The strange world of blogging… and why I’m here

I started writing this blog about a year and a half ago as a way to harvest my thoughts and research about sustainability and living a more sustainable life. I wanted to share my ideas and tell other people what I had found out. I wanted to show that we can make relatively small changes in our lives that can have a big impact, especially if we all work together. I also thought that it might be a good way to publicise the courses I teach and the crafts I make....more

Prickly Chickly

I posted last week about Esme's sudden loss of feathers and over the week the reason it happened so quickly has become clear - the new ones were just below the surface ready to burst forth! She has been reluctant to be handled during her moult, but I managed to catch her yesterday afternoon and hold her whilst Mr Snail of happiness took a few photographs....more

Will knit for wool

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about wanting to do more bartering, so I was delighted the other day to receive a message from a friend who is about to move house and is sorting out 'stuff'. He wanted to know if I would be interested in an exchange... he'd got some merino wool tops suitable for felting, did I want them and what would I offer in exchange?...more

And the results are in...

This year I decided to keep a record of some of the crops that I harvested from the garden (not all of them, I'm not that much of a garden-geek). Really I wanted to demonstrate to myself that I am making a useful contribution to our food consumption, and to show that it is possible to grow a significant amount of food in a relatively small space. The two crops that I recorded were courgettes and potatoes. Since the potatoes were all dug up some weeks ago and the courgette plants have now been finished off by the cold weather, I have the full season's results....more

What the SLS?

I really shouldn’t write a blog… especially posts addressing my ethical dilemmas. Every time I do, I just open up a whole new can of worms for myself. The first time it happened was about knitting yarn ethics… to such an extent that I actually ended up making a whole can of yarn worms:...more
Thanks for checking out the site. SLS isn't harmful if used as recommended (less than 1%) it is ...more

Plastic fantastic?

In my push towards a more sustainable life I’m always keen to avoid ‘single-use’ products where possible. As a result, every piece of aluminium foil in my kitchen is used multiple times, getting progressively smaller and more wrinkled until it finally enters the recycling bin. This makes good financial sense too, as I haven’t bought a new roll of the stuff for about five years. Where possible, however, I try to avoid using it at all – a Pyrex chicken roaster with a lid, for example, means that I never use a roasting tin and foil any more....more

Oven-ready Esme?

I opened the laying box the other morning to be greeted by a veritable feather bed. I was hoping for an egg or two, but I found what appeared to be half a chicken... and the sight of a slightly balding bottom disappearing out of the pop hole. The colour was a give-away... these feathers clearly belong to a speckledy hen, of which we have two. A quick check revealed one very smart Perdy and one very tatty Esme... ruffling her feathers, apart from dislodging a few more, revealed quite an expanse of completely bald skin....more

Hot stuff

Ripe Lemon drop chillies...more

A time and a place

On the last Thursday every month I go out for lunch… it’s nothing fancy, just meeting up at a friend’s house with a few other folks, sharing  food that each of us has brought. These days I usually take cake – it was generally agreed that these sessions are best with cake – otherwise, we never plan what we are taking along; I think it’s what’s known as a ‘pot-luck’ in the US. We could end up with four pans of soup or three loaves of bread and a jelly, you just never know. In fact, even though there are usually only four of us at most, we generally manage a very acceptable meal....more

Disreputable trousers

I used to have a high-powered job - smart blouses, skirts and suits wool coats, court shoes, silk scarves, cashmere and pairs of high-heeled bootsBut management was not for me Nor cuts, nor staff, nor stress So I gave it up to work from home although the pay was lessAnd now inside my wardrobe the fancy clothes are few but there are some saggy cardies and flowery tunics too.The shoes I wear are flat, not heeled my coat is waterproof I dress for warmth and comfort sometimes a bit uncouth...more