Friday, September 18, 2015

a Handmade Wardrobe

The consideration of a minimal wardrobe and what exactly one would consist off has been on my mind for a few years.Clothes have gone from prize possessions, being handed down and left in Wills to items we do not think about. Having done an audit on the clothes in my wardrobe, and having gained weight on medication, I did find 8 pairs of black trousers and fit today matters.8 was just a bit tops.This winter I am aiming at having a new outfit and discard some clothes to charity or repurposing them.Some sewing skills to be rekindled too. What thoughts do you have about the clothes you wear?

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

The difference between needing and wanting

The strategy I use to spend less is as follows: At the beginning of the month my budget to spend gets transferred into my savings account. That money has been taken out of my current account and is no longer available to spend. Then I run a little list so that every time I am tempted to buy something I commit it to my list. In September the list looks something like this: 1. Magazine subscription 2. Mineral supplements 3. Green polo neck 4. Simplicity pattern 5. Seeds 6. Salad plants for winter 7. Book by Seth Godin Despite decluttering there never seems to be an end to wanting things which is very much influenced by the media,and having been brought up in the post-war generation. Somehow adverts are expert at coming through to us and wanting us to purchase stuff and although my wish has been to become less of a consumer it constantly backfired. At the end of the month I now sit down and analyse the list by asking the question : do I need it or is it nice to have? What remains in the list is the salad plants for winter because that is time dependant as well as time critical. The remaining items are nice to have but not critical. Having decided to consciously spend money on the plants I transfer the money needed from my savings to my current account and gladly make my conscious purchase. If you need a medical expense or your car tire bursts you will not be faced with not having enough money to replace it and gradually I began to realise that there is a lot of stuff I feel I need which in fact are items I want for one reason or another. It is hard to not give in but sometimes I wonder what persuaded me to complete a purchase : it may be cheaper now and I may get the sense of getting a bargain yet there is a certain satisfaction in being able to spend when I really need to. Food is excluded in as much that ingredients are a need but eating out may be a want. Let me know how you get on.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

A little more ....

This is new for me, updating the blog via my iPhone. If truth be known I would have to tell you that afternoons are still spent lying down in bed as I cannot remain upright all day. This could be fun. What has changed in the last few years: - have moved to an even smaller house and live in about 650 square feet in the ground floor -am mostly housebound although I get Bout in A wheelchair - have created a small vegetable area for salads etc - have cut down even further and challenged all my perceptions -quite good at living in the moment Enjoying and creating the life I want

Friday, September 04, 2015


WOW its been a hairy 5 years where I have been that close to not being here. Its taken me years of rehab and can just about type on the computer again. I am left severely downsized in a wheelchair but despite that I am happy with life.

Spending a year in hospital in a very small space certainly motivates and focusses the mind on what we need to stay alive. Just breathing is essential.

Certainly will pick up the blog again and introduce you to even more downsizing. If you are still there give me a sign of life?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Apologies for the hiatus on the blog at the moment. Anne is currently in hospital but hoping to be better soon and posting again.

Monday, March 25, 2013


The cold weather spell is lasting a long time so today I want to explore how to keep warm with or without a fire.


If we put on clothes that warm us and keep us toasty we are less likely to feel a bonechilling cold permeate us. A 100% wool sweater, gloves and socks are going to keep us cosy but if you still feel the cold the warmth of the fibre such as alpaca can raise the temperature. Wrapping ytourslef in a dressing gown or duvet heat the space wound you. The warmest fiber is qiviut but it is hard to get sufficient to date to increase the insulation factor. Check your clothing: a 50% wool/cotton combination is unlikely to keep you warm in winter. Most of our body temperature escapes via our heads so a hat is recommended.


For just a few seconds. A cup of hot chocolate creates a fleeting feeling of warmth in your hands and stomach but not a change in your internal temperature—which is a good thing: Maintaining a stable body temperature is essential to having healthy organ function and a steady heartbeat. We associate it with a cosy inside feeling which is a placebo effect.


We do have a woodburner and without central heating it gives us the opportunity to warm one room in which we can all huddle together. It creates a warm feeling watching the logs burn and we can sit on the sofa, read a nice book and have a conversation.


Closing the curtains or shutters enables the heat to stay in as a lot of heat escapes via windows and doors

Seal your doors with doorstoppers ( a big long padded roll) so the heat stays in and draughtproofs the room.


Close off any unused rooms which will enable the warm air to stay where you are instead of circulating throughout the house.


Cover the floors in carpets or rugs which will insulate them against warm air escaping through the gaps and insulate the attic to keep warm air  escaping via the roof. You can see how well your house is insulated by seeing if there is snow ( when it snows) on your roof or whether the heat from the house is melting the sneow on your roof.


Make cookies, or a meal ( without too much steam)/ Not only will you be moving about but the kitchen will warm up as the oven works and dry the air in the kitchen.

The snow can cause power to be cut so keep candles at hand.

Hopefully these measures will make you feel a bit warmer. A brisk walk or exercise will raise the temperature a little in your boidy and if all else fails, hibernating under the duvet can keep you cosy.

I hope these measures will warm you up a little in the shortterm.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Banana cake with crunchie

The weather has frankly been a bit dark lately and many are asking when winter will end. To fill the house with some cheer there is nothing better than the fuggy smell of a banana cake. Besides using up the needless black bananas that hang around in this house, it warms my heart and brings back wonderful childhood memories of Grandmother's kitchen. I love having cake in the house to dish out with that relaxing cup of tea or coffee. We are 15 miles from an urban coffeeshop  so we create our own coffeeshop atmosphere.

Ingredients :

  • 200g Self raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 75g butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 large amshed bananas
  • 2 crunchie bars

Grease and line a deep 1/2 kg loaf tin

Place flour,bicarbonate of soda,salt, eggs,butter and sugar in a bowl and mix together.

Add mashed bananas and put the mixture in the loaf tin. Then break the crunchie bars up, put on the top of the mixture and swirl inside the mixture.

Bake at 180 degree Celcius for about 45 mins to 60 mins until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Cool for 5 mins and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Hide away in a tin until you can no longer resist.