I have embarked upon the de-cluttering of eighteen years in one place because I want to sell my present house with its large garden and many rooms. It has just got too much to manage. I recently returned from four weeks in Sri Lanka to a wilderness of a garden.
I had left it early in August in the care of the handyman who has helped me with the autumn pruning for several years, but returned early in September to be told that the perverse British weather had prevented him doing more than cut the grass twice and attempt to prune some leylandii.
The fact that the clippings and cuttings remained on the ground in damp heaps waiting for me to pick up and pop on the compost heap, could have had something to do with the fact that M thought I was returning later than I did, but it did mean that I had to set to work sooner than I had anticipated – and am still hard at it five weeks later, although the end is now in sight for this year.
I console myself that the exercise is good for me when I come to the end of the day feeling a mite tired, and that I am a very fortunate octogenarian to still be able to enjoy working in the garden wielding secateurs and sawing or lopping wayward tree branches.
On the days when rain threatened to stop play, I doggedly worked at emptying the contents of several large lever-arch files; shredding sensitive material before consigning it and non-sensitive printed ‘stuff’ to the recycling bags.
Using the pedometer app on my android phone, I discovered I’d walked 2.5 miles in one day simply walking to and from these work stations in my den. Cutting down time spent in front of the computer – and all but one of those crafty alcoholic snifters that somehow felt so necessary now and again, I have shed fourteen pounds – and feel the fitter for doing so.