Gemma’s Blog

Living on my own: The stress of the back bedroom

The back bedroom in my flat has fast become the utter nightmare of the abode. It’s now a room where I only go if I have to.

When I moved in the back bedroom was going to be an office/guest room.  That was the idea anyway.  I’d have two guest beds in one part of the room and my officey section in the other part.  Best made plans and all that.

First of all I’d like to point out that I call the back bedroom such because it is at the back of Fox Towers and that is the simplest of reasons.  My own room is at the front of the upper villa and therefore is the front bedroom so the other bedroom is the back bedroom.  I hope this is understandable.  I mean,

Not quite there yet!

could call the back bedroom the North bedroom and my room the South bedroom but that’s just daft.  My nana had a front and back bedroom, my parents have a front and back bedroom.  It’s like a family thing as my sister also has a front and back bedroom.  It’s basically having two bedrooms, one at the front and one at the back.  I have no idea what I’d do if I lived in a place with two front bedrooms or two back bedrooms or, indeed, a side bedroom.  This is a nightmare I haven’t come across yet and have no desire to either.

Anyway, so the plan was that the back bedroom would have a duel use and, to be fair, it has that and far more.  It’s now a laundry room and store room plus emergency bedroom (if anyone needed it).  Have I managed to get my desk in there? I have not.

The boxes in there are unreal.  I have spent four months getting rid of them while also keeping some should I need to move again even though that’s just mad because I could move without boxes and have no reason to believe that I would have to move but, hey, have to be prepared and all that.

It also seems when I get on top of the boxes and get them off to recycling I then order other things and they arrive in boxes.  However, when I get something in a box I think well it’s OK because I can recycle the boxes whereas when something arrives in a bag it just goes in the general waste. But still, that box takes up space until I have time to jump up and down on it and put it in the recycling bin.  I do my recycling once a fortnight.  I’m not one for regularly filling the bin.  Am I lazy? Maybe but really it’s just something I detest doing but will do it.  So, once a fortnight, just before the green bin is due out, I can been seen jumping on boxes, making sure all the plastic bottles have their tops off because apparently the bottle can be recycled but not the lids (🤔) and sorting through the bins in my house that are not in the kitchen to make sure I’m doing it right.  I then make several trips up and down the stairs to cart all this into the green recycling bin.

Before anyone worries that I’m drowning under recycling until I do this, I’m not.  I have an alcove in my kitchen where my recycling stuff is and and I pile it all there in bags before sorting it.  I much prefer sorting it on one night than doing it at the time.  It’s just how I am.  If I had an online dating website profile I’d probably add that.  Recycles in own time. Or something similar.  Don’t rush me on recycling.  I don’t find it attractive.

Anyway, the back bedroom is a focus yet again.  I’m not going to get away with the fact that it’s going to be part laundry room.  I live in Scotland, I need a place to dry things for when I can’t get them outside.  This is 90% of the time.  Although I have, recently, managed to get out towels, linen and general laundry out on the line for a fantastic blow on the line.  In Scotland this is an achievement and has been discussed at length with family, friends and people at work.

I reckon, if I put the effort in (😅) then I can, in the next couple of months, get it into a state of storeroom, bedroom and laundry room.  My office is going to have to remain in my living room.  This is fine but I’ve no storage so now I’m going to have to look at a new desk to accomodate this which I will do.  Although, if I get the back bedroom right I’ll have some storage room there.

Until then though, the back bedroom has a door that remains closed.  No visitors can see.  It’s a nightmare, for me.  Yes, laundry dries there, quickly but no guest could stay there immediately.  I just go in there when I need to and I close the door on it.  It’s where I keep my vacuum cleaner, my spare toilet rolls and my laundry.  Yet it has so much more potential.  Let’s hope we get there. 😫


Living on my own: Where does the washing come from?

Four months now I’ve been living on my own and for the life of me I don’t understand why I didn’t do this sooner.

I actually live on a main road now.  At first I thought this would be weird.  Going from a streets where a car passed a couple of times an hour to being a main artery for traffic.  Buses, cars and all sorts of other vehicles going by.  People going by.  Yet it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

I was out gardening a couple of weeks ago, I spent three hours out there putting up new features, planting, repairing and a few other things and the only time my attention went elsewhere was when my neighbour came in as I was cable tying solar lights to the fence.

It was, when I thought about it later, amazing that I could escape into my own world while cars whizzed by, buses full of people went past, people walked past to the school, the park or the shops.  I never noticed them.

Anyway, that is not what I was going to write about.

What I don’t understand is that now I am on my own I have more washing than I ever did.  I’ve only ever did my own washing so that’s not changed, it’s just now there seems so much more.

This is how it is.  I do a washing, the weather is crap so the back bedroom becomes a drying room.  A couple of loads later the washing machine gets switched off and the back bedroom looks like a laundrette, minus Dot Cotton.

What seems like moments later I pass the washing basket and it’s half full.  In reality it’s a couple of days later and I’ve passed the basket several times but it’s when I notice it.  Where’s this washing come from? Have people with keys been coming in and leaving me their laundry? Must be.

To illustrate this, last Friday I did four washes, the washing basket was empty when I returned it to its home in my bedroom.  The towels and bed linen were out on the line, everything else was hanging on two clothes horses in the back bedroom.

Standing at the kitchen window I felt that satisfaction you get when you see your washing flapping in the wind.  Imagining how fresh it will smell when you bring it in.

Yes, I’m a saddo.  This is where my life has ended up.  Spent years clubbing and doing things that will never be blogged about and now I get my thrills from seeing my bath towels billowing in the wind.  Younger readers, you’ll understand this when you get to my age.  You’ll also get a weird satisfaction from tidying your house.  Shiny toilet bowls will make you proud as punch and the glint off a newly cleaned window will be justification for opening that bottle of Prosecco you’ve been saving since Christmas.

To get back on track, washings done on Friday and just before I wrote this blog (Monday evening) I passed the washing basket and it’s half full.  How? HOW?

I’ve not gone into the washing basket but I have thought about what might be in it since Friday.

Underwear, yes.  Despite the fact that I do wear big pants they still shouldn’t be filling up the washing basket.  I worked on Saturday so there’s those clothes.  Still not enough for a half full washing basket.  Pyjama change.  OK.  What’s in there is a mystery.

It’s not the only thing that builds up.  Washing up.  The dishes.  Where do they come from? On Sunday I did my dishes after my early roast.  So by six PM the kitchen was clear.  By Monday morning I could see the bunker beside my sink.

Had I hosted a supper party? No but I had myself a supper of poached eggs on potato scones (delicious by the way) about nine PM.  So there were poach pods, a pan, a plate, a grill pan, a grill handle, a knife and fork, a glass for water.  All that for a snack! Add to that the cups of tea I’d had (three cups and three spoons!) and the plate I needed for my afternoon cake pm Sunday.  Then add to that my Monday morning cuppa, breakfast bowl and spoon.

How have I never noticed this before?

Of course, I have punted the dishes before when the boiler can’t be arsed working.  Why should I make the effort if the bucking boiler doesn’t? It’ll be sitting there looking all worky and then I’ll turn the tap on and it’ll flag up ERR 108 which I have spoken about before.  I cannot repeat what the boiler has been called over the last few days.  I’d surely be arrested under the Boiler Protection Act.

So yes, I have sympathy with people living on their own who just don’t know where everything comes from.  Last week I walked into Fox Towers and looked around and I genuinely wasn’t sure if I had been burgled or not.  Why was this? I’ve been working, seeing friends and family and the hoose has just been a place to sleep.  It had become a mess.

I gutted it last Thursday.  Apart from my desk, that’ll never be tidy.

In recent times I have had some strange folk following me.  Folk who live their lives on social media.  They think they don’t, but they do.  They get a bit enraged if you don’t comply with their views.

May your laundry pile lessen.

Living on my own *not a football blog*

I’m aware the whole site has become a bit Hibernian related recently and that is fine for followers who are Hibernian supporters, or even interested in football.  For people who follow me for other reasons it’s probably getting a bit wearing.

So here’s a blog about living on my own.  No, not the wonderful Queen song, but the actual act of living alone.  Is living alone an act? Who knows? It’s certainly interesting.

Although in my – ahem – middle-to-late thirties (pushing the boat out a bit there), I, for whatever reason, have always lived with someone.  Well, apart from the 6 weeks my cousin entrusted me with her family home while they went to Australia.  This was a few years ago now, when I was in my twenties.  OK, more than a few years ago then! Jeezo.



During that six weeks the bathroom flooded and I had to rip up the carpet.  I couldn’t find the source of the leak but whenever I turned on the sink tap or the bath tap the entire bathroom filled up a bit…

Add to that the day the neighbour upstairs knocked down because I had my music on.  Middle of the day, cleaning the house and I had some music on.  Just about every night they locked their rarely-walked dog in a bedroom and pissed off to the pub.  Every night that poor dog howled and howled.

So, one day, a few days after the knocking down, I went to the local shops.  There she was, the woman of the house upstairs.  She was standing with a group of friends.  Or associates, who knows? Anyway, she made for me first.  I merely put my hand up and stopped her.  Anyone who knows me will know that I am not backwards at coming forwards and I will say what I think.

I can’t remember entirely what I said but it went along the lines of ‘if you bang down again when I have my music on I’ll just turn it up louder’.  No, it wasn’t that haha.  I basically told her she’d had it if she knocked down again and I’d get that dog out the house away for her and her thick other half and I’d make it so they wanted to move house very soon.  Well, words to that effect.  It worked though.  The dog suddenly got walked, they were very quiet and when they went out the dog got the freedom of the house when they were out and seemed quite happy at that.  It was a fairly quiet five weeks after that.  Well, not when I had my music on.

Aside from that, I only left their house unlocked for 12 hours while away just the once!

So, here I am, living on my own.  I’m loving it.  An entire two bedroom paradise all to myself and I call it Fox Towers (because it’s upstairs).  It’s a five minute walk from Fox Manor, the land of mother and father.  This has been both a blessing – suddenly deciding to nip round for tea when I can’t think of anything, and also a burden – mother suddenly appearing at the door when I’m eating my tea.  (Only joking mother, you’re welcome any time…).

I moved last December and, due to a cock-up, had to sleep on my brand new mattress for almost a month until my bed arrived on the 23rd.  Sleeping on a mattress on a floor like a student was a novelty that wore off after about two nights.  When you’re my age with a dodgy back…well, there is no dignity in having to haul yourself up with the help of the wall and the window ledge…


Mystery 3 and a half hour cycle

I’ve also discovered I have conversations with things.  This hadn’t really been something I had thought about until Thursday evening when I found myself talking to the washing machine.  I’d put it on at four in the afternoon, on a Quick Wash and three and a half hours later it finally slipped into what might have been it’s final spin.  So, I found myself in the kitchen asking it if it was thinking about finishing any time soon.  I then added ‘please, because I need to get the stuff out and dried for Saturday’.  It obliged.  I then thought about it and realised I also speak to the boiler an awful lot.  It has a pressure problem.  It drops suddenly and then “err 108” flashes on the screen.  This will usually happen just as I have stepped in the shower and turned the water on.  Rather than lovely, instant hot water, it’ll be frozen.  That’ll be followed by ‘effing boiler’ a string of expletives as I have to get out the shower, find a towel or house coat, run through to the kitchen and up the pressure by twisting both of it’s knobs.  Hard.  I’ll then ask it why it has to do this to me when it was working fine five minutes before I stepped in the shower.  It’s answer is just to burst into life and provide me with the hot water I need for a shower.  Thanks!

On continued reflection I realised I have had converstions with the TiVo box (what is you are recording because I have set nothing up?), the printer (why does my laptop say you’re printing when you can’t even get out of standby mode?), I’ve had conversations with my curtains and my hoover (about how useless it is on hoovering my stairs, I had to buy a hand held one for this task!).  I also had to ask my Hibs (had to get them in somehow haha) calendar why it fell off the wall.

I met the aforementioned cousin on the bus on Friday and she asked me that now I’m on my own, do I talk to myself? I just looked at her and said ‘Oh, um, well, sometimes I suppose!’.  Well, it’s true.  I’m normally speaking to something!

Oh, and I casually mentioned to the washing machine earlier than when it goes I’m getting a twin tub.

Santa Forgot

This is the fantastic video from Alzheimer’s Research UK.  It centres around Santa having Alzheimers himself and not longer remembers what he does and how special he is to so many people.

My own Nana died from Alzheimer’s and I know of so many more who have too.  If you can afford it then please donate, if you can’t then sharing this helps more than you will know.

There is a cure for Alzheimer’s, it’s just not been found yet.  It’s there and we will find it.

Everyone is important to the research and fight to stop this disease.  Those who wear the white coats and spend their days testing drugs and analysing data.  Those who suffer from it.  Those who campaign to raise awareness.  Those who donate. Those who share every chance to get the message out to people.  Everyone is involved.

Site under reconstruction

Not satisfied with a quick change I have gone for the full whack.  I also want to do this without closing the site down for any reason.  All content is still available all of the time.

It is driving me slightly insane at the moment as I have to update each individual post to create the site that I want.  Well, almost the site I want.

Continue reading

First anxiety and then a spring clean

I haven’t written a blog for a while.  Not because I had nothing to say, far from it, but I just didn’t have time.  Part of this was due to being ill at the start of the year and more recently there has been a Spring Clean at Fox Manor.  Yes, a good old fashioned proper spring clean that included hiring a skip.  Yes, a skip.  And a special uplift.

I don’t write about my anxiety that much, probably because I’m not ready to share much about it but I do have Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD).  I wasa diagnosed in November 2013 but probably suffered it a lot longer than that. Everyone has bouts of anxiety for various reasons but when you have GAD you pretty much have anxiety all the time.  It is hard to explain how it feels.  It’s like your stomach constantly being in knots and nothing will take it away.  Sometimes relaxing is hard, very hard.  It’s frustrating being in situations that I feel I should be relaxing but it doesn’t happen.Anxiety

There’s also the fact that it’s quite possibly here for life.  There is no real cure but people can simply not suffer any more.

It’s absolutely exhausting as well.  Sometimes it just drains me to the point where I need to stop.  Anyone who suffers from GAD or any of the other anxieties will know how it feels.  And sometimes you can’t stop, you have to keep going.

So, at the beginning of the year that done me in.  I’m coping with it well at the moment, “managing” as it’s called.  I’m still anxious all the time but getting on with life at the same time.  So fingers crossed this spell of managing it lasts for a good length of time.  Optimism!

Trying to slip seamlessly from anxiety to spring cleaning was never going to happen so this sentence is telling you that I’m now going to talk about The Spring Clean.

Somewhere along the line of time someone started the notion of spring cleaning.  Gutting the house and tidying up.  Yes, well, this year I decided to go for the full on spring clean.  It had to be brutal, very brutal.  So brutal a skip was needed for the black bags and a few other things.full skip

Charities shops have benefitted from it well.  Books, clothes and various other things went there.  Huge amounts of clothes into the bin because they weren’t fit for purpose.  This actually surprised me.  Every couple of years I have what I call “a brutal clear out” of my clothes so I thought I had pretty much whittled down my clothes to what I actually wore.  No.  So that was sorted out.

Shoes, boots and handbags! Never knew I had so many.  Not any more though, they’ve either gone to charity or in the bin.  I think I’ve got one handbag left.  Although there is a wardrobe I haven’t tackled yet…

What’s a spring clean if you don’t decide to throw out some furniture? It’s a spring clean best avoided.  This year a bed, a mattress and two sofas went out and in came new sofas (reclining as well – HIGHLY recommend it!) and a sofa bed.  Out went the old telly, in came the new one.  So big it almost feels like I’m on the holodeck on the Starship Enterprise (so currently I’m on a tennis court in Miami).

I’ve never been so knackered in all my life.  The majority of the work was done in two days, my two days off, and on the third day off (annual leave) I did very little other than collect my replacement laptop.

So it was a lot of up and down stairs with black bags and various bits of other things.  I think the best(!) bit was humping two heavy sofas down stairs and round to the back garden with my dad.  If anything else it was a laugh.

to me to you

To me, to you

Is it over? No.  Tomorrow sees the re-enactment of the Chuckle Brothers to me, to you with my dad and myself having to humph everything to the street for collection.  Then it’ll finally be over.  Next big spring clean? Whenever Halley’s Comet is next due…


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