Friday, 23 May 2014

Disastrous fire at Glasgow School of Art

What a sad day for Scotland, not least of all the students readying for their final shows etc. So much lost, thankfully  no lives they believe.  One of the world's iconic buildings

Thought for a Friday


You too can knit a mountain goat

This is the latest addition to my frugal living library, bought for a couple of pounds on e-bay

It's from 1978; I often think the books and magazines from the 70s are much better than those of today, and I  am on the lookout for them all the time  growing, making, etc.  Some of my greatest finds have been the original Practical Self-Sufficiency magazines.  I fin the information and advice, instructions and illustrations in them much more informative than a lot of what is published today.  Good, basic advice and inspiration from people who have actually grown it, lived, it, made it, bred, it , cooked it etc.  Not just a half page extolling the virtues of some 'kit' or 'course' or other expensive nonsense.

A quick skim through gives the impression this will be a useful book; based mainly on the growing of food, preserving and harvesting.  There is a small section on alternative energy with useful looking info  on building a solar dryer - one of the things on my list.

Inside the jacket, the authors say this:
'This isn't an impractical 'weave-yourself-a-windmill',  'you-too-can-knit-a-mountain-goat' sort of book'

Looking forward to a more thorough read.

Thursday, 22 May 2014


“The act of sewing is a process of emotional repair."

Louie Bourgeois


Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Laugh out loud!

I have studiously avoided anything at all to do with UKIP, not only in the recent weeks, but in the past.  However, this popped up on Facebook just now and I really had to share it. Bet you laugh too....................!!


Wee green mat


ALmond, satsuma and ginger cake

This cake was inspired by a recipe posted up on Facebook by my friend Sue; it used mandarins and no ginger, but I tweaked it slightly so I could use what I had.

It's the first time I've made a flourless cake, and it smells really good; is cooling on the rack for now, will try it with a big cup of tea later :)

200g sugar
6 eggs
250g ground almonds
4 satsumas
ground ginger

Peel the satsumas and put into a saucepan with the peel - remove any pips/stalk ends.  Cover and simmer for about half an hour until soft. Drain, then puree the fruit and skins.  Leave to cool slightly.  Whisk the eggs and sugar together very well, then add in the ginger (to taste) , almonds and pureed fruit. Mix well, turn into a very well prepared tin (this amount made one larger and one smaller loaf tin sized cake) and bake in a hottish oven until golden brown. Turn out gently and cool on wire rack.


Is what I am going to have to be, and seriously frugal.  I'll be swapping a very large household income  for, well, no income really.  I will have money which I will have to live off, and supplement as best I can.  As the time draws nearer, I've been giving it all some very serious thought, and have started a wee notebook of ideas for making/raising money.  I've also thought of ways online I can use to help things out - I've registered for survey taking, freebie sites, competitions.  I'll be selling on e-bay too, and am keeping an eye on my  current Freecycle site, and will join the nearest one when I move.  There will be much swapping and bartering, giving and taking in many forms. I notice there are a lot of sale/swap/free sites popping up on Facebook too, so am keeping an eye out there. I am lucky in that over the years I have amassed a good amount of  equipment and household things, furniture, craft materials, etc that will stand me in good stead.  I will be keeping budget books, and cutting every penny in half.  I am painfully aware that there are people around that think I won't be capable of doing all this,  but not only will I prove them wrong, I am certain I will thrive on the challenge - it will add so much to my own life, I am sure.
Bring it on.

Something else I have started is a healthier eating plan - long range goals are weight loss, better fitness and overall health levels and saving money on the food bills.  I've started slowly, firstly this week giving up eating between meals, and wine only at the weekend.  Next week will see the start of the walking. Another aspect of the healthier eating/saving money is by growing my own. I'll be taking a lot of things from my garden here, but have a lovely big stock of seeds to take with me, and have listed the trees/fruit bushes I need for my new garden, so I can see where I am with it all.

I have a huge amount of clothes just now too; I am just about to start sorting them through properly; some I will keep as they are, some will be altered, new buttons, cut down, made into other things, some will go for patchwork bits/rag bag/cloths, some to textile bank/charity shops.
But the stash stays!  lol


Monday, 19 May 2014

Red rice

Made a very good rice salad tonight with red Camargue rice for a change; wonderful nutty flavour, am sure it's good for me too!  It's a good way of using up bits and bobs too - like pasta is.  This has peanuts, cheese, few olives, cherry tomatoes, all chopped and a spare tub of bought-in bean and herb salad.  Served with roast chicken - half price free-range chicken found last week on the reduced counter.  Good simple tasty supper for a hot day :)


Sunday, 18 May 2014

Celery experiment

I saw this idea somewhere on the net last year and have been meaning to give it a go, so I did :)  About a month ago I put a celery end into a ramekin of water and left it to grow - which it did. This is what I have ended up with, and assume that will be it as the original stem end is going rotten now.

I have ended up with quite a few tiny wee celery stalks, and a good crop of leaves. Will be used for soup, salad, stock etc. Worth doing? Yes, I think it is - costs nothing, you get a decent wee crop and a nice display of fresh greenery for the windowsill.Cost - zero :)

From tiny seeds.......................