A fraught word. It may have been clean before the 1960’s but ever after it has drug connotations. It is also used in the plastic model kit building world to dignify the closets of unbuilt kits that elderly enthusiasts collect. They are legal, as opposed to the drugs, but more addictive.

I have one of the plastic type, though it is modest compared to those of others. I reduce mine somewhat by prolific bouts of building, and one day hope to end up with nothing but finished models and discarded cardboard boxes.

I also possess several box bins full of materials – divided neatly into wood, plastic, card, foam cuts, metal, etc. This is the marvellous fountain of possibility that I go to whenever I need to build or fix something, and every time I score a solution from the bins, I am winning.

A recent realisation that less clutter is better mental health ( caused by visiting people who think otherwise ) has led me to sell or give away a number of items. The give-aways yield nothing but gratitude and friendship and other such rubbish. The sales return money. It is never as much as was invested in the goods, but the return is welcome nevertheless. But once it arrives, it is in danger – the danger that any liquid commodity faces – it can flow out again just as easily.

It goes when I decide to spend it on something – the times when it buys a necessity are few. The times when it is wasted on luxury are many – that is how I got the surplus goods to begin with. Had I been frugal before, I would have the benefit of extra capital and a more finely-tuned sense of value now. The problem is how to stop me from splurging when I get the urge. I have a number of ploys:

a. I put it in the bank to pay off credit card debt. We’ve paid more and more of the household expenses on the card as a way of spacing ourselves from other people during the worst of the Covid 19 crisis. This will continue and we’ll make use of it in the future. It is a mechanism, and must be maintained by a supply of funds. Putting the luxury money into it is the most responsible thing for me to do.

b. I put it in the home safe in a paper envelope marked as sequestered. If I can exercise more self control than a python in a room full of rats, I can keep it until it is needed.

c. I stash it in tins. This is the motive behind the Fin Bin. A stainless steel container that receives the spare $ 5 bills that come in change. They are small enough capital to serve as foundation for new plastic model kits when I encounter them. I can look at the Fin Bin and not feel guilty.


Look at the heading image. it is a ceiling-fixer’s hoist holding up the sagging and collapsing ceiling in my family room. The emergency emerged fast and i was fortunate to be able to get the fixer on the line and into the house before the structure gave way. It has since been professionally repaired and is safe and correct again.

The cost of the thing took all the hobby money out of the envelope as well as some out of the bank. I can now not go buy toys for six months.

This is possibly a blessing – I know the rescue by the ceiling fixer ( Myaree Walls and Ceilings. ) certainly was. I would be a fool to curse a flood – as it is something over which no man – with the possibility of the Army Corps of Engineers – has control. If i was rescued from one I certainly should not bewail the lifeboat.

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