Sunday, 18 September 2011

Organised Chaos?

As much as I'd like to be one of these people who has a place for everything, and everything in it's place - it's never going to happen.
I don't write lists, don't have a calendar with birthdays on; I memorise addresses, postcodes and phone numbers (even mobile numbers sometimes). I rely on the other mums to remind me about school events (they know what I'm like) because even having a letter with important dates on the fridge doesn't make a difference. I have a system in my brain, but not a physical system to back it up.

Flicking through the photographs on my phone, I decided it was high time I deleted most of them - they are no better than the ones people used to take to finish the film off when they were desperate to get it developed. It's a small step, but getting more organised will take time.
Please don't recommend I join the Fly Lady revolution - even she couldn't save me.

I tried, but I couldn't bring myself to delete them, I wanted to think first about the story they told.
If someone found my phone, what on earth would they make of the owner?  Besides quickly deducing that I have 3 sons, I'm not sure what the photographs taken on days out say about me.

The other file on my phone which could give something away is the 'notes' application. I DO write some things down.
I write down ideas which pop into my head when I'm daydreaming. I only started doing this recently, Rob is the king of list-writing and he told me to start typing thoughts and conversations into my phone in case I forget them.

I just read through some of these notes - they're all very much centred around making observations about others' appearance. So I'd come across as a right bitch:

  • Her hair looked like a lolly with all the juice sucked out
  • Is the opposite of aero-dynamic, terra dynamic? He looked neither
  • Rob said "she looks American, doesn't she?" Me: "yeah, a boiler really but so well groomed and with those gleaming white teeth it's hidden well"

Aren't I nasty? I must write more pleasant things in future - there are only one or two: "the trees grew at strange angles; looked like cocktail sticks protruding from a pineapple at an 80's buffet. The leant in to admire their reflection in the river".

I don't have a state of the art phone, so apologies for the poor quality of the shots...

The 'peaceful' collection - these were taken during the moments you feel able to take a full, deep breath - moments which can be all too rare:

Nostalgia - I had my tea in this cup every morning as a child. There's a yellow and red one too - very happy memories:

Charity shop buys - spot the spelling mistake, and if you see a better knitting pattern than this gorgeous canary yellow number, please let me know:

I like the light and shadow in this:

 The people in the background of this picture entertained me all day, I didn't even notice my son had a bucket on his head because I was distracted by the couple who kept telling their son to "bugger off and play or you can go home and watch TV in your bedroom"

There are countless more, but I won't bore you - holiday photos are boring enough, let alone random pictures taken on my jaunts.

I think these pictures highlight my nosiness. There are about 20 photographs of the sky, and loads of my hand, wearing a ring Lakota kindly sent me ages ago. I wanted it as my profile picture - but I have the oddest wrist bones. I fell once and when I got up someone said "aargh - look what you've done!". I was fine but he assumed I'd broken my wrist:

I'm never going to get my act together, am I? Wasting time blogging about nonsense when there are a hundred chores to complete.

What do you like to photograph?.


  1. Thanks for reminding me about some of the photos on my phone, which I rarely bother to transfer to the laptop. I have a good one of a man who was so pissed that he fell asleep on my shoulder during a train journey home from London. He looked a real hard-nut and I'm sure that he'd be horrified by the rather tender image of the two of us snuggled up together!

  2. I'm a list writer and notebook scrawler, but there really is more to life! :-) Why not blog about what tickles your fancy - housework and chores will always be there, whereas the impulse to blog sometimes does a bunk! Lol!

    The 'L' ring suits you and I'm loving the appearance of the 'knit your own big bird costume' pattern!!

    Jem xXx

  3. I have notebooks EVERYWHERE, some from years ago. They have never-ending to do lists and reminders, mixed with shopping lists, the odd bit of poetry, and like you, overheard conversations. I recently found a note of something I overheard on a bus - must have been a decade ago. A youth was saying to his friend that "the police don't know nuttin' about LA". We were in Lenton Abbey, Nottingham!

    I just lost my phone and every number on it. It's rather liberating.

  4. Hello:
    We have a strong aversion to lists so, like you, we muddle through where remembering things is concerned although 'important' dates are written down in the diary which, in theory, one or other of us looks at daily. Of course that seldom happens. As for photographs, we only acquired an inexpensive camera, our first, when we started this blog in April and, because we are unused to having one, too often fail to have it with us. Beyond that our policy is look at what we have taken, possibly use it for the blog, then DELETE!!

    Having said all of that, we love the beach scene which, as for you, would remind us of what was said!!

  5. I've got a memory like Rainman so don't tend to write things down. I hate mobile phones with a passion and unless I'm leaving the house I don't turn the horrible thing on, even if I did I doubt I'd have the ability to take such pretty pictures.
    Your hand (and Lakota's ring) are lovely and the bucket-on-the-head just brilliant.
    Agree with Jem, chores will always be there and blogging is a wonderful diversion from the mundane. x

  6. I'm not a great photo taker. Most of the time I don't have my camera with me so miss snapping all the great odd moments. I keep meaning to backup the ones I do take too...

    The guy in the yellow jumper looks distinctly nonplussed don't you think? Don't blame him either, I'd be furious too.

    As for lists, I make a shopping list and when we're going on holiday I make a list of things to take, but that's it really. I rely on technology to remind me of people's birthdays.

  7. Steerforth - sounds like you had a lucky escape with him falling asleep. You probably would have been subjected to a painfully repetitive monologue had he stayed awake. I seem to attract such people wherever I go, I think it's a result of working with children.

    Jem - I imagined you writing notes, you come across as an organised person! You're right about the chores, they are endless and boring. My washing machine is playing up, and my youngest son just threw my phone into a cup of water - it's useless now. I'm waiting for the 3rd thing go wrong...

    Lakota - love the L.A tale - how very 'gangsa'! I'm going to be like a lost soul without my phone, I'll have to resort to pen and paper! I know what you mean about that liberating feeling. I hated being available to chat at all times when I first had a mobile, and still loathe phone conversations.

    Jane and Lance - I'm glad you did acquire a camera - I enjoy the photographs you share. For some, writing things down is a helpful way to organise everything, for us - obviously not. The beach scene photograph was taken in April, when we had our week of summer!

    Vix - a mobile phone in hand would ruin the authenticity of your look! Sometimes I wish I'd never started using one. The main problem I have with them, is some people's assumption that arrangements can be made loosely. I sometimes want to leave my phone behind, but the idea of meeting at an arranged time and place just isn't heard of any more. I hate seeing people using their phones freely when in company too - so rude.

    Sarah - I'm hopeless at taking photographs, I leave
    taking photos on the camera to Rob.
    Mr Yellow jumper is probably thinking "you may be sneering,photographer, but Gucci are drawing up a contract RIGHT NOW,and I'll be moving on from knitwear - just you watch".
    I also write lists before holidays,anything to avoid actually doing the packing!

  8. I’m an organised sort of person, so people tell me, whilst managing to make it sound like an insult, so I have a bit of a complex about it now.

    I have a an old style mobile phone, which doesn’t take pictures and is only switched on when necessary. I do, however, take my camera with me everywhere I go as ‘you never know’, so I suppose that’s just as bad, except people can’t call me on it. I loved the ‘bucket on head’ picture and story.

  9. Im im no way organised in my home but i am a list writer - i have a constant to do list which i like to tick things off - i tend to put easy 'to dos' on there in the midst of all the boring household chore ones just so I can get a little bit of satisfaction crossing something off (and yes 'visit the charity shop' is a legit 'to do') I do also have my phone notebook open on my booting trips for the weekly boot sale tales, i swear sellers think im checking out ebay when im typing away standing by their stalls.

    I never use the camera on my phone really, unless its for something really funny much like that yellow jumper - amazing! haha! I do also like your calmimg pics and the family one on the beach reminds me of a family who I see week in week out at the booty - they must travel about ;o)

    Scarlett x

  10. Little Nell - people (like me) are only jealous if they mock your organisational skills. I must literally waste days every year searching for things and backtracking - not to mention the whole weeks I have to spend sorting out the entire house when I can cope no more with the disorder. I think this personality of mine is hereditary, my father's mother was apparently the same - and she had 6 children!

    Scarlett - there is something satisfying about ticking off things on a list - I gave up because I could never find my lists, or if I did, I couldn't find the same biro, and I won't mix my biros!

    That family were good value entertainment. The ladies and gents took it in turns to go for a drink - they had an impressive rota, definitely list-writers...

  11. I have hundreds of photos on my blackberry-phone-thingy too - and I never delete them and seldom upload them.

    I try and be organised with writing notes but that never works either - I have drawers full of half filled notebooks (not even half filled) - keep it all in my head, that's what I do mostly.

    And it seems to work OK.

  12. I struggle constantly in all aspects of my life to 'organise' things. House, work, all the mundane administrative tasks like renewing the car tax. Before we had the children it was all so much easier! But I like the mess now, I'm used to it, I'm afraid. Know what you mean about the blogging vs time for tidying.

    As if you couldn't guess, I like taking photos of trees. I'd love to be able to roam around town taking photos of all the people I see, but I don't fancy getting smacked in the mouth, or worse. I can also relate to the note keeping on the phone. I will also leave it up to you to guess whether or not I actually used the 'Voice Notes' facility on my phone the other day as well, as part of the blogging process. I may or MAY NOT have been ashamed!

  13. I don't make lists but I should start - I've also always memorised everything and have always had an excellent memory for trivia and numbers - but not so much anymore. I forget a lot of things nowadays. Which gets me into heaps of trouble and exasperates my hubby enormously.

    As for photos-I was given a camera earlier this year and I try to remember to take it out with me, forget often though - but even when I do, I usually forget to use it.

    So, unless I know I will want to blog about an event I rarely take photos.

    I think this is because 1.) I Iive very much in the moment and 2) looking back can make me cry so I prefer not to. 3) I am lazy

    I posted the purse yesterday Lucy.

  14. What must my phone say about me? I just checked it and I have over 1200 pictures on my well used and and very loved iPhone. I am a tech junkie, I sell it and I eat sleep and drink it all day long. I have a problem and it's my phone. I play games on it, check Yelp for restaurants to try, write reviews on it, take pictures with it show pictures with it and keep all my contacts in it, appointments and all my grocery lists. I would DIE without my that's extreme but at least I can admit I have a problem.

    I am as organized as I need to be. I will never construct excel spread sheets of things I need to bring camping but I will not miss any important dates because I get reminded of them two days prior. Sometimes people spend to much time trying to organize and too little time living and enjoying I say whatever works for you my dear!

  15. Mark - it seems there are more of us relying on memory than notebooks. I think memory cards will hold some strange clues to the past in 100 years time.

    Ben - be ashamed! Believe it or not (I know it's 'not') I can't STAND the sound of my own voice. I hate it. I should be very interesting if the saying 'only boring women have immaculate houses' is true. Sadly, I'm not - I'm just lazy.

    Wendz - why start making notes when you've got through life so far without them? I live in the future, it's what keeps me going. The past is all wrong, the present isn't good enough - the future is all "I'll be slim, rich and successful"...dream on!

    Krista - you're just being honest about how so many people live. Technology has become entwined in every aspect of our lives, it seems yours is richer for it.

  16. Great pictures! I love your nails. =)

  17. just read your comment over on Ivy Black- I'm nowhere near Pontyprid and I'm not a student (far from it!) but that roast, pavlova and crumble offer sounds SO tempting I'm wondering if I'd be missed here at home and if there's a late vacancy for enrolment...??!


Sorry I am having to filter comments at the moment