Getting the fundamentals right

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Flo
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Getting the fundamentals right

Post: # 294298Post Flo »

If there is one thing that 2020 has shown, if your lifestyle basics aren't right you are never going to be self sufficient.

I've spent the last couple of months renewing some of the basics on the allotment I plan to keep next year in order to ensure that I can grow as much as possible. After 13 years some corners were beginning to show wear and tear. Having two plots does make you a bit lazy - you can do a lot without using every single corner. Freezer has a lot of stuff in it and daughter has been making jam/chutney from the fruit. Well only so many hours in the day - not always enough to grow and cook the all round things.

With the news that Edinburgh Woollen Mills (their stuff fits in the way of trousers and the price is not too bad) is taking advice from administrators, I've had a quick look at the wardrobe to plan for the future. Actually the wardrobe is in good shape. I know, I know - charity shop and ebay but what with lock down the charity shops have been a little bit on the closed side. And could be so again locally from the looks of things. And no I'm not a dab hand at making my own. Fundamentally clothes not a problem then.

Furniture good - shame the local charity shop that did second hand furniture has closed for good. But nothing required.

Whether the local shops will stay in business with another round of lock down is a good question - looks as if it is going to happen round here. The buses are so under used that there may well be cut backs again which will mean supporting local will be hard as I don't drive. The daughter and I had a long telephone discussion and she did admit that she has a chain mini market, post office, chemist, doctor's surgery all within five minutes walk whereas I have a corner shop which isn't anything to write home about and certainly not any use for vegetarian/vegan. Wasn't something that was given a thought to when a very nice bungalow in a nice village was offered. See - the fundamentals do seem to include doctor, dentist, post office and chemist as you get older.
Last edited by Flo on Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Green Aura
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Re: Getting the fundamentals right

Post: # 294299Post Green Aura »

I agree, Flo. OH and myself had come to the decision that we needed to move to be nearer many of the things you've listed. However, after the debacle the NC500 tourist route has created we're not sure about moving any more. I don't know how easy it would be to fit ourselves into another community in the current climate and house prices are rising because second home buyers want to escape "the virus".

Taking stock of what we have here it's maybe not so bad. Our local shop/post offcie tries very hard to cater to most diets (it is quite pricey though), we've got veg box delivery that has been extremely reliable, the doc's are less than 5 minutes away and they dispense medication and we can self-refer to physio etc and get appointments really quickly.

Distance remains an issue but while either of us can drive it's not so big a problem. We have a bus service, although it's hellish expensive and takes forever to get to anywhere, which means you only get a couple of hours in Inverness before having to get on the bus to come back - and it only goes that far on high days and holidays. The rest of the time it only goes to meet up with the train 65 miles away. But, it's there if needed.

The recycling centre has at last re-opened, albeit on a much reduced basis.

Plus, and probably the most important thing, we're part of the community here. I'm not sure now is the time to try and move into a new area. Also....just one word....GREENHOUSE!!! :lol:
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

ina
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Re: Getting the fundamentals right

Post: # 294300Post ina »

Flo wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 2:45 pm
See - the fundamentals do seem to include doctor, dentist, post office and chemist as you get older.
Apart from dentist, all within 5 minutes' walk from where I live... Plus a Coop (not my favourite shop, but keeps you alive), and a farm shop a bit further away. I can't really complain. Bus service could be better, but it's there, and as long as I am reasonably fit, and I can get up the very steep steps into the bus, it'll do. On the other hand... The afternoon bus back from work is often over full, and then I have to wait 75 minutes for the next one. Because, of course, there are fewer buses at the busiest time of the day. :roll:
Now if I could only find a job that pays a little more, and is a little closer to where I live (currently commute on the bus at least 3.5 hours per day) - but that's not going to happen. Once you are the wrong side of 50 (let alone 60, as I am), and you've not made a major success of your life yet, you can be grateful to have a job at all. And I am. And my colleagues keep me sane. Could be a lot worse...
Ina
I'm a size 10, really; I wear a 20 for comfort. (Gina Yashere)

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Re: Getting the fundamentals right

Post: # 294302Post Odsox »

I must admit it was not something that was on the list of important things when we were house hunting. But as luck would have it there is a post office and general store 3/4 of a mile down the road, and now there is a producers market too, plus a doctors surgery in the village hall once a week.
Other than that it's a 15 mile hike to a town and there used to be a community transport bus to town a couple of times a day, but I haven't seen one lately so might have stopped due to Covid as unable to social distance in a minibus.
Other than that we rely quite heavily on the postal system, which is remarkably good.
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

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Flo
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Re: Getting the fundamentals right

Post: # 294304Post Flo »

Obviously none of us are prepared to live off grid and provide all our own utilities. That's a whole different way of being self sufficient.

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Flo
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Re: Getting the fundamentals right

Post: # 294381Post Flo »

Flo is busily taking stock of her store cupboard with regards to both tinned and dried. Also has a seed box ready for next season on the allotment.The allotment I'm keeping is beginning to look much more future productive. The fruit offering is well expanded into black currants and cherry trees in tubs for starters. The herb offering is also expanding in order to be able to provide for making herbal teas. The theory is my winter learning.

I've also done a lifestyle stock take. I remember the years of being on and off "on the dole" so a good idea of what living on the absolute minimum entails. It's surprising what you find hiding in the corners of life that can be questioned.

All I can say is that all this hand washing and face mask washing as well as watering the village flower tubs at the front door has done no good for the water bill (metered). Water use consideration is top of the agenda at the moment.

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Re: Getting the fundamentals right

Post: # 294382Post Green Aura »

I think we're all going to be in a much better postition than a lot of folks, Flo. At least we have some idea of how to make do and mend as they say. Or maybe that should be make, do and mend. I'm stocked up as much as I can without getting into the realms of madness. :roll: :lol:

We've got most of our seeds sorted, just need a couple of extra beds to put them in but they can be sorted quite quickly. We've got plenty of berry bushes and tend not to eat any larger fruits much these days. I've bought a couple of mini lemon trees from B+Q and my other lemon tree has got its first baby so citrus might be covered too.

I hadn't even thought about water meters - not an issue for us here. Soap and water is apparently sufficient for killing covid on your hands, so giving your mask a quick sloosh at the same time might cut use down a drop or two.

You could maybe cut down on the hand-washing by using a rub, such as four thieves vinegar instead - also less wearing on the skin.

Are you allowed to fit a rainwater harvesting kit to a downpipe anywhere? If not, a bucket strategically placed to catch rainwater? Can you slip a few of those herbs in amongst the flowers - a lot easier to collect, or share.:lol:
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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Re: Getting the fundamentals right

Post: # 294383Post Green Aura »

My Four Thieves' Vinegar recipe

The herbs posess strong antimicrobial effects and vinegar, makes an excellent natural cleanser. The quantities here are for dried herbs - if using fresh triple the quantities i.e. 1 tablespoon fresh per teaspoon dried. If using essential oils instead of herbs, use 20 drops of each - the benefit of this is no steeping required, it's good to go immediately.
If you don't have all of the herbs try to use a minimum of any four - increasing the amounts accordingly. I make it in this quantity as it doesn't go off and we seem to use it more quickly than you'd think, but obviously the quantities can be reduced, keeping roughly to the ratios.

2 teaspoons each of lavender flowers, rosemary, mint, sage, marjoram (or oregano) and winter savory (if you can get it)
1 litre vinegar

Steep the herbs in the vinegar, in a 1 litre Kilner jar (or some other non-metallic receptacle), for 10-14 days, preferably on a sunny windowsill. Strain the vinegar into another glass jar and store at room temperature until ready to use.

I decant some, diluted with a little water and aloe vera gel, into a small, handbag suitable, spray bottle - great for spraying hands, door handles and toilet seats!

Put it in a (non-metallic) spray bottle and use it to clean kitchen counters etc - the inital vinegar smell disperses quickly and leaves a lovely herbal fragrance. You can use it as a final hair rinse, diluted 1 tablespoon vinegar in a litre of warm water etc.

It also tastes amazing and you can use it in the same way as any expensive seasoned vinegar: in salad dressings or marinades.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

ina
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Re: Getting the fundamentals right

Post: # 294388Post ina »

Although our water isn't metered, I grew up saving water and still do. The garden is full of containers catching rain water, and as I live on my own, keeping the water in my bath for loo and (in summer) watering outside is no problem.
Ina
I'm a size 10, really; I wear a 20 for comfort. (Gina Yashere)

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