Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Make do and Mend

In 1943, the Ministry of information published a series of pamphlets called ‘Make do and Mend’
They presented easy household economies to help housewives spin out their resources in times of rationing. 
Cut up frayed towels to make flannels, unravel worn jumpers and re-knit with the wool, clean nubuck with a pumice stone.

Just my kind of book, and as relevant as ever in a world of diminishing resources.
So here are my own objectives for a resourceful 2016.

Sow all my seeds at the right time... for maximum production.

Make fire-lighters out of candle ends, toilet roll inners and the sawdust from cutting up  firewood. 

Make biodegradable seed pots out of old newspapers.

Turn stale crusts into breadcrumbs and pop in the freezer.

Try and avoid buying any food in a plastic tray.... reuse any that slip through the net in the greenhouse.

Sew new covers for a jaded sofa.

Pretend to own a dog. (a win, win situation... daily exercise in the fresh air, with of course the luxury of ducking out on wet days, but with no expense, no commitment and not a trace of muddy paw prints when I get home!).

Friday, January 8, 2016

The veg man cometh

Every Friday morning farmer Geoffrey sets up his vegetable stall in town. His veg are the best. He doesn’t seem to mind getting up before dawn and numbing his fingers to the bone to bring us the freshest possible bounty. This is a great comfort to me.

I am more of a haphazard grower. I sowed my sprouting broccoli way too late so won’t have any crops this spring. I could feel very disappointed because it’s my favourite vegetable, but Geoffrey already has mounds of fresh green florets on his stall. Exemplary!

I caught him lost in thought between customers...

“Morning Geoffrey, Happy New Year, you look pensive”

His eyes regained focus and he puckered his eyebrows

“What did you call me?” he asked

“pensive” says I

“I’ve never heard of that one....”

“Oh, it means thoughtful, from the french verb ‘penser’, to think. ”

“Ahhh” he sighs “so it’s not a Suffolk word, no wonder I haven’t heard of it!”.