I come from a single parent household, mum, my two brothers and I, yet out of the three of my mum’s children, only I’m capable of even the simplest of household task, my brothers have absolutely zero life skills whatsoever, nowt, zilch, nada – utterly useless basically, probably as my mum is still wiping their arses for them living at home in their 30s.
My mum could literally repair anything, and also make things from scratch such as curtains and duvet covers, you kind of need to be resourceful when every penny counts as it did back then.
Last week, whilst the school summer holidays were sapping my cafe takings and sanity in equal measures, I took a half day to crack on with some work of a digital nature with the TV on in the background – Bargain Hunt to be precise.
On this particular episode one of the contestants had picked up this beautiful plate which, admittedly, had been glued back together from two hundred and fifty billion pieces.
Someone most certainly had more patience than me to complete that task, however, as repaired and botched together as it was, it was a minter (translation from Mancunian – great).
It made me think of life in the 80s and 90s growing up, when having at least one tube of super glue in the kitchen drawer was required by law, a Quality Street tin was predominantly used as a sewing kit and not for chocolate storage, and turning jeans into shorts when you got a hole in the knee was commonplace.
You know those days when we repaired shit rather than chucking it away and replacing with new?!
Lost life skills
We’re quickly becoming the generation(s) of mindless waste, whether it be clothing, food or furniture.
I mean seriously, can you imagine switching on Bargain Hunt in fifty years time and seeing an antique from this generation?
“Today we have this lovely decorative piece circa 2017 made by B&M Bargains, who will start me at seven pence?”
Not likely is it mate?
I must admit, I’ve been guilty of being lazy where repairs are concerned myself over the years.
Renovating the cafe with such a small budget sort of stoked a new passion for all things pre-loved and made me consider developing skills that lay hidden at the back of my ever decreasing memory.
Many times over the years sat at the bottom of my wardrobe you would have found numerous pairs of jeans, barely used, unloved, lonely, with nothing more than a button missing.
Now, had I been bothered to get out, sorry, buy a sewing kit, they could have quite easily have been ‘salvaged’.
Only laziness stopped me, but if it’s a lack of life skills like this that prevented you from doing such menial tasks then may I suggest YouTube as a good starting point – there is literally a tutorial on EVERYTHING just waiting for you to cast your eyes upon them.
If it can be repaired, repair it, learn some new life skills.
Upcycling was something I always fancied doing ever since setting eyes on Kirstie’s Fill Your House For Free.
Some of the stuff they came up with would not set foot in my gaff under any circumstances, however, there were also some real things of beauty created too.
When my business partner and I decided to give the cafe a face lift, knowing we only had a limited budget we had no choice but to make the most out of what we already had.
Something as simple as a chair covers transformed a dated looking set of chairs into modern, swanky little numbers, whilst tables were brought back into 2017 armed with nothing other than sandpaper and paint.
Now I’m currently attempting to furnish my entire apartment with pre-loved, pimp my furniture style masterpieces!
You can literally see the fear on PK’s face if we drive past any skips – he knows me too well.
Keep your eye out for stuff you think can be given a new lease of life, and if you’re short on inspiration, Google is your friend.
Pimping charity shop and vintage clothes
At the risk of sounding like all I ever do is watch television, stumbling across, and loving Girl Boss on Neltflix made me wish I was a little bit more creative when it comes to clothes.
I’m rubbish, possibly the most unfashionable gay man you will ever meet to be completely honest, but if you have an eye for design you could be making your own unique, pimped clothing and standing out from the crowd.
Everything is so mass produced these days by Primarni and the like that we’re becoming clones of one another.
If, like me, you lack a certain expertise when it comes to fashion, consider a Sip and Swap with your friends.
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