Sunday, 8 December 2019

5 reasons why I'll be voting Labour on Thursday.

5 reasons why I'll be voting Labour on Thursday. #votelabour #labour #fuckthetories #generalelection2019 #jeremycorbyn #vote

Hello!  The UK general election is on Thursday 12th December and you can vote (for Labour, if you're planning on voting Conservative I hope you please conveniently forget to vote!) between 7am until 10pm, don't worry if you've lost your polling card, you can still vote without it so long as you're registered to vote. 

I'm honestly scared of what'll happen to our country, and to myself and my friends and family, if the Conservatives win.  I'll be voting Labour, and here's why,

1.  The NHS.  I REEEALLLY don't trust the Tories to not make a terrible deal with the USA where they allow healthcare to become very expensive.  I need a new asthma inhaler every 6 weeks, in the USA these cost $175 - $300 each. (Warning, skip this bit if you don't want to hear about my cervix!)  I'm currently having a smear test once a year, these cost between $20 - $200 each in the USA, I've also had two colposcopies in the last 12 months, these cost between $200 - $600 dollars each.  Imagine how gutting it would be to have to pay two thirds of your monthly income, and being unable to pay your monthly share of the household bills, so a doctor can use a telescope thingy to look at your cervix to check it hasn't turned cancerous.

2. My job800 libraries have closed since 2010, due to the Conservative government's unwillingness to give proper funding to local councils.  I would quite like to keep my job thank you.   And libraries have free books, PC access, advice, community spaces, community activities, and staff who will listen to the grumbles of many old and lonely people.

5 reasons why I'll be voting Labour on Thursday. #votelabour #labour #fuckthetories #generalelection2019 #jeremycorbyn #vote

3.  The environment. The Tories have been in charge since 2010, and what have they done for the environment?  Not much apart from allow fracking...  The Green Party seems to be the best choice for tackling climate change, but I honestly don't think they'll get in, Labour has a really strong Eco policy and are more likely to get in (if we all vote for them, please!)

4. I just care about other people - and I don't feel that the Tories do (unless you're rich).  And I think everyone should be taxed fairly.  I'm happy to pay extra tax to support people who need help and to put money into schools, hospitals and public infrastructure so everyone who lives here can have a nice life.  

5 reasons why I'll be voting Labour on Thursday. #votelabour #labour #fuckthetories #generalelection2019 #jeremycorbyn #vote

5.  I like what the Labour Party stands for.  I know loads of people won't vote Labour because they don't like Jeremy Corbyn.  I happen to like Jeremy Corbyn, but it's not just him you're voting for (no-one voted for Boris, remember!?) it's for the whole party and what it stands for, as well as all the labour MPs and prospective MPs.  There's a whole load more working and middle class, women and people from BAME backgrounds in the shadow cabinet than there are in the Tory party. 

5 reasons why I'll be voting Labour on Thursday. #votelabour #labour #fuckthetories #generalelection2019 #jeremycorbyn #vote

Here's some more reading for you,

5 reasons why I'll be voting Labour on Thursday. #votelabour #labour #fuckthetories #generalelection2019 #jeremycorbyn #vote

Vote well my friends.
Vote Labour.

5 reasons why I'll be voting Labour on Thursday. #votelabour #labour #fuckthetories #generalelection2019 #jeremycorbyn #vote

Sunday, 10 November 2019

How I made my DIY, eco-friendly ish, pompom duster

I don't want you to get the wrong impression from this blog post, I don't particularly like housework, but I did need a new long handled duster thingy, and I really didn't want to buy a new plastic one.  I'd had an eco friendly one on order for a while but it turned out to be out of stock, and my lightshades just keep getting dustier, so I had to do something.  

How I made my DIY, eco-friendly ish, pompom duster.  From UK eco blogger #eco-friendly #pompomduster #DIYduster #ecofriendlyduster #tutorial

A quick google found lots of DIY duster options, ones sewn out of microfibre cloths, fabric scraps or wool, crochet or knitted dusters and all sorts of other inventions.  I really didn't want to get my sewing machine out, and I happened upon a tutorial for a DIY pompom duster (the photos aren't great but you get the idea - it's a big pompom on a stick.).

Making a pompom duster is super easy, but I'll tell you how I did it anyway.

You'll need - wool or yarn (I wanted to use cotton yarn, to be more eco friendly, but I couldn't find mine, so I made do with synthetic yarn), a big stick, garden twine, glue with a nozzle.

1.  Make a huge pompom.  I wanted mine to be as big as my handspan, so I measured my cardboard pompom maker to that size, which for reference is about 6 inches.  I made my pompom using the instructions from The Craft Train, which is the easiest method I've found for big pompoms!  

TOP TIPS - I used two strands of wool held together to make my pompom quicker. Tying a big pompom is quite tricky, I used garden twine to tie the middle of my pompom, the wool just wouldn't hold it. I didn't trim the pompom into a neat ball, all the different lengths of yarn will hopefully make for more effective dusting.

How I made my DIY, eco-friendly ish, pompom duster.  From UK eco blogger #eco-friendly #pompomduster #DIYduster #ecofriendlyduster #tutorial

2. Find a big stick and push it through the middle of the pompom.  I used a bamboo garden cane that I plucked from the pot of a dead house plant.

3. Glue the stick into the pompom.   This was a bit tricky to do and I feel it will be tricky to explain, but I'll try.  I used a tube of contact adhesive with a long nozzle, and (with the stick in position through the pompom) slid the nozzle where I could feel the stick was, then squeezed glue out, and repeated several times all the way round.  I put the duster on some newspaper with a can of chickpeas on top to weigh it down and make sure the glue stuck.

4. For extra stability I tied the end of the garden twine (that I used to tie the middle of the pompom) round the stick. 

How I made my DIY, eco-friendly ish, pompom duster.  From UK eco blogger #eco-friendly #pompomduster #DIYduster #ecofriendlyduster #tutorial

4.  Wait for the glue to dry then get on with your dusting.

Next time I'd like to make a more eco friendly version, using natural fibres and no glue, so it'd be biodegradable, but for now I'm quite pleased with it.  It looks like a giant dandelion flower.  And I made it for free, with stuff I already had lying around the house, in about half an hour (not including glue drying time!).  

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Easy green actions and articles.

Here are a few easy online actions and interesting articles to make the world a better, greener, happier, place, 

Firstly, if you couldn't get to the big Extinction Rebellion protests in London this week, and have some pennies to spare, you can donate to fund UK protests, legal fees for those who have been arrested during protests or to fund international actions. 

I love the Frack Free Nanas - they're awesome!  Watch them here and follow them on Twitter

Use Friends of the Earth's online tool to find out how eco friendly your local area is.  Just pop your postcode in to see what's good and what needs work where you live.

Ask your local council to make a 'climate action plan' - use Friend's of the Earth's tool to do so.

"We’re facing a climate emergency – the greatest ever threat to our existence and a disaster for the natural world.  A comprehensive climate action plan is long overdue. But instead our government keeps making climate-wrecking decisions – like supporting airport expansion and funding the fossil fuel industry overseas.  That's why we urgently need local authorities to lead the way where the government isn’t – and create their own ambitious local climate action plans."
Sign Greenpeace's petition asking advertisers to stop showing us ads from oil companies.
Yey!  Lots of trees are being planted worldwide!

1000 homes in London are set to be heated by recycling warm air from the Underground.
If you like eco-friendly blogs, check out Kezzie's where she's blogging weekly about eco things.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Charity shopping.

I'm trying to stop so much stuff coming into my house, but sometimes I can't resist!

Charity shop finds from UK charity shop blogger #charityshopping #secondhand #holliehobbie #kilncraftmidas #leparfaitjar

My mum gave me this, I assume it came from her charity shop, I LOVE it! 
Le Parfait jar, present, local Oxfam shop.

Charity shop finds from UK charity shop blogger #charityshopping #secondhand #holliehobbie #kilncraftmidas #leparfaitjar

I usually by the mustard colourway of this crockery, but I couldn't resist this because it was super duper cheap!
Kilncraft Midas bowl, 25p, local Samaritans charity shop. 

Charity shop finds from UK charity shop blogger #charityshopping #secondhand #holliehobbie #kilncraftmidas #leparfaitjar

I bought myself a jar of wooden beads.  I have a craft in mind for them where they'll become heads!
Jar of beads, £1.75, local Hope House charity shop.

Charity shop finds from UK charity shop blogger #charityshopping #secondhand #holliehobbie #kilncraftmidas #leparfaitjar

Excuse this awkward photo of this item being held aloft, it was the best lighting I could get!  I was walking down the high street and this was outside one of the charity shops.  It didn't have a price and I paid a bit more than I'd usually pay, but the money goes to a good cause so I can't really complain.
Bamboo plant stand, £5, local Air Ambulance charity shop. 

Charity shop finds from UK charity shop blogger #charityshopping #secondhand #holliehobbie #kilncraftmidas #leparfaitjar

Charity shop finds from UK charity shop blogger #charityshopping #secondhand #holliehobbie #kilncraftmidas #leparfaitjar

Charity shop finds from UK charity shop blogger #charityshopping #secondhand #holliehobbie #kilncraftmidas #leparfaitjar

I fell down a bit of a nostalgic Hollie Hobbie internet hole last month, then searched for Hollie Hobbie on eBay, then found this and bought it and I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but I really love it! 
Vintage Hollie Hobbie single duvet cover, £5, eBay.

Have you found any excellent bargains lately? 

Sunday, 1 September 2019

I (ahem, we) got an allotment.

Today I am the happiest girl in the world.  I have an allotment! 

I got an allotment!  By UK garden blogger #allotment #ukallotmentgarden #newallotment #gardenblogger #allotmentblogger

I've known for a little while that we were going to get it, but I didn't want to say anything to jinx it, and I didn't have a definite date, so I've been keeping hopefully quiet with my fingers firmly crossed for the last couple of months.

I got an allotment!  By UK garden blogger #allotment #ukallotmentgarden #newallotment #gardenblogger #allotmentblogger


Would you like to know the story of how we got our allotment?  (I'm going to assume you've said yes!)

When Joe and I were on holiday in May we decided to bite the bullet and put our name on the council waiting list for the allotments in our town, which are conveniently located right behind our house. I'd wanted one for years, but we've been busy with house stuff and life stuff and I wanted Joe to be on board to help with the heavy jobs!  When we got home I emailed the council to ask to be put on the list, only to be told it was closed.  There are currently 10 people waiting and no one's left the allotment site for years.  Cue big sighs and resigning ourselves to waiting for years and years to get an allotment. 

But then I remembered that there are a few public allotments at our local National Trust property, which is also conveniently located right behind our house.  I was a garden volunteer there, for about 5 years when I finished uni, and my Mum still volunteers in the house now, so I asked her to see if there happened to be a list for the allotments there. 

LUCKILY for me, there was an allotment coming free in the autumn, and the head gardener said we could have it!  It's very sad for the lady who used to have it, she's become to ill to keep it up.  There's still the last of her leeks and beans in, and all the soft fruit is hers, I'm not sure if she'll want to take any of it with her, but Joe's offered to help her dig up anything she wants to take with her.  The lady's paid for the allotment til the end of the year, but is kindly letting us put some stuff in the spaces this year.

I got an allotment!  By UK garden blogger #allotment #ukallotmentgarden #newallotment #gardenblogger #allotmentblogger

I know I am sooo lucky, I know not many people decide to put their name on an allotment list then actually get one 4 months later (albeit on a different site!).  It's more than big enough for us too, to grow potatoes and beans and onions and some pretty flowers.  A little shady, but that's ok.  And there are no weeds!  I quite like the challenge of it being at the National Trust, people pay to visit which is good motivation to keep it tidy and I'm going to research Edwardian allotments so I can make it look right.  

I got an allotment!  By UK garden blogger #allotment #ukallotmentgarden #newallotment #gardenblogger #allotmentblogger

I got an allotment!  By UK garden blogger #allotment #ukallotmentgarden #newallotment #gardenblogger #allotmentblogger

It's super peaceful and beautiful too.  I love these old apple trees (I can't harvest from them because they're used by the Trust, but I can appreciate their gnarled beauty).  I love these gardens where I've spent so many hours gardening.  It was lovely to catch up with the head gardener again.  And the allotment where I started to learn about gardening is still there, just across the path from my own new allotment. 

I got an allotment!  By UK garden blogger #allotment #ukallotmentgarden #newallotment #gardenblogger #allotmentblogger

I am so happy and so lucky and I can't wait to get started! 

Sunday, 28 July 2019

My homegrown harvest, July 2019.

July's been a month of raspberries.  Sooo many raspberries.  I only have autumn fruiting raspberries, but that doesn't seem to be stopping them fruiting now!

I've had loads of greens too, which I've been shredding, wilting in boiled water, then squeezing into little handfuls to freeze, so I can use it later in the year.

We had our first, one and only cherry, it was delicious, the variety is 'sweetheart'.

My 'discovery' apples started falling off the tree so I picked them all, which was a mistake as they're SUPER sour and nowhere near ripe!  They're on the windowsill, I hope they'll soak up some sun and get a bit sweeter. 

I didn't manage to grow any carrots last year so yey for carrots this year!  The variety is 'berlicum' and they're really nice. 

I've also had loads of strawberries, purple snap peas, potatoes, beets, some baby onions and a little baby garlic.

What have you been growing this month?

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Easy green actions and articles.

Here are a few easy online actions and interesting articles to make the world a better, greener, happier, place, 

Sign Friends of the Earth's petition asking to double tree cover in the UK.

Morrisons is introducing a plastic free fruit and veg section, which will save 3 tonnes of plastic packaging per week!

The good old National Trust is going to sell all it's shares in fossil fuels and invest in green and eco companies instead. 

'I have watched and silently wept this spring as trees ready for nesting, forget me nots in full bloom, and buttercups about to burst forth have all been clipped and ripped, torn and shredded. And in their place? Nothing. Under the rules of good husbandry, this sort of pruning and weeding makes your plot look perfect and well-ordered, the soil pleasingly flat and tickled. But I am going to take my feminist rage at this word, husbandry, and rip it up like it has done to the wild things. Enough of this obsession with control and order'

I love this article from Alys Fowler in the Guardian, about how to weed in a wildlife-friendly way.

Here's 7 things you can do to help stop insect decline

A Greenpeace study has found plastic in every single river in the UK, ask your MP to do something about it