Piles of Shite

My life is ruled by piles.  Not the grapey kind (there’s another story) but the ‘Piles of Shite’ kind.  As I sit here at the computer desk in our sitting-room, I can count no less than six Piles of Shite lurking ominously on corners, mantelpiece, table, couch and floor (or collectively and as Husband No. 1 would descriptively put it, on “the sides”).  Today’s Piles of Shite are excessively prolific but this is due largely to my attempts throughout this morning at tackling them; a process which inevitably involves an element of gets-worse-before-it-gets-better.  Current Piles of Shite, if you’re interested, are as follows.

1. Toys on the couch, to be removed from the sitting-room.
Why I bother escapes me.  Perhaps it’s testament to the dire state of affairs in their bedroom that the children are so keen to play with their toys on the sitting-room floor. Maybe they crave my company, although why they would wish to interact socially with a depraved house-cleaner on a homicidally short fuse is a mystery.  Needless to say, they do, and the Piles of Shite they accumulate are a constant source of despair to me.  No sooner have the Play Mobil men been reunited with errant feet and thrown back in their tub, than the Lego guys are off on the rampage, dropping hats and separating heads from torsos like there’s no tomorrow.  Like Frankenstein’s assistant, I bounce from limb to severed limb, and such constant bending is indeed likely to leave me as hunch-backed as poor old Igor.  I bob ceaselessly for minute pieces of plastic barely visible to the naked eye but simply can’t fight the tidal wave of toys washing from bedroom to living room.   It would appear I am the King Canute of ‘Age 5-12’ Construction Sets.

2. Spree book and Thank You cards
The Spree book is an ingenious way for someone to make money selling vouchers to parents with inexplicably guilty consciences about the poor financial state of their primary schools, as each Spree book sale generates a donation to school coffers.  I strongly suspect it’s neither the parents nor the schools who are the big winners here.
The Thank You cards – like most things in my life – are incomplete.  This is due largely to me sinking half a bottle of wine in record time upon our return from Boy’s birthday party; an entirely excusable action given that Boy’s party consisted of twenty-four psychotic three-and-a-half-footers running rampant for two hours round a bouncy castle (please go and read Mr Shev’s ‘Children’s Parties’ post for a brilliant take on this topic.  I still quote his Mr Tumble line to bored friends).  Anyway, half-cut, I then proceeded to totally fuck up the present list, so that we now have three attendees and – be thankful for small mercies – three (hopefully) corresponding unassigned gifts.  I must therefore assess who among these three attendees’ parents I’m most comfortable with, so I can ask them which of the latest items to be picked up off the sitting-room floor was donated by their kid.

3. Cluster of pens, pencils, rulers, stamps and leaflets about Post Office savings accounts.
And yet I can never find a writing implement when I need one.  And neither child has a Post Office account.

4. Pile of approx. twenty-four birthday cards, notepad containing incomplete gift list, Lego and child’s binoculars.
The cards were taken down a week ago and are in a holding area until recycling day. They can’t go into the recycling box because the remarkably aero-dynamic and poorly-elasticated lid has once again made a successful bid for freedom in one of our many howling winds and I honestly can’t be arsed going to the library for another replacement.  I just thank my lucky stars I don’t live in Orkney.

5. Toys on the table to be removed from the living room.
I see what you’re thinking…

6. Sorted papers.
Recycling I get, but the bloody scaremongers who started me on ripping the address from every letter we receive – junk mail included – have a lot to answer for.  Given the fact that my address is readily available to anyone who still keeps their phone book, I fail to see how someone nicking one of my many chucked-out invitations from Richard bloody F. Mackay to his latest Champagne Cocktail Furniture Sale Evening, is going to result in me having my savings plundered.  I still tear them off though.  It’s like Edwina and not eating eggs so hopefully it’s a phase I’ll grow out of.
The sorted papers therefore consist of:
(i) Stuff to shred (mostly the addresses torn off letters).  Top tip: while I find it the most tedious task, it transpires Boy enjoys shredding immensely and has to date retained all ten fingers.
(ii) Papers to be filed (strictly on a something-out, something-in basis; you never open The Blue Box just to add stuff as it’s bursting at its seams so splendidly that even the small belt used to hold it shut is starting to give.  I bought the belt originally for myself in a moment of optimism/short-sightedness, then recycled it into a better life keeping the minutiae of our lives from exploding out of their alphabetised pouches).
(iii) Paper to be recycled (mostly address-less invitations to sofa soirees and unwanted credit card applications (which annoyingly have your address pre-completed on at least two pages just to frustrate you further during address-tearing sessions).
(iv) Paper I can throw away. So…envelopes, then.

Now, go on.  Tell me about your piles…


10 Responses to Piles of Shite

  1. MrsW says:

    Your piles of shite are demarked – what are you obsessive? I can’t even add an “s” to the end – I live in A pile of shite… I clear a path through it when it can’t be avoided but the gaps exist only briefly.

    Talking of libraries and Orkney – are you following @OrkneyLibrary on Twitter? Very funny.

    • jinedin says:

      Oh god, no they’re not organised that way. It’s all change post-shuffle. Can’t wait till we move out of our single-story so I can endanger the lives of my offspring with death trap stair piles.

      @Orkneylibrary pure genius. My cousin lives up there; might suss out if she knows them. She’s probably barred from the library though…

  2. Marylin says:

    You sound terribly organised… I don’t think you’d like my house, it’s more likely the piles of non-shite are the ones I can count on one hand. Or finger.
    I may do a blog post about the boys’ room tomorrow… I tidied it at the weekend. Now only they can find their way to their beds with their small feet. Oh dear!

    • jinedin says:

      I realise now I’ve made it sound like the piles are categorised. Not so!
      Found that the dustpan from the ELC mop/brush/dustpan set is most useful for clearing the kids room, employing the scoop-&-drop method.

  3. Tick thank you card pile, shouldn’t be ticking any toy pile because we recently took a load to a charity shop and gave some away, but the toys must have bred because there are more than ever. I’ll add pile of baby clothes to list because the newborn size need sorting.

    • jinedin says:

      Oh god, don’t start me on the baby clothes/kit. I have this stubborn idea that I’m going to sell everything on ebay rather than just stuff it all into boxes and bags of varying sizes and colours and leave them gathering dust round the bedroom.
      The rate I’m selling the stuff, the kids’ll be moving out before I’m finished, and I’ll still only clear a £7.98 profit after postage…

  4. knackeredmother says:

    Love your descriptions, I just move mine around the house. Then it becomes a new pile and doesn’t need to be tackled for another couple of days…

    • jinedin says:

      Yes. I suspect we’re not unique in our deployment of this tactic…I’m tagging you now by the way! My Perfect Man, although perhaps you could have special dispensation to amend it to ‘My Perfect Wine’…

  5. mrshev says:

    The difference between men and women is that women put their ‘piles of shite’ in ‘piles of shite’ whereas men put them into drawers and/or plastic storage boxes in the hope that they will – one day – reveal an as yet undiscovered alternative use. I open drawers filled with parts from mobile phones and old SIM cards and arms off of old Power Rangers. But I have faith that I will rebuild them – McGyver style – into some kind of uber product with many uses.

    Anyway, this is great stuff.

    • jinedin says:

      Aha! I’ve got one of those drawers too. When our car was nicked a few years ago then – because it was that much of a pile of shite itself – dumped round the corner outside our mate’s house (hmm…maybe we should have spoken to him at greater length) with the indicator broken off, it was my Drawer of Doom that provided an alternative, fashioned out of old wood nails and insulating tape. Then we found out driving a car with a broken steering lock is considered highly unadvisable and not a little risky and had to abandon it to the scrapheap.

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