Like blimmin’ buses….

March 30, 2008 at 9:00 pm Leave a comment

…. are fun things I want to do with real people. Harrumph.

One of the forums I post on is having a meet-up the weekend after next, which I wanted to go to, but due to money being tight and the bf having exams, it would involve me basically being a big pain in the bottom and potentially scrounging lifts and somewhere to sleep off someone(s) I don’t know (otherwise I can’t go, in which case this is entirely academic). But it would be sooo much fun: skill-sharing/workshops, barbecue, evening in the pub chatting, actually meeting people I’ve ‘known’ for a while….

BUT I just got an email about a one-day organic gardening course happening just down the road from me. I think it’s run by the lady on Freecycle whose eggs we bought last summer (must start doing that again, her hens have probably started laying again now). Aside from the significant financial advantages (it’s much cheaper than the train fare alone, and the proceeds go towards a local food co-op), an organic gardening course for beginners would be SO useful right now*, and I also feel that actually going out and meeting other people in my area is, in the long-term, more… what’s the word?…. sustainable? useful? in line with what I envisage for the future?… than meeting people who are scattered across the country. I mean, the internet is a great tool for meeting like-minded people, and, dear lord, I would have gone nuts without it since I left uni, but it’s not the same as having people nearby you can chat to all the time. I feel like I should ‘invest’ in that over going to Dorset. (If nothing else, I might need them when the oil runs out ;-).)

I then said to myself, ‘Hey, just listen to what you want to do, don’t get bogged down by what you think you ‘should’ do. And I really don’t know. I want to do both equally. Meh.

What should I do???

—————-

Had a busy, ‘green’ weekend. I actually used my treadle sewing machine yesterday!! I made a real, live thing that I can actually use!! Well, it’s a cushion, and the foldy-over bit where it closes is a bit rubbish, largely because I didn’t measure it or plan it in any way, shape or form (cut it out back when I was fiddling around with the machine in January and didn’t know the first thing about anything) so it’s a bit ‘amateur’, but my sewing machine works!! Hurrah!!! I will photograph it tomorrow and show off to all and sundry (as part of the post on sewing that I’ve promised you for so long!).

We did Earth Hour, in spirit, because the bathroom light is broken and won’t turn off. We didn’t go into the bathroom between 8 and 9 p.m. though. As I understand it, it was more about making a statement than about trying to calculate electricity use reductions or anything. Instead we had an argument about peak oil over a candlelit dinner. Oh fun. Think it’s all okay now though. Must stop being crazywoman.

I also turned the compost heap, as part of my springtime rat-discouragement programme. Nasty thing’s been stealing my compost, and while I accept that in an area of high human population density, like where I live, there will be lots of rats, and that deterring them from the compost heap is a somewhat Sisyphean task, I still have a totally irrational objection to the fact that this one’s on my patch and eating my carrot peelings! I also don’t want it pissing all over stuff and giving me diseases. Or decamping to the house next winter. Hmm.

Today, the weather was gorgeous and sunny. I can’t believe this time last week it was snowing. I wanted to go out with the conservation group (I’ve been busy every Sunday this year, give or take a couple when the weather was mingy) but due to mammoth disorganisation on my part, I contrived to miss them at the station. I wandered around Reading for a while, hoping I could get into Waterstones at 10 and reserve my copy of the Self-Sufficientish Bible, but it didn’t open till 11, and I tried to have a wander along the canal, but found myself wandering around an industrial estate, so I went home.

I then tried to mend my bike, which has had a puncture since I left uni. I couldn’t find my bike pump. Thwarted again.

I then decided to varnish the wine boxes I intend to grow things in. I ran out of Ronseal with a few panels left. Yet again, thwarted.

I then planted some flowers in the spare pot in the front garden. I also dragged the bf out for a walk, exploring Holt Copse, one of the few parts of Wokingham left that hasn’t been built on, which was very exciting but rather muddy.

We had a stir-fry with kohl rabi in it for dinner. For a vegetable that looks so amusing, it really doesn’t taste very interesting. I bet people used to grow it just to keep themselves entertained during the long winter nights.

I did the next part of my sourdough, adding some more flour and water. I do that again in about two days… then a few hours after that… then again…. and again… then I get to add some salt…. and some time in about 2012 I get to start pre-heating the oven. We’re putting another ham in to brine tomorrow, too.

And then I made the bf clean the kitchen floor while I came on the internet.

* Some of the garlic in my veg rack had started sprouting, so I yanked the spindlier parsley out of its pot (there are two boisterously healthy ones just next to it) and popped the garlic in instead. I have no idea if this was sensible, I can’t remember where the garlic came from and it’s probably cheap Chinese garlic that won’t be very well adapt to the climatic conditions of, er, my kitchen. I’ll probably get sod all in the way of garlic, and I bet the rest of my parsley will now die just to spite me. Ah well. Nothing ventured…..

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Entry filed under: baking, community, compost, conservation, cookery, crafts, cycling, Earth Hour, electricity, sewing machine, victory garden.

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The Heritage Crafts Network

Rob Hopkins, Transition Handbook

“Environmentalists have often been guilty of presenting people with a mental image of the world’s least desirable holiday destination – some seedy bed and breakfast near Torquay, with nylon sheets, cold tea and soggy toast – and expecting them to get excited about the prospect of NOT going there. The logic and the psychology are all wrong.”

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

"Food is that rare moral arena in which the ethical choice is generally the one more likely to make you groan with pleasure."

Carlo Petrini

"A gastronome who is not also an environmentalist is an idiot. An environmentalist who is not also a gastronome is, well, sad."

Sharon Astyk

"I am, of course, firmly opposed to consumerism and corporatism in all its forms, and I believe that we are deeply confused about material needs and wants. Now let me explain how books and yarn are totally different than the material things that other people want ;-)…."

Raj Patel, at Slow Food Nation

"Biofuels, which is the preposterous policy that we should grow food not to eat it but to set it on fire."

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