The Bullshit List.

… Otherwise known as Spring Clean ’16.

(I wanted to do a photography post but the thought of not having any text was too weird. Then I had some thoughts on a cleanout I’m doing at the moment but wondered hmm, how can I dress it up nice so that people might actually read it? Then I hit on a brilliant idea: MASH UP! ‘Spring clean’ my photos and use random favourites that I haven’t yet managed to crowbar into a post, while crapping on about how cleaning out junk gives me fulfilment. It’s quite fitting too as on numerous occasions I’ve been responsibly doing chores until I spotted a sunset out the window and then I’d drop everything to run off and chase it. I suffer from serious FOMO when it comes to sunsets.)

Mainly because of this sunset. I didn't miss it entirely but I didn't have enough time to get to a better vantage point.
Mainly because of this one back in June. I didn’t miss it entirely but I didn’t have time to get to a better vantage point. Best one I’ve ever seen and I couldn’t do it justice!

Wow – I feel like I’ve been quite productive these past few weeks! Well not really but since I’m usually not at all productive it feels like a lot. I’m not generally that good at adulting but I recently read the chapter on decluttering for ‘outer order, inner calm’ in Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project and I’m feeling all gung-ho about getting my shit together for a change.

02 native flower

I finally just DID lots of little bullshit things that have been on my to-do list for ages but I kept forgetting / just couldn’t be arsed / felt guilty and annoyed just thinking about it. Well now I’m actually doing them I have to say Gretch might be on to something.

03 sunset at Palm Beach Gold Coast

I’ve cleaned out the pantry, turfing expired water crackers and ancient tins of tuna that have been hiding at the back of the shelf since about 2013. I’ve scrubbed all the cooked-on exploded crap out of the microwave. I’ve put the boring pebbles we found at Burleigh beach months ago in the boys’ “special rock place” down in the gully and not just flung them off the balcony like I wanted.

06 pink and gold sunset through trees Gold Coast

A mated pair of little corellas checking out a prospective nest. They looked like they were chewing out the inside of that big branch - home renovations?
A mated pair of little corellas checking out a prospective nest. They looked like they were chewing out the inside hollow of that big branch – home renovations?
The clouds almost look kind of webby, don't they?
The cloud at the top looks kind of webby, doesn’t it? I’m slightly freaked out.

I’ve done ‘tip trips’ to Mudgeeraba to drop off the giant busted Tonka, the busted clothes horse, the busted printer, the busted ride-on tractor bike and a length of tubing that our least favourite neighbour dumped in the far corner of our backyard and hoped we wouldn’t notice (karma is a duck). I used bootlaces to tie the netting around the trampoline back up as those annoying bloody magpies (or currawongs I’m not sure who the culprits are) pecked and nibbled at the attachments until they snapped. Just because they could.

… My list of bullshit things to do is quite long. And rather bullshitty, hence my reluctance to actually do them.

Vuly trampoline
How the trampoline looked before I fixed it. Somehow the boys managed to not neck themselves on the hanging bit or launch themselves out during big bounces.

Bullshitty though they are, they’re a change from the laundry and vacuuming merry-go-round, and, funnily enough, also much more satisfying when done. Probably because all those jobs have a clear end in sight, unlike the laundry. The teetering piles of outgrown clothes at the bottom of the boys’ wardrobes have gone, having been sorted into keep it / sell it / donate it / chuck it piles and dealt with. I’ve even eBayed some stuff and made almost $150 already! *looks around the house to see what else I can flog*

grasses in sunlight

I’ve washed all the outside windows and warily knocked down all the spiderwebs and wasp nests. I haven’t cleaned all the fans yet but I really have to before things start flying off when we turn them on. (Certain jobs I do only when I cannot stand it any longer; maybe I can organise for us to move house before I have to do them again.)

golden clouds sunset through trees

I’ll not notice something for … well, years… but then one day I’ll see it and suddenly it bugs the shit out of me. And then once I get going I can get slightly obsessive and one thing leads to another… until I eventually run out of steam/ get bored. For example I didn’t throw out the pram until last year; Rory was four and it had been sitting unused in the garage for at least a year by then. (…’Just in case.’)

pink, purple, orange sunset through trees

What a cool flower! Looks a bit like a string of DNA.
What a cool flower! It has pretty DNA.

So; turfed it, with a bit of a twinge that that part of the boys’ childhoods are now behind us.

Then I decided to tidy the sports equipment box, and then the rumpus room, which then led to a complete overhaul of all the kids’ stuff, mercilessly throwing out all the unused toys, extraneous hats and backpacks, boring books and bits of random crap which presumably used to be part of toys at some stage but were now only there so the boys could throw them on the floor while looking for something else.

Look! He's actually wearing a jumper! It must be about 5 degrees or something.
Look! He’s actually wearing a jumper! It must be properly cold.

MAN it felt good. Then that led to me sorting through all my books and filling a box to try my luck at the secondhand bookshop. But then I lost interest and the box was ignored again until a couple of weeks ago when I cracked the shits and took it to Good Sammy’s.

This is an American Sweetgum that's growing on the oval where Finny does his footy training. Comes from Ohio, apparently! And those seed pods REALLY hurt when you tread on them barefoot.
An American Sweetgum at our footy ground. Comes from Ohio, apparently! Where it’s cold and people wear shoes.  Because those seed pods REALLY hurt when you run over a bunch of them barefoot while chasing the football.

So I do do things, but in my own sweet time. Fortunately I have a patient / indifferent / forgiving family.

ducks paddling on lake

So I've been pretty busy... I might even say I'm 'flat out like a lizard drinkin'.
“Yer a lizard Harry.” Harry is a tree-climbing Eastern water dragon. He was just lying spreadeagled on the road, not moving even when I got really close so I thought he’d been hit by a car or had sunstroke or something. (I don’t know! Lizards might get sunstroke!) Anyway I picked him up by the tail and carried him off the road, whereupon he miraculously recovered, scared the shit out of me and ran off. Lizards play possum; who knew.

I never considered myself a hoarder, but J seems to think I am. Certainly there are items that I might hang on to but I cull fairly regularly. Some things have survived, however. I found a beautiful black leather waistcoat I got as a present when I was 18 and a pair of black leather pants I got at uni which I’ve never worn because a) they’re too hot and b) I don’t ride a motorbike and would feel like a massive poser. I could’ve sold them years ago but I didn’t because I thought they were too nice and surely I’d have the chance to wear them someday. 23 years later…

brilliant sunset over Gold Coast hinterland
Didn’t have enough time to get clear of the bloody power lines. Still amazeballs.

I do love leather, especially on cowboys, and would like to wear it but unless we move somewhere cold, I get a motorbike, or suddenly find myself in a post-apocalyptic world it probably won’t happen. Not the pants anyway…

sunlight through grasses

Right okay I’m going to keep the waistcoat. And wear it. A new life goal. I just have one quick question which I’ll throw out there for you guys: how does one wear a leather waistcoat without looking like either a pirate or a sheriff from the Wild West?

And while you’re (presumably) still here, are you the organised type who can give me advice on staying on top of this sort of thing? I need some kind of system.

Or are you like me and go at things intermittently but with obsessive interest, at least for a while? I need to know I’m not a lazy weirdo. Or at least that I am a lazy weirdo but it’s okay and we have our own support group now.

And what’s something that you’ve kept stashed away, and why have you kept it?

Happy spring! And good luck if you’re also venturing into springclean territory.

– Michelle

A view down the hill where they were doing backburning a few weeks ago. Pretty cool. With all the smoke the sunsets were pretty awesome, and I even got up before sunrise a couple of times to see if the sunrises were good too...
A view down the hill where they were doing backburning last month. Pretty cool. With all the smoke the sunsets were pretty awesome, and I even got up before first light a couple of times to see if the sunrises were any good too…
... they were.
… they were.

brilliant red sunrise over Pacific Ocean, Gold Coast

Were they ever!
Were they ever!

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Mila says:

    Gorgeous photos!! So worth putting all the to-dos away for a while.
    I use a phone reminder app. And let it keep reminding me until I start yelling ‘Alright alright I’m doing it!’
    Need to be careful not to put too many reminders because then I get overwhelmed and ignore it all completely.
    But yeah, you’re definately not alone.
    Those photos though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle says:

      Thanks for the luverly comment Mila! Maybe I should call you Bookie. I just found you in my spam queue… HOW DARE THEY?
      All okayed now, hopefully future comments will automatically approve! I would hate to think my blog is purposely trying to bounce people out the door just because they happened to casually mention the word ‘app’ or something! I’m totally fine with it, and with swears, so go for it!


  2. It looks like everything is afire over there. That sounds cooler than “on fire”. Love the webby clouds and the plant that looks like Jacks (you called it DNA).


    1. Michelle says:

      It isn’t bushfire season yet but I have a feeling it’s going to be another long hot summer… for now I’m happy the sky is the only thing burning! And those webby clouds were so weird! I’ve never seen clouds like it before, never mind in a sunset. I need to get a wide angle lens, there was more going on but my lens couldn’t fit it all in.


  3. Your photography is just gorgeous! We have beautiful skies here too – sunsets, dawns, cloudscapes … yours is one of a few blogs that’s really got me back into the habit of LOOKING. Next step: Hijack the Hubbit’s fairly fancy camera, which I bought him for a birthday because back in the day (before me) he was seriously into photography and often said how much he’d like to get back into it, only now he says he’s too busy for a “hobby”, poor baby. It offends me that it’s sitting around gathering dust, and, seriously, your pictures are inspirational. Every time I see them I think, “Hmmm … bet I could do that too…”

    Also: For developing and maintaining good routines, check out Seriously. She saved my life, probably my marriage. I am still just horrible about keeping up with housework, etc, but I never fall off as badly as I used to, and it never gets as devastatingly out of control – all I have to do is take a deep breath and pick up where I left off, and in no time I’ve got things more-or-less straight again. Her systems work, and she never makes you feel guilty for not being Martha Stewart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle says:

      Thank you Tookie! I really enjoy taking photos and I’m stoked whenever they turn out nice, but when other people actually get some enjoyment out of them too – even some inspiration to get out and try too – that is just brilliant. Of course I’m always wanting to improve and luckily I have the time and inclination to practise. 🙂
      Which camera did you get the Hubbit? (that’s an awesome alias btw – does he have hairy feet too? 😉 I need to upgrade mine, it’s ten years old and tries very hard but doesn’t do that well in low light. I cannot WAIT to go camera shopping.
      And ta also for the heads up about Fly Lady – I like her solutions to ‘CHAOS’ – very apt acronym! I look forward to trawling her advice, especially if, as you say, she gives it without being all sanctimonious and superior about it. 🙂


      1. I got him a Canon EOS Rebel T3. He’s had it a few years now and hardly used it at all. I’ve started playing with it, but need the relative calm of winter weather to take time to study just which buttons do what. It’s pretty nice – not top of the line, obviously, but both stills and video come out looking very satisfactory.

        The Hubbit, disappointingly, is not at all hairy. I’ve tried to persuade him to grow a pony tail with his few remaining head hairs, but all I get for that suggestion is the hairy eyeball.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Michelle says:

          OMG an EOS… *so jealous now I’m giving you the hairy eyeball*


          1. So I picked a good one? Ooo-KAY!

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Christopher says:

    Your photography is amazing. Everyone else has said that already and if they’re not saying it they’re thinking it and if they’re not thinking it they’re idiots. Or blind. The blind get a pass.
    I have no system for cleaning but we have a houseguest coming and that’s prompted some throwing away.
    There’s a system for you. Imagine someone’s coming to visit and ask yourself, “Would I want them to see this crapola?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle says:

      That’s a great system! I occasionally have offhand thoughts along a similar, if somewhat more maudlin, theme: if I carked it tomorrow would I want my family to have to wade through all this rubbish? 🙂
      Also, thank you for complimentering my photoing. I get so much enjoyment out of it and think I’d like to write a book with photos one day – something to work towards!


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