This Week

Five things this week:

  1. Pilates class on Monday night. This was not how I expected a Pilates class to be like, since it was my first time. I thought it would be more like Yoga, and indeed there were some Yoga poses in there (which weren’t explained so if I hadn’t have done it before I’d have been stuck) but it was a bit strange! I am going to go to a few more until I make up my mind properly – not judging a book by it’s cover and all that!
  2. Tai Chi class yesterday. Again not what I expected – I thought it would be much slower and it was quite quick actually! I won’t be able to make it every Thursday, maybe one in two or three but I would like to do more of it, even if I was a bit wobbly and confused yesterday!
  3. Went into Waterstones yesterday after Tai Chi and came out with 2 books! One of them was The Fat of the Land by John Seymour, him of the self sufficiency fame. I read it in one go yesterday, because I am sad in the fact that I like reading about other people’s forays into keeping livestock and growing their own veg on a small holding. It was written in the early 60’s but is still a classic. It’s quite funny with the exchange rates – he managed to get a 25 year rent on a cottage and land for £25 a year! And when they mention cars and how difficult it is to get certain things, I just have to remember that it was 50 years ago now!
  4. Being inspired by the book I was reading yesterday, when my mother and I had tea at a local garden centre, I decided to carry on a tiny tradition of mine when I was a kid and teenager and that was to keep cacti. I have only ever had one at a time, so in a burst of impulse buying I bought 2 cacti and 2 little pots to put them in.
  5. If you know anything at all about politics in the UK, you will know that yesterday was the general election and I did my bit and voted. How very grown up of me!

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Forbidden Corner #1

On Sunday, me and Angela visited the Forbidden Corner in North Yorkshire.

http://www.theforbiddencorner.co.uk/

It’s a tourist attraction which is 4 acres of follies in a rural setting, the countryside surrounding it is really gorgeous and you can spend AGES in the maze getting lost!

Statues, doors that lead nowhere, fountains that will squirt you as you go past, tunnels, stepping stones….

It’s like Narnia, Alice in Wonderland and a weird dream all mixed together! (Although I didn’t take many pictures of the bizarre stuff, I actually focused more on the flowers and herb garden which will be in the next post).

 

Book Challenge Update

This year I set myself the challenge of reading what I had left unread on my shelf (as well as whatever new books may appear from time to time).

I had a small list of 13 (although some are REALLY long books like War and Peace or Vanity Fair). So far I have managed 6, so that’s roughly half. I have been knitting and crocheting like mad, started a new job and what not, so reading has taken a bit of a back burner, although it does come in fits and starts (3 books one week and then none for a month).

I have read the following:

  • The Return of the Native   JANUARY 2017
  • Women in Love   JANUARY 2017
  • The Riddle of the Sands JANUARY 2017
  • 20000 Leagues Under the Sea FEBRUARY 2017
  • Daniel Deronda   APRIL 2017
  • Cross Stitch   MAY 2017
  • Anna Karenina
  • Ivanhoe
  • War and Peace
  • Rob Roy
  • Vanity Fair
  • The Woman in White
  • The Mill on the Floss

(As well as 84 Charing Cross Road, Goodbye Things and a re-read of The Gunslinger).

Cross Stitch (Outlander in the US) by Diana Gabaldon was finished today, it has taken me almost 2 years to read (sorry Lizzie!). It’s about a 1940’s nurse who time travels in Scotland by about 200 years. I liked it, but I didn’t love it, I don’t know why. Maybe because there was so much left unexplained, like what happened to her husband in the present. Maybe there could have been more focus on how she got there and how she gets back and other women who it had happened to (yes, I know you see Geillie but who else?). It was well written and in an easy to read style, but still, I felt something was missing. Maybe I am being overly fussy and pedantic – who me?!!

I think I might read Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood next, yes it’s not on the list, but at only 7 to go, I think I have time for this challenge to be completed this year!

Hmm, need another trip to the library soon I think! Have a Happy Thursday, Ellen x

Time at the Allotment

It’s that time of year when things are blossoming and blooming and everything is turning into a gorgeous shade of green. Suddenly, almost as if overnight, trees burst into leaf, fields turn golden and flowers are opening up and everything is light and bright with the good weather.

Today was spent happily weeding at the allotment, some things are a bit behind this year due to the weather, so some places do look a bit bare, but a few weeks and all will be covered and green!

And since Word press is playing up and I don’t seem to be able to caption the pics as I go, here is a brief one beforehand. First up are chives (with Mr Bumblebee photo-bombing the pics), then lavender, strawberries, garlic, redcurrant bush on the right and (tiny) blueberry bush on the left, beetroot, horseradish – which has taken over, and finally rosemary (had no idea the tiny white flowers were so pretty on a rosemary plant).

[These photos were taken with an I-phone and no filters applied – it was a really gorgeous sunny day today! :)]

Plastic-Not-So-Fantastic

Here is a link to a fascinating article about reducing our plastic use in June.

http://www.lowimpact.org/plastic-fish-oceans-2050-give-plastic/

The challenge is not to use disposable, single use plastic for either a day, week or month in June, with the aim of using environmentally friendly products and containers instead.

Some things are impractical, I’m afraid to say (anybody know how to get hold of toothpaste without using a plastic tube or container?!) but others are much easier.

  • Use cloth carrier bags for shopping
  • Take a lunch box to work not buy plastic wrapped sandwiches
  • Use a re-usable drinks bottle (which would probably be plastic anyway!)
  • No ready meals
  • Reuse plastic bags for veg (that you would buy loose in supermarkets e.g. mushrooms)
  • Buy glass milk bottles
  • Refill bottles where available (Ecover washing up liquid etc.)
  • Don’t use clingfilm/ plastic wrap – put food in a container
  • Be selective with what food and drink you buy

It does seem to be all food and drink doesn’t it? I am going to try this in June I think. But I work in a restaurant, so it will be hard to get away from single use plastic there!

I think the key to reducing your use and the recycling of plastics is to be aware of what is coming into the house in the first place.

Just a quick thought for today, Ellen xx