Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...

16/05/2022

Accountability

 


For the next seven days - EvErY SiNgLe PiEcE Of PlAsTiC PaCkAgInG coming into our house and normally throw away (either in the bin or recycling) will be logging on to The Big Plastic Count website as part as a nationwide data collection as to how much plastic is actually in 'circulation' in just one week.

We personally have tried reducing our plastic usage, switching to reusables where possible and in our style of shopping and at home with what we have and what we use. However there are some things we just can't get around. Availability being one and the simple truth of cost being another.

For example - we buy cereal. 

Usually oats and muesli type for ourselves, except when the boys and their lovely girls come home, then we keep their favourites on the shelf too. Where possible, we purchase a paper bagged variety from our usual supermarket or from our own lovely village shop with a refill station - it is small (and perfectly formed!) so does not have the capacity to keep a big selection of cereals apart from oats.

Commercial cereal cardboard boxes are recyclable but the plastic food grade bag inside is not. So once we have finished the contents, the box goes into the paper skip and the bag is pulled fully open, cleaned and then stored to be used as a sandwich or cheese wrap.  I make sure that this 'wrap' is then used many times before it then is disposed of - removing some of its 'single use plastic' moniker but it still is not biodegradable. 

Bread bags.

We used to purchase a rather delicious bloomer style loaf when the boys were still home as each slice was thick and chunky and filled hollow teenager legs. These loaves came in paper bags which were not 'lined' on the inside by a thin layer of plastic so once eaten, the loaf bags went happily into the paper skip. Now it is just Himself and I, we have 'downgraded' to a simpler thinner sliced bread with 'bits' in it - partly due to cost again and partly as we found the previous doorstop type sandwiches were actually quite a 'chore' to munch through in a short lunch break slot. These loaves are sold in plastic bags..... so they are kept and used to store foodstuffs in the freezer, reducing their single use status again, but still needing to ultimately be disposed of. 

Mushrooms/tomatoes/fruit punnets

These are all kept, used either in the greenhouse, as food holders in the fridge, seed packet storage, thread/yarn bits/fabric trimming holders or crumb 'catchers' when we wipe down surfaces then given to the birds or the chickens.

However, ultimately - they are all eventually thrown away (the punnets are either the 'wrong' plastic to recycle or the type that are non-recyclable) but only after they have had to work for that 'privilege' .

Eldest's girlfriend has been working on a 'single use sculpture' with her geography pupils and we were saving plastic lids as part of it....... There was that oxymoron moment when I was pleased to be able to hand over a 'goodly' selection of lids to her yet it brought home how many our 'simple' life style produced.... things have got to change.

Not just us, but everyone including the producers. Either plastic has to be 100% recyclable or replaced with something that is.  


Food for thought (sic).


If you are interested (and you should be) 

https://thebigplasticcount.com

https://www.citytosea.org.uk/plastic-free-living

https://www.everydayplastic.org

https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/


09/05/2022

Bloomin' eck - it were a good day!

Our life is about honouring gentle rituals and traditions and around this time of the year we go and walk through our favourite blue bell woods on Oxenber Hill. Today (Monday) Himself had taken the day off so we could do exactly that, and it was wonderful (bar a slight mishap!)

We knew that there was the possibility of rain in the afternoon, so we set off after breakfast with a picnic lunch and flask of tea and a rather over excited Moss. She could barely contain herself. She's been on restricted exercise again (due to catching a dew claw and making her 'thumb' tender) but this last weekend the damaged claw finally came off and the new little stumpy claw has been clipped carefully to make sure it was not too scratchy and she was raring to go!

When we first arrived, Himself and I got ourselves booted up while Moss sat (im)patiently fidgeting and wriggling as she watched our every moved, her whole body language was 'shrieking' HURRY UP!
We followed a favourite route and as we got closer to the bluebells we were drenched in their fragrance - it was absolutely gorgeous.  We could smell them before we could see them and as we reached, then climbed over the stile, we were blown away by the rolling fields of blue.
As soon as we could, we were down at flower level taking pictures and just imbibing in their fragrance.
Hidden amongst the wash of blue were flashes of white with wild garlic and wood anemone threading through. 

Further round, where it was sunnier and the soil seemed drier, primroses and violets danced in the light breeze.



The path turned upwards on the the hill where the bluebells completely covered the slopes. Almost at the top we turned off the main path and followed a quieter path to a grassy mound where we stopped for lunch.
It was not long before Moss found herself a 'small' stick and insisted on presenting it to Himself several times.  Her antics made us chuckle but we refused her request as we knew she would go tearing through the flowers and just flatten them, so we invited her to sit with us and have a biscuit or two while we ate our lunch.

Popping up through the bluebells were now rich purple orchids - the array of blooms just invited every bee in the near vicinity to the banquet and the air was not only filled with fragrance but the industrious buzz of hundreds of fuzzy bumble bees - I could just not stop smiling at their fat little bodies going from flower to flower in their quest for pollen.

With one eye on the sky, we thought we better not linger too long at lunch and set off through the woodlands.
We met a few folk along our way, also loving the display and enjoying the walk, one lady we came up to was trying to photograph her dogs however, they were not cooperating, preferring to snuffle around than sitting and posing, so I offered either to hold the dogs (with me hiding behind the wall) or to take photos - the owner plumped for the latter as she felt they - the dogs - would behave for her...... not a chance! She called them, bribed them, grabbed them, whistled and gave them instructions which they totally ignored.  I must have taken at least 20 images for her on her cellphone when we called it a day. I handed the phone back to her when suddenly the dogs posed for her on the wall. I snapped with my camera as I walked away of her taking the photo she'd been trying to take for about ten minutes. 

We walked past a crooked tree which we have rather sweet memories of. We have a number of photos taken over the years of little boys leaning up against the trunk, too small to sit on it safely, then them sitting on it as they were now 'big stuff', then later again as they nonchalantly leant up against it again - too grown up to swing their legs. Now we have Moss in front of it - ready to charge off but good enough to sit and wait for me to take the obligatory picture.


All too soon we reached the far end of the woodland and re-entered farm land, where we passed a husband and wife couple walking in the opposite, we did the 'fellow walker nod' and carried on by, when suddenly I heard the first cuckoo of the year - the other woman heard it too, and almost simultaneously we both gasped out loud 'Cuckoo!'  Funnily enough neither husband had heard it. As the light breeze had become a little more blustery whilst we'd been in the woodland, it made it hard to hear the bird call but I was so pleased when I did!
We met a few more folk - some happily walking along, others marching on a mission and one couple laden with cameras - she was wearing a full length pale green skirt which billowed and flapped in the wind as she clamped her hand on her straw hat - she was delightful as she exclaimed how wonderful it was to see our dog (we missed the first part of her sentence as she grappled with her hat and her bag and her skirt) so we smiled and grinned and agreed with her!
It was soon after that my bad knee suddenly gave way and threw me to the ground. My other knee did the heroic thing and landed hard 'to save me' and in doing so I ripped my jeans and grazed my knee. (Bad knee BAD BAD knee grrrrr) any hoo, our rather jaunty bumble took on a bit of a lumpy gait.
With a bit of a limp and a dent in my pride we followed old tracks filled with flowers and surrounded by sheep and lambs. The lambs are quite large now - little mini sheep.

Our final thing to do was to pick some wild garlic to eat with our meal later (delish!) and to find a stream for Moss to throw herself into. Once we'd returned to the van, my knee was cleaned up, Moss munched on biscuits before falling asleep in the cab and not moving until we got home.
When we returned home - the kettle went on, I gave my knee another clean and slapped on some antiseptic cream. And talking of cream, we then sat down with mugs of tea and scones, jam and cream - what an excellent way to end a lovely day!







03/05/2022

Ruminating

The last few days, well weeks really, have just merged into each other - not sure where one ends and the next begins. Thank goodness I take photos on my cellphone otherwise there are some days I can't even remember!


I worked the Saturday - I do remember that as because as much as I like my job - it absolutely riles me working alternate weekends. Fortunately this one coincided with the bank holiday so I did have two days off with Himself but most of it was spent just recovering from the previous week. 
Time at home was filled with gentle and simple joys - like having Pan choose to sit next to me whilst I was working on the laptop. As she gets older, she is becoming less crotchety and feral, so to be able to stroke a relaxed cat and be rewarded with a rusty chirrup and whispy purr - is wonderful.
I picked the first bunch of flowers from the garden for 2022. I have already started picking posies for sale at work and they just fly off the shelf but at home in my shady and damp garden, these woodlandly flowers - honesty, sweet cicely and lilac - in my hawthorn jug, make me smile.
I am not that fond of bulbs, finding that once they have finished and returned back to the soil, I tend to accidently dig them up when I am gardening. This year I have more bulbs that I have ever had - ever - and have planted them either in tubs and pots or beneath a perennial plant so that I (hopefully) reduce the chances of unearthing them - fingers crossed.
My weaving has sat ignored for a couple of weeks while I wait for my fingers to feel 'human' again (I knocked them against a wooden raised bed hard enough to think that I had broken them) so a few rows in the evenings felt rather cathartic -  I need to get back to doing more, I rather enjoy the escapism it brings.
Recently I stumbled across a new blog/IG account and one of the posts had a super simple (shortbread-esque) recipe for biscuits and by Monday evening I felt ready to do some baking and quickly made up a batch of pigs, rounds and oak leaf shapes. As usual Himself scoffed a fair few, leaving just enough for his lunch box today! The only evidence is this solitary photo of the dough ... they were very short, very yummy and certainly a do it again - if you want to try them yourself the recipe is here at Five in the Nest  Jane mentions that they cook quickly and they do, I peaked at them and they were still pale so decided to leave them for a moment or two longer, turned away to finish washing up and when I took them out - one or two (ok may be more like four or five) were a little darker than they should have been however they were still demolished with a mug of tea.


 Now it is Tuesday, I am about to set off for work and it is threatening rain - I am not sure to be relieved or annoyed! The gardens need watering but it is not enough to be give a good soaking or for me to call off working.

Hope the rest of your week goes gently - I am aware I have another hectic one waiting for me so I am bracing myself - so I better get myself to the launch pad (via the kettle of course!)



25/04/2022

24 hours

Snapshots from the weekend - a brief visit to the coast.

Moss, who is back to her normal (almost) bouncy self  'wearing' a mudpack set of black boots... she smelt 'delightful'!

Bluebells nodding in the brisk breeze on Saturday afternoon - their fragrance whipped away before I could smell it, will have to wait for a less windy day...

St Helen's Church, Overton - one of the oldest churches in Lancashire thought to originate around 1050 - 1140, depending on which wall you look at with evidence of both Norman and Saxon architecture.
A heron tentatively dipping a toe into the estuarine waters - it was incredibly choppy with spray breaking off each little wave.
We walked around Bazil Head (a small farmed peninsular) where the coastal defences are huge boulders piled up against the land preventing erosion during stormy weather. Someone with a sense of humour created this ....

With my back to 'Stone Face' I photo-ed the view - Himself and Moss ahead of me of course.
Further round, in a marshy inlet there is a fine line where the land starts and the sea ends with the fence as the marker, although it does appear as if the sea breaches that manmade barrier on a regular basis.
All around the headland were small red place names - obviously a community who love and care for their little headland on the edge.
Then as the sun began to set, we watched four hares loping around the fields below us. We could make out two male and two female and although there was no boxing or chasing, there was definitely a platonic group happening as they grazed in the lengthening shadows.


In the morning after breakfast and a dog walk  (wallowing, stick hunting, mud puddling, sniffing and running. Insert any or all listed ...) we packed the van - with a list of chores to be done we returned home to make the most of Sunday afternoon.
Hope your weekend was a good one 😊