven't had time to do this.  I think it is more important to make sure that any time I have is spent commenting on your blogs. 

Now on to my post - which will be in two parts.  The first part will be about the Big Tidy Up.  The second part of the post will be more personal, something that I do not usually blog about.

This week I have been tackling my stash - those of you who follow me on Instagram   already know about this to a small degree, but not quite about the  the extent of the tidy up.

I have a very large and extensive stash - built up over the years.  It is not easy to find fabrics when you want them.  And also, with the exchange rate changing, and with uncertainty about the financial situation in Australia, not only with view to the global financial markets, but also the taxation and superannuation system, it makes sense to have some stash gold on hand.  Yes, Sarah Liz as a financial stash planner :).

Somehow, the stash had managed to become untidy piles of stash, instead of neat and tidy  piles.  So I spent some time sorting both the stash and sewing space into some sort of order.

As far as the Big Tidy Up is concerned, I shall just let the pictures do the talking for me:


Knits

Fleeces and Pontes and Heavier knits


Threads, Machines, Fabrics

Fabrics and things like Interfacings on top and to the side.


Things I use all the time.


And this bookcase now tidy as well.


And blue stash is hidden on an under desk shelf :)

I feel so much better now that the sewing room is in order.  Sewing is very important to me for a lot of reasons...

Now the personal bit...most unusual for me to reveal the more emotional Sarah Liz, but I am a real person after all :)...

Something else that is important to me, for a lot of reasons, is the little cottage pictured below.  It is a semi-detached Victorian cottage in a lovely part of the Belair/Blackwood Hills in Adelaide.  It is currently rented to a lovely lady and I hope she is happy there - the cottage has a very good feeling inside:



 3 Johnson Parade, BLACKWOOD SA 5051, Image 0

So, then, this is my cottage and also my sanity, along with sewing.  I will tell you why.  I am from Adelaide (well, from the UK, then to Australia, and I have lived in Adelaide, Alice Springs and Perth, but Adelaide is my Australian spiritual home).

I moved to Newcastle about 12 years ago when I married DH.  We had decided to retire to Adelaide - well, it was rather non-negotiable, as far as I was concerned.  I took the to be DH around, and he decided Adelaide was delightful, so that was that.  However, retirement keeps receding, with all sorts of changes here (or proposed changes) to the superannuation scheme.  So I think it will be a staged transition, and in a few years I hope to be making regular trips back home.  I can't wait, as I have never adjusted to Newcastle.   I won't say much more than that as I do not wish to offend, but I will say it is rated  number one in Australia for  drug/alcohol and violence problems.  It's an ex-industrial very working class town, and is quite rough everywhere - my neighbour down the road actually said that. It is not quite my cup of tea, to put it mildly.  I am sure if you are born here (they are very one eyed about the town)  and have lots of relatives, it is okay, but I don't have this and need to find succour in  the environment.  It's also a very machismo sort of place, and I am just not into that.     In short, although I tried hard to be positive about the place, especially in the first two years this did not work, and I became quite depressed.  I have recovered, and have my own interests (sewing of course) so I can cope but   I do not fit in, whereas I do in Adelaide. I  have to admit I still hate the place, and can't wait to leave.  And I loved Perth and Alice (after the usual homesick period) so I think it is the place...there is nothing here to feed my soul.  And strategies for coping with a situation are no substitute for fitting in and belonging to a place.  We need to be and belong.

So now I am starting to get ready - I went through the kitchen cupboards and started tossing junk.  The house needs lots of work prior to selling, and I thought the best thing to do was to start by tossing out clutter.  It has to go.  Then make plans.  It's all quite exciting really.  In the meantime, I can catch up with the practice accounts, and start working out how to wind down ready for DH's semi-retirement - I doubt he will ever fully retire, but I have dangled the commute to Adelaide regularly for nice breaks carrot...And he loves the Adelaide restaurants...and the Art Gallery...and the theatre...and I haven't introduced him to the free concerts on Friday at the Elder Conservatorium yet.

This should all keep me busy - I think the drains have started to get things moving, if you will pardon the pun.

All for now, back next week with some sewing....

Sarah Liz



 





30 comments:

  1. Hi Sarah Liz, this post made me laugh (classic line - Financial Stash Planner - love it) and also be very reflective as I have friends who live in Newcastle, originally from Brisbane, but lived in Adelaide twice for long periods and the last time immediately prior to Newcastle. On the one time I visited, I liked the town but I feel also that my friend hasn't fitted in either... not sure it is the town or the more reserved of my friend.. plus I think it's harder to connect when you are older... and lets be honest, to even bother some times! Thanks for your refections and what a lovely plan... at least you have a carrot too and two years goes so quickly unfortunately.

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment. I think you have made the astute point that a reserved person may not perhaps like the culture here. And you cannot easily change a culture, and it is not always healthy to bend yourself out of shape to fit in. I think if you are a more laid back sort of person and have perhaps lived on the east coast of Australia and enjoy the coastal lifestyle, then here would work.

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  2. Oh i.e. reserved nature that was meant to be. Also forgot to mention my sewing room is getting tidied as we speak and sorting of fabrics... ready to just cut into and use my beautiful fabrics.

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    1. I knew what you mean. And your friend would be more suited to Adelaide, which is a much more reserved sort of place. Good luck with your sorting and tidying - it sort of re-inspires one to sew again.

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  3. A lovely thoughtful post, Sarah Liz. Your tidy sewing room is a joy to see - I am quite bad at 'filing', so my system is very random, and frankly, messy. However, am definitely into stashing for my financial future too.
    Your cottage is adorable, and what a sweet carrot to have in the future. We also see a future where our house is sold around retirement time, and from time to time I have a big decluttering in preparation. Have sent a lot of books to heaven lately :)

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    1. I used to be messy as well, and could never find anything, so I just used to buy more, and add it to the mess. Finally I decided to tidy up a few years ago and catalogue my fabrics. Time consuming but worth it.

      Yes, I love the little cottage...it's quite daunting, isn't it thinking about retirement. My books should join yours, I think...

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  4. My brother & SIL never really settled into Newcastle either. Their back in their spiritual home now (Brisbane). Good to have a destination & a plan for getting there.

    You have some serious retirement supplies there! You might need to buy more fabric to help with the packing. Very good for protecting fragile items ;/)

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    1. I have met quite a few people from elsewhere who never quite settled here either - I think you have to be born here. Yes, agree, must get some more stash for packing...

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  5. I hope you are soon able to transition to Adelaide. I understand exactly how you feel. I've just completed my first year of city living (Sydney) and though in a lot of ways it's been fun, the entire culture and daily grind really gets you down. Australia in general is a place my husband an I have never felt we belong in. We're looking to move to the UK in a few years once university is finished. I visited for the first time last year, and it was like returning to a spiritual home

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    1. Hello Kaitlyn, Sydney is not an easy place to live in. I am not sure where you are from originally - but I have met other people who also feel at home straight away in the UK. Interesting if that is the case with you as well. I hope all goes well with your plans...at least your husband feels the same way...

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  6. I hope you get to Adelaide sooner than later, Sarah Liz. It is wonderful to be where you feel that you fit in. It is so hard to live in a place you are out-of-joint with -- I'm happy to see you have a plan and are preparing!

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    1. Thank you - I am sure quite a few of us have had the experience of living in the wrong place - it's the square peg in the round hole problem. Not comfortable for either :).

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  7. I know what it feels like not to feel comfortable where you live (though we rather like this Newcastle). We had always thought we'd retire back to Scotland but things have changed and now we're thinking of moving south, nearer to our daughters and grandchildren. Not sure where and it's a bit scary that we might not like where we end up. We need to do a lot of clearing before we can sell the house! And will it sell? It's good that you've started and that you know where you're headed. The light at the end of the tunnel will make you feel better, hopefully.

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    1. Hello Anne, yes, many people who have had to relocate for work or any sort of reason, really, have had these experiences. Sometimes a place is a good match, sometimes not. And yes, I always feels better thinking about the light at the end - I keep that always at the forefront when things get me down. Your plans as well have much that is daunting - I have left a comment on your blog.

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  8. I know what it feels like not to feel comfortable where you live (though we rather like this Newcastle). We had always thought we'd retire back to Scotland but things have changed and now we're thinking of moving south, nearer to our daughters and grandchildren. Not sure where and it's a bit scary that we might not like where we end up. We need to do a lot of clearing before we can sell the house! And will it sell? It's good that you've started and that you know where you're headed. The light at the end of the tunnel will make you feel better, hopefully.

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  9. I can totally relate to your feelings Sarah Liz. I lived somewhere once , albeit for only 4 years, but I just could not settle there and deep down I was not happy. Life is far too short and we need to take opportunities. I hope you can make your move sooner rather than later xx

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    1. Hello Dawn, it is so important, isn't it, to find an environment you enjoy. I sense that you are similar to me, happier where there is some nature, and peace and quiet and long walks...

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  10. You certainly have an impressive stash Sarah Liz. Must feel great to have it all tidied and organised. I was close to your neck of the woods over the weekend, visiting my son and family who live at East Maitland. Hope all goes well for your retirement and relocating plans.

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    1. Hello, yes, it is lovely to have it tidied up, feels much better. If ever you are passing through, all supposing you have time, do say hello...

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  11. It will certainly be Adelaide's gain! And I hope you don't mind me coining your phrase "financial stash planner" next time my SO passes comment on my stash :) don't forget I owe you a tour of LFSs in Adelaide. Day trip anyone?!?!

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    1. Emma, please do use this phrase - I would be delighted if you did. And I will be in touch so we can stash plan together in Adelaide - I plan to be over in May...I'll be in touch

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  12. Glad you felt you could be so honest, and I hope that sewing helps smooth things over until you are able to move to your cottage. You see those drains had a silver lining after all in convincing your husband! In awe of your tidy sewing room. Feel the need to go and fold fabric now!!

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    1. You are perceptive - sewing is my number one distraction:). And yes, my husband is now watching in awe as stuff is going and plans made. And folding fabric is very therapeutic - it feels nice, very tactile, and you can think of all the nice things you can make with it.

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  13. Good on you for moving when you can and getting your house ready to sell. Believe me; I have lived where I did not want to and it is not worth it. Get over to where you will be happier; it will happen and you will start really being comfortable again. I am glad you can do this soon.

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    1. Yes, living in a place that is all wrong just does not work. You can try and be positive, but that does not work either. I'm sorry you have had the experience as well, but at least you understand...

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  14. What a stash you have Sarah! It must have felt really good to tidy it up. Your cottage is really lovely. All will work out well, I know the feeling of being where you don't want to be.

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    1. Thank you - it is quite a stash. And thank you for your well wishes - I think many of us have had to spend time in places that are not quite right for us.

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  15. Agree that we should all feel that we 'belong' and sounds like you've made the best of living where you have been during the time you've been there. How exciting to be planning the transition to Adelaide and de-cluttering would be the first step toward your ultimate goal. And I think your 'financial planning' is right on target there. :)

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    1. Thank you Lisa - yes, belonging..as soon as I see the lovely pictures of your part of the world, I feel at home. I'm a country girl at heart, and the inner city working class urban just isn't me.

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  16. Thank you for being so open about your feelings and plans. I can relate to much of what you say. I don't hate London - far from it - but I am getting sick of the dirt, fumes and pollution, and I am longing for a more calm lifestyle. Retirement is half a decade away for me but we think we will enjoy spending the weekends away once we have built our new home.

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