Living room, or room for living?

The Paddy shake: something to behold
OCD can be an awful affliction. It can stifle creativity, it can get in the way of the flow of life. I’ve had it for years but it’s time to loosen the reins.

I say OCD but understand there are serious conditions, those that can play havoc with lives, so we’re not trying to trivialise. Round these parts it’s clean and tidy we aspire to, more so the latter.

A place for everything…

Conor's Feng shui in the living room
Conor’s Feng shui in the living room

Throw in a two-year-old and the hairiest, golden retriever in Newcastle and you can quickly see where problems might arise.

Last Sunday we had a day to ourselves. It was literally No family calls, no visiting, not even golf. The closest I got to the green stuff was watching Rory McIlroy come close again in the Emirates sandpit, only to rue more untimely mistakes. He’s close though – and that’s a good thing for us golf nuts.

Anyway, I digress. As daddy flits between home office and the Dubai fairways, Conor has a free run. His morning is occupied with Tom Daley impressions from sofas, while exposing every toy box in the house to the backing tunes of Paw Patrol or Fireman Sam.

Let’s run with it I silently mutter. What OCD? Have another coffee and let the mayhem unfold. Contemplate getting out of pyjamas and starting the day is the only agenda.

And let’s not start on poor Paddy. Our furry friend is the sort who, every time, will seek out the dirtiest, filthiest puddle going, before lapping it up with a stare back at you as if to say “eh, what’s the problem, you let me off the lead…”. Retrievers might be excellent self-cleaners, but the domestic damage is done long before then, especially in winter.

The Paddy shake: something to behold
The Paddy shake

I present to you Exhibit A: River shot of the Paddy shake (Tollymore Forest Park). Seriously. It’s something to behold, but it’s not OCD’s friend!

This particular Sunday, Paddy is surely crossed-legged for we missed the usual early morning routine. However, a wide arc of the town made up for it. We strolled through the parks, along the pr

Before and after: Pressing the daily reset button with cold beer clearly visible
Before and after: Pressing the daily reset button with cold beer clearly visible

omenade and back round by ‘The Mile’ before making our way back up the hill. Meanwhile, master chaos was catching 40 winks in his pram. Recharging more like.

Conor’s Feng shui continued into early evening when tea was on the go. All open spaces had the wee guy’s mark on it. Pontypanty dramatics were unfolding all around, while the hallway was like a junior edition of Frank Butcher’s forecourt, wheels everywhere.

It was chaos, but you know what, it’s was ok. The disorganisation was superficial. It could all be quickly sorted. No problem.

Witching hour was soon upon us and our one-man wrecking ball had powered down. It’s soon time for the wooden stairs.

This is precisely the point in the day when the cold beer or wine comes into focus. It’s also time for the final sweep; Lego scooped into boxes, shuffling around the floor on your knees firing figures, cars, jigsaws, the entire lot into boxes.

Ahh! that’s better! The carpet is visible once more. Paddy has room to stretch and sprawl.

The living room had been reset…but the room for living was so much more fun.

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