Sunday, 7 October 2012

Big Rivers And Books

Ahoy there!  

I am taking a small break from paddling upstream way of life that is dehoarding.  To catch up with how you all are, how I am, what the date is, is that a new haircut? It looks lovely.

So how is the mighty Dragon Hoard? 

Still hoardy, with Dragons popped on top like slightly irate cherries.

But you could have guess that one I think.  The interesting challenge of a blog is how many different ways I can say “same shit, different day” before we all fall face first into our keyboards snoring.  (I sometimes wonder if eventually I will reach a madly hysterical point in blogging when I just open a post with “Dear Readers, AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” and just batter my keyboard with a cardboard box before pressing send. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA… oh wait. No. *smacks self in face*)

I may be a tiny bit sleep deprived.  I am having the weirdest dreams about cleaning. One night there was a full scale nightmare about trying to scrub the cooker which had stuff falling over it. The following one was about cleaning the bathroom.  Once I had found the bathroom.  Then there was the one about filling the wheelie bin and trying to get it down to the street to be emptied.

It appears that whatever I am thinking about just before I sleep, whatever I am doing during the day, my brain seems determined to do a rerun of it.  I am a long way from the days where my brain played entire Words With Friends games in my sleep, my brain is set on sleep action.( Actual coherent words.  It is more than I ever manage when conscious, I will be honest.)  It is getting to the stage where I wish my body joined in with the brain on the sleep cleaning.  It would be amazing to wake up to that!  In the meantime I am gently trying to bore myself to sleep by staring at comfortable looking couches and beds on Pinterest. The hope is that my brain fixes on these and I could have a nice peaceful dream about sprawling out on a comfortable piece of furniture.  Knowing my luck I will dream about dreaming of sleep, fall down a rabbit hole and utterly confuse myself but even that would be better than my nightly housekeeping horrors.

So a fuller status report without the dream cleaning?  Autumn has well and truly fallen over the Hoard.  So my awake hours have been filled with preparations to at least ensure the Hoard is wind and watertight. Well less Hoard care and more preparations for the survival of the inhabitants.  The UK is generally a land of milder, very wet and miserable winter weather with occasional attacks of genuinely wintery snows, winds and temperatures that stab you in the lungs when you venture out of doors. So I decided to get ready for either, or indeed both. The garden has been cleaned out, cut back, swept up and hoard items pushed out the house to molder out of the sight of a beady eyed Major Dragon were snuck into the bin. The gutters have been cleared of what looked like an entire hydroponics garden. The garage has been arranged to minimise the damage of its leaking roof.  A rubbish pick up has been arranged for garden rubbish.  The outside tap has been shut off. Next up is digging out the goat paths to the radiators to discover if they are still working and attempt to clean up/bleed/etc to let the house be heated somewhere slighty above igloo level. Since I don’t hold out much hope of that, I have washed all my bedding so I can make a hibernation nest.  I am not good with winter.  I spend most of it sitting next to a radiator in about 20 layers complaining bitterly.  Is that Dragony?  Must be I guess.  I need to be kept in a steadily heated, slightly moist environment.  My quest for this is near religious. (lots of failing with wailing and rending of clothes)

Let me show you a clueless Dragon’s holy books.

 2012-10-06 11.45.17 HDR

2012-09-29 12.24.48 HDR

Yes I pursue the science of home comforts in a religious way.  I think a lot of children of hoarders might do the same.  But that might be another post.

The first book has been a constant companion for years.  Getting workmen in is…difficult.  I do my best to make it happen but I will attempt a lot of simple things to ensure we don’t have to do without anything crucial.  This is one of the bonuses to learning hoard survival.  You learn more than that, you learn quite a bit of just basic survival.  Come any apocalypses and we may find we have a jump start on disaster management.  And generally CoH’s agree that we develop some interesting skills from living with hoard and hoarder.  I am only just starting to become aware of that.   That is another thing that might grow into another post of its own once I have finished thinking about it if anyone is curious.

The second book was a buy from Amazon on a whim.  It was a penny plus postage so I thought it was worth the gamble.  The first book tells me a lot about how to survive various domestic disasters but the real danger of living in a hoard is well, forgetting how to actually live.  Disaster management, hoard survival are all very useful but that is the temporary emergency shoring up and not a long term solution.  Sometimes you are buried in stuff for so long you really can’t remember what it was like to live in any other way. 

You could say I am digging this time to find the me that was here before the hoard. It would be nice to find Major Dragon too but one step at a time I guess.


  1. Ahoy hoy! You both put me to shame and inspire me with your posts- your endeavours sound so much more impressive than mine when tackling the hoard. My Nanny has one of those books though and I always did want to borrow it- I don't suppose there's anything in there that tells you how to fix electrics though? It's been thirteen years since our shower worked and, as you pointed out, having anyone in is ...problematic. In our case to the point of being impossible (in the sense of 'forbidden at all costs'). The bath and everything is find but I do miss showers...

    1. Alas, I looked up the section on showers and the first line basically boiled down to "call the professionals" :/

      DO NOT BE SHAMED. A lot of my efforts there involved picking up the phone and calling the right people, especially with the outdoor stuff. And I am not even halfway where I had hoped to be by now. *sigh* Everything takes so long when a hoard is involved. Even just getting breakfast is a lengthy trial.

  2. I wish you a warm and productive winter, Secret Dragon.

    1. Thanks Sidney, I wish you that and more! (but not a hoard)

      I hope you are ok. Things sound like they have been a bit hard lately for you. Be well xxx

  3. You have gotten a lot done! And reminded me that we need to turn off the outdoor tap - we've been watering trees because of the drought here, but our winters are more wintry than yours and we already had a solid freeze this weekend.

    I love Home Comforts. When it was new, I heard the author give a radio interview where the interviewer challenged her because she lived in a small apartment, and she said something like "Smaller space and less stuff makes housekeeping much easier and allows me to love it more."

    1. I keep looking at the back garden and going woah. It looks double the size, all cut back and tidied! Amazing. The weather has been bright and cold of late. Definitely getting a little frosty.

      This author sounds like a sensible woman. I am finding the book quite interesting. Answers to more than a few things I have wondered over the years. :)

      I have to admit I look at pinterest with quite a bit of brit surprise. It seems the houses in the US come in a standard size that is much larger than a house in the UK. Or is it leading me wrong? Do all the houses come with basements and master bathrooms or just Pinterest ones? I am picturing one of those hoarded and it is even more terrifying than the Dragon Hoard! I would be a wreck with more than 2 storeys and an attic to deal with.

    2. Our houses are bigger, but it's pretty regional - they run smaller on the coasts and bigger in the middle of the country where land is cheap. It's a lot less dense here - every once in a while we get visitors from overseas who think, say, Chicago and Minneapolis are about as far apart as Glasgow and Edinburgh, but they are actually more than 600km apart.

      Master baths are pretty typical but not universal - they became standard maybe 50 years ago? Attics are not standard on newer houses, though. So my house, 100 years old, has an attic but no 2nd bathroom. On the other hand we have a nice big front porch and a 2-story garage that used to be a barn. I see those all hoarded up around the neighborhood (Jesse Sholl, who wrote Dirty Secret, her mother lives not too far from me. But it's not just one haorder - there are a LOT of front porches and backyard gazebos and garages 100% full of junk. It is kind of terrifying.)

    3. That is a bit of a frightening thought. I guess that is why the US is ahead of the UK in hoarding studies. Just the space people can have across the pond must really let hoarders get going in a scale we don't see here as often. I really admire Tetanus Burger's efforts at clearing so much stuff. I would have crawled into the nearest clapped out car and just wept buckets!

      Does anyone really use a garage for a car these days I wonder? You don't really see it all that much any more. And why no attics? The space is already there. Do you mean an absence of flooring or something like that?

  4. It is frightening! Once I started reading about hoarders I can see them everywhere. It's like alcoholics - I'm the child of an alcoholic and once I started being open about it, turned out like 1/3 of my friends are too.

    Of course when you see the porch all full of toys and boxes, sometimes it's just that people are doubled up in one family's worth of space - first we had the real estate bubble and nobody could afford rent, and then the recession started and people lost their jobs and homes.

    Our garage is full of bikes and the car stays in the driveway, but I think people who drive keep their cars in the garage - we have friends in the suburbs who have a one-car garage and 3 cars so their driveway is full of cars but there's a car in the garage, too.

  5. I own those books! I used to own many, many more but have just taken a load to the charity shop :)