Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dropping the sparkly things. Keeping the sparkle. V.O. Non sous titré

 Hey there possums,

I’ve missed a couple of blog posts due to sparkly holidays in Paris, partially up inside the Eiffel Tower at midnight on my eldest daughter’s 13th birthday. But that’s another story...

Scintillating as she is, it’s a satisfying contrast to sit outside with a cool beer at home and write to you.

Here in the Toulouse countryside life has chilled down a bit even though on the calendar it’s not technically Autumn. I love the way that nature doesn’t give a fig (all puns intended) about the calendar. She just does her thing - flowing along like the ‘girl in the green skirt,’ as my friend Simone used to say - never regretting what she leaves behind and resolutely moving on into the future. Happy as the proverbial lark.

That got me pondering whether I couldn’t do with a little of Nature’s wisdom for myself.

Over the last few months I’ve taken the ‘Great Decluttering from Hell’ to new heights; randomly getting rid of STUFF with reckless abandon and revelling in a keen sense of achievement at each permanent removal from the general vicinity of the house. YEAH!

What hit me during the process is that I definitely don’t like to admit to being attached to things, even sentimentally. I especially don’t like admitting this to myself ;)  

Several house moves, including changes in country and hemisphere, a house fire, and a ‘philosophy’ of detachment have forced led me to let go of most things really easily.

Ahem. Or so I thought.

So WHY in heaven’s name have I been holding on to no less than EIGHT chandeliers and 10 pairs of sparkly sconces for so long ? They have been gradually working on their dust robes in my garage for three years. No. Four. Yoiks!

 Seriously, was I ever really going to need EIGHT chandeliers for any future cocoon? You couldn’t exactly call our spacious farm house a château now, even allowing for a little Marseillais exagération!

Then Bang! it hit me (again) just how comforting and irritating it was to have them perched in the rafters taking space.

Sacré bleu!! Do you realise how much ‘possibility’ EIGHT chandeliers and 10 pairs of sparkly wall lights can represent? How much safety ? A back up plan ! If my new venture doesn’t work out then maybe I could go back to the old one I wouldn’t have to be, gulp, a FAILURE  if it went kaput. I could sneakily move back to my past life…without anyone, least of all myself ;), noticing.

Do I want to ?
NO !

So last week I mercilessly sorted through my ‘past life’ and said firm tatas gentle farewells to my ‘stuff.’ I whispered tenderly to my chandeliers, old papers, antique glass bottles, sconces etc etc ad infinitum, that I couldn't use them any more but that someone else would. Someone who was looking for just that special object at a bargain price to sparkle up their home, or tickle their ‘inspiration’ bone. 

Dammit ! Ouch! I loved those sparkles and those old papers... Maybe... NO!

I explained to a slightly daunted, very grabby part of me that it’s ok to let go of ‘unfinished projects’ if the right time for that project has definitely past. Not easy to admit that one either.  I need whip away the symbolic safety net in order to jump both feet into my new venture. What ever I don’t let go of, holds me back.

Y’ know, sort of like if Nature decided that the trees should grow new leaves next year yet keep all the old, dead, brown ones from this Autumn. I mean, how much sense does THAT make ?

So last Sunday I bit the bullet. The sparkly things had to go. Beaker packed the car up chokker block with my stuff and I trundled off to join a friend at a huge vide-grenier (car boot sale/flea market) for the ‘Great Letting Go.’

Eureka ! It worked. Sold all of my chandeliers but one that I’m keeping for Lulu Labonne, my amazingly talented, artist cousin who has mastered the fine art of nailing Jelly to walls, cooked for the stars and helps film lions in the Mara when the fridge is empty. Maybe she’ll add some sparkle to a Masai tent with it.

Anne, my calligraphy mentor, and I made a fabulously festive day of it,  with wine and very non diet, exceptionally yummy munchies.  Damn great way to celebrate the new season and  all that incoming space I say :).

So now that I've cleared out, I'm wishing you a spacious and truly sparkly week too. 


PS. Have some scribbles to do for a wedding present this week. Will show the results in my next post. If the Mess Monsters get over all their ills that is...


  1. It's probably a jolly good thing that we're so far apart...I have been known to return from op shops,brocantes, even the rubbish dump with rather more than I intended to sell or give away. sigh...
    I wonder if the chandelier will end up gracing the stair well with sparkles at night?

  2. So glad that I get one - thank you so much. I do love the feeling of clearing space and boy do I know the guilt of all those unfinished projects staring accusingly at me - well done! xxx

  3. Angie, I'm working on myself to get in the swing of letting go. I'm making progress, but it's baby steps for me. I sometimes think it would be best just to make a big sweep without looking or any consideration, somewhat like just ripping off a bandage quickly. LOL But that's not likely to happen with me. Thanks for the inspiration........Sarah


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