That Monday feeling

After a week off I have a mere 285 emails. A lot of them can be deleted but there are a fair few that require some kind of action. I still say emails are a curse!! Some of them are conversations between 4 or 5 people who all work in the same office!! This has strengthened my resolve to only send an email at work if it is strictly necessary. A phone or face to face conversation can actually save time I find. 

I definitely have that Monday feeling. This is the problem with holidays – you have to come back!!


As a diversion, I have been looking back at Simon Dale’s hobbit house, a fabulous eco home built in the Welsh countryside. Can you imagine living in such a totally perfect house? It was built by hand for just a few thousand pounds, so mortgage free as well. I would love to quit the rat race and build my own place like this. Have a look on his website to see what it looks like inside:

Simon and his family have since moved on to Lammas, an eco village in North Pembrokeshire. A whole community of like-minded souls living a simple low impact lifestyle. It looks wonderful! Have a look: 

I can but dream…in the meantime my PC beckons and probably a few more emails!

Keep it simple and save your wallet

So, you have eaten the turkey and probably have mounds of leftovers. Hopefully, being frugal in your habits, you will be freezing them or creating new meals (turkey and veg soup anyone? Curry?) rather than consigning them to the bin. We didn’t have too many leftovers, apart from meat and salad, so that’s what we will be eating for the next few days. I don’t mind the same thing, but will vary it by chopping up the ham in a creamy sauce with pasta and salad, making a vegetable gratin and serving that with some of the 5 bird roast (which was delicious by the way with its cranberry glaze).

As I feared, the gluten free Christmas pudding was not a success. Fortunately I bought a mini one from the Coop’s Free From range and it was lovely with a Tesco gluten free mince pie.

Still, it was, as ever, an expensive time. The belt needs tightening, although I can barely fit it round my middle at the moment with all the food I have eaten! I will be buying only what we need and nothing more.

I want to simplify my life and buy as little as possible; to use up everything I have in the way of food, toiletries and cleaning products before I buy any more and then only buy what I need and will use.

imageOn this train of thought, I was having a chat with  my daughters about the products people buy that they don’t really need and were only invented in the last few years by marketing folk to make a quick buck. Our grannies managed perfectly well without most of them. A lot of them seem to have appeared in the last 20 years. This is what we came up with. If it was down to me I wouldn’t buy any of them, but my daughters have other ideas…

Beauty products:

Face wipes
Handwash (what’s wrong with a bar of soap?)
Shave cream/gel (see comment above)
Shower gel (ditto the handwash comment)
Face primer (what?)
Moisturiser containing real gold (uh?) or sold using dubious pseudo scientific claims
Cellulite creams/body firmers – for the seriously optimistic
Skin toner (a bit of water on a cloth does the trick)
Eye/neck cream (skin is skin, surely?)
Bubble bath
Baby wipes

Household products
Cleaning wipes
Fabric softener (a cup of white vinegar does the trick)
Ironing water
Air fresheners, especially the plug in variety (how do a load of chemicals bring you fresh air?)
Tumble dryer sheets
Washing machine/dishwasher cleaners (how dirty can they get? I just flush mine through on a hot wash with a couple of cups of white vinegar every now and again)
8 different cleaners for different rooms in the house. Surely a spray that cleans the bathroom sink could also clean the kitchen sink?)

So a resolution: to keep things simple and buy only what I need and will use. It’s early for New Year resolutions, but why wait until then? What are yours, and what are you doing with your Christmas leftovers?

Simple Pleasures


The courgettes are coming!

The courgettes are coming!

I have said this before, but it doesn’t take much to make me happy. The older I have got, the more I appreciate the simple things. I don’t want lots of stuff. I would hate a party lifestyle. What I would like is more time to spend with Mr S and the girls, to cook and garden and travel, and enough money not to worry about day to day bills.

imageI went out early to put out the washing and it was so quiet and peaceful. Everything was blooming and growing, the birds were singing, the cat was slinking around my legs and it was heavenly. Shame I had to come in and go to work!!

But it was a good start to my day and I even picked a handful of raspberries to go on my porridge.