Friday, 28 January 2011

Resolutions #3

As we approach the end of January I thought I would consider how well my New Year Resolutions have been going. Er - um- well.......
Following the slight hiatus with my tummy problems I have had to choose my moment when it comes to going out for a walk. My original resolution, linked to the fact that London is hosting the Olympics in 2012, was to walk at least 201.2 minutes a week. The weather hasn't helped. And I walk quite a lot in my day to day routine and I haven't always remembered to time it, so I have given up on that, on the basis that when I did manage to time it I found that I probably do more than that anyway, so I shall just try to keep on with that.
On the being greener front I have made a controversial decision. I shall be glad to know what you think but it probably won't change my mind. Neither myself, my husband nor my mother go on holiday. the last time I was on a plane was in 1985. Mum hasn't flown since 1982 and hubby has never flown. So I am balancing that against the fact that for all three of us, our food is one of the highlights of the day and I am going to look for local alternatives but if I can't get them I am going to buy stuff that has come from abroad. Particularly at this time of year. I am going to grow some things in the summer - that is what I can do in pots. Last year I grew mange tout successfully and I am going to give peppers a go this year. My dodgy back stops me from doing a great deal of gardening but I do my bit for the local wild life that way (That is my excuse for the state of the flower beds and I am sticking to it !)
I am getting quite good at planning the cooking so I use the oven for more than one thing once it has gone on. We have just had a letter to tell us that our gas and electricity charges are going up so that will concentrate my mind even more. Heating has to stay as it is as hubby, being disabled and therefore not able to move around to keep warm, feels the cold quite badly.
I don't always say no to plastic bags because I need them to wrap the rubbish sometimes. Getting free Tesco carriers sometimes means I don't have to buy bin bags so much. There is no way round this that I know of. The recycled rubbish is dry and it is a requirement that things are not wrapped for that bin. The food waste that goes into the brown bin is wrapped in newspaper. The dry other rubbish goes in unwrapped but when it comes to the smelly stuff, like the plastic bag the fish or meat has been in I'm afraid that needs to be wrapped up, especially in the summer. I am thinking about it though so I hope I don't lose too many Brownie points.
The water is another problem I haven't quite solved. I have to run a tap to get the hot water through and that water is not "potable" so the only solution that anyone has come up with is to use it to flush the loo. That however is not easy because the dodgy back means I cannot heave buckets of water out of the sink and up the stairs and hubby is quite unable to do it even for the downstairs loo. In the summer I can probably siphon it outside to water the garden.
Oh dear, I'm not doing very well am I. But I am going to blog more. Watch this space!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Resolutions #2

I've not been well! But this is a positive thinking zone so I will just elicit some sympathy by telling you that I got some sort of stomach bug that saw me spending a day in hospital dosed up to the eyeballs with painkillers, including morphine, and having a very uncomfortable time of it.
The reason I mention this is because it has, of course, mucked up all my good intentions for the new year, not least the "walking 201.2 minutes every week" one and the "getting myself organised and into a routine" one
Are we downhearted comrades? No, of course not! This is a challenge. And so in this household, 2011 has been officially postponed for a fortnight and I shall start again on the 14th.
So Happy New New Year

Sunday, 2 January 2011


Happy New Year!
Now is the time when many of us decide to have a look at our lives and make a few promises about how we are going to change them for the better. For many these promises will involve
a) Food - less of the eating of
b) Exercise - more of the taking of
c) Personal skill - a new one, the developing of.
All of these things are very worthy and I have all of them on my list, but this year I also want to make a promise to the planet and I hope you might join me.
If you look to your right - no, not in your room, on the page, silly, you will see I have acquired a new button. I have adopted Baglady. Underneath you will find a link to her site and the pledge she is asking us to make. It would be great if you could join in. Tell her who you are and that you are willing to offer her a virtual bed for the night and we can see how far she manages to travel over the year. I was introduced to her by Karen at The Rubbish Diet and thoroughly recommend her blog too for more inspiration
If you look back at my post near the beginning of December, "Suggestions please" you will see the problem I have had in coming up with a suitable pledge. Unfortunately my dodgy back precludes serious gardening, or heaving buckets of water out of the sink which knocks some of the suggestions on the head but one thing that was suggested and which I am going to look into and will report on in due course is solar battery chargers.
It seems to me that it can be very difficult sometimes weighing up the extra miles I drive in order to get to a shop that sells unpackaged or more eco-friendly goods. One person suggested freecycle but we did use that when we moved and had some problems with people, plus the fact that what I mean when I say we save things to take to the dump is things like old batteries, and those flippin' low energy light bulbs (and can anyone give me the definitive answer about whether the low energy use really outweighs the poisons used in their manufacture?) By the way, the other problem with the light bulbs is that we found we have to have more burning to give us any decent light in the evening so that's another impossible calculation. So I am going to have to research all that as well. Now I know I am sounding negative and I didn't mean to, but I can't help feeling it isn't all as simple as it seems.
So my rather vague pledges were to start looking properly at where foods come from and to go local or East Anglian first, English second, UK third and Europe fourth and to replace bulbs as and when with low energy (subject to still being able to see my way round the house and read) Read my earlier post HERE More thoughts and suggestions welcome!