Saturday, 12 September 2015

Feels like Autumn

It has been very quiet at Ration The Future for 2 months! Sorry to my regular readers. I would love to be disciplined enough to commit to a weekly blog, but that isn't how my life is right now. I have worked long hours on a large project all summer - it feels like I have skipped straight to Autumn. The mornings are cold, evenings are shorter and the bounty of courgettes, cucumbers and beans is tailing off now.

Produce from my garden, including chickpeas.

This week I went to the car boot sale with my eldest daughter, who has just returned from finishing Uni. She was delighted to find several nearly new tops, a dress and a skirt all with labels from her favorite shops. Her little sister liked the dress too and has commandeered it!

In addition we bought some unopened gift sets with body lotions and shower gels, some from the body shop, which were all small travel size bottles, so very handy.

I only bought 2 items for me, but I love them both. One was an egg run, that I had seen for £17 in the Organic Gardening Catalogue and had decided it was too expensive for me to buy when a cardboard egg box does the trick for nothing. But when I spotted it at the car boot and the lady only wanted £1....well it seemed like fate.

I have always kept my eggs in the fridge, but as my fridge is in need of replacing and I am hoping to downsize it, to save money and energy, it is time to keep the eggs out. And don't you love my multi-coloured eggs too? I buy them from a friend each week and love that they are green and white as well as brown :-)

Then I spotted a purse. Not just any purse, but a Ness purse and it was brand new, complete with label for £24.95. Aren't the materials gorgeous? It was mine for just £2.50, so how could I pass that up?

When my husband and I visited the Isle of Skye for his birthday many years ago, I found a lovely little Ness shop and bought myself a purse. You may think that the lovely tartan material might not be as hard wearing as leather, but it lasted me 5 years! I like that the company is based in Scotland, aims to source materials from the UK where it can, and centers its designs on traditional Scottish tartan. Buying local twice over, so no consumer guilt about this purchase. I haven't decided whether to keep it, as it is a larger design than I normally go for, but it would make a lovely gift if not.

As well as all the goodies already mentioned, I bought some books and toys for my cousin's children. We spent a total of £15 and made it home with no packaging, not even a carrier bag! Ethical shopping is bliss :-)

But as Jo at All the blue day has pointed out, a 'one in, one out' policy is required, as buying is only one side of the story.

We had already had a big clearout of clothes. I gave some to friends, sold some at the car boot sale, donated some to charity and took less sale-able clothes to the '£5 a bag' shop. I felt like I had cleared out so much stuff.......but then my daughter arrived home from Uni with all her cooking utensils, clothes and furnishings and we had to have an even bigger sort out to make some space. this time it was the shoe drawers, coat rack, teddies, craft stuff and kitchen equipment that was under the spotlight.

It is a great idea to have a clear out and get rid of all the items that are not used regularly, but on the other hand there is an element of being prepared that seems to oppose this idea. For instance I have a stock of old woollen blankets. Some of them get used when we go camping, but most haven't been touched for years. Yet a few years before we moved to Loughborough there was a cold snowy winter where they had a powercut, and many homes had no alternative heating source. So in the interest of preparedness, the blankets are staying.

It is funny how many things about living lightly on the planet clash. Such as being frugal and supporting local organic producers. Or being prepared for the climate change future we face and living a minimalist lifestyle. Or even just storing all your home-grown produce and trying to reduce disposable plastic bags and containers. How else can I store my fresh lettuce or frozen blackberries? It is all a choice between what means the most to you.

Lovely homegrown veg stored for PLASTIC!!!!
Well, we have 4 bags for selling at the carboot sale and a couple of boxes of kitchen equipment to donate to refugees. I am just loving how organised and clutter free the house is starting to feel, lets see if I can keep it up :-)