Thursday, October 31, 2013

Slow Living 2013 - October

This post is another in the Slow Living Month by Month series. It's a useful opportunity to bring together what I have been doing on this in the last month, and to remind myself of the progress I have made. After a rather un-slow September, I feel like I have been back on track this month - and am feeling much more positive as a result! I have to say that the major story this month is the realisation of just how much of a hoarder I am - and I have begun decluttering just one item a day to try to address this.

[NOURISH] I have reverted to live yoghurt for breakfast - it makes such a difference to my energy levels and (apparently!) to my breath. I smell better when I eat yoghurt. Who knew? More baking of bread, more meal-planning and home cooking (by my lovely boyfriend).

[PREPARE] My first attempt at mincemeat! I have no idea how this is going to turn out but I'm already looking forward to my first batch of mince pies. I've put two jars in the fridge and two in the cupboard, so I can see how the keeping times differ. My boyfriend and I also made fig jam. (Well, I saw 'we' - it was more him. I assisted.)

[REDUCE] I have rescued two pairs of shoes which had holes in the bottom, and have had them resoled. Several torn, worn and stained clothes have been unpicked, washed and pressed ready to be cut up for paper piecing. I do have to further add that as I have been decluttering more systematically, quite a few items have ended up in the bin (eg five-year-old make-up... euch!)

[GREEN] Still using green cleaners. I'm revisiting my cleaning routines to try to build 'a little and often' into my daily routines, making the best use of natural cleaners. I have also been experimenting with a natural dandruff remedy which is working a treat!

[GROW] No progress here this month... but I'm planning some planting for November/December! I have promised myself that when all the curtains are finished, I'll plant some bulbs. I'm having lots of fun looking into where I am going to start.

[CREATE] No shortage of items here! Another pair of curtains finished - that has to be the big one - plus I am working on a crochet blanket for a young birthday coming up soon. I've also had my first foray into candle-making, and have another pair of socks on the go.

[DISCOVER] I've been doing rather more reading this month, and have finished and enjoyed The English Village: History and Traditions by Martin Wainwright. A delightful and not-too-technical wander through the history of villages and their institutions, from church to pub.

[ENHANCE] This month I have invested in my more distant friends, with a number of letters and packages making their way to people with whom somehow I never manage to connect using more modern technology. The joy of surprise parcels and handwritten letters - both sending and receiving - is making its way back into my life.

[ENJOY] I have been really enjoying my 'slower' lunches at work the last week or so, taking the time to get out into the park and enjoy some fresh air.


  1. Sounds like a very busy month. I like the idea of decluttering one item per day. I'm trying to simplify around here too.
    Was your mincemeat hard to make? I usually have someone bring me some over from the UK in time for christmas but this year I haven't got any, so it
    looks like I may have to try making some.

    1. Hiya, thanks for dropping by! The mincemeat was very straightforward - soak the raisins, mix everything else in and then put in sterilised jars. I used this recipe:

  2. Love the picture of the park and envy the paper piecing - it is a skill I have on my 'to acquire' list. Hoarding is an issue for me as well, good luck with the declutter Hubby and I have been doing the same and it is worth it! Came here via slow living essentials and really enjoyed your blog!

    1. Hi Kathy, thanks for commenting. The paper piecing is very early days, but it is by far one of the simplest skills I have come across yet. It just takes time - but that's something I like about it, it's another slooooow activity. Decluttering is progressing slowly but I can already see the impact which is a wonderful boost and motivation to keep going.



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