03 February 2014


I have a slightly different Moments post from my usual roundup, this week.  This is a reflection on the month using goals suggested over at this blog, so here is my January Slow Living Essentials.  You can read what others have been up to this month too.

...nourish we have a veg bag delivered, from a local farm co-op, every week. This month we have had brussel sprouts in the bag nearly every week, and last month too!  It is not a favourite vegetable in this house so I had to find recipes that I could hide their flavour a bit and hope that they still got eaten.  We have eaten lots of Colcannon and I tried a sprout and potato hash this week which also went down well.  We are at that time in the season when I am longing for change in our veg bag,much as I love the winter veggies, you can have too much of a thing can't you?

...prepare just before Christmas I bought some pickling onions that were heavily reduced.  I had been meaning to buy some all autumn but forgot whenever I went out shopping as I didn't put them on my list!  I didn't manage to do anything with the onions before Christmas as I was busy with other things.  So come January I needed to pickle them before they started to rot in my veg baskets.  I always soak them in brine, salty water, first to crisp them up, then drain and rinse them, put them in jars and cover them in vinegar cooked up in a spice mix and cooled.  Easy and tasty.  The only difficult bit is leaving them long enough before eating......should be three months.

...reduce around this time last year we received a water bill which got us thinking about how we could reduce it and use less water.  We need to invest money in this before we can reduce the bill, at the time our income was not certain enough to start spending large sums of money, but now that my husband has returned to being an employee we can consider it again.  We have started to do some more serious research and hope that by the end of the year we have been able to reduce this very high bill and our water consumption.

green I have been making a real effort to drink more water this month as I really notice the effects of not drinking it.  I have been so busy during December that I neglected to ensure that I drank enough.  I have always found it difficult to remember to drink enough and have resorted to setting an alarm on my mobile phone to ring to remind me to drink!  A little extreme maybe but it does work even when I am busy.  If I am dehydrated I find it difficult to get to sleep and stay asleep, my skin is a lot drier and I get a lot of wax in my ears.  I have been sleeping so much better and my skin is in great condition despite the cold weather so I know it works for me.

grow it has been another very wet month.  The garden is very soggy so doing any digging is difficult.  It was not particularly cold at the beginning of the month so the weeds were growing I am hoping now that it has turned colder they will stop and die off.  The warmer weather has meant the snowdrops were out the second week of January which is very early, and my primroses are in flower too.  I managed to get my garlic planted in the middle of the month, I do hope that the continued rain does not mean that the bulbs rot before they have had a chance to 'take'.

create I have been doing quite a bit of sewing this month, more than I usually do and it has been great, I hope I can make the time to do some each month this year.  The children have had two of their friends celebrate a birthday this month.  I made each child a play cape and for one party some viking costumes.  I also made a wee man for our seasonal table, something that I have been meaning to make for a while and just never got round too, so King Winter now takes pride of place on our Winter table.

I have also been knitting a shawl for my mum who has a significant birthday in February, I hope I can complete it in time.

discover I have been thinking about maths this month and how I can enhance my eldest's learning of this subject.  Up until now it has been easy to incorporate the learning into every day life but as we move onto more difficult concepts I need to be more creative.  I am not keen on introducing learning maths for learning sake, not just yet anyway.  I have been looking at websites and reading a few books that I have found in my library and I have more to investigate thanks to some suggestions from fellow bloggers.  I love maths so this is not a difficult thing for me to spend time researching.

enhance over the last year I have been spending more and more time volunteering for my local Explorer Scout (14 - 18 year olds) group, my husband and I have been helping out on and off for the past eleven years.  There has been several changes with Leaders in the last few years and the current Leader is looking for an assistant and has asked me, the same week I was also contacted about becoming involved at a county level, overseeing the whole area.  It is wonderful to feel that I have such a contribution to make for young people in my area, I need to ponder and decide which is right for me at the moment.

enjoy I won't lie that this has been a hard month for me, the weather has been wet and grey for so much of the month that it is hard for me, an outdoor girl at heart, to be outside.  I have tried hard to fit it into our weeks and have managed to have some lovely walks and cycle rides outside, some wet, some dry.  But there has been some other lovely moments, watching and listening to my children playing together in a way that they have never done before they are getting on so well now.  Renewing friendships with friends we did not see much in the later part of last year.  Finding a new rhythm in our life after deciding that a home ed group we have been attending for eighteen months is not for us right now and that it is ok to say no sometimes.

continuing from my usual moments post...

…reading these pictures books*, with a short review here 25. The Fairy 's Secret Party by Nicola Baxter, 26. The Sun Egg by Elsa Beskow, 27. A Dragon in a Wagon by Lynley Dodd, 28. Good for Me, Good for You by Lorenz Pauli, 29. Silver Buttons by Bob Graham, 30. A Letter for Bear by David Lucas, 31. I am the King by Leo Timmers, 32. Clara Button and the Wedding Day Surprise by Amy de la Haye, 33. Marguerite's Fountain by Rachel Elliot

*Joining in with the 300 Picture Book Challenge


  1. What a lovely idea - I might join in myself as I am with you on Slow Living. I was only thinking last night about the water we use and how wasteful it is to use drinking water for flushing the toilet or even for washing hands and faces and how it might be possible to use some of the gallons of water lying about everywhere just now for the purpose! Interesting post and has given me some food for thought.

  2. Congratulations on the scouting front! Your presence, knowledge and enthusiasm will be such a boon.

  3. Oooh different Lynley Dodd books are definitely on my future reading plan. We love Hairy McClary and My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes - must look for this one!

  4. My daughter's into anything fairy & dragon at the moment, so there are a couple there for us to look out for, thanks! And I do like your slow living idea & reflections, too #300PBs

  5. An inspirational post, I love how much you do, and how many different things. Your sewing was great. I need to drink more water too - I always forget. I make herbal tea and then don't drink it until it's cold. Must Try Harder!

  6. I really enjoyed this post. I can imagine it felt good to lay out where you are right now with everything and to have the overview. I'm always interested to read about your home schooling.

    I try to drink a lot of water when I'm at home during the day and find I get a tired, headachy feeling in the late afternoon if I don't. It does make a difference I think. x

  7. Wonderful to have you joining in. I really hear what you are saying about drinking lots of water, it's so easy to forget. Having the reminder on your phone is a brilliant idea! Loving your King Winter - did you follow a pattern?
    All the best for your new scouting journey. :-)

  8. King Winter is awesome! I helped with my sons boy scouts groups for 3 years. Always so much fun to get to spend that time with him.

  9. Found you on slow living essentials and have enjoyed your blog - always so much fun to compare notes with others in different parts of the world. I like the look of your blog as well, and the reminder to drink more water - I do OK in the summer but the winter sometimes is hard! Good for you on making maths practical, I too like math and was noticing the other day as I laid out a quilt top design that I use my math that everyone says they never use! Ha!! I will be back to keep up with you - thanks!

  10. Enjoyed browsing your blog. Love the reminder that it is perfectly ok to say no at times :)


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