Today is one of those grim and dark autumn days. It isn’t actually raining, but there is a damp chill in the air that seeps into your bones and just makes you feel miserable.



Yesterday wasn’t a whole lot better, although we did see a little of the sun. So what to do when you need to feel a bit better? When you’re feeling a bit down, lethargic…fed up…you know, whatever fails to float your boat at the time.

Me? Go for a walk. Always helps. But I’ve told you that before. There are a few other remedies, though. Throwing stuff out always helps. Even just going around the house and emptying the rubbish bins is a step in the right direction. I’ve long had this dream to live an incredibly minimalist life – just the bare essentials, no real luxuries, no more than I actually need. The problem is, though, the bare essentials seem to involve hundreds and hundreds of books. and…I…just…can’t…

I love Peter Cook’s line: ‘My tragedy is I was an only twin!’, and I think there’s a slight echo of that in that my tragedy is being a minimalist who can’t stop collecting books.

And photos.

And elephants (but that’s a story for another time).


I’m sure you get the idea.

We have an attic space full of all sorts of stuff that needs to be cleared out. Loads of my old paintings, for a start. And all the other junk that tends to accumulate in attic spaces. There are old carpets and window blinds that are of no use to anyone, including us. Tools. An old water tank (How on Earth can I get that out?). Pet carriers – those little cages that are used to take pets to the vets if necessary – our cats rush out of the house and over the horizon if the carriers ever make an appearance; they learn quickly!

And other stuff.

But I chucked a load out yesterday, including some of my old paintings. It felt very cathartic. And I deleted loads of emails. Some of which I’d actually read.


Loads of old paperwork that was filling up drawers and files.


It’s a step in the right direction, anyway. I look at it as trying to take back control of my life.

On the other hand, of course, I could just look at a few somewhat more cheering photos and then get on with writing my book…


Changtse, Everest, Nuptse and the Khumbu glacier




Along the South Downs Way, Sussex


Dozing cat

5 rathas elephant

Stone elephant, Five Rathas, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

That should do it.

33 thoughts on “Catharsis

  1. I helped clear out a house recently, and standing in a truck bed, hurling old carpets & other bulky trash into a dumpster turnout to be unexpectedly exhilarating.
    And tiring when it was a very hot day, we looked like that cat by dinner time!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I guess we all are hoarders…some collect pieces other collect experiences. It is hard to let go!

    That picture of Sussex looks very similar to the landscape we have when the mustard fields are ready for the harvest.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. nexi

    We’ve also just cleared out a relatives house recently and its remarkable how much easier it is to see other peoples stuff dispassionately. Helped to see our stuff in a different light. Artwork and books are killers to throw away, aren’t they….!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Gretchen Rubin writes in _Better Than Before_ about the Foundation Four habits: Sleep, Exercise, Nutrition, and Order. The last one struck me, as I’m already so familiar with the first three. It did not take long to realize she is so right! A cluttered space lends to a cluttered mind and life. So since I read (listened to) her book, I’ve been slowly taking out my stuff and either using it or getting rid of it. Old habits die hard, but it’s worth the effort to clear space—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual— for growth and just being.
    Thanks for the reminder! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can totally relate to this post, Mick. I am all for a minimalist lifestyle but when it comes to books 🤦‍♀️ I am a book hoarder. I dont like unread books staring at me in my room so I try to finish them all. But the moment I’ve read everything I want something in my room that I haven’t read. It’s strange.

    Great pictures by the way.
    Love them all. (:
    Also, I’ve always wanted to visit Mahabalipuram. May be some day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, sometimes getting rid of stuff can be very helpful. But I agree that the key is not to try to get rid of things that are precious to you…it’s perfectly alright to hold on to those things. I’m glad you’re feeling better now, Mick!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m the same, Mick. I tend to think of myself as a tidy person trapped inside an untidy body (with a home to match!)… I’d LOVE to have a minimalist home… but then I realise what’s involved and what I’d miss, and I can’t do it. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter – we still do what we want to do, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time.

    Hope your mood lifted… I’m sure the great British winter that’s trying to arrive has a lot to do with it.

    Would love to know about the elephants. Do you collect them? Dream about them? Have a photo collection of them?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely respond to the weather, Val. I’m a firm believer in SAD, as I always feel more depressed as the winter drags into the New Year and onwards and don’t seem to rally until we get some decent Spring days.

      As for the elephants…I’ll have to do a post…

      Liked by 1 person

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