Sunday, 25 February 2018

I'm Drowning in Stuff

My parents have decided to clear out two of the bedrooms in our home to turn them into nicer spaces to be. These two rooms were my own and my sister's bedrooms when we were growing up and my rooms when I was studying for my degree. We both go home a lot and bring our partners too so we still use our bedrooms all the time. Over the years they've gotten a liiiiiittle cluttered. We're both artistic and creative, really into books, antiques and homewares so have always had a lot of STUFF to cater for these passions. We both now have our own houses (rented, obvs, millenials) but we've conveniently (for us) left a lot of stuff in our own rooms. My sister has taken most of her stuff and so is off the hook but because I used those rooms for a lot longer, my stuff is EVERYWHERE. I lived in Oxford for three years and in that time collected a lot of kitchenware which was stored under the bed.

These past few weekends I've been helping my dad clear the rooms so that they can be decorated and made beautiful again! This is a fairly rubbish job. The beginning is all very exciting - big bags of recyclable paper, obvious charity shop fodder, definite keeps. It's the stuff that doesn't have a home that's frustrating. Where does it go?

I've fantasised about Marie-Kondo-ing my house and reducing my material possessions to the bare minimum. The thing is though, I am not a minimalist. I love stuff. I love a car boot sale. I'm nostalgic beyond the point of reason. Everything frickin' sparks joy. I can't do it. What I will try to do is donate or sell things I don't need and show off the things I love. These print trays are our 'treasure boxes' where we show off all of our tiny valuable valueless possessions.

One step at a time huh?


Friday, 23 February 2018

Veganuary Februdairyfree

When I started this year with Veganuary I didn't know whether or not I would carry on eating only a plant based diet. I thought it was more likely that I would cut down on dairy from day to day and occasionally eat a standard vegetarian diet. I hoped that I would eat less chocolate and less cheese and generally make healthier and more ecological choices. But what I've found so far has surprised me:

Every craving I have (I am ruled by cravings) can be satisfied with vegan food. If I want something sweet I can have chocolate, sweets, ice cream or fruit. If I want something carby and savoury I can have marmite and almond butter on toast. If I want something cheesy I can make a cheesy sauce or sprinkle nooch on my food. I can have pizza, cake, doughnuts, lasagne and burgers. Yes, sometimes I can't have what I want right away, sometimes I need to shop around, sometimes I need to make it myself, but I can have it. I don't feel restricted or deprived. And hey, a little patience is good for me - I can't have that ice cream but if I go to Aldi I can get a tub of their amazing chocolate coconut ice cream. Plus, pretty much the only non-vegan food I ate before was kinda junky so having a little less of that can only be a good thing. It's easy to not eat things because you just don't eat them - do you see? Croissant? No thanks, I don't eat those. Taadaa

We are 54 days in and so far so good. 




Friday, 2 February 2018

Eco Quest: Composting

Did you know that in the UK you can get a compost bin for £18? Local councils are subsidising the cost of compost bins in a bid to encourage more people to compost at home. We're lucky to have a small front garden with enough space for a compost bin. I ordered one a few weeks ago and it arrived about a week later.

It then sat in the middle of the garden for two weeks. That's the thing about winter - you leave home in the morning in the dark to go to work and you come home in the dark. No gardening on weekdays then. The weekend rolls around and inevitably you're away doing something fabulous or it rains. Or both. So no gardening. 

Until last weekend. Don't get me wrong, it poured with rain all day. We just did it anyway. We donned our raincoats, our hats and our boots and proceeded to clear a space in a back border, moving the poor hellebores into another patch of mud (don't worry, my dad assures me they're hardy). This bin will collect all our garden rubbish that has previously been put into landfill or reluctantly driven to the recycling centre. We've also got a little kitchen bin to collect all the kitchen scraps - it cost £7.99 from Argos. 

Small steps to help the planet and giant leaps to make me feel better about my existence on this earth (there's no harm in being a little bit selfish is there?) 


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