As I sat down to write this ultra-considered piece I promised myself and by extension my reader that de-cluttering would not get a mention but the truth is that I’m obsessed, so so much for good intentions and welcome to the Boris Johnson school of promises.  At the moment the long road to a tidy, organised home and freedom from extraneous stuff fills my every waking minute.

As I hope you can see from the picture at the top of the blog, a brave new world of clarity and space awaits.  The sofa bed is open for business, so to speak.  To reach it without having to clamber over numerous boxes and to be able to sit on it without having to throw piles of paper onto the floor – or as near the floor as possible – was bliss.  Instead of closing the door and pretending all was well, I left the door open and stood grinning inanely at the sight of a rediscovered, newly hoovered carpet.

Pathetic?  Probably.  But a joy nonetheless.

The boxes are being rounded up and corralled. Now for the culling and stabling – or whatever the correct terminology is.

There’s still work to do, as you can see and it’ll involve a lot of reading and sorting but I can’t follow the advice of one reader, who recommended a skip and a ruthless attitude.  It’ll be the Moyra McElderry method for me.  She wrote: “Please put all those lovely letters, articles and photos in a file…very therapeutic if time consuming but I’m sure you’ll have a lot of smiles along the way.”

And a few tears as well no doubt.

It was Dai’s birthday a few days ago and I found some of his diaries dating back to 1965.  Little tiny things that I, with my sloppy, sprawling scrawl, couldn’t cope with in a million years.  They won’t be going anywhere near a skip, not on my watch anyway.

A life in a box…and some books of cuttings.  Fascinating.

Of course, the trouble with having cuttings and books all over the place, safely on their shelves or on the floor, is that one has an overwhelming temptation to read.  And since I’d been listening to the news on radio 4 and 5 Live, I jumped at the chance to cheer myself up in the company of Pooh, Piglet, Roo, Eeyore – well maybe not Eeyore, the determinedly depressive donkey – and company.  What a delight.

Some books stand the test of time and A. A. Milne and E.H. Shepard are the best.

On the golfing front, Adrian Meronk, who was so unlucky not to be Poland’s first Ryder Cup player this year, won again, for the third time this season and the fourth time in 15 months.  He had two eagles in a final round of 66, six under par, to win the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters at Real Club de Golf Sotogrande by one shot from Matti Schmid of Germany.

Meronk shining bright yet again.  New York here he comes.  [Getty Images]

There aren’t many things Annika Sorenstam hasn’t done in golf and now she’s become a member of Augusta National.  They don’t usually discuss such things -“that’s club business, ma’am” is the stock answer – but Fred Ridley, the chairman, couldn’t help himself this time.  After all, Annika is quite a catch and will be more than a match for most of her fellow members on the course.

“…I am very excited about Annika,” Ridley said.  “…I’ll just say that.  She is a delightful person.  As you know, we have a number of women members and have for quite a few years.  I think it made us a better club and they are an integral part of our culture.”

Congrats to Annika – and her family, who’ll be able to enjoy the odd round or two on one of the world’s most cosseted courses.

Annika with her husband Mike and children Ava and Will.  They’re all a bit older now. [From the Annika Insider blog]

Just by the by, it ill behoves an institution that has morphed from being simply a members’ club into one of the most influential bodies in world golf to be so secretive.  Control freakery rules OK?

I managed to find my way onto the golf course on Tuesday and although it was damp under foot, the rain held off and my partner Pauline and I had a respectable enough score in the greensomes – not last anyway – but a long way from the winning score of 45 points, an amazing effort.

Pauline in the pink on a grey old day, under a weird and wonderful sky.

On Sunday, several of us groupies of the City of Lichfield Concert Band went to hear them perform in Lichfield Cathedral and the old joint was jumping.  The concert was called Around the World and was performed under the world, a massive installation called Gaia by Luke Jerram.  It’s seven metres in diameter and features 120 dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface.  To quote further:  “The artwork is 1.8 million times smaller than the real Earth with each centimetre of the internally lit sculpture describing 18 kilometres of the Earth’s surface.  By standing 211 metres away from the artwork, the public will be able to see the Earth as it appears from the moon…”

Whatever the technicalities, it’s pretty awesome.

The band playing their hearts out beneath the Earth.


Taking the applause down under…