Too Many Occupations
Jumbo the Elephant (

P T Barnum, the 19th century American politician, showman, and businessman, has said that “Many a fortune has slipped through a man’s fingers because he was engaged in too many occupations at a time.” So for myself I used to go to work in Manchester (including 12 hours per week commuting from Stoke-on-Trent), was Secretary of the Birmingham Branch of the British Computer Society, was Vice Chair of the School Governors at my childrens local school, was Parent Governor representative to the Stoke Town Council, was involved in my own house renovation and was still required to help raise two young children.
I no longer commute to work and I am no longer a School Governor or a BCS committee member and I no longer sit on the Town Councils Childrens Service meetings. I still do my own DIY I have of course still to raise my lovely children and now I also do these webpages. So I have swapped four of my old occupations for one new one, so far.

Too Much Clutter

A Typical Cluttered Lock-up Garage
A Typical Cluttered Lock-up Garage

We rent a garage from Stoke Town council for around £40 per month. This is peanuts compared to how much one would need to pay in London. However in this garage we keep old books and a few tools and unused building materials, four old bicycles etc. I have been renting this garage from the council for around 12 years now. So how much has this cost me altogether? How much is the the worth of all this clutter that I keep in this garage? You see the way that I think now? The rent has cost me several times the value of the junk that I keep in it. But I still have the garage, at least until I have our attic fixed up then it will be decicion time as to what’s kept and what is got rid of. And then I will be able to simplify my life a little by letting the garage go.

The Temptation is to Hoard Junk

In February 2016 I had a new carpet fitted in one of our bedrooms. I had to pay for a certain standard size of underlay for this carpet. When the carpet fitter guys had finished I was presented with a huge roll of the remaining underlay. As an ardent DIYer my first reaction was to consider how I could best use this underlay. Then, when I could conceive of no immediate use for it, I began to think of where to store it. Then I thought of the garage of course. This idea was anathema, I want to reduce the amount of stuff in the garage not add to it. Then it occurred to me that I have managed perfectly well on this Earth for nearly sixty years so far without actually owning a huge roll of spare carpet underlay and that I would most likely continue to manage without it, thank you very much. So thanks again to Stoke Town Council, because the bin men thankfully took it way.

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