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    • SimpleLiving
    • By SimpleLiving 30th Nov 17, 11:27 AM
    • 22Posts
    • 529Thanks
    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 9
    • fuddle
    • By fuddle 7th Dec 17, 9:37 AM
    • 5,957 Posts
    • 89,924 Thanks
    fuddle
    Vacuum cleaner contents are great for a wormery.
    Originally posted by bouicca21
    Thanks for this. I will read up on it tonight. We have a wormery as DH is self sufficient in worm fishing bait.
    • LameWolf
    • By LameWolf 7th Dec 17, 2:38 PM
    • 10,051 Posts
    • 107,973 Thanks
    LameWolf
    Apparently male pee is an excellent compost activator - but I have no clue why it's better than she-wee
    Originally posted by maryb
    Maybe also hormonal
    Originally posted by Floss
    Notably, girl doggies' wee turns the lawn brown, but boy doggies' wee doesn't.
    LameWolf
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.
    • AlisonW
    • By AlisonW 7th Dec 17, 6:14 PM
    • 634 Posts
    • 399 Thanks
    AlisonW
    I know money, it's something that I am primed to think eeeeeeeew about too but on reading a bit about the subject last night a gardener shouldn't wee water (and it should be well watered down too) produce that is going to be eaten in a month. So it seems there's a cut off point that is a little less eeeeeeeew but I do think I'll be adding a wee bit (terrible pun) to the dalek and over the winter I guess there no harm in adding it to my squash and pumpkim patch too.

    Lots for me to learn on this!
    Originally posted by fuddle
    This is something I got a bit obsessed about last year when we first got our brand new allotment ( at this time last year it was a field of mud ) that doesn't have any 'facilities'
    There's a lot online about using liquid gold. There are quite a lot of elaborate, Heath Robinson, type loos around, some very high tech and costing much money.
    I use a makeshift, compost toilet, in our shed. It's my camping loo with a thick layer of coir compost to absorb liquid and smells. Every so often I mix it into the compost in the bin.I'd like to say it makes fantastic compost, but the compost hasn't being going long enough to tell yet.
    Possibly too much information. ......


    I keep trying to persuade OH to share some recycled beer with the bags of leaf mold at the bottom of the garden, but so far he hasn't obliged.
    I go on the assumption that any hormones will be well and truly 'deactivated' by the time all the compost has rotted down.
    I also have my suspicions that the idea that it should only be men's pee has it's roots in some ancient misogyny, the same as the Victorians not providing public toilets for women, to prevent them from spending any length of time away from the home.

    Sorry veered somewhat off topic.

    Yes I think I will sign up for this. I'm planning to take my pension next year. It won't give me enough for us to live on so I shall continue to work part time, but fewer hours than I do now. I'd like to gradually simplify my life so it's more sustainable on less, whilst being able to afford treats like the occasional trip to the theatre and our annual weekend away to a music festival.
    We don't exactly live an extravagant lifestyle as it is but I am aware there is still room trim things without getting too 'hair shirt' about it.
    ( I'm not suggesting anyone on here is being hairshirt. In fact everyone is making it sound positive and achievable. )
    • GreyQueen
    • By GreyQueen 7th Dec 17, 6:30 PM
    • 11,441 Posts
    • 219,885 Thanks
    GreyQueen
    My 'facilities' on the allotment are a plastic jug inside the shed and a discreet decant into the compost Dalek beside the shed. I turn the Dalek out about every two years and nothing in there is recognisable as its origins. Except for those blasted adhesive labels from pieces of fruit which sometimes escape notice and end up in the compost.

    Have been to the allotment briefly after work towing the heavy trolley of coffee grounds. I arrived at dusk and just slung the bag onto the soil and walked off again - will deal with them in the next day or two as will be getting more grounds tomorrow after work.

    Glancing around, I can see a considerable amount of simplification which needs to be done asap, so must crack on. GQ x
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)

    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 7th Dec 17, 6:52 PM
    • 14,260 Posts
    • 38,635 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    the same as the Victorians not providing public toilets for women, to prevent them from spending any length of time away from the home.
    Originally posted by AlisonW
    ? Seriously? I didnt know that - that's my new info. for the day there. I'd taken it as read there would always been exactly equal numbers/maybe even more for women.

    How can you guess I've been browsing a book only written in the 1990s today and a mental shriek came out when I spotted the sentence about "cooking meals for HIS work colleagues when the HUSBAND comes home" and thought "I do hope said husband cooks meals for when the wife brings her work colleagues home unexpectedly too".

    Mind you - it's worse when one reads something only written within the last month and it keeps referring to "tradesMEN"

    There's a long way to go still
    New Year's Resolution already made -

    Don't get mad....get firm ...
    • Floss
    • By Floss 7th Dec 17, 7:24 PM
    • 4,109 Posts
    • 33,937 Thanks
    Floss
    Probably because the majority of trade workers are actually men. There are lady decorators, electricians & plumbers around my area but to my knowledge there are no lady scaffolders, gas fitters, brickies, roofers, mechanics, car body shop technicians...
    • AlisonW
    • By AlisonW 7th Dec 17, 7:37 PM
    • 634 Posts
    • 399 Thanks
    AlisonW
    ? Seriously? I didnt know that - that's my new info. for the day there. I'd taken it as read there would always been exactly equal numbers/maybe even more for women.

    How can you guess I've been browsing a book only written in the 1990s today and a mental shriek came out when I spotted the sentence about "cooking meals for HIS work colleagues when the HUSBAND comes home" and thought "I do hope said husband cooks meals for when the wife brings her work colleagues home unexpectedly too".

    Mind you - it's worse when one reads something only written within the last month and it keeps referring to "tradesMEN"

    There's a long way to go still
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Had to read that a second time, initially thought I'd read 1890's!

    There's some information here about Victorian loos
    https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/discover/womens-right-work-toilet-bathroom-victorian-london-wwi-factory-protest
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 7th Dec 17, 8:09 PM
    • 14,260 Posts
    • 38,635 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    Thanks - interesting read.

    Nope - the book I was reading today definitely was 1990's - when I saw that sentence I gave up taking it seriously at that point

    It's astonishing (horrifying) how things havent totally equalised yet. I've got a new motto - which goes "Would a man say that? Have that said to him? Do it?" and if the answer is "No" - then I aint going to either.
    New Year's Resolution already made -

    Don't get mad....get firm ...
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 7th Dec 17, 8:50 PM
    • 4,838 Posts
    • 58,318 Thanks
    sistercas
    It's started in our house. DH and I have rejigged the budget to claw back more of his wage for savings. We start 15th of this month and intend to carry it through to next year. Although I have the 'simple life' in mind DH is clueless that he's fitting into place nicely. He just wants to save more.

    This strategy has worked in helping develop his money mind for sometime now. He doesn't know he's about to strip it all back even further but he'll slowly embrace it as if it was all his idea.
    Originally posted by fuddle
    That's Fab
    RYSAW17. Jan 17. £197.91
    Feb 17. £128.52
    March 17. £210.69
    April 17. £155.59
    May 17. £191.64
    June 17. £126.02
    July 17. £262
    August 17. £22
    • One Bullet Five Zombies
    • By One Bullet Five Zombies 8th Dec 17, 11:19 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 91 Thanks
    One Bullet Five Zombies
    I'm loving reading this thread with a brew on this quiet snowy morning in work

    I've not been enjoying the 9-5 grind for some while now, and I've spent the last couple of months setting myself up as a self-employed bookkeeper (registering with a professional body, setting myself up as an agent, getting insurance etc). I'm qualified and have the experience but have never been brave enough to set up on my own.

    My current job (NHS) has nothing to do with finance and I'm feeling overworked, underpaid and undervalued, to the point that it's affecting my mental health. I have one monthly bookkeeping client at the moment, and am hoping to build up enough work to drop my NHS hours by at least half. Obviously this would leave me with less stability money-wise so if I can simplify my life now all the better.

    My only dilemma is that we've been trying for a baby now for over two years. We're just going through all the fertility tests etc. before they can give us any treatment. Do I stay full time until that happens and take advantage of the (excellent) maternity benefits, and build my business up properly on maternity leave? It would be the sensible option and I'd be happy to wait it out if I knew I was going to fall pregnant in the next six months or so. But if it doesn't happen for another year, or at all? I'd be putting my life on hold for no reason
    Last edited by One Bullet Five Zombies; 08-12-2017 at 11:42 AM.
    • RicardaRacoon
    • By RicardaRacoon 8th Dec 17, 3:03 PM
    • 194 Posts
    • 3,981 Thanks
    RicardaRacoon
    I guess the thing I love most about this board is all the random things you can learn, like stuff about public toilets in Victorian times :-)

    Re Zero Waste shopping. I guess for most people it only works out if the shop is in walking distance or if you have a car to go to the shop - which then makes me wonder if it would not be more ecological to walk to another shop and buy packaged stuff there..
    The only shop that sells grains, sugar etc. unpackaged is at the most unconvenient end of town from where I live. It is a 2 hour round trip from home, and I don't want to give up half a morning for that... I thought about going there when I am in town anyways for knitting group, but that would mean having to take jars etc. into work - in addition to lunch, knitting etc. - and then carry everything around for about half an hour, from the shop to knitting group, to the station and then home as there is no bus anymore at that time.
    So for the time being I will just try to get the things with the least packaging in the regular supermarket.

    Does anyone has an idea for a small present for a 20 year old man? We do secret santa at work and I managed to get our trainee who is the one I know least about. Should be something for around 5£.
    Funny enough he was my secret Santa... His messy handwriting gave him away... Had my parcel on my desk today. A teastainer in the shape of a squirrel. Could have been a completely useless thing somehow, but in my case it is highly appreaciated as I wanted to take some lose tea into work but had to get a tea stainer first because I am strangely down to one at home. I could swear I had three not too long ago, wonder where they went...

    Have decided that I will venture into the shops on Tuesday as I will meet friends for dinner anyways so I could as well just go out and buy the remaining Christmas bits and pick up some other things as well along the way so that I don't have to go into town again - unless for knitting group. but not to the shops - for a long time. So I will go and get the three remaining Christmas presents - I know what they will be, so it will be fairly quick -, stock up on shampoo and face cream as I will walk past that shop too and get a new pair of jeans as one of my two pairs is beyond repair and one pair of trousers is simply not doable during winter, not even for a person who wears skirts at least half of the time...
    Resolution for 2016 "Live better on less" - Less stuff, less waste, less silly spends but more make do and mend and more fun
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 8th Dec 17, 6:53 PM
    • 7,883 Posts
    • 26,831 Thanks
    Primrose
    Perhaps a paperback of some kind for your trainee?
    • LameWolf
    • By LameWolf 9th Dec 17, 12:53 PM
    • 10,051 Posts
    • 107,973 Thanks
    LameWolf
    It's astonishing (horrifying) how things havent totally equalised yet. I've got a new motto - which goes "Would a man say that? Have that said to him? Do it?" and if the answer is "No" - then I aint going to either.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    My ex-h was of the opinion that "a woman's place is in the kitchen". He was frightfully Victorian in his outlook, I have no idea how I stood it for 20 years before doing the sensible thing. I wasn't allowed to even drink pints of ale, only half-pints (he drank pints of course); whereas Mr LW always assumes, if I ask for ale, that I want a pint.
    LameWolf
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.
    • Wednesday2000
    • By Wednesday2000 9th Dec 17, 1:01 PM
    • 1,343 Posts
    • 7,543 Thanks
    Wednesday2000
    I just read a book called Break the Twitch (quite a quick read) and it is about how you buy things mindlessly, rather than trying to be mindful in your life.

    I have bought too many things from Am*zon this year and next year I want to just order the stuff we need like pet food rather than buying random carp.

    I deleted all the stuff off my Am*zon wishlist after reading it.

    It was written by Anthony Ongaro and I had heard about him and his wife on Mr Money Mustache, I think.
    No couch, one car: How these Minnesotans are living with less - StarTribune.com

    "It doesn't cost any more to dream big."
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 9th Dec 17, 1:30 PM
    • 7,883 Posts
    • 26,831 Thanks
    Primrose
    I think a motto for us all to adopt in 2018 is

    “DO I HAVE ENOUGH?”
    • maryb
    • By maryb 9th Dec 17, 6:38 PM
    • 3,456 Posts
    • 41,151 Thanks
    maryb
    I've just remembered, someone started a thread about a year ago, Not Buying Any Clothes 2017. It fizzled out after a while because if you stick to it, there's not a lot to post about!

    I haven't done too badly re clothes buying this year but Goodbye Valentino has just announced another Ready To Wear fast for 2018 on her blog and I think this might be the year I really give it a go. I'd like to really up my game with my sewing even though eyesight problems mean I haven't been able to do as much as I like. But I think giving up sewing, which I've been tempted to do, is a simplification too far - or too soon. So less but higher quality

    I will not sew gentle into that good night, as it were!
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
    • YORKSHIRELASS
    • By YORKSHIRELASS 9th Dec 17, 7:18 PM
    • 4,387 Posts
    • 35,756 Thanks
    YORKSHIRELASS
    OK, I already feel a little daunted by how much some of you do already in a quest for simpler life!

    I have struggled for years with my confidence and the thought that if I have the right "stuff" I will be more likeable, more popular and as a result happier. Goes back to a difficult time in my childhood. This need to have the right "stuff" extends to my home and my kids.

    I did read the Kon-Mari book a couple of years ago and loved it. This resulted a huge clearout but the temptation to buy new things is always there. I work silly hours and if I could spend less money I could in theory work less. Sounds simple.

    I also hate waste and worry about the effects of our consumerism on the environment so a simpler life appeals from this point of view too.
    • GreyQueen
    • By GreyQueen 9th Dec 17, 8:00 PM
    • 11,441 Posts
    • 219,885 Thanks
    GreyQueen
    I can relate to YORKSHIRELASS's post above. I have struggled with low confidence (still do, occasionally, although age is smoothing most of that out) and thought if I had the right gear I would be one of the cool, popular kids.

    Popularity doesn't seem to work like that, does it?! After a while, you twig that a certain outfit or a certain accessory doesn't buy you acceptance. And, even if it did, all it would be buying you is the acceptance of shallow, silly people and who, to be brutally frank, wants to be the darling of a bunch of nitwits?

    Really cool people could walk into a formal event full of evening dresses and suits and make fifty well-dressed strangers feel excruciatingly embarrassed that they were not in jeans and a tee like The Cool One. To be so cool as to be positively Siberian.

    I'm not the slightest bit cool and, if I have been fashionable, it was probably an accidental event lasting a nano-second and no one noticed, not even me.

    Best to just get on with one's own life. As a wiser person that me once remarked; It's none of our business what other people think of us.
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)

    • YORKSHIRELASS
    • By YORKSHIRELASS 9th Dec 17, 8:57 PM
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    • 35,756 Thanks
    YORKSHIRELASS
    GQ the trouble is it never ends because you are constantly searching for the right things, ditching the old things that didnt make you Mrs Popular and looking for something else. Social media is the devil for perpetuating this idea of perfect lives.

    I took up a new sport last year and joined a club hoping to make friends. Everyone has the right (expensive) kit and it takes some bravery to turn up in the "wrong" gear. It shouldnt matter should it? I am working on being my own person but have got a way to go.
    • Prinzessilein
    • By Prinzessilein 10th Dec 17, 8:41 AM
    • 2,097 Posts
    • 9,742 Thanks
    Prinzessilein
    Oh wow! Do I ever 'get' the striving for popularity thing!....

    I was always 'different'...disability meant that when I was at school I was excused PE/Game which really puts the kibosh on hopes of 'fitting in'!...so I tried other ways of finding 'my place', I tried fashion - well when you are a good 6 inches shorter than average, and dumpy at best, then you are never going to be able to wear the 'right' clothes - I did try a pair of platform shoes, but couldn't balance in them, cue more ribald laughter as I fell ....well fine, I'll join with the swots! Some subjects at school were easy enough- German (hey it's my second language any way!), Maths (numbers make sense to me in a way that people just don't!) - unfortunately there were things like History and Geography that I managed to scrape a pass in, but would never excel in, and some science was excused too due to disability (no practical chemistry for example), sadly I was not smart enough to be a swot!...there were the 'bad' girls, but I lived in too much righteous fear of my Mum to consider approaching them!

    But I found my 'own' path through school...I excelled in my own subjects and scraped by in others...I found a safe haven in the library...I joined upon occasion with the group of other 'losers' and we would sit together at lunchtime making our fruitless plans to somehow get 'accepted' in a 'real' group. (And once in a while someone would succeed...something unexplainable would happen, and one day they didn't come and sit with us, but totally ignored our group as they made their way into a new circle.)

    Adult life hasn't really been that much different!...I still don't fit any established norms...but I am my own unique person!

    With the 'simple life'...I have never read Kon-Mari!....I am unable to do gardening/allotmenting...I live in tiny flat, so exciting storage is no option (no wardrobe...on large hall cupboard, and a cupboard in the kitchen just big enough for my mop and vacuum)...BUT, I can cook from scratch (some days)..I can knit and embroider...I can make one penny do the work of two...I am happy with no pay-per-view, love to sit and read.

    Yes, sometimes a thread like this can be intimidating...but unlike school, people here are welcoming to the outsider!
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