Simple Life

    Summer's start on the Beach

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    Summer finally hit the south coast over the weekend, and I was fortunate enough to spend a good section of my three day weekend with my daughter on the beach. Friday was a quiet day, as you might expect, with Hazel enjoying exploring the abundant plant life that grows on Shoreham Beach’s rare shingle habitat.

    By Sunday, the little one was quite surprised when she toddled onto the beach. She’s used to us having it largely to ourselves, bar a few dog walkers (“doggies!"), and the beach, while not packed, was certainly busy. Quite a few of the visitors had decided to take advantage of the weather by stripping off to shorts to swimwear, which led to a lot of pointing and cries of “rudie nudie!” from the little one. Toddlers lack social graces, it appears.

    Still, an idyllic couple of hours, exploring the Beach, throwing pebbles into the water and watching the boats go by. While pointing out the “rudie nudies”, of course.

    Adur, Evening

    Adur, Evening, originally uploaded by Adam Tinworth.

    You know, I could just get used to living here…

    Foragers' Harvest

    We've been foraging for fruit in the trees that grow adjacent to the flat in Lewisham:

    Elderberries for jam…

    To Commute or Not To Commute

    We're in the middle of trying to figure out where to live next. It's dawning on us that we're facing a choice between our ideal lifestyle and convenience, between the rural idyll and being 10 minutes from the office.

    That discussion makes this piece in Business Week rather sobering: people spending three hours of their day commuting, while constantly planning how to escape this lifestyle. I spend between 90 mins and two hours commuting most days at the moment, and I find that pretty tolerable. how much would I trade off for a better life?

    And how long until the internet allows us greater freedom for remote working, of the type espoused here?

    Too many questions, and, once this place is sold, I need some answers to go with them…

    Tags of Christmas Past

    We had something of an eco-friendly Christmas this year. While we were clearing out Mum's house back in 2008, we found enough unused Christmas cards to last for year and enough paper and tags to last, well, two years, as it turned out.

    And some of the designs were decades old. I liked the designs of these tags so much, I've scanned them to preserve them for posterity:

    • Scan
    • Scan 1
    • Scan 2
    Scan 2

    On Objects and Memories

    An important lesson to learn when you're still dealing with the posessions from your late parents' house:

    The hardest part of decluttering is remembering that the objects are simply representations of the memories, not the memories themselves
    Sometimes it's hard to make that separation.

    Blackheath Farmers Market

    IMG_1527 This morning, I took myself off to Blackheath, to give some more of Mum's old possessions to the Cancer Research charity shop there. It's a slightly snobby things to do. I know, when the Lewisham one is slightly closer, but I can't help feeling that the sort of things I'm donating will be more appreciated (and fetch more for the charity) in Blackheath than down here.

    Anyway, the plan was to head back down the hill and into the Lewisham Sainsbury's to pick up some chicken and other bits and bobs for a roast tonight. But then I stumbled across the Blackheath Farmers Market, which I'd heard of, but never visited. Could I get what I needed there?

    One free range chicken, some organic cooking apples and some dessert later, the answer is very clearly "yes".


    Freecycle Splits

    The UK arm of Freecycle, an initiative that allows people to give away things they no longer need thus avoiding landfill, is in the process of splitting from the US founders

    Freecycle was a life-saver for us as we cleared out my parents' house after Mum died last year. Big items, like the three-piece suite, couldn't be given to charity shops, and they were in great condition, so there was no need to landfill them. But, through Freecycle, we found people who needed them, and gave them away. 

    With a little bit of luck, this split will allow the UK's Freecyclers to innovate and push up the amount of goods Freecycled, rather than undermine a fabulous initiative.

    Which reminds me - anyone want a small, exercise-style trampet?