I am very messy. After years of denial I can now admit this truth and reflect upon its origins. I have concluded that I tend to take broad brush strokes in life despite the subject and size of the canvas, or more simply, I tend to â€˜cut throughâ€™ many daily situations rather than going â€˜the long way roundâ€™. I carry the scars to prove this point. Literally they manifest as shadows of past wounds inflicted by tools to inadequately protected skin. The scars are also present in a more abstract sense represented in other ways such as the mess I leave. Specifically, I attribute my messiness to my excitable nature with its trademark exaggerated movements, the fast pace with which I approach most activities and a general lack of caution. So to recap:
Excitable Nature (Exaggerated Movements) + Fast Pace â€“ Caution = Messiness
or for the algebra-arians:
M = EM(EN)+FP-C
Despite my awareness of the above formula I have done little to overcome the problem. Until now.
With a little careful observation, I have discovered that I am most messy after gardening and cooking especially when I bring an armful of veggies and things into the kitchen for rinsing and preparation. I usually drip water everywhere en route from the sink to the bench as I lay the newly washed fare on the chopping board and prepare the evening meal.
Unconsciously storing this fact in my subconscious, I embarked on a recent nearby town market day and happened upon a second hand kitchen sink wearing a price tag of unbeatable proportions - 5 bucks. It was mine in minutes complete with two basins and a similar number of ribbed water drainage flat bits. I had big plans for this purchase. This sink would provide both a pivotal yet simple first step towards the realisation of a dream of mine and a small yet stretched step towards my unmessy future.
I have put the sink in the veggie garden. It is propped up on four thick wooden legs. A garden tap rises up through one of the three holes previously assigned to two taps and a spout. This tap is plumbed into the high pressure pvc pipe that carries rainwater from the tank to the house (shed). The sinkâ€™s drain runs into some 50 mm pipe and reduces nicely via a nifty little reducer into a 10 metre length of 25mm ribbed flexible hose that is easily moved about the gardens down slope from the sink. This simple set up encourages me to start the dinner preparations outside â€“ rinsing, chopping, slicing, and planning for the pending dinner, lunch, snack or out of mealtime indulgence. I then take the veggies into the kitchen to finish off.
This sink's inclusion within the garden has had a big impact on the way I use the produce produced. It is as if I have taken the kitchen to the garden where it belongs. The beds are the pantry, the trellises the fridge, the trees the larder. I have so many different things growing at once and all mixed together that it is hard to consider each of them individually during the meal time plans which traditionally take place in haste poised over an impatient chopping board, egged on by an already hot pot and all under the anxious gaze of a hungry pregnant partner. There is now time and opportunity to reflect more on ingredients.
So in conclusion, the addition of a simple sink in the garden has proved itself thrice over and counting. Firstly it has brought the process of processing and planning for meals outside where, for me, it belongs. This brings a welcome calm to the pre-dinner rush. Secondly the sink has contributed to my larger plans of establishing a Garden Kitchen in my Kitchen Garden and, thirdly, it has made a small but significant dent in my quest to reduce the messy aftermath of the life I enjoy.
Changing to this way of life puts you in control, it can reduce the amount of stress you live with and it will show your children and friends that happiness and contentment are two things not available in the vast shopping malls of Australia.