A new broom

After recovering from the evil lurgy which seems to have struck down plenty of the good people of Mallorca, I have now been struck by another bug. Symptoms of this particular bug include ruthlessly removing my child’s old toys from her bedroom, volunteering to hoover up underneath the wardrobes and alphabetizing books and separating them into different categories: fiction, non fiction, travel, etc. Don’t worry I am not pregnant (although someone did suggest that to me recently: it sparked off an emergency diet), I am merely going through my annual January control crisis.

I wish it were true that if you have your environment in check then the rest of your life will follow, but it definately isn’t the case for me. However I valiantly strive to colour code La Gidg’s wardrobe, ‘disappear’ my husband’s oldest and most threadbare t-shirts, and reduce the paper mountain of old newspapers and magazines back to a manageable level (thank goodness it’s winter and we need fire lighters everyday). I do this in the misguided hope that if my ducks are in a row that everything else will be too. I do this despite sharing my living space with two other people who don’t seem to either notice or care about things having a place ‘to be’. I DO care. More than is probably healthy.

Luckily for me there has recently been a rapid and impressive growth in the use of the social media platform Facebook as a marketplace to buy and sell items locally here on the island. There are plenty of groups in there but the one I tend to use is called ‘Secondhand Mallorca’. It’s like crack for the housebound shopper. I have found myself making some rather unruly, some (my husband) might say, even rash purchases. For example, I fell in love with and bought a bed which then wouldn’t fit up our stairs, and now have to sell it to get it out of our living room where it is stored with plenty of other stuff, most of it having come out of my daughter’s bedroom. (In order to persuade La Gidg that clearing out her room was a brilliant idea that would benefit her I needed to give her an incentive. What’s in it for her? New stuff mainly or at least the promise of new stuff. ‘Let’s clear this out and then we can sell it and use the money to get something nice for your bedroom’. Gidg is contemplating fairy lights and twinkly, glittery things that hang from the ceiling whilst her dad and I are secretly pricing up plasterers and figuring out if we can afford to start to get the walls in our house plastered. It’s all part of the plan).

So, my living room looks like Steptoe’s yard. This is a good thing as the rest of my house now doesn’t look like Steptoe or his son have ever set foot, or toe, in it. All of the detritus and extra stuff from around the house has slowly been shuffled into one room, and now with the help of online social media and ‘Secondhand Mallorca’ it is bit by bit steadily leaving the house. There are, of course, also the charity shops, it has felt a bit strange to be selling stuff which I would normally take to the Sally Army, but that plasterer isn’t going to do it for free you know. Not unless he is Paying It Forward which is the new big thing going on online as well. My friend Annie Verinder, who is an acupuncturist and massage therapist announced this week that she would be doing a day of free treatments each month with the understanding that the people who benefitted from the freebies would be ‘paying it forward’ with their skills for someone else. Hmm, perhaps I should ask her if she’s got any builders booked in for an appointment…


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