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Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Slow Living

I have been having a potter round Blogland recently flitting from one blog to another the way you do and have come across a group of bloggers who are interested in many of the same things as I am.  Many of them are much younger than I am and many also parents of young children - now doesn't having new friends of the younger generation keep one from becoming stuck in one's ways and the fact that some are from other countries too keeps me fresh and au fait with new ideas One such blog I liked and have been following is Sustainable Mum and seeing her recent post about Slow Living Essentials Monthly 9 link up I popped over there too and decided to join in myself so this is my first post on that Theme.  I am required to post under 9 different headings as you will see.

Slow Living Monthly 9 Link up for January

 Taken in the evening with the electric light on so the colour is a little orange I am afraid!

Nourish - According to the Oxford dictionary this means "to provide with food or other substances necessary for growth, health and good condition" amongst other definitions.  So how have I been doing this during January?  Well I have been making bread - I haven't yet mastered sourdough but have been making ordinary bread once or twice each week.  I also made some organic Seville Orange Marmalade to go with it!

Prepare - I struggled with this one but then thought of the seed lists we have made and the catalogues we have perused in preparation for the springtime when we might eventually be able to get out in the garden.

Reduce - January being wet and only suitable for indoor games as it were I set to having a sort out and getting rid of some of the clutter which seems to breed chez Marigold.  Several trips to the charity shops later I felt I had cleared the decks a bit but I swear stuff breeds and I can't actually see much difference now!  I am also trying to reduce my use of the computer in particular the internet - I keep telling myself that once a day is often enough to check e-mails and blogs and maybe to have a day or two each week when I don't turn the computer on at all would be better still but I am still struggling with this one I fear!

Green - As the title of the book says It's Not easy being Green and I find that there are no easy answers to what we might do to improve our eco-credentials - we do what we can such as walking where we can, using the train rather than the car where possible, cutting back on our use of resources such as electricity and gas by only using what we need and not lighting or heating rooms we are not actually in at the time and so on.  However this is normal for us and not specific to January.  Must give this one more thought!

Grow -January 2014 here in Somerset has not been suitable for any kind of real gardening as it's been so wet but I did do a bit of the indoor sort and have some sweet peas planted and also some salad leaves growing in our unheated conservatory.  Not sure how long it will be before I have enough for a salad!

Create -One advantage of the wet weather has been that there has been more time for indoor pastimes and I have surprised myself with the patchwork I have achieved (to anyone new to my blog I find Patchwork incredibly time consuming and it's not my chosen metier at all - or wasn't!).  I quite got the bit between my teeth in January though and made a couple of little quilts as seat covers using up materials I already had.

Discover - As I said at the beginning I have discovered some new bloggers who share my ideals and I am looking forward to getting to know them better.

Enhance -"to increase or further improve" well to this end the little bird table has certainly done that as it has increased the number of birds which visit our garden and now as well as Mr and Mrs Blackbird and the Robin we have all manner of other birds who flock to our little plot.  I am especially pleased to see the Great Spotted Woodpecker who is a regular visitor and enjoys the peanuts as well as the food in the coconut shell.  The little dish on the table top is filled with the same mix as the coconut shell and was made for the thrushes who were expending as much energy as they were taking in by trying to eat from the shell by hovering like humming birds but with much less ease!  They seemed to breathe a sigh of relief when I put out a dish, wired to the post so it wouldn't get knocked on the floor, filled it with the same fat/seed/fruit mix and they now come regularly to feed from there.  I love the way there is rarely any fighting amongst the birds who seem happy to take turns at getting a share of the food.  It provides us with endless entertainment standing at the kitchen window watching them!

Enjoy -As I said it has been very grey and wet here throughout January but in between times we did have the odd spell of sunshine - just enough to reassure us that the sun was still there and the highlight of the month for me was the trip we made to Weymouth which I posted about here.  It was so wonderful to be out in the fresh air and sunshine and to be able to have a walk and so totally enjoyable!

If you are interested to see other posts on this theme check out this link: Slow Living Monthly 9


  1. What a lovely post, Jane. Sustainable and enjoyable living. I'd say you've got it in the bag.

  2. Isn't it lovely picking seeds, I came back from town today with ten packets, can't wait to get started. :)
    V x

  3. A really lovely and thought-provoking post MJ. I need to improve my greenness as well. And I've also got lots of de-cluttering to do too. I shall be happy when it's done and every feels clearer.

  4. How wonderful to have you joining in Jane! Your quilts look so sweet and very inviting on the chairs. Your bread looks lovely, too. If you are looking for sourdough inspiration, Dan Lepard's book: The Handmade Loaf helped me enormously when starting out with sourdough baking. Wishing you an enjoyable month, Christine :-)

  5. What a great reflective post and you seem to have achieved loads. Loving the seat covers, well done to you.

  6. What a lovely post!
    I think it's always good to take a step back and reflect now and then
    Loving the patchwork by the way...very colourful and cheery :)
    Tilly x

  7. Isn't this something that we should all be aware of, no matter what our age.

  8. All looks great Jane, I bet that bread was yummy, and if you didn't turn on your computer we wouldnt see all your goodies ! Enjoy the sunny weather :)

  9. Aha a fellow northern hemisphere gal! Here we are trying to keep the house warm and the mud off the carpets while the 'down under' girls are talking about their gardens and fresh veg! Very nice to read your blog for the first time and I will be back! Love the colors in the little quilts and I love your bird feeders! Thank you for sharing!

  10. Very apt responses to every heading Jane. I always find something to ponder over in your take on life. As ever, you have the uncanny knack of putting the right words to things.

  11. Great post Jane. There are lessons here we could all benefit from. I agree with Lesley, you certainly constantly find some very positive food for thought.
    My bird feeding has increased dramatically over the last couple of weeks with my visitors managing to empty four feeders in just over 24 hours. However as we now have a thriving colony of house sparrows I feel reluctant to ration them. Goldfinches manage to empty the niger seeds and the sunflower hearts with a bit of help from the odd chaffinch and greenfinch as well as blue, coal and great tits. As we l have an urban garden I love it. We have a pair of robins too as well as the other usual garden visitors. We spend hours watching them!

  12. I have to say that I follow along with many bloggers who are mums of much younger children than mine, and I do feel a bit funny about it sometimes. But it makes me relive the times when all my children were little and I often nod and chuckle and remember back to what I would have done at that time.
    It's a bit similar to reading blogs from the northern hemisphere. It's not really the 'season' of my life but I love to read what others are doing/making/baking in the cold and getting ideas when it's our turn!!
    I'm loving reading your thoughts!! Stay warm!

  13. Thank you for the mention! It is lovely this reflection, to look back and celebrate our achievements from a month there is a surprising amount!

    Love your patchwork chairs they look like just the thing to brighten up a room in this gloomy season :)

  14. Christine's blog and "Slow Living Essentials" is a lovely way to reflect on your months. I've been doing it for a little while and it's nice to see exactly what you have been doing with a few photos thrown in. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia


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