So I’m penniless. Work decided to change my wages from weekly to monthly, but didn’t feel it necessary to let me know that the money from that last week of August – because said week ends on September 6th – would be withheld until next month. Joy. So I now have negative sixty pounds to last until next pay-day. And it’s car tax month.

All of which is a royal pain in the arse.

I’d looked out some lovely housey stuff on e-bay that I wanted for the kitchen, and some rather attractive wooden crates which I thought would be perfect for my sewing things and tidying up the once ‘man-nook’. I was really gutted when I realised I couldn’t have them, and stomped off to collect some nettles for fertiliser and some apples for elderberry soup*. When I arrived in the ever-giving shed though, a wonderful surprise greeted me. At least six crates, almost identical to the ones I’d wanted to get. Excitedly, I snatched a few outside and began to hose off the years of shed-filth.

The boxes, after the removal of the ancient mouse-nest.

The ends of these two are even painted in fashionable 'shabby-chic' colours. Double win!

And now for the obligatory ‘before and after’ shots of the once ‘man-nook’.

Before - the nook is full of stuff.

After - the nook is still full of stuff, but this way, it looks slightly neater. Or at least I think so.

Finally, and to my mind this was the best find of all, I discovered a long, thin box that is perfectly sized for all of my sewing patterns.

This looks almost made-to-measure. Sadly, the shelf it was meant to go on is 2cm too short for it. I will have to find it another home.

It was freeing to be reminded just how creative I can be when it’s necessary. Money doesn’t buy style and whilst I don’t think you can find it in a shed, you can find components of it – old boxes, some brightly coloured paint and a little imagination. When wages allow, I think I’m going to get some grey and green tester pots and paint all of the boxes I found today. I reckon I can get a really attractive nook going.

The same goes for food – I made bortsch for dinner last night which is something I’ve never tried before. Whilst I wouldn’t have it again, it made a filling, cheap dinner. Tonight is sweet potato falafel and other picnicy sorts of food – flat bread, humus, cous cous salad. What doesn’t get eaten here will be taken to C-‘s for a BBQ on Saturday, along with our contribution of corn on the cob…

So for now, it’s all very positive. Talk to me again on the 15th though, when council tax vanishes from my account. I’m sure it’ll be a different story…

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*Let me know if you want the recipe – it’s a traditional Danish one and very good. I’ve frozen some of mine because it’s kind of like a cross between mulled wine and hot Ribeana – perfect for icey evenings. I wanted to save enough for a mug on Hallowe’en/bonfire night.

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