Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Too Good To Use

 Tom took the five boxes of cleared out items back down to the charity salesroom yesterday morning before he went to work so they are finally all gone. I resisted taking items out so everything went and I'm going to get a few more boxes from the loft this week and try and get some more ready for next week. Anything not useful enough to keep, good enough to take to the charity salesroom or to recycle into another use will  be taken to the dump. I'm hoping to keep the latter items down to the minimum. There is another category that I think everyone probably has which is "Too good to use!" You see them everyhere at car boot sales, charity shops and even jumble sales (remember them! sigh) . Those perfect little boxed items or pretty things that have quite clearly never been used. Pastry forks in little presentation boxes, cutlery sets, best linen table cloths and napkins or even sets of soaps and bath salts. Put away too good to use and in the end given away when the person dies to another person who thinks "too good to use". We talk about saving the worlds resources if everyone used everything they had put away for best we could probably avoid manufacturing another item for a year!

I have so many of these items and as I get older I keep thinking what on earth am I doing keeping these? I may as well use them. I have a beautiful little art deco sandwich plate wrapped in bubble wrap in a cupboard. I had thought to put it on a wall but have never really found a place for it. I decided I may as well give it to the charity salesroom next time but it seems silly to give it away becuase it is so perfect I don't want to chip it. I'm going to get it out and use it everyday for my lunch. It is so pretty I'm sure it will make me smile and isn't that what life is all about? If it gets chipped or broken too bad, at least it was used not kept in a cupboard. Several years ago I bought this pack of soaps at a jumble sale for 10p. I have no ides why I bought them just to put them away. Much as I would love one I haven't got a guest room with a guest en suite to put them in, so they just sit in a drawer with the box getting more and more damaged, the same as they have been for probably fifty years. I doubt Tom and youngest son would be grateful if suddenly dainty little lavender soaps appeared in the bathroom so I may as well just hang on to them for now, at least they make my dressing table drawer smell nice. William Morris, the well known 19th century British arts and crafts designer, famously said "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." Well why shouldn't it be both. I'm going to try and think like this more and more!

On the subject of using things, yesterday when I got to my Dad's, my lovely sister after reading yesterday's blog post bought this round for me.

I am so thrilled with it. I spent most of yesterday evening reading it. I have been reminded by a lot of people in the comments about some of the problems with fondues I had forgotten about, such as taking an age for the oil to warm up and being quite unsafe really, espcially in a caravan!  After reading this, I think chocolate fondue may be the way forward. If that doesn't win Tom over nothing will! There are lots of other 1970s recipes that I can't wait to try like Flaming Cherries marinated in rum. When the cherries come out on our tree later this year, I know what I'll be making!

It looks like a nice bright day today. I still have some seeds I want to get planted in the greenhouse so I think I will try and get out to do that. I'm going to give the aviary a bit of a sweep round too in preparation for the doves going in later in the week and see if I can set up a platform for them as doves seem to like that not perches. I hope everyone has a lovely day how ever you plan to spend it. xx


  1. I have a loft full of 'best' china that I mostly collected for eldest daughters wedding. When the build is finished I'm giving everything one year...if it hasn't been used in that time it never will and it goes! x

    1. I think that is a really good rule. I have things I haven't used for 20 years which is ridiculous. I must be stronger!

  2. 'To Good To Use'..Presents/gifts...
    The cupboard above my dressing wardrobe,
    is full of such things, started many years
    ago, at Christmas, Easter, Birthday etc..
    If my daughter doubled up on a gift, or
    one she did'nt really like, l'd put them
    in that when she went to a
    Birthday party say, there was always a
    gift to be had..saving money in buying
    a gift..l did it myself, people gave me
    say, after shave, smelly stuff..etc..
    that l would never use, so, it was always
    something l could use as a gift...again,
    saving money..!

    On the early news this morning, they were
    saying some charity shops are turning stuff
    away..don't have the room for it..and that
    most of them had a bumper day..
    I'm off up to Weldmare shortly, it's a big
    charity shop at the top of town, it'll take
    a good hour to get round, l've bought some
    lovely stuff there over the years! :).

    Good luck with the's o.k. if yer you think Tom will like his
    chicken pieces covered in chocolate...! HeHe! :).
    🌼 🌼 🌼 🌼 🌼 🌼 🌼 🌼 🌼 🌼 🌼 🌼 🌼 🌼

    1. That is a really good idea Willie, the trouble is I'd be worried with my memory giving it back to the same person! I hope you enjoyed your charity shop visit, sounds like a wonderful place. I saw that report too and it inspired my blog post today. Very interesting wasn't it. I laughed about the chicken!

  3. I used to make a cheese fondue a cheese sauce made with cider and served with French bread cut into chunks.

    1. That sounds delicious Hester! All these ideas I'm getting, I'm really looking forward to giving it a go.

  4. I gave up keeping things for best a long time ago. My parents front room was kept for best, that was for visitors when the best china came out. Of course we had clothes that were our Sunday best and I'm sure we must have out grown some of them quite quickly. Now I'm of the opinion things are for using not kept for best, no point in it at all.

    1. We had a best room too when I was little. It was never used apart from on Sunday afternoon when we were allowed in to eat our sandwiches for our Sunday tea! I had forgotten you have reminded me about it. My children would never put up with anything like that I'm sure!

  5. My Grandma had lots of things that were kept for best and she died without using them. A new robe, underwear, kitchen and dining things. It's crazy. I try to use everything in our home. If it breaks, it saddens me but I think it's important to use them too.

    1. I'm starting to realise as I get older that "best" time never seems to come. I have lots of best things my Mum never ever used, I'm trying to change my mindset and use them all.

  6. My son used to do archiving for a Lady whose home was like a museum. He would spend the day there and she would give him lunch. He was shocked to see the plate was a valuable antique. In fact there were antiques and works of art everywhere. She didn't keep anything for best. The garden was open to the public at certain times. Since the lady died the house is also open twice a week so all her treasures are just museum pieces now. But at least lots of people get to enjoy them.

    1. What a lovely legacy for the lady now she has died. All that effort of collecting was worthwhile. A really nice story. Maybe one day our caravan will be seen as a museum piece!

  7. How sweet and thoughtful of your sister to give you a fondue cookbook. Cheese fondue is so good and chocolate is even better.
    I think using our precious things is a good thing. Whether its china or clothes or what have you. I can't use just any soap (allergies) but I put unwrapped gifted soaps in my wardrobe and drawers. Even after a year or more they give off a delightful scent.

    1. I know I was so pleased! I'm really trying to change the way I think as it's just not worth keeping things in cupboards. It is a good idea to use soap as a air freshner. The smell does last for so long.


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