Messy Tuesdays.

You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everyone else, and we are all part of the same compost pile. ~Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club, Chapter 17

I have got some kind of stinking cold of death which means no knitting tonight at The Global Cafe and less shelf-building and studio creation than I desire to be doing. One of the worst things about being on immunosuppressants (the Anti-TNF drug I take for my arthritis is an immunosuppressant) is that every single stupid little cold that comes along gets to play merry havoc with my body. I will be so happy when the snotfest of these colder months is over!

Lara commented that all weekend in spite of having a cold I was very chipper and upbeat to which I replied ‘well, practice makes perfect!’ If I only did things when I was feeling 100% healthy I would never get to take over the world with marvelous Art and knitted silliness, and that would be terrible.

The really bum part of having this cold is that it may possibly delay the dates for my surgery. I am expecting to have a quite gruesome operation on my feet any day soon which will involve breaking both my big toes, setting them into a straight position and then pumping me with liberal doses of morphine for some weeks until the bones heal. I can’t go into surgery while I have any kind of infection and the sooner I can get it over and done with, the better.

Naturally I have all manner of knitted walking stick cosies, plaster-cast covers and other joy to ease the pain and misery of post-operative reality but even so, the entire enterprise is daunting and the current malaise is not massively helpful in terms of preparing me for things.

In lieu of the malaise, I invented a new and kick-arse fruit salad with the intention of using it to reduce the negative effects of my cold.

Fruit Salad of Joy


two kiwis
one orange
one pink grapefruit
one pomegranate
red peppercorns
dried red chilli pepper
black peppercorns


Cut up the kiwis, orange and grapefruit, then arduously remove all the little red seeds of joy (it is worth it) from the pomegranate. Chuck everything in a glass dish (be especially slapdash if you are feeling as grim as I am today).

In a pestle and mortar, grind up as much pepper and chilli as you dare. Cover your fruit with this, stir in and chill.

This is a very adventuous fruit salad, but the hot flavours are really not as mad as they seem. They increase healthy bloodflow around the body and help to clear the sinuses. The red peppercorns are especially fragrant and aromatic with the fruits and the resulting salad is beautifully photogenic.

Less photogenic is the mess that results from this kitchen-related creativity, which brings me to the main focus of this post. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the delightfully affirmative concept of Messy Tuesdays, the brainchild of myself and the lovely Lara. Anyone can participate in this positive and celebratory blog-based project. To be involved you must simply photograph a mess somewhere in your house and place the photograph on your blog on – you guessed it – a Tuesday. You may write an accompanying text if you so choose including some thoughts relating to your mess and reflecting on its significance, your feelings towards the mess or your desires concerning the future of the mess. I leave those things entirely up to you, but I would appreciate it deeply if you would comment on this post if you have decided to join in with the joy of Messy Tuesdays, so that there is some way of participants being able to view and enjoy each others’ mess.

Tired of balancing career, housework, self-care, social life, blog-life and knitting-projects beneath a veneer of carefully groomed perfection, Messy Tuesdays are a strike in the direction of The Unideal Home Blog: a celebration of things as-they-are and an affirmative reminder to everyone out there who despairs of the state of their sink/bedroom/laundry-pile that you are not alone! I say to hell with perfection and the careful disguising of reality in the blog. I say to hell with isolation and the negative psychological effects of aspiring constantly towards unattainable standards of domestic perfection.

A friend of mine who has a lengthy and horrific commute daily, who rises at 5am every morning to get into work, who is home by 7pm on a good day, who sews, knits, blogs etc. on TOP of this job and commute was recently, in spite of this extreme industriousness, ashamed of her untidy home when I last saw her. I found myself exclaiming that I love her messy pots, her pan full of mould and her disarrayed knitting projects covering every surface. I love them because they signify that my friend does not come into the house after a long day of work and immediately subject herself to tiring housework. I love the mess because it is the result of my friend choosing to do stuff that is pleasurable to her, rather than feeling obliged to perform tasks that are not fun during the small amount of free time available to her. When I look at the mess I see all the other stuff my friend has been doing with her time; activities that aren’t cleaning and cooking and tidying and sweeping. Because let’s face it, we could spend our entire lives cleaning! And why should we?! Enough of the oppressive idea that one is less of a woman somehow if one’s house is not spotless. Bring on the mess. We know it always gets tidied away (if badly and hurriedly) at some point.

Messy Tuesdays are a healthy counterweight to all the spotless image of domesticity presented in countless craft blogs. Messy Tuesdays show what doesn’t get done as well as what does. If you choose to show a far more edited version of reality then fine. Messy Tuesdays are not here to criticize your editing choices. Rather they exist as an affirmative and celebratory exercise for those of us who never seem to finish it all and who need a boost when we feel as though we never do enough.

Messy Tuesdays Manifesto:

You are not your flawless surfaces. You are not your orderly laundry-pile. You are not the seamlessness of your Finished Objects. You are not your risen cakes. You are not your sewn-in ends.

This is the mess beside my bed that I haven’t managed to sort out in nearly 6 weeks. It is indeed very messy. It does distress me and I do desire that it be tidy. But I do not desire this strongly enough to stop doing everything else I am currently doing in order to concentrate on resolving the problem.

15 Responses to Messy Tuesdays.

  1. Pingback: The Domestic Soundscape » Archive » Mixtapes and Messy Tuesdays

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