Tuesday 31 July 2012

Slow Living 2012 - July

July seems to have flown by!  As before, I don't have something for every heading, but here's what I've been up to on the slow living front...


There has been quite a bit of baking.  Hobnobs made a return to The Hookery's menu after a long absence (I lost the recipe, and despite having emailed it to a friend long ago, it wouldn't show in my Gmail sent items. Weird.).

I also adapted my favourite banana loaf recipe to make choc-banana buns.  Definitely a winner and they last a bit longer than a loaf somehow.  I'll post recipes for both here soon, promise.  All meals have been made from scratch I think, and I can't remember the last time I bought my lunch at work, although not having any shops near the new office definitely focusses the mind when it comes to remembering the packed lunch!


A while ago I bought a wormery.  It's a great alternative to a compost heap if, like me, you have a container garden (read: yard).  The worms eat pretty much anything and you can add cooked food (not that I ever have leftovers...).  Alas, I did forget to move the wormery into the shade when the weather brightened, so I actually cooked a batch of worms.  I feel terrible about it.  I've ordered some more, I just hope they don't freak out when they find the carcasses of their predecessors.


Still using the rosemary hair rinse.  Still loving it.  I recently cleaned the inside of my mugs with salt to remove the tea stains.  Just sprinkle a little salt (any type, cheap table salt works fine) on a wet cloth and rub it around the stain.  It doesn't take much elbow grease and your mugs will all look like new.  I also ran out of fabric conditioner this month and have replaced it with white vinegar.  It has the added bonus of combatting limescale in the machine, as well as softening the laundry.

Salt and vinegar: not just for chips!

As I said in my last slow living post, I'm kind of behind the whole planting/eating curve this year, but what I have has been potted on and my original plan of successive pottings on (rather than successive sowings) does seem to have staggered things.  I'm looking forward to peas, a few carrots, rocket, radishes, tomatoes and beetroot.

There have also been strawberries and there is the promise of more to come.  I need to get my planning hat on though soon and start thinking of what to grow over the Winter. Suggestions welcome!


I'm still finding my way around the local area and even my own home.  A while ago I noticed a toad in the yard one evening.

I was delighted to see him more than once this month.  I was less delighted to find some of the most enormous slugs though :(  I doubt Mr Toad will be able to eat too many of these in one go.

That's a normal-sized biro, for scale!
I've think I've finally gotten into the habit of cooking on electric - turn it on before you need it, turn it off before you're finished.  I've been lucky enough to always have gas, so it's been a steep learning curve.  Out and about, I'm noticing lots of little farm shops on the country roads around here.  I must investigate these further.


There has been One Big Project this month: getting the commercial side of The Hookery up and running.  It's now really beginning to take shape and all very exciting.  And in a departure from the usual hobby, I've been learning to knit.  I find it quite demanding concentration-wise, but it's definitely satisfying to finally feel like I've cracked the knitting thing.

It's also been a great month for finishing off projects.  A pair of bedroom curtains were finally hung, a couple of baby gifts were given and a long-overdue wedding present was also handed over.  The work basket is positively empty and I'm definitely in the mood for a ripple blanket now.  Watch this space!


  1. Oh my gosh, switching from a gas to an electric stove is so hard. We've been on electric for 3 years now. I no longer hate it, but I still burn a lot of things.

    1. It's quite a trial. I'm absolutely paranoid that I'll drop a tea towel or similar on the hob and not notice and end up burning the cottage down! I really miss gas!

  2. Your grow bag looks ingenious! We also have a toad who visits us in summer, so good for the garden!

    1. Thanks! It was so fiddly to plant, but it's great for keeping leafy things away from sluggy things!

  3. I've never had a worm farm although they sound great because I'm scared I would forget to feed them. What are the pretty blue flowers?

    1. You can leave the worms for a few weeks if needs be, but as they're fed with kitchen scraps, it's been easy enough to remember to do so far (bit like taking the rubbish out...). The blue flowers are lobelia :)

  4. Ahh, much goodness here! Loving your baby gift and it definitely looks like you've cracked the knitting thing.

    I am going to give the salt in the teacup a try, I have two bone china mugs that I alternate between and both have ahh..generous tea stains. Thanks for the tip. :)

  5. I've gone the opposite way in terms of the cooking, going from electric to gas hotplates, I find the instant heat great but I find the lowest setting isn't low enough sometimes.

    Love all your creating, I've just started crocheting and I must say I'm really enjoying it.

  6. just found your blog today via slow living essentials - lovely post and blog, i look forward to discovering more

  7. I too love your grow bag.
    Sympathy to your worms. I've drowned a batch many years ago so I know how you feel. But when they drown they really smell. You could always bury your cooked worms in the garden.