Bye, Bye to Buy, Buy

I’ve thought long and hard about committing to this. Basically for all of the next 3 months I will not be buying stuff, at all, nothing, nada – gulp!
I’ll see myself being afflicted with empty trolley syndrome.

There are rules and exceptions –

Food and drink for me and pussycat and local wildlife – allowed.

Petrol and cut price rail travel – allowed.

The odd cup of coffee when I’m writing in internet cafe – allowed

I’m allowed to buy craft supplies for my business and if my laptop blows up I can get a replacement as it’s needed for my writing.

Minimalist Room – Painting by Karen Hollingsworth

I’m not allowed to buy craft supplies for personal use though and if I want to make something I have to delve into my sizeable stash. The exception to this is my crochet flower afghan, I’m using up odds and ends of wool for the flowers part but I need white DK wool for the background so that’s on my permitted list.

No clothes buying either as I have loads in my wardrobe and if I get a little bit more exercise in I can drag out the ‘one day I’ll fit into this’ clothes box from under the bed for even more choice!

Definitely no more buying of vintage sewing patterns – this is going to be a hard one to keep and there may be tears (lots). I’ll just have to make stuff from the patterns I already have.

No sweets, packets of biscuits or great big door step sized scones oozing thick melting butter and fruity jams. No I will simply turn my back on them (who am I kidding?).

A bit of a stern year ahead, but I do plan to have fun on the cheap in my own weird and wonderful way. And the reason for this adopted frugal lifestyle? I’m building my own beautiful little eco house, off the grid and as self sufficient as I can humanly make it!!

Slàinte Mhaith

A Survivor

It’s been a while, 5 years I think! A lot of whiskey has flowed under the bridge since my cancer diagnosis.

SusieQ who thinks mugs marked Cat are for her exclusive use!

I came through all the cancer treatment, my hair has grown back now even longer than before the diagnosis. It’s a bit of a shambles but I am so happy it’s grown back that I haven’t the heart to cut it. I also got me a new boob! I had a reconstruction done at Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead. 8 hour op. Those surgeons are absolute geniuses. All that microsurgery. They took the fat from my tummy (a lot to choose from) and made a new boob from that. Apparently I was only the second person to be sent home without a drain. I remember the drain from the mastectomy and it was no fun dragging it around like Quasimodo. I had the op on the Tuesday and was up waiting for my lift home on the Friday morning. The care I got was second to none. Good old NHS.

Wasn’t supposed to drive for 6 weeks but I got bored, shoved a cushion down my jacket and was mobile at week three – don’t tell anyone. It was so wonderful to display a cleavage this summer and to get back to wearing normal bras. All the stuffing has been knocked out of my wardrobe.

I’ve even found time to write a book – it was written with the aim to empower women to get out there and to squeeze the pips out of life. You can download it from the Beltane Badger Shop.

A Friday Night In!

I had so much fun writing Step Away from the Sofa, standby for another book to hit cyberspace very soon!

Slàinte Mhaith

Wind in the Willows

The Wind in the Willows

Just recently I’ve rediscovered my love of The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. I was around 8 when I discovered it the first time round. The brilliant illustrations of Arthur Rackham were the first thing that attracted me to the book. A talking Badger, Mole, Rat and Toad – totally appealed to my childhood fantasies! My favourite character was Badger, he always seemed so wise and all knowing. Not at all like Toad who always seemed to be totally scatter brained and a bit of a cross cross-dresser (remember the washerwoman episode?)
I’ve done a bit of searching around regarding the illustrations for the book. There have been over 50 different illustrators down the years. These are my favourites –

Arthur Rackham
Ernest Shepard
Martin Aitchison
Tasha Tudor
Michael Hague

A big regret a couple of weeks ago was finding a vintage copy of the book in London and not buying it! What was I thinking! Still I’m sure I’ll find another copy somewhere and it’ll be the only thing I’ll happily break my New Year Resolutions for. Did you know there’s currently a  First Edition on sale at Abe Books for £12,500!!

Over the years I’ve managed to take a few photographs of these cute protagonists and these are two of my favourites. This is Ratty who in real life is a Water Vole. In the second pic if you look carefully you’ll see a small droplet of water on the end of Ratty’s nose!

Ellie Kennedy
Ellie Kennedy

I wonder how these dear little animals have fared during the recent flooding of so many riverbanks here in the UK.

So this is an animal themed post once again. I’m sure I must be the long lost love child of Sir David Attenborough or at least distantly related to Chris Packham. I actually met Chris Packham once when he judged my photo of a Blue duck the winner in a WWT photo comp. Not only did I like him because he picked my photo he was genuinely funny and had some great tales to tell about the naughty nature of the Blue duck. Apparently one in a territorial fit of rage grabbed his trouser leg and wouldn’t let go. I’m sure there are a few women also eager to grab his trouser leg!

Arthur Scoone

Maybe I should add ‘Meet Sir David Attenborough’ to my list of goals for 2021. I’d probably let myself down if I met him and mumble or dribble or giggle uncontrollably or curtsy. If anyone reading this could get me into his holy presence I would be very grateful and I promise I would take Social Skills lessons prior to the meet! I wonder if he’d like one of my animal tea cosies????

Slàinte Mhaith

First Words

Lockdown in full force here in the UK.

So how to keep myself busy and away from the TV screen? I’ve compiled a huge lockdown list and I’ve been busily ticking off all the chores/creative ideas. Then I’ve been adding more back on. I wonder how many freezers have been thoroughly defrosted in the past few weeks, or kitchen floors scrubbed within an inch of their lives?

The trouble is once the obvious chores have been done, then what do you do? I’ve been casting around for more things to add to the War & Peace version of jobs around the place like,

  • Clean the stained glass butterfly thingy that holds my Umbrella plant up straight.
  • Scrape the green moss stuff that has crept in to the crevices of my car exterior
  • Trim SusieQ’s nails
A Contemplative SusieQ
  • Put air in her tyres (the car that is, not SusieQ)
  • Glue the flappy soles back on to my slippers
  • Spend zero money for 7 days in a row
  • Win an argument with Alexa
  • Use up all those half empty bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body lotion etc.
  • Eat the contents of my freezer
  • Tidy the boot of my car 
  • See how many uses I can find for The Pink Stuff 
  • Try not to fall asleep while writing a blog post

Failing miserably at that last one, am off to bed now!

Slàinte Mhaith