I have to admit, I haven't been the most social of creatures lately. Work, moving away from the city centre, and being (please feel free to cringe) loved up have all kept me away from that place known as 'outside' for several months now. I keep promising to go out more, but come the weekend I'm so tired and life is so messy that often I just want to stay in and nest (aka tidy up). Trouble is, we don't stay in and nest, we stay in and watch films, take siestas, organize trips, make pancakes, drink wine, read, look at silly videos on Youtube and all other kinds of pretty unproductive but enjoyable pastimes.
Yet I fantasize about nesting, about all those homely, domestic-goddess type tasks that I promise I'll get round to as soon as we finish the next episode of Game of Thrones. I'm just reading over what I've written here and see, that without realising it I've become a Dinky 'Double Income No Kids' - not quite sure if I'm meant to be pleased about that, but I admit that for the moment, and for the first time, it does give me the 'luxury' of time-rich weekends but without all the strapped-for-cash issues of my 20s (and erm, a year ago). I must clarify that I didn't suddenly get rich or find a sugar daddy, just that money is thankfully no longer a big problem.
So here goes, my nesting projects for summer-autumn 2011 (I promise to stop using the N word from here on and while I’m at it I promise that I will never refer to myself as a yummy mummy no matter how smug and earth-motherly I become):
• Making home-made cleaning products. But you HATE cleaning! Yes, but I also hate the idea of using toxic nasties. I did a trawl of the various sites offering tips on ‘natural’ cleaning products and the verdict is that it’s better for the environment, better for health and better for my pocket. Just need to see if they work. As ever, I have trouble getting the right ingredients here - the recipes called for ingredients like white vinegar, castile soap and borax which you can get - but not from my local droguería who were aghast at the fact I wanted to buy food (vinegar) from a drug store. I figure out that for the moment Marseille soap and apple vinegar will have to do. Here are some recipe pages, one in Spanish and one in English – will let you know how I get on scrubbing the bath with half a lemon filled with bicarb!
• Cook something from one of my recipe books once a week. I don’t know when I stopped buying recipe books and just searched for recipes on the internet instead? But over the past few years, what was a bi-yearly shopping spree on Amazon has dwindled to nothing. However, I still have my shelves groaning with Nigellas, Nigels and Jamies waiting to be made proper use of. Surely even I can manage to delve into them once a week and try something new? I love this project an American couple set up to make use of their bulging food magazine collection.
• Buy a sewing machine and make stuff. I have always loved to sew and am not bad at it – it suits my quick-fix nature much better than knitting which I love the idea of but find painfully slow to get good at. I have this book by Amy Butler with loads of easy projects that can be speedily stitched and I love the fact that you can rustle up cloth napkin rings, cushion covers, and whatnot in less than an hour and avoid the neo-chintz ugliness that is the El Corte Inglés home department. And with Christmas 6 months away, do I have time to stingily but lovingly make all my presents?
• A meditation corner (or any peaceful little corner to call my own). I know you can meditate anywhere, but this is just a little luxury I’d love to have, space permitting. I don’t even meditate properly, but since last summer in Bali dedicating little bits of time to myself in the form of quiet contemplation or ‘just being’ have become quite important to me. Our home is a quite colourful due to the fact that we have the sum of 2 lives in one place, but this corner would be white, with my little white Buddha as a centerpiece – I imagine lots of whites and off-whites but different textures – velvet cushions, a plaster-framed mirror, a rag rug, scented candles, a notebook and pen, orchids… completely whimsical I know. I have a couple of examples that I’ve seen online (below) but none of them really capture what I have in mind - I'll have to do a post on furniture and accessories for a meditation corner.