it just gets better

I love Onya I have had their bag in a bag and their backpack in a bag for years long before anything similar appeared in the supermarkets.  There are far superior to the ones you find on the high street they were originally made of parachute silk (and felt lovely too!)  now they use recycled PET bottles (still lovely but not quite as lovely as the parachute silk!) and are amazingly strong, hold a decent amount (two bottles of milk, two bottles of vinegar, a large loaf, a magazine and two packs of tennis balls just this morning) and squash down to nothing.  Environmentally friendly, very useful and pretty colours.  They are also brilliant on holiday.  I keep two in my handbag at all times

Then today this arrived.  The Onya Weigh.  So far looks just like the regular onya bag in its pouch.

IMG_2559

 

But inside are these little lovelies.

IMG_2558

Five ultra light transparent tulle bags for veg shopping.  I avoid prepacked veg and the plastic bags for the loose veg.  My onions do not need to go in a plastic bag.  But sometimes I have no choice, runner beans, brussell sprouts,  I can’t really avoid a bag.  But now no more plastic.  They can go in these.

I don’t need to go and buy and veg… boo hoo, I want to take them out for a ride!

Love Gillie

panic

I don’t do regrets.  I can’t see the point in looking back and getting upset about something that has already been and gone.  Today I am going to make an exception.

Why on earth did I go public about trying to go plastic free.  The more observant readers will notice the introduction of a new word.  Yup “trying”  because as the 1st September fast approaches I am starting to panic that it is all going to go belly up pretty fast.  There is so much plastic around us.

The project is not helped by the fact that I have three teenage daughters.  Three perfectly formed modern consumers who like stuff.  Not masses of stuff to be fair and they are discriminating about on what they spend their money.  But much of the stuff they like tends to come with plastic: toiletries, Haribou tangfastic; soft plastic bread for toast; cotton wool pads; fresh strawberries in plastic punnets.

They already think I am bonkers, the mention of the plastic free month was met with  much eye rolling, sighing and pleas to be a bit more normal.  They are fairly well resigned to the fact that all jams and jellies for example are homemade, but still look longingly at the jars of pap on the shop shelves.  I did suggest (as a joke) that we made our own Nutella (which as a plastic lid by the way), you would have thought I was suggesting they eat raw tripe for a month!

But I cannot put all the blame on them.  I have spent this month looking at everything I buy and how much plastic is involved.  Oh boy, there is so much and some is going to be very hard to avoid.

One area that I am really struggling with is cleaners and toiletries.  Not buying them, I can do that quite easily and make my own instead.  But the ingredients I need to make them come in plastic bottles!  Vinegar, surgical spirit, rosewater, witch hazel, beeswax, glycerine, oils.  They all come in plastic bottles.  I have to buy in bulk because I use so much so I have to buy over the internet and nobody is going to send glass bottles through the post if they can avoid it.  I’m wondering if I can send them back but I suspect the answer will be “no it’s too much fuss”.  Grrr

all hands on deck

It is that time of year when it’s all hands on deck to pick, pickle, jelly, jam, syrup, or preserve in some other way.

There is so much free food out in the hedgerows and indeed your garden, and I don’t mean the vegetable patch.  In the past I have been overwhelmed, unable to do everything and then become exhausted and slightly resentful that I missed out on something.

There is nothing different this year.  In fact I should be more busy as I am taking my turn to chair The Durham Shopping Extravaganza, I am President of our village WI and this is the first full year that Liz and I have been running Messy Church.  But I’m much more in control.  I think I may have Mother Nature on my side.  The late spring and summer has meant that the harvests are just a little bit later and sit nicely in the school holidays.  Furthermore as I am not going back to work in September I don’t have to panic to get everything in before term starts.

Today I picked the rosehips.  Our front garden (actually probably the side garden, but it’s a bit hard to explain) is surrounded by rugosa and dog roses.  And the rosehips are looking splendid.  I stuck to the rugosa today

DSC_1663

 

and boiled them up for rosehip jelly.

 

DSC_1664

 

 

As they are notoriously low in pectin I boiled up some bramleys which have conveniently ripened at the same time.

 

 

Now they just have to drip away overnight and jelly making tomorrow.

We never really use the rosehip syrup all that much so I may pass on that this year, although I will dry some and whizz them up to make rosehip tea.

Back to my old favourite lavender.  I was going to make plum cobbler last night (not my plums, they are still green, but British ones nonetheless) but nobody was in the mood for something quite so heavy.  Poached plums were requested for tonight and we thought we would experiment with serving them with lavender syrup.

They dehydrator is working overtime (currently filled with past their sell by date raspberries) but I managed to squeeze in a tray of lavender and as I type it is seeping away in sugar syrup.

DSC_1666

 

I’ll let you know whether poached pears and lavender are divine or disgusting.

DSC_1668

 

On the no plastic front, my stainless steel atomisers arrived today.  I couldn’t find any without a plastic atomiser head.  Do they exist?  The next job will be to make up the cleaning fluids and fill them up 🙂