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Writing a Manifesto!

November 10, 2016

winter-1-1518871Hello! How’s things? Hope you are all well. How’s your week been? Keeping warm and snuggly in this cold weather I hope!

This week has been busy once again for the household, but let’s begin by a quick rundown for last weekend.

Apart from seeing  a range of family members and friends on Friday and Saturday, the weekend included lunch out in Dumbarton and watching Scottish Take That tribute band, Take This, at the Commodore Hotel in Helensburgh (on Saturday night). It was a good laugh. The boys were very good, but a couple of the audience members were not. There were two rather drunk women there being outrageously funny with their antics and comments. The band took it in good humour and gave as good as they got. Things started getting a little abusive with one of the women – she was very drunk and was getting a bit horrible with her comments – but she disappeared, we think to go home. Her friend wasn’t happy she had left her, but we were!

I went to the concert with two very good friends whilst the husband of one very kindly took my kids to see the Bonfire Night fireworks and shows at Helensburgh seafront. They both enjoyed it a lot, but the boy was most put out by the man who ran the waltzers. Apparently he was bare-chested, which my son thought was very wrong.  Personally I think the guy must have been mad cos it was freezing that night.

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Talking of freezing, why do teenagers insist on going out without jackets? My girl (and some of her friends, I’ve noticed) insist on going to school without a coat. This morning she was shivering so I told her she’d better wear one tomorrow or – dah dah daaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh (dramatic music) – I would take her beloved phone off of her, the one she refers to as ‘her baby’. Works every time. I don’t want her coming down with hypothermia or some other illness because she’s too stupid to dress for the weather. This morning was very cold. It was so cold I had to scrape the car. It’s October for chrissake!! For a girl that’s supposedly intelligent, she can act dumb sometimes!

Am trying hard to cut down the amount of waste we produce in the household. There are two main reasons for this:

  • Environment – I worry about the amount of plastic and crap we dump in landfills or burn. So toxic for the planet. I worry about our health and the future of the planet. Might sound a bit hippy-ish to you, but it’s a very real, very urgent problem.
  • Our council, in its great wisdom, has decided to go for three weekly bin uplifts for general waste, which would have been fine if they had given us a bigger lead in and not produce one o f the most confusing calendars of when uplifts are happening on the smallest bit of paper. They have a key code where different circles mean different things, but two of the colours are very similar and are difficult to differentiate, especially if, like me, you are colourblind. I just hope it was indeed the glass bin (mine is full, but in my defence I haven’t put it out for about six months) that was to be put out this morning and not something else.

I want to cut down on our environmental footprint anyway. I used to be really good at recycling and being environmentally savvie, but the past few months this has all fallen by the wayside. However, we’re getting back on track…

Firstly, I’ve been reading up on reducing waste and alternatives to plastic. Secondly, I’ve signed up for veg box scheme where organic veg is delivered to our door every week. This is so we don’t have to eat all the toxic weedkillers (etc) you get on shop bought food and to cut down on packaging. I did, however, have to buy some veg from Waitrose over the weekend, so I took it out of the packaging and placed it in their bins before I left the shop…well, I don’t want it.

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I was speaking to the boy about reducing plastic and we were at the checkout at Waitrose and he said to me: “Mum, I thought we were cutting down on plastic.” I said we were, but he quite rightly pointed out that nearly everything on the conveyor belt was wrapped in or housed in plastic. It’s really really difficult to get away from it…it’s everywhere. The thing is plastic packaging leaches into food, particularly if you cook your food in the container, which means we’re taking a lot of chemicals into our bodies. It’s a horrible thought.

So, I’m on a mission to cut down and cut out; to reduce our waste and have a smaller carbon footprint.

  • The veg box is great and included some vegetables I wouldn’t normally buy. There were lovely yellow beetroots so I steamed them to have with a meal last week and also put one in the lentil soup I made yesterday. The soup is now in glass jars in the freezer. The veg box is more expensive than what I’d normally pay for veg, but it’s making me make more veg filled meals and we’re trying different things.
  • I need to track down staples such as milk that is in glass jars and not plastic bottles or plastic lined cartons.
  • Tinned food is just as bad and manufacturers line their tins with plastic to stop rusting. I think I may have to swap to dried beans and making my own chopped tomatoes and baked beans.
  • For bread, I have a bread maker so there’s no reason why I can’t make my own.
  • For biscuits and treats, I could make these meaning I don’t have to buy shop bought.
  • Other foodstuffs – I can make a lot of stuff from scratch, I prefer to do that anyway, and quite fancy giving things like cheese making a go. Could be fun.
  • Meat is going to be a challenge as is toilet roll as both come wrapped in plastic. Hmmm need to think about that one.
  • Binbags – I think you can get biodegradable ones. I need to check that out.
  • Household cleaners – I am switching over to vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and borax. Very effective cleaners and non toxic for us and wildlife. I did this before, but, again, it fell by the wayside.
  • Shampoo and soap – I’ll need to look into this, likewise toothpaste and deodorant.

For now, I’m just going to use up what I already have and try and cut down gradually. The main thing I have to do is encourage the kids to scrape food waste into the food bin every time and not just when I’m around to remind them.

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Anyway, it’ll mean a wee bit extra work, but it’ll be worth it to have two kids that are as healthy as I can possibly get them without all the trappings of a toxic environment such as asthma, eczema and bowel problems. The aim is to get them eating more healthily (cos we haven’t been very good over the last few months…it was a case of just bung something in the oven for a while there), walking more (with the dogs) and living in a less toxic environment (ie no bleach which can affect breathing etc).

God, I feel like I’ve just written up a manifesto!!

Anyway, getting back to my original post…other news this week includes my mum’s birthday on Friday (happy birthday mum!) and chilling out over the weekend and recharging my batteries. That’s the plan. Of course, I will also be chopping up vegetables and making things for the week ahead, but I will do this with some good music on and doing a bop around the living room!!

The boy was sick at the beginning of the week…wee soul was puking rings around himself! Luckily he’s much better now and is back at school. There’s some sort of stomach bug going around. It definitely wasn’t the bean stew I made the other day which he said was disgusting and blamed that for being sick! Cheek!

Right, I think I’ve written enough for this week. Til next time!

Dawn xxx

PS remember that lentil soup I made last week? Well I had to throw three of the bottles out – I had overfilled them and not left enough expansion space (despite thinking I had!) and well the bottles cracked and my lovely delicious soup was lost. Sigh.

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