Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Time away

You are probably wondering where I went off, or then again I may be flattering myself that you have given me a thought at all. Its been a daily round of gathering, cooking and preserving in this household as well as picnics to the beach and family time. Summer seems to be here forever, it has a lovely feel to it, as if summer in the UK always has been like this, which in fact this year is an exception. There is a need to be vigilant for mildew and trying to plant some more seeds so that the vegetables and fruit continues in the harvesting months.
The shipment from Lehmans with canning equipment came yesterday which was an exciting event. It will be even nicer when the larder boasts rows of jars with produce to be eaten during the colder months. The anticipation of that made me clean some more shelves and get rid of some more clutter. Seems endless the accumulation of stuff.
I realise that when I spin the fleece of a sheep, turn it into yarn, then knit a sweater with it, that I value the product I have made because I had some part in its journey from resource to product. The end result is pleasing and it reminds me that the garment is unique and priceless because it just cannot be mass produced. It is made to fit and I value the journey I have taken with the resources I was given. I think my generation has lost sight of that. A cheap T-shirt or other stuff I accumulated in the past,does not have that connection and if I knew when buying some clothing that some woman was being paid less than the cost of living to produce it, I may think twice about buying it. Growing fruit and vegetables, making food from scratch and not adding to the consumerism is not an easy road to take......it is not a simpler life, in fact it is a harder road to walk, with the knowledge that I am going to need to learn skills, that I am going to have a glut of some things and that bugs are eating my cabbages. At least there are butterflies.....they symbolise a freedom and if by not buying a cheap T-shirt, I stop one child from having to work under slavery conditions, then that too is worth it. I can do without another , I can do without violence, I am no longer prepared to pay for that. I can be an ethical consumer yes, but it is going to be costly, in fact the way we consume is consuming the earth and you may say that one person cannot make a difference, but stopping the urge to continue consuming may be a step worth taking.

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