Saturday, 17 October 2009

The 1000 challenge

I've just found this idea posted by knittospin in the Simple Living discussion group on Ravelry; she is getting rid of 1000 things that clutter up her life/home/space.
I thought I'd have a go and see how I get on. 1000 sounds a lot, doesn't it? I suspect, though, it will be easier than I think.I'll start tomorrow, will keep a written record here and a list in the sidebar. No time limit, though.
Wish me luck lol

Out of step

I often feel out of step with the current goings on on the modern world, but two things have reinforced this feeling significantly this morning; it's note ven 8 o'clock yet, it's going to be a llooooooong day :0
The first one was a short item on the morning news about a girl who took in her birthday cake to school to share with her friends. She was allowed to light the candles and blow them out and they all sang Happy Birthday, then the cake went back in the tin to be taken home as it was against the school's healthy eating policy tio allow them to eat it in school.

The second one is this story:

I used to laugh at the old hippy slogan "Stop the world, I want to get off", but I'm seriously considering having some t-shirts printed up with it now.

I despair.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Research and detective work

One of the nice things about loving old and secondhand things is that you never quite know what you are going to get. I consider myself to have quite a good "eye" for collectibles and things of that ilk; I'm one who scans what's on offer and can often tell at first glance if it's worth picking up and taking home, or looking underneath for a mark, etc. I've had some quite valuable pieces from the tip, lots that could be sold on E-bay, car boots, etc; I'm sure if I put my mind to it I could make a decent amount of money out of it. Over the years I've dabbled in ceramics and china, vintage bits and bobs, linens, books, etc, and I know quite a bit now. I have a couple of large boxes of bits amassed that I'll get up on E-bay in the next week or so; when sold, they should hopefully fund my knitting habit for a while lol.
A huge part of the fun and interest, though, is in doing the research, especially since the advent of the internet - you never know where the next click will take you, it's invariably interesting and I always learn something to add to my knowledge and awareness. You just need a name to go on - an artist, an author, a mark on the bottom of a piece of china, a date...........infinite possibilities for pondering over. Who owned it? How did it end up where it was? How old is it? Where was it made?Ofcourse, the often wondered - is it worth anything? lol. Well, sometimes it is, and I make myself a bit of money; sometimes it isn't, but I'll keep it if I like it, pass it on to someone else who would like it, or return it whence it came. I certainly don't profess to be an expert on any of this, and would never put on some of the patronising airs and graces that some self-styled "experts" do; they just make me smirk and roll my eyes a bit............. However, you can be assured that I've enjoyed finding out as much as I can about it - there's something to be learned and remembered, wondered at and pondered over at every turn.
This is what I came home with today:

I picked it up because I really took a shine to it; it's destined for the bathroom when I've finished redecorating in there. Cost me about 30p at the tip; when I got home, I noticed that it was signed, and had details of the artist on the back. I looked up the name but found absolutely nothing at all. No matter, I think it's a particularly pleasing flower painting, and I'll hang on to it regardless of the fact it'll never get near an Antiques Roadshow! lol
We never stop learning, do we?

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Blog Action Day - climate change

I lifted this from a Blog Action Day e-mail:

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown surprised us with a Blog Action Day post on his blog saying that "climate change is the biggest threat to all our futures."

So - why is he and his government doing NOTHING constructive about it? This biggest threat is the culmination of many, many smaller threats, which could have, should have, beent tackeled years, decades ago. Ordinary people up and down the country are doing their best to do their own bit towards alleviating climate control, but the lead from our government is woefully inadequate. Listen to the ordinayr people, engage with them and see the lead they could take.

If everyone does just a little, then only a little will be achieved (apologies to the originator of this expression, I cannot remember the name) I would like to urge and encourage everyone just to try and go the extra mile if they can and do an extra bit for the planet. Aim higher, aim to achieve more to help with the problems we all must face up to and meet head on, CONSUME LESS, refuse to fly, refuse to buy, do without, live more with less, switch it off, repair it and re-use it and encourage others to do likewise.

The little plans I tried to carry
Have failed
O' Dear God.
But, I will not sorrow
I will pause a little while
And try again tomorrow.

Anushree Karnani

The humblest citizen of all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error.
~ William Jennings Bryan”

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
~ Winston Churchill

Dorset Cereals Little Blog Award

If you enjoy the old blog here, please vote for me - see the button thingy at the top of the right hand panel - it would be appreciated, thanks! :)

October giveaway - something a bit different!

This month, the winner can choose their prize - to a certain extent! The October giveaway prize is a knitted hat of your choice - you choose, I'll knit! You can design your own, or I can do it for you, or choose a commercial pattern, or one off the net - anything you like. Any style, any colour/s, whatever you fancy. Good luck, and thanks for reading.

September giveaway winner.............. Mrs C. Well done, Mrs C, I'll be in touch. Thanks too to everyone else for entering, and for reading :)



Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Tropical Tuesday cake

I made this cake yesterday, mainly to use up some oldish cocnut I had in the larder; I didn;t use it all, so will probably have to make this again...........oh dear lol It's a really nice, moist, buttery cake for an autumnal day. You coudl easily ring the changes by what you add in, using different fruits, maybe add some nuts of some kind. Whatever you decide, it's lovely with a good cup of tea and a sit down!

6oz butter
6oz sugar
6 oz self-raising flour
3 eggs
2 oz glace ginger
2 1/2 oz dessicated cocnut
2 oz tinned pineapple, well drained and chopped small

Grease and flour a loaf tin, or line with paper - use your preferred method. Cream butter and sugar well, then add and beat in eggs one at a time. Add flour, then fold in rest of ingredients, mixing gently to combine. Turn into prepared loaf tin and bake in a hot oven for 40 - 45 minutes or so, until well risen and godlen brown. Cool on a wire rack; Enjoy with a cup of tea whilst putting your feet up.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

This is what I was doing instead of housework and washing...............

Although I have done one load of washing out, another in, made a cake and two trays of flapjacks and been up to the post box. :)

Lloyd Loom luck

Behold my new-to-me linen bin! Oh what exciting things I blog about, eh? lol
A few months back, I was pipped at the post to a larger green linen bin at the tip, not a genuine Lloyd Loom one, but nice nonetheless - the woman two paces in front of me picked it up and hung on for dear life.........I thought ah well, there'll be another one. Sure enough, another one had appeared by Friday afternoon. I nearly missed it too - it was stuffed full of tennis rackets, walking sticks and all manner of things. Luckily my well-trained eye lighted upon it, I tipped everything else out (sort of neatly and calmly) and it came home with me for 50p. It's in its original colour I think, which I will probably change - not the most attractive shade of pink, is it? It is a genuine one too, witness the label inside the lid; it has a bit of a dint in the back, but otherwise not bad condition. Timing couldn't have been better either - I'm decorating the bathroom this week, and when it's done, it will go in there.
Everything comes to she who waits, and has faith in the art of timing. :)

Monday, 12 October 2009

A "return " to traditional values?

This was in my news box this morning:

I find it interesting to read that, in this particular report anyway, it's the youngsters who want to return to family meals, less television, etc. I know that when my two have friends round here, they are all fascinated by the way we live - no television now, lots growing in the garden, unschooling,the home brew (typical - some things never change lol), homemade packed lunches for college, the various livestock, houseful of spinning wheels, knitting wool, bags of apples all over the place, old Rayburn, unfitted kitchen, (unfitted lol)mother who doesn't drive or go out to work, no exotic holidays away, relaxed atmosphere, lots going on, lots of laughter and jokes, homemade cakes and fudge............... that's our life. Some of us have never strayed far from these traditional values, but it's very encouraging to know that they are still highly regarded, especially by the next generation; almost gives me hope! It would be nice to think some of their interest and enthusiasm would rub off on their parents/grandparents. I'm not one for telling folks how to live their lives - what to do, what to buy, what they shouldn't be spending *their* money on, how to conduct themselves - I'll leave that for the holier than thou bloggers and forum posters out there who use the internet as a form of preaching to say *you should be doing this*, you * should be doing that*, making this, *not* doing/buying that, well, *I* can do it - why can't you?

For me, it's about education, not coercion and guilt inducing rantings, and yes, I do try to lead by example, but without ramming it down peoples' throats. I'm not perfect, and I try to get my own house in order before I feel able to comment on others' choices; sometimes it's in order in some departments, some times it's not. Everyone's circumstances are different, and everyone just has to get on as best they can within the constraints imposed upon them. I sometimes think pictures on the net can be as misleading as those in the stylish glossy magazines - all set up for a photo shoot, implying that the whole house/place is permanently in a state of cleanliness, ironedness and put awayness, some sort of holy grail of perfection to be strived for. Is yours? Mine isn't.:) As usual, it's the face that is presented on the net - what goes on behind the scenes isn't shown, and is often more interesting, and always more important than a sham face shown to the world, in my view. I'm not saying it isn't lovely and inspiring to look at great close ups of flowers, baking, something hand crafted, latest reading material - I just try to stay aware that behind the nice shot is often a long way short of perfection!!

I suppose what I'm getting at is that it's a waste of time and life pretending to be something you're not; if you want traditional meals, make them happen; if you want to watch less TV, turn it off; get out the board games; grow some veg; knit some dishcloths. If you don't enjoy these things or can't fit them into your current life, then don't do them - leave these things until the time is right, or not at all. No guilt should be involved just because you buy your dishcloths instead of making them yourself;but it's better for judgements not to be made on others' choices for a whole host of reasons, and such judgements usually say more about the judger than the judged. Similarly, I find it hard to stomach the catty and snide comments from people who would like to do these things and more, but can't for any number of reasons ( which is fine by me), but seem hellbent on doing down, criticising and being downright nasty to those of us who make these choices (which is not fine by me) - envy and jealousy are great time and life wasters.

Each to their own, and we all have choice.

As for me, I'll keep on keeping on, and if I inspire some folks along the way, that's great; conversely if folks think I'm a batty old doot, then that's fine too, but there's no need for the nastiness, just let me be, as I let you be.

Coming full circle to the original theme, I'm glad that these findings have been publicised, to show that not everyone is hellbent on living what we are told is a "21st century lifestyle" - there are as many of these as there are people on the planet.

Tolerance, education and compromise, try to do as you would be done by.

I would just like to say a big thankyou, however, to whoever invented the macro lense on my digital camera, so you can't see the piles of washing when I photogrpah my jam ;) lol

Here's the sun just coming up over the Vale just a while ago:

I hope you all have a good week. :)