07 April 2014


It is the beginning of the month so, once again, I have a slightly different Moments post.  This is a reflection on the month using the goals suggested over on Slow Living Essentials, so here are mine for February and head on over to see what others have been up to.

...nourish we are moving towards warmer longer days in my part of the world.  Despite the fact that it hasn't been that cold, it feels like we have been through a very long winter, grey and wet for weeks on end.  We are now looking forward to the change in the vegetables that the change in the weather will bring, much as we love our root veg you can have too much of a good thing.  Right now we are enjoying the odd salad, thrown together with whatever ingredients we have in our weekly veg bag and in the garden.  This has included a new recipe for us, remoulade, a crunchy and delicious salad made with carrot and celeriac, a great way to use up root veg on a warmer day.  I would usually make stew or soup with celeriac which is not what we want to eat right now!  We had our remoulade with broccoli fritters.

...prepare now that our days are getting warmer (think this is going to be a theme.......) we are having more time out and about which means more picnics.  So that I can throw one together at a moments notice I make sure I always have homemade rolls and bread in the freezer.  I have been making these up during this month and now have a good store ready for those lazy days outside.

...reduce my eldest does not own many pairs of trousers/pants, depending on where you live, and the ones he does own often have holes in the knees.  I have been busy patching a few pairs this month using material from a pair he has grown out of ( and which had a hole in both knees!).  We have also acquired a few old pallets which we have been busy chopping up for kindling ready for next winter, you can never have too much kindling!

...green a couple of years ago I spend much of the year suffering from the symptoms of what I now know is urticaria (hives) and eczema on my hands.  It took me ages to work out what it actually was and what could be triggering it.  There are several triggers which I have now removed some food and some external.  The external triggers meant that overnight I could not use a single item of household cleaning or toiletry products in the house.  They were all carefully chosen to be low impact on the environment and humans but still they contained an ingredient my body found intolerable, Limonene, an essential oil added to all of the products we were using.  So I had to, very quickly, come up with my own.  Two years on we are still using all those 'products' which we make ourselves, only buying toothpaste and washing up liquid neither of which we have been able to satisfactorily make ourselves.  We had several bottles of our original products in the house each containing a small amount which we have slowly been using up, either my husband using them, or me with rubber gloves when my hands are good.  What we have noticed is the smell.  Even though the smell is more natural than most products, they smell really strong to us, my children even commenting 'What is that funny smell' when I was washing the kitchen floor with some of these 'leftovers' this month!

...grow there is not a huge amount growing in my garden as yet, despite the warmer weather during the day we had heavy frosts overnight most nights last month.  I usually wait until April to sow my seeds otherwise the seedlings die of the cold, even in the polytunnel!  I have chitted potatoes, pruned and tidied the garden this month in readiness for sowing.  We are still harvesting last years crops, we have had cabbages, kale and purple sprouting broccoli and in the polytunnel some self seeded, hardy salad leaves, red mustard, corn salad and greens in snow.

...create I have been doing a lot of sewing this month.  A daisy headband for a friend's daughter recovering from major surgery, a purple bag and a fabric bucket there is a tutorial in the post if you wish to make one for yourself. I have also been knitting.  A cardigan which I frogged more stitches than I knitted and a fulled/fellted bowl depending on your take on such things.

...discover I read a wonderful book this month Kith by Jay Griffiths which was an affirmation to me that some of the decisions we have made for our children have been good ones, even though they ver far from the mainstream.  She also talks in this book about having a strong desire, sometimes from a young age, to follow a particular path in life.  This might be the career that you choose or a skill that you can hone and excel at.  Again I feel that she is right and I have been pondering what this has meant to me and the way I have lived my life thus far.  This book, unlike so many on children and parenting, is not lecturing in its tone.  It is an essay, the authors opinion which you can take or leave depending on your own opinion.  It is a book I would recommend all parents to read.

...enhance a couple of months ago I mentioned a dilemma I was pondering over the Scouts in my area.  I have now decided to concentrate on my local Explorer pack and have been much more involved with them since then.  I really enjoy all my time I spend in the company of these wonderful teenagers, it troubles me that they get such a bad press.  Perhaps if those that say such things were to spend more time around teenagers they wouldn't be so negative.  In any section of society there is always those who break the law or who are difficult to get along with but the whole group  are not tarred with that brush.  Teenagers are at a bridge in their lives a transition from childhood to adulthood they need supporting not persecuting.

...enjoy this has to be the warmer, drier days which have enabled us to have some wonderful days out, walking, cycling and bird watching.  Our rhythm has changed with the transition in the season.


....and continuing from my usual moments posts....

...reading Awakening by William Horwood, All About the Bullerby Children by Astrid Lindgren, and these picture books* you can read a short review of them here. 93. The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Robert Browning, 94. Rats and Mice by Honor Head, 95. The Princess and the Pea by Lauren Child, 96. No Place Like Home by Jonathan Emmett, 97. The Pirates Next Door  by Jonny Duddle, 98. Rita and Whatsit go on a Picnic by 
Jean-Philippe Arrou-Vignod, 99. The Bear in the Cave by Michael Rosen, 100. Boom, Baby, Boom Boom by Margaret Mahy, 101. The Knight, the Princess and the Dragon by Helen Craig, 102. The Talkative Tortoise by Andrew Fusek Peters, 103. This Old Man by Pam Adams, 104. What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson


  1. So much creating and thoughtful perspective going on with you. It's good to look back at the month and see where you are at. Parenting is such a personal thing. You have to do what works for you and your family, not what the rest of the world thinks is normal. And that's not always easy.

  2. Thanks for a very inspiring post! I've got some stuff added on my list that I'm eager to try.

  3. Lovely reading. The purple bag is so pretty! Teens...I love them, they are so interesting!

  4. A lovely post, to catch up with you and hear what you have to say on subjects that are dear to my heart. I agree with what you say about teenagers. So often I am amazed at how mature and full of energy and enthusiasm they are. You've reminded me that I have potatoes to plant. I'm hoping for some drier weather soon. Hope you have a good week.

  5. I love the sound of the book you are reading.... we often talk to our children about the thing you love doing becoming your job, then you will always be happy. A very creative month for you by the sound of it. Also a good point to make that we can become sensitve even to the 'natural' - I love lavender essential but it brings me out in little blisters unfortunately.

  6. It's very true what you say about teenagers. It's such a shame that they get a bad press when we have so many wonderful young people in our communities. The press seem to focus on the bad, whereas in reality, only a very small percentage deserve such negativity.

  7. That book sounds great - I'm reading 10 ways to ruin the imagination of your child, and it too doesn't have a lecturing tone to it - I highly recommend it.
    Your sewing is amazing. I finally decided to machine sew my bag, keeping in mind what you said about about the 'straight line' seam allowance for the curvy bits and it has turned out OK. Thanks for the tip!
    Tino - my raw food boy - loved your remoulade.
    Haven't put anything in the grownd yet either, but my seedlings are going great guns in the cold frame.

  8. I love what the lady bird heard and I have been hearing a lot about the pirates next door and the princess and the pea so I look forward to reading them when my daughter is older.

  9. I was interested that you had a similar allergy to me. A year ago, I came out in a terrible rash. It was on my hands and the back of my neck. It turned out to be an allergy to lavender essential oil which I have used for years! Those fabric buckets look very pretty!

  10. Love the bag and fabric bucket, I have been mulling the bucket thing for awhile, think I will have to do it now! Enjoy your teens - it was one of my favorite stages in the boys and it is just gone too soon!


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