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    • SimpleLiving
    • By SimpleLiving 30th Nov 17, 11:27 AM
    • 44Posts
    • 1,354Thanks
    SimpleLiving
    A Simpler Life 2018
    • #1
    • 30th Nov 17, 11:27 AM
    A Simpler Life 2018 30th Nov 17 at 11:27 AM
    Every year at about this time, I get a yearning for a more simple way of life. A life that doesn't involve being bombarded with endless ads for x% off or buy a new sofa/kitchen/table/bed/car or your Christmas holiday will become a fate worse than death It really does get to me. I hate consumerism in general. It annoys me intensely that we waste so many resources making cheap non-essential rubbish that will end up in landfill a few months later. I think I must be some kind of grumpy, odd ball though as despite all the headlines about the economy and stagnant pay rises, the shops always seem to be rammed.
    Anyhow, I am planning to step back from it all in 2018:
    - no spending on unnecessary stuff. For example, I have enough clothes to last for years in one wardrobe and one chest of drawers. Books will come from the library. No fripperies!!
    - replace essential items where possible with good quality items preferably second hand, or british made or local where applicable
    - increase cooking from scratch. I buy too many things like biscuits etc that are far nicer and healthier homemade
    - make full use of garden and allotment for fruit, veg, preserves and wine.
    - forage for fruit, fungi, wood ....
    - spend more time outside, gardening, walking, enjoying nature to improve mental and physical well being
    - spend more time with my mum who is 76 and beginning to need me more
    - avoid pressure to conform!
    Anyone got any further ideas in how I could simplify life?
Page 56
    • elmer
    • By elmer 9th Feb 18, 7:43 PM
    • 810 Posts
    • 1,350 Thanks
    elmer
    I only really grow herbs as my garden slopes alarmingly to the `Tweed, its covered in snow at the moment too but....

    I think I might try beans , you lot have inspired me, and although I dont like courgettes at all, if Im doing beans I could try peas too...

    Ill need help getting back up from the bottom of the garden though?

    elmer
    • DawnW
    • By DawnW 9th Feb 18, 7:53 PM
    • 4,826 Posts
    • 37,792 Thanks
    DawnW
    What sort of yield do you get off per plant? I've grown dwarf French beans before when I had no space for climbers and got quite a reasonable amount off them but never tried climbing beans.

    Is there a secret to getting climbing French bean started off??
    Originally posted by Cottage Economy
    You get loads, just as with runner beans
    I start them off in pots indoors and plant out when danger of frost is past, that is all, no particular secrets. They are trickier to get to germinate outside unless you leave it late and the soil is really warm. Sometimes I do them on the kitchen windowsill, sometimes the conservatory (cold) and sometimes in my little lean to greenhouse (cold), wherever there is space, they don't seem to mind which, as long as they are protected from frost. Don't bother to start them till the second week in April at the earliest.
    NSDs for February 8 / 18
    Decluttering 30 / 28

    • GreyQueen
    • By GreyQueen 9th Feb 18, 8:22 PM
    • 11,602 Posts
    • 223,703 Thanks
    GreyQueen
    I've given up on peas, they're like crack cocaine to the birdies and are a PITA (in my opinion) to stake. Between mice stealing the seeds, the birds, the staking, the pea moth laying grubs and the fiddliness of picking them, I find it easier to do without.

    I do grow broad beans, the autumn-sown batch are about 8 inches high atm and I may sow a spring batch. They're pretty self-sufficient and crop heavily.

    With runners, they're very attractive to slugs and snails and I have to sow four times what I need if I sow in open ground, so many of them get chewed up to mere stalks. I usually start mine in pots in the cold frame and transplant them out when they've got a good twining lead shoot.

    They're incredibly productive. I had a humungous amount of beans growing on a single wigwam and none of the experienced gardeners who saw them could credit that there were only six plants on there!

    You can also grow runner beans up a string up a housewall, if you have an eyelet or something else to tie the string into. I've even seen them growing up sunflowers, something I'd like to do myself this year - might as well let nature provide some of the scaffolding, hey?
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)

    • elmer
    • By elmer 10th Feb 18, 10:04 AM
    • 810 Posts
    • 1,350 Thanks
    elmer
    Oh Grey Queen dont say that about peas, Im not very keen on eating beans but absolutely love raw peas, so I hoped to grow them both together and eat the peas whilst I pick and then decide what to do with the beans

    I will probably put them in spaghetti bog as i prefer it with more veg than mince
    • Well Preserved
    • By Well Preserved 10th Feb 18, 10:35 AM
    • 180 Posts
    • 1,057 Thanks
    Well Preserved
    Just dropping in to comment, for anyone with limited space who likes runner beans and doesn!!!8217;t know, there are a few dwarf varieties available that can even be grown in containers. Hestia is the one that comes to mind. It has pretty red & white flowers. I!!!8217;m sure there are others.
    • DawnW
    • By DawnW 10th Feb 18, 11:07 AM
    • 4,826 Posts
    • 37,792 Thanks
    DawnW
    I have grown all kinds of climbing beans in large pots, they are fine if you water and feed them enough. The Hestia ones are pretty though

    I don't grow actual peas any more, as I don't have the space here, but I do grow a few mangetout or sugar snaps most years... why not give those a try? They are never cheap to buy.
    NSDs for February 8 / 18
    Decluttering 30 / 28

    • elmer
    • By elmer 10th Feb 18, 5:33 PM
    • 810 Posts
    • 1,350 Thanks
    elmer
    I could push the boat out pea wise and try them all, mange tout sugar snap and normal traditional ones, which are the ones I love

    The Hestia beans sound nice too, as I like flowers, I now have a spare room so I can start them indoors, I have mahoosive slugs so any plantlets barely last the night, so I will start collecting pop bottles as well to use as cloches

    Oo its nice to have a plan, Its been sunny for a bit today and the snow has cleared somewhat so Ive uncovered the snowdrops from the dead dross that was covering them, at least at the top of the garden

    I will hopefully work my way down over the next few weeks, then mulching from the compost bin

    Its so nice to feel that spring is approaching
    • elmer
    • By elmer 11th Feb 18, 5:43 PM
    • 810 Posts
    • 1,350 Thanks
    elmer
    I was too optimistic about spring

    More snow last night and we are back to a Winter Wonderland again today, its -3 but very pretty as long as you dont go outside
    • DawnW
    • By DawnW 11th Feb 18, 5:49 PM
    • 4,826 Posts
    • 37,792 Thanks
    DawnW
    Maybe a bit early yet. I live in SW England, and all I have planted so far are some broad beans and lambs lettuce, and those are in pots in the greenhouse. No snow here, but freezing cold and it keeps sleeting - that doesn't even have the advantage of looking pretty
    NSDs for February 8 / 18
    Decluttering 30 / 28

    • RicardaRacoon
    • By RicardaRacoon 13th Feb 18, 6:51 PM
    • 219 Posts
    • 4,471 Thanks
    RicardaRacoon
    Evening all

    Just quickly sticking my head in to say hello! Hope you are all well and the simple-living goes to plan!

    It definitively doesn't look like spring here... But it was rather sunny today and I sat in the office almost falling asleep wishing I could go outside for a walk...

    In a way I am rather pleased with how it goes at the moment. I cook everything from scratch (can count the convenience things on one hand and most of them were even things like peanut butter that I could do from scratch but just don't think it is worth the hassle), I'm already on my 7. book this year and have been to the library twice already. Also I haven't bought much besides groceries, household essentials (including my new toaster...), catfood and a few meals out... Basically all I got were a years supply of my favourite foundation and concealer (departement store does a 25% off on cosmetics in February and I use to stock up), a knitting pattern and a monthly subsciption to the British Newspaper Archives (have decided to cancel it now)

    But I am starting to slip back into the internet-blackhole again, where instead of going to bed I end up surfing around, doing useless things... So really need to have an eye on that again!
    So plan for tonight is knitting while watching a podcast and then an early night with a good book... Will see how that goes...

    CottageEconomy, 50 kg of spuds sounds like a rather useful tip! When I was small the company my Dad worked for got sent a big box of grapefruits each year. Besides my Dad and his boss nooone was too keen on them, so it basically meant half a box for us, half a box for Dads boss and his family...

    I am tempted to have an allotement every now and then, but then... All this work and in the end you have no cucumbers or 20 at the same time...

    Have a nice evening everyone!
    Resolution for 2018"Live better on less" - Less stuff, less waste, less silly spends but more make do and mend and more fun
    • RainbowHippie
    • By RainbowHippie 14th Feb 18, 11:09 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 837 Thanks
    RainbowHippie
    Welcome! I have a butterbean version of hummus that you might like.
    Gently fry a chopped onion in rapeseed oil ( or whatever) while doing that, cut a lemon in half and put cut sides down in the pan. When golden, take off the heat, and stir in a teaspoon of cumin.
    Drain and rinse a tin of butter beans, squeeze the juice out of the lemon, and add any of the soft pulp that is easy to get out. Put in a blender with the onion and oil. Add salt, pepper, paprika to taste.
    Good luck with the workroom
    Originally posted by jackyann
    Thanks Jackyann - sorry for the delay in replying, i have only just read far enough to catch up with the point where i first posted! The dip sounds amazing, i will give it a try

    Thanks to everyone for the welcome and hummus tips

    No major progress on my craft room/office yet as the person who won the bed (that's currently taking up much of the space) on ebay didn't pay and took a week to let me know they didn't actually want it It's relisted so will keep my fingers crossed that someone wants it. In the mean time OH has arranged for some friends to stay over this weekend so the room has to be presentable (and the bed will be used so possibly a good job it didn't sell!), which means not much 'deep' sorting-out is likely to get done. Also one of our longer-term guests is moving out this weekend to his new place, which is convenient as i'll then have that room to use as a sorting area, but we will miss having him around.

    I am very impressed at everyone's veg growing - i'm limited to pots on the patio at the moment, but love the idea of trying french beans and spinach, maybe some lambs lettuce too I look forward to hearing more about everyone's growing adventures during the year.

    Enjoy the rest of your week all xx
    • Jaymie kate
    • By Jaymie kate 15th Feb 18, 6:55 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    Jaymie kate
    I'm reading this in 2018 and thank goodness it's still the first quarter and I can still start early. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! It's refreshing to note that I share some of your thoughts on very personal factors in my daily life.
    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 16th Feb 18, 6:23 PM
    • 892 Posts
    • 3,851 Thanks
    Cottage Economy
    Evening all.

    DawnW - I think my problem with getting good yields is I am so impatient I can't wait to get sowing and planting, then wonder why not much comes up or is stunted. I need to work on that this year and hold off until end mid-March really, as it will all catch up. Came across this idea for recycling milk containers and really loved it.

    I bought some soft fruit plants a couple of days ago and have earmarked a patch to plant them in. That's on my nice list of garden jobs to do this weekend, as the temperature should be quite nice if the wind holds off.

    Managed to gift quite a bit of cat food to a neighbour this week and made a friend. It's built up as our cats went through a fussy period, so I'm pleased that's found a new home. We've been here 18 months and only chatted to each other in the street so when she came to collect it, we had a lovely tea and natter and then arranged to have a meal in March together. I've never had much relationship with neighbours over the years at our old house. I think our lifestyles were just too different - we were considered oddballs with our tatty old cars, veg beds, and chickens. Here no-one cares. Because we're in the country, we all have veg beds, chickens and tatty old cars.

    RicardaRacoon - what a fab tip. I'd love it if Dh was tipped in citrus fruits! Last Christmas the potato guy gave DH a tray of seasonal veg all neatly packaged up for a supermarket, the day after I bought all my xmas veg. There were 12 different kinds of veg. One householder also gave him 440 teabags, which was a bit random, but still appreciated.

    I joined the library this week finally and took out some books on How to use Windows 10. I got the free upgrade from Windows 7 with my laptop last year but hated how confusing it was so ended up using my work one for personal stuff in the evenings. I need to stop doing that so I took the bull by the horns. It took nearly 9 hours for my laptop to do all of its upgrades when I switched it on for the first time in months (such a slow internet connection in the country).

    Also bought some very strong magazine files from WHSmith on a BOGOF so got them for £4. I've collected a lot of magazines over the years from car boot sales and charity shops etc, as well as through gift subscriptions, and they are stacked everywhere in piles. Next week I will be sorting them out, getting rid of all but my most favourite and sending them to the charity shops. That should clear some space on the shelves.

    Phew. Another essay! Sorry about that...
    Last edited by Cottage Economy; 16-02-2018 at 6:32 PM.
    The 'Save £12k in 2018' Challenge £1000/£6,000 (16.6%)
    The 'Save £12k in 2017' #129 Goal: £4,000. Achieved £4168.95 (104%)
    February 2018 Grocery Challenge £79.66/£160

    "...success in personal finance isn't about mastering the technicalities. It is about mastering yourself."
    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 16th Feb 18, 7:16 PM
    • 892 Posts
    • 3,851 Thanks
    Cottage Economy
    I was sorting through my computer files and came across this link on growing food using permaculture.

    I found the most interesting story was the one on urban permaculture, which starts at 32:08. This couple average 200kg of produce from a tiny suburban garden. I found this very inspiring.

    Here is a pdf about what they did.
    Last edited by Cottage Economy; 16-02-2018 at 7:29 PM.
    The 'Save £12k in 2018' Challenge £1000/£6,000 (16.6%)
    The 'Save £12k in 2017' #129 Goal: £4,000. Achieved £4168.95 (104%)
    February 2018 Grocery Challenge £79.66/£160

    "...success in personal finance isn't about mastering the technicalities. It is about mastering yourself."
    • carolbee
    • By carolbee 16th Feb 18, 7:49 PM
    • 981 Posts
    • 6,575 Thanks
    carolbee
    I was sorting through my computer files and came across this link on growing food using permaculture.

    I found the most interesting story was the one on urban permaculture, which starts at 32:08. This couple average 200kg of produce from a tiny suburban garden. I found this very inspiring.

    Here is a pdf about what they did.
    Originally posted by Cottage Economy
    That’s fascinating, thank you. We haven’t started sowing any seeds yet, we’re in Kent so relatively mild. We have two allotment and a history of many courgettes ........
    Carolbee
    • ploppy57
    • By ploppy57 16th Feb 18, 9:06 PM
    • 552 Posts
    • 3,848 Thanks
    ploppy57
    Might be a bit off topic but has anybody got any tips for removing tumeric stains from kitchen work tops? Tried cream cleansers bleach white vinegar & bicarbonate and nothing shifts it. The surfaces are light grey....many years old but been clean up until
    now..
    DMP March '15 £57,549. Now £44,488. Going SM Feb '18 to get DF sooner.
    Emergency fund #231... £35/£1000.
    Christmas 2018 challenge... had to start again/£300
    "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, Shining at the end of every day"
    • maryb
    • By maryb 16th Feb 18, 9:10 PM
    • 3,574 Posts
    • 43,311 Thanks
    maryb
    Hydrogen peroxide might do it - it shifts curry stains from the front of DH's shirts (I should get him a bib!)
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
    • ploppy57
    • By ploppy57 16th Feb 18, 9:17 PM
    • 552 Posts
    • 3,848 Thanks
    ploppy57
    Hydrogen peroxide might do it - it shifts curry stains from the front of DH's shirts (I should get him a bib!)
    Originally posted by maryb
    Ooh might try that. Thanks
    DMP March '15 £57,549. Now £44,488. Going SM Feb '18 to get DF sooner.
    Emergency fund #231... £35/£1000.
    Christmas 2018 challenge... had to start again/£300
    "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, Shining at the end of every day"
    • Lilith1980
    • By Lilith1980 16th Feb 18, 9:43 PM
    • 1,619 Posts
    • 4,226 Thanks
    Lilith1980
    I've only just come across this thread. Always late to the party

    Hope it's okay for me to join? I've recently started thinking a lot about making my life much simpler! I've been reading through some of the posts here and getting some inspiration

    I've been thinking about getting a bread maker, probably second-hand to save the ££, and wondered if it's a good investment? It would need to be good at making GF bread as I'm intolerant
    My debt-free diary
    • dND
    • By dND 17th Feb 18, 6:55 AM
    • 435 Posts
    • 6,192 Thanks
    dND
    Might be a bit off topic but has anybody got any tips for removing tumeric stains from kitchen work tops? Tried cream cleansers bleach white vinegar & bicarbonate and nothing shifts it. The surfaces are light grey....many years old but been clean up until
    now..
    Originally posted by ploppy57
    Many years ago, my ex dropped a curry on our brand new and very expensive cream wool carpet - thank goodness it wasn't me as I would never have heard the end of it and the carpet was his choice, not mine

    It was a long process but what finally removed the turmeric was glycerine. If I remember correctly, glycerine will dissolve the colour.

    In the case of the carpet, I left the glycerine on for a while to dissolve the turmeric and then washed/wiped off the glycerine without soaking the carpet, waited for it to dry and then repeated the process until it was finally all gone.

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