Day 20

March 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Total purchases: 0 (hurrah)

Things planted at allotment: 3 (v good)

Coats rescued from being lost: 1 (100% improvement on last week!)

Things cooked from scratch: 4 (v good)

Washing up pile: huge (depressing)

Managed to plant shallots, spinach and perpetual spinach today despite being helped by 3 year old, so working my way nicely through my seed stash from the weekend.  Also managed to do some 3 year old centred park and story things too, so assuaged any Mother Guilt* in doing things I wanted.

Then cooked real pasta sauce for tea from scratch (including utilisting some frankly mangy looking (and indeed in certain places already eaten) carrots from the allotment and have made pasties, flapjack and finished off the sour rye dough bread experiment that I started before I got ill.  The less said about the latter the better, although to be fair I haven’t tasted it yet.  I think I forgot when I embarked on this “oh look, there’s a recipe on the back of that rye flour I never use” project that it would at best turn out as Rye bread (although I suppose it wasn’t a fore gone conclusion that it would resemble such a food substance as cooked by dwarves wanting to throw things.  But  considering my success rate to date in the bread department, maybe I should have guessed that).

So generally, getting back into the swing of my random chaotic life after a week of it not quite working right.  Not got as far as thinking much about my ill defined drive to “do better”, but one thing at a time hey.  Actually, there was that cake last week, but more about that another time.


*A phrased coined by my long suffering other half.  If you have kids, or are close to  someone who does, you probably know what I mean.


Day 19

March 27, 2011 § 3 Comments

Shopping sprees: 1 (and it felt so good!)

Bus rides: 2 (ok)

Shared lunches: 1 (nice and unexpected)


Yes, I did go on a shopping spree.  No, I don’t think it counts as cheating as I was buying seeds, onion sets and seed potatoes for the allotment and I did make sure I only bought stuff I could plant now.  Last year was a bad year for us growing things wise and we didn’t save any seeds, so I don’t have any and don’t have any to swap.

I even managed to get to the allotment and plant the seed potatoes, some broad beans and some beetroot, despite still feeling a bit rough.

But I must admit I did get a bit carried away and buy more than was on my list (I was seduced by purple carrots amongst other things) – so I’m clearly still a sucker for a shop full of goodies.  And I didn’t budget – just put it on my card.  So, I resolve not to buy any more seeds until I’ve planted some from each packet of this lot (some I’ll save for a repeat sewing later in the season and some I may give away or swap).

Now I’m going to keep watering and waiting for those first new shoots.


Day 17

March 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Total purchases: milk and biscuits (good)

Total trips to allotment: one (good)

Amount of planned weeding done: 1/3 (not so good)

Self seeded baby spinach plants found amongst weeds: lots (very good – even if it did slow down the weeding)

But apart from all that yesterday was painful and tiring.  Today is better, but having been up 2 hours think I’m going for a lie down now.

Day 16

March 24, 2011 § 1 Comment

Total Purchases: bus ticket, bread, salad, juice and cake (in 1 cafe), lunch (in another), catfood, juice cartons (goodish)

Total bus rides: 2

Today has been rather unusual in that I spent over 4 hours looking at 6 possible venues for a swishing event, with both children in tow (poor things). I thought I’d been organised and packed lots of snacky food and things for them to do,  but my downfall was forgetting the water – which meant getting both juice whilst we were out and cartons on the way home (somehow I can’t quite  bring myself to buy a bottle of water – it all seems so pointless what with every building in this country having instant access to good quality drinking water).  Also, all 5 of us were so worn out by the end of the marathon viewings (indeed one of us was fast asleep) that we succumbed to a cafe for a late lunch.  However, in my defence it was the magnificent Dinosaur cafe which K had never been in, so it would have been rude not to introduce her.

We were back so late in the end that we got tea cooked for us, which was much appreciated.


2 weeks in

March 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

Status check at 2 weeks in to the Lent challenge – I’m doing alright at not buying things.

In some ways its quite easy – as I don’t buy that many clothes, books, garden chairs etc anyway so not doing so isn’t hard.  And resisting random things that catch my eye is much easier as I don’t even look in their direction.

In other ways I feel I’m cheating as I’ve been treated to another meal in a cafe and I’m not really thinking about the food I buy – which is my biggest purchase. I’m still buying snacky things, puddings, the odd bottle of wine – none of which are particularly healthy or great in terms of packaging etc . Maybe a food challenge is what I need next after all.

But mainly I feel slightly tired and unorganised (generally – not to do with the challenge).  Oh and I’ve forgotten how to cook – or rather how to plan what I’m cooking.  It’s been a real struggle since we came home to think of what to cook – let alone cook it.  It even took me 4 days to get around to making a cake after I bought the ingredients and I’m not very impressed with the results.  Maybe it’s the hungry gap – lets hope this nice weather we’ve been having hurries up the new season veg to get me all inspired again.



Day 9

March 17, 2011 § 3 Comments

Total Purchases: oodles of lovely things from Exeter Farmers Market (good), 1 takeaway meal(not so good), 21 photos (hmm), bag of crisps (bad)

Total bus rides: 2

Number of shoes fixed for other people: 1 (excellent)

Number of events turned away from: 1 (hmmmph)

Had a bit of a low key start today then bimbled into town to do a few errands.  As well as my purchases I was sent to buy a new bike inner tube and some shower gel – both needed and not available second hand so nothing to worry me there.

It started well with some lovely local food and managing to get a shoe fixed for the friends we were staying with last week, who are not so lucky as us in living near such a great cobbler as Chuckle Shoes in Exeter and would have had to throw them away.  Getting 1 photo printed to make into a birthday card for my mum was a bit less successful, the memory stick had 100’s of photos on and I had 20 extra shots printed on impulse.  Bad planning and timing led to buying some takeaway food, although also from the farmers market so it was locally made and I had remembered a drink.

The food made into a lovely evening meal without too much effort and the veg was certainly good value.

This evening I was planning to go to a talk called The Great Transition: A High Well-Being, Low Carbon Economy, which I wouldn’t have even considered a few months ago.  I started back then from a positition of being too busy to listen to talk about how to make the world better – which all too easily seemed like hot air to me – I just wanted to get on and do things in my every day life.  But trying to make practical changes has made me realise how ill-informed I am to make good choices and w0rk out what my priorities should be. And blogging about it makes me consious of how little I know and how pretentious I feel trying to work it out for myself – surely a lot of this has been done before. So I’ve come full circle to wanting to be more informed – but with a sense of purpose.  The problems with this are basically two fold.  Firstly where to start – there is so much information out there and sifting through it to find a reputable source that speaks to me is a daunting process.  Then there is dealing with what you’ve read – which can frankly be depressing and overwhelming at times, in a kind of “oh my, I need to do that much and I’m still probably doomed” kind of way.

Anyway, in the end I got to this particular talk just that little too late (what kind of start time is 7.30pm when you have kids to put to bed?!) and they were full to the brim and I couldn’t get in.  Which was surprising (although I’ve not been in the room to know how people would mean full in there), good (that there’s so much interest) and disappointing (personally).  As a consolation I did get a quick look around our soon to open local food store, I’ll certainly be back for a nose once it’s got some products in to browse.

On the down side, I went looking for something I failed to buy in town in a convenience store on the way home.  They didn’t have it (unsurprisingly) and I bought a packet of my favourite up-market crisps instead to console myself, despite noticing before I got to the checkout that the packaging wasn’t recyclable and realising that even if it was that wouldn’t have been much of a consolation.  I did find it easy to resist the “tropical” coloured pencils made with “non wood resin” they had at the end of the isle though.

Day 8

March 17, 2011 § 4 Comments

Total Purchases: milk (good), bread (good), vegetables (good), bicycle (bad(?))

Grumpyness factor: 2/10

Oh dear, I impulse bought a bicycle. On the face of it it’s not good.  Actually, I don’t think it’s that bad, but maybe I’m just deluding myself – in a kind of it’s ok to buy things I really want kind of way.

So, the case for the defence is.  I saw a small person sized bike, good condition, for £20 outside the charity shop.  My son does not have a bike, but we are planning to get him one. Clearly he doesn’t need a bike.  He can’t ride a bike.  But, before children, bikes were our main daily form of transport. These days it’s a mixture of walking, buses and bike with trailer. But they’re not as small as they used to be and pulling that trailer is hard work these days so if bikes are going to be an option in the future, he needs to learn to ride.

Anyway, I didn’t just buy it, I thought about it, phoned my husband at work, thought some more and took him to the shop to try it size wise.  To be honest, it was a done deal from the moment he saw it – his eyes lit up as he worked out that my “errand” was a bike his size, it would have been hard work to back down at that point.

On reflection, I’m not too upset. Part of my long term aim for this project was to interject an awareness and reflection into my purchases rather than buying things without noticing.  And I was aware, reflected, paused and decided that as it was a thing we were planning on getting it was ok.

Oh, and it’s red!