Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Stalactites and Stalagmites

Dave bought some pillar candles a couple of weeks ago, in an attempt to make the flat appear more cozy and atmospheric. He grouped three of them together on top of the TV receiver, and lit them. They did look great, but soon a puddle of wax had formed around their bases and we discovered that, sitting on top of the perpetually warm receiver box, that wax never quite hardened.

So we moved the candles to an end table, and set them on a piece of cardboard to catch the wax. The other night, we burned them again. The cardboard, we discovered the hard way, is insufficient -- we found stalactites and stalagmites of wax growing downward from the table edge and up from the wood floor beneath.

I spent part of this morning cleaning up hardened melted wax.

I suppose we need some kind of dish to catch the runoff, but we don't seem to have anything lying around. Is it not ridiculously stupid that I should read Marie Kondo and try to purge our flat of excess crap, and then have to go off to the charity shop to buy a flat dish with a rim to hold our candles?

Speaking of purging, I've also long intended to get rid of Dave's old computer, which no longer works  -- the monitor flickers off for no reason, usually while he's in the middle of trying to do something. He hasn't used this machine in a couple of years -- never even turned it on, as far as I know -- so I researched how to recycle it and the other day, I asked him to make sure there's nothing on it he wants. He got a bit prickly and said, "Why can't we just keep it?"

Apparently I've hit my Marie Kondo limit with Dave. I'm putting the computer back in his wardrobe.

I still have some boxes and cabinets to go through, but I can do those on my own!

(Photo: Skies over Soho, about two weeks ago.)


  1. What a familiar scene. One partner with an object that hasn't been used for years (and won't be, since it's passed its usefulness) and another partner determined to keep it. Done that. Living it. ;)

  2. I think we have at least three old computers here that haven't been used in donkey's years.
    Instead of inspiring me, these posts about de-cluttering are making me feel completely inadequate.
    Those candles might not be a good idea.

  3. yup. my husband as both of his old computers. One in his closet, the other on his desk while the new one is on the side table meant to hold the printer and other stuff. The oldest one suffered the blue screen of death and the info on the hard drive is unaccessible. he keeps it because he thinks that at some time in the future the technology might exist to reclaim it, as if we will be interested in anything that old. some pictures, maybe. I have no idea why he is keeping the other one.

    and yah, candles. I lit a pillar candle as a teenager in my room and then left, forgetting about the lit candle. when I got back it had burned all the way down into a puddle on the carpet. I was lucky I didn't burn the house down.

  4. When I moved a year ago, I had an old tower computer that was in my garage and since I did my taxes on it, I was concerned about just throwing it away. I took it to Staples and paid them around $20.00 to wipe the hard drive and recycle it.

    I didn't get around to reading your post yesterday until today and I wanted to say how much I enjoyed it. That narrative was written so beautifully it was like sitting there with you.

  5. As always, love your posts. As far as the wax goes, a hot iron on a brown paper bag placed over the wax on carpeting will handle that wax and a hair dryer and plastic scraper has done the job for me on hard floors. And I'm now inspired to go clean out a closet!

  6. Haha! I've found that I've bought a few new things since KonMari but they are all more joyful than stuff I would have got in the past. Brighter, happier stuff. A tray sounds like a smart move. You don't want to be cleaning up wax forever. Make it a joyful tray! One you will cherish. Are you sure you haven't got one sitting around that you never use?

  7. Usually I know exactly where my husband's declutter limits are ... everything he owns! And then sometimes he will surprise me by throwing something out that *I* would never toss.

    Try a dollar store (poundland?) for a base to put your candles on. They have them in ours but then we are an ocean away from you.

  8. Mr. Man is a soft hoarder, Still has his dead dad's underwear in a box in the hoarder's delight that is our garage, never had a car in it! You would be made crazy in five minutes! To get rid of stuff we will have to move, although Mr. Man has storage units full of stuff from our last move 28 years ago...and so it goes. Dave can keep his object of dysfunction if it means something to him, even if it is in the closet ( which you may point out that that closet thing is not OK anymore)doesn't matter really. Perspective, Lad! Come and see the garage!

  9. I was just looking at this pile of old computer stuff & feeling defeated because the hard drive needs wiped & I don't want to just throw the stuff away, so there's a process. It's easier just to leave it be - ha!

  10. You could rent a small storage unit from Big Yellow to put Dave's old computer in and his old clothes too. Also why not put in the candles and the houseplants? Come to think of it you could lock Dave in there as well.