02 May 2014

Slow Living.....

It is always lovely to look back and reflect on what you have done over the previous weeks or months, taking stock, observing changes and celebrating achievements.  Even better if you can join together and see what others have been doing too in their part of the world, blogging is a wonderful way of making the world a smaller place.  Christine over a Slow Living Essentials hosts a monthly link up of reflections here are mine for April....

...nourish as we enter fully into Spring in my part of the world it is a time of warming up and a green haze blooming.  It is a gradual awakening and this had also bought a change each week to our veg bag.  Slowly the root vegetables of the last months have been replaced with new veg which is so exciting!  We have been enjoying spring greens, asparagus, purple sprouting broccoli and salad leaves.  Each week when I get a list of what will be in my bag, I sit down with my recipe books and plan a menu, each week there is something new to cook with.  Much as I love the root vegetables of the autumn and winter I am always ready for the change that spring brings.

...prepare the greening of our hedgerows has meant that we have been out doing a wee spot of foraging.  We have been picking the beautifully pale hawthorn leaves for our salads, nettle for cups of tea and wild garlic to make into pesto using this recipe I have frozen most of what we made as it was a huge quantity.  I last made this two years ago and we are just finishing up that batch!

...reduce after fourteen years of continual use, including over four years of nappies, our washing machine died this month.  My husband opened the machine up to establish whether or not it could be repaired, sadly it was beyond that it was completely worn out.  Rather than send the whole machine to the tip, my husband strip it down completely making piles of bits, some for recycling, some for reusing, some which had to go to the tip.  The drum we are keeping to make into a fire pit.

...green out of necessity I make nearly all the toiletries and cleaning products we use in our house.  Although I was forced down this road I would not go back to buying them even if they were ok for my skin.  This month I made another batch of deodorant.  I can't find a record of making this last year but I know I did, two years ago I made some in May.  I think this batch probably lasts for a year as I know I don't make it that often!  The quantity I make fills two old deodorant sticks that I kept and keep refilling.

...grow apart from both my children having massive growth spurts lately our garden is also blooming too.  We have sown and chitted potatoes, the latter of which will need planting out in the next week or so.  We have also sown many seeds all of which are now wee seedlings sitting happily in their seed trays and pots on the staging in the polytunnel.  It is always interesting that seeds sown on the same day grow at completely different rates.  As well as the seeds I have also started some onion sets off in trays, we have such a short growing season where I live that this gives them the head start they need to grow to a decent size, otherwise I end up with a crop of onions the size of golf balls!

The seedlings are being kept insulated by some horticultural fleece as an over blanket and some leftover carpet underlay underneath them. We had some carpets laid a month or so ago and the carpet layers left us the off cuts. One piece is a perfect fit for our staging. Despite having a polytunnel the temperatures in there still drop really low most nights this extra insulation is an attempt to keep the temperature slightly more constant and it seems to work as most seeds do germinate.

...create I have been doing huge amounts of sewing this month for the many birthdays of children of friends and my family.   I have rustled up an owl storysack, a wee gnome, two rainbow balls, a play cape and a couple of pairs of slouchy/pyjama type trousers.  I created a Mother Earth for our seasonal table.  My knitting needles have been a little quieter this month, I have finished the body of a cardigan for myself and now need to work on the sleeves, I have blocked and sewn up a cardigan for my eldest which now needs a hood adding and I have cast on a new project and knitted a few rows.

...discover with all the sewing I have been doing I have reading a lot about different techniques and words used in the world of sewing.  I am totally self taught and rarely use patterns but I am making use of one to make something for my youngest.  The pattern directions are a bit scant for me so I have been looking lots up to try and make sense of what I need to do!

...enhance I have been doing lots of different things with my local Explorer Scout unit this month including a trip to the theatre with some of them, it has been a very long time since I visited a theatre.  We are entering a busy period for our unit so I have lots of preparation to do for the coming months.

...enjoy the warmer weather has meant that we have dusted off, literally it is kept in the garage and was covered in sawdust, our canoe and taken it out on several trips.  I love going out canoeing on day trips and overnight or longer journeys.  The weather was beautiful on both occasions although the wind made sailing, we have a small sail for our canoe, rather hairy at the end of one of the days.


  1. I loved reading this. So much inspiration. I especially liked the drum of the machine being made into a fire pit. Awesome!

  2. So nice to read of your month as your hemisphere warms up. I have always loved the fact that you can forage like you do in the UK. When visiting my sister in Kent we always go for a "wee forage"!

  3. Very similar things going on over here...just need my washing machine to fall apart so I can copy that firepit idea! :)

  4. You have been busy!
    I love the sound of that pesto..

  5. Wow, you have had a full and, I am sure, satisfyingly productive month. Your post was an inspirational read. I agree with you about Spring greens and fresh asparagus. Tohse first Spring meals can be just wonderful.

  6. I am with you the spring greens are so welcome after a long winter, good use of parts of the washer as well. :)

  7. What a lovely post. So much happening for you! Can't believe how much you created this month! Happy spring.

  8. What a lovely way to reflect on all that's been going on in your life. Inspiring! Hope you've been enjoying a lovely weekend.

  9. I enjoyed reading about the stripping back of the old washing machine - those drums make fantastic fire pits! Big pat on the back for your husband. Thankyou for sharing your month :)

  10. Wish we had scouts here - my boys would love it.
    What a ripe old age your washing machine lived to!!
    On all fronts you sound so busy but especially on the creative one! Lovely reading about your month.

  11. Such an inspirational post! It has made me really look forward to our spring planting. Someday I would like something similar to your polytunnel so I can start my seeds earlier and enjoy the produce sooner. Thanks for the deoderant recipe...I have been wanting to start making my own. Enjoy spring!

  12. Wild garlic pesto? It sounds heavenly! You had an amazing month...Thanks so much for sharing...Aloha, Lori

  13. Such a creative month you've had. I loved reading this post! I have to agree with you about this little corner of the internet that we choose to use to make the world a smaller place, connecting with others, near and far, sharing with each other snippets of our lives, our interests and creations. Such a magical and amazing place to see other mamas doing their thing....hundreds, and in mine and your case, thousands of miles away.

  14. What a calm and productive month you seem to have had! I loved reading this!
    I'm interested in your use of the young hawthorn leaves….. I remember reading that the leaves were used in earlier times and would love to know more.
    Enjoy your beautiful spring weather, such a lovely time of the year, full of promise.

  15. Hi again
    just added my dandelion fritter recipe to my comments section - bon appetit.

  16. I'm impressed by the salvaging of your old washer. Great job!

    We are warming up as well and I had my first asparagus of the season yesterday.... so yum. Of course it's snowing today. ;-)


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