My OH has views about coat hangers. These consist mainly of a) they should stay in wardrobes b) they should only hang one thing c) when stored, they should be tied together in same-sex bundles with twisty wire.
Since my first-week-of-the-hols wardrobe mega-clearance, this is how I’ve been storing coat hangers: –
For some reason the OH isn’t keen on this. No idea why. I can’t see much wrong with it to be honest. No one uses this bed (apart from at Christmas or for emergency sleep overs). They are easily available to grab when hanging ironed clothes – a rarity, admittedly. I don’t really iron. Shake-and-hang is more my style. Also, they will soon be used when new clothes are bought or our daughter comes home or I do seasonal-coat-clearance downstairs.
It’s funny really. I don’t mind messy piles of coat hangers but I hate messy piles of school books. At work, I always make sure they are neat, with corners perfectly straight and square. If there are different colours in one pile, I put them in swatches.
I’m rather haphazard with my food cupboards. Things get rammed in at all sorts of angles. Flour packets get ripped, puffing tiny clouds when moved, as though irked. Tins and sachets mingle haphazardly on shelves designated for beverages or spreads. I’m just not that bothered as long as I know where it all is.
My books, however, are a different matter. I put them in height order and series order and sometimes colour order, particularly my children’s books, which I’ve kept for around fifty years and still read from time to time. And there’s a separate shelf for books I’ve written (a bit empty at the moment but, you know, aim high…)
I find it fascinating how contrary we are, how inconsistent. I sometimes fall into the trap of watching someone do something and deciding they are ‘organised’ or ‘practical’ or ‘a dreamer’. Then I remember my ironing pile and my bookshelf, that I’m late for coffees but (embarrassingly) early for trains. We live at the end of the line with one platform and one train an hour. There’s not much that can go wrong to be honest. If I’m complicated and contradictory, others must be too.
We’ve had limited contact with other humans this past year, apart from the ones we live with, who we may have domesticated (or have domesticated us). Now they’re back in our lives in glorious technicolour with their wonderful, inconsistent ways. There is much to rediscover. I find people fascinating, a treasure trove of inspiration, irritation, hilarity, curiosity, joy. And they are unfailingly surprising. Take these for example: –
A vicar relaxes by reading theology books and playing Candy Crush
A school teacher spends a day at the Barbican and the evening pole-dancing
A twenty-something graduate is offered an academic job, but, missing the outdoors, builds fences for a living
An old lady gives up a comfortable retirement to go and volunteer overseas
An accountant leaves a well paid job to help a poorly-paying charity sort out its finances
A teenage boy shaves his head to raise money for a community in Africa
A 4 year old dials 999 and saves her mum’s life
*(All these are real people)
Isn’t this why we loved Colonel Tom? For overseas readers, he was a 99 year old British man who decided, in April 2020 that he would walk 100 lengths of his garden to raise £1000 for the NHS. By his 100th birthday, he had raised over 32 million.
Humans can hurt us, disappoint us. They can also be very annoying. But, boy, didn’t we miss them and their funny ways in Lockdown? There is so much more to everyone than meets the eye. But it’s too easy to judge from what does.
Note to self (mid-year resolution?): – Always expect the unexpected. It’s just a better way to live…
And to prove my point (and because I love my husband): –
I’m a freelance writer and teacher with interests in education, mental health and community. I like to blog about everyday life, hope and the silly, incongruous things that shape us and make us who we are. My novella, The Evenness of Things, available as an amazon ebook has now also been released in paperback. It’s the story of what happens when a woman buys a house without telling her husband.
My full length novel, Braver, will be published by Fairlight Books in the summer of 2022. The book tells a tale of unlikely friendships and heart-breaking decisions. With themes around mental health, identity and the need to belong, Braver explores how a local community responds when something threatens its very heart.