Current Themes – An Update

Health and Fitness: Aah, woe is me. A second chesty cough has now knocked me off my perch. The Couch to 5k will now have to wait again and I was ready to go onto week two too. What a pain. First time off sick from work since I went back last May.

Prioritising sleep as I was burning the candle at both ends. This was helping before my cough developed but nor right now.

Making Money: Not much this month. I have been busy, away or sick. I am a bit half hearted about the return to the surveys.

Prepping: Nothing new to report here apart from getting the Christmas decorations from the loft and packaging up a few presents.

Some may remember that last year I pre wrapped four boxes with wrapping paper to fill with stuff for Operation Christmas Child who collect October. Well this worked very well. The boxes were accessible. I Put all sorts of stuff in a box over the year as things came into the house, DD cleared her room and I decluttered. We filled the four boxes and the spare stuff went in a bag with my MiL to the sorting centre where they help out for other boxes. I will be doing the same in 2018.


Decluttering and Minimising: There has not been much done in a direct way, as in getting stuff out of the house. DH did take a load of cables and leads to the recycling centre thoiugh. These bags have been sitting around for some time.

On a positive note I did find that I can access my local libraries catalogue. This includes on line loans as well as audio books. I downloaded their app to my phone and now listen to books on the way home from work. I still intend to borrow real books too but I can now also see if any books I have are on their catalogue. Those I can donate.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: Along with my desire to clear the house I want to reduce the amount of plastics, polystyrene, (styrofoam), and other stuff that I don’t want in the house by trying not to buy it at all.

First thing, though small and an easy win, was to take all my veg loose to the checkout. No bags. I have a Jute re-usable bag which the veggies go in as it comes through. A lot of veg was pre bagged in my local Asda which made shopping a little difficult.

For the past few weeks I have been looking around the house noticing how much stuff is not recyclable or reusable.  Each shopping trip brings in hard to reuse plastics that also don’t easily recycle.

As well as preventing stuff coming into the house I want to reduce what goes to landfill. Today I have been working on hanging Christmas ornaments made from polystyrene pizza bases which and used wrappings from last year. Will post a picture at some point.

Posted in Avoid, Reduce, Recycle, Christmas, cleaning and clearing, decluttering and minimalism, Health and Fitness, plastics, Prepping, repurpose | Leave a comment

Thoughts on Recycling

I am a child of the 21st Century. I remember shopping for veg at a grocers shop, meat at a butchers and the local store  being a small shop on which we looked with amazement every time we went in. The first shopping trip I remember was with my mum going to the local grocers. He weighed everything and poured the items into our pull along trolley, bagging up soft fruit, mushrooms and tomatoes and putting them in the top. He knew my mum and had a chat with her as he worked. After all, she shopped there every few days so they knew each other very well.

We produced very little rubbish. We reused and recycled or passed things on.

In fact it paid to recycle when I was a child. You could get 10 pence for each glass bottle returned to the shop. We thought we (two of my brothers and I)  had hit the motherlode when we found a box full of Cresta pop bottles dumped down a country lane. There were about 15 bottles and we carried the whole lot.

That was 45 years ago.

A chat with a friend last week about recycling and the use of plastics had me looking round my house in horror. We are surrounded by plastic and stuff that is difficult to recycle.

The bathroom, the kitchen, the lounge. If it isn’t plastic it is coated in the stuff.

We are lucky in my city. the council recycles a lot of plastics including yoghurt pots, card and juice cartons. We have a bin that we fill fortnightly with plastic and card.

That is great…but…do I really need to be filling my bin with waste? Can I buy without having to put anything in the bin, recycling or not? It may seem green to recycle but it still requires energy and other products to process the materials. Even a born recycler like me has got comfortable with just chucking it in the bin.

Over the next year or so I am going to have a look at what it is I am doing with everything that I buy and what leaves the house, and work out how to Avoid, Reduce and Reduce the use everyday things rather than just recycle.

The garden is an excellent place to get started. Here are some ways I re-purpose plastics on the allotment:

20150307_Allotment plastic recycling

Meat packaging cleaned thoroughly make great seed trays.

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Various plastic trays (and a basket) which would have ended up as landfill.


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You can’t see it so well but I cut the tops off plastic bottles and used them to protect the end of these posts (recycled tree branches).

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More re use than re purpose. I wash out all used pots every year and store dry. A great winter task I can do bit by bit. I even clean up used plastic plant labels.





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Current Themes – An Update


Health and Fitness: I have just restarted doing the Couch to 5k after my cough, cold and a holiday in Rome. I haven’t completed a full cycle of walk/run yet but hope to do so by the end of the week.

While away I found I was able to walk reasonably long distances; over 20,000 steps approx 10 miles on two days; but by the end of four days was pretty tired. I came back Friday and Saturday had a rest day. In fact I couldn’t keep awake. I didn’t fight it. Knowing when to rest has been keeping me going for some time. I was awake at the usual time on Sunday and did a few hours of work on the allotment.

I now need to work on my difficulty with inclines and steps. I frequently get puffed out on even short flights of stairs and mild inclines. Over the winter, and once the bulk of the work is done on the allotment, I hope to drag DH to the countryside and do some walking up and down hills.

Making Money: Since I last wrote DH and I have reviewed some of the family mobile phone contracts and our subscription to Virgin. In doing so we have saved ourselves several hundred pounds a year. We just researched what was available on other providers and rang Virgin up and requested a better deal. We also reduced our TV package to a basic one as we don’t watch it so much now.

DH is also working towards early retirement at 55 and is very on board with frugality and curbing uneccesary outgoings. He made a valid complaint to Argos this week and got a £50 voucher too. He probably wouldn’t have bothered in the past so this was a good win.

I have just restarted all the survey sites I was on until the summer as nights are dark and I won’t be going to the allotment after work now until spring.

Prepping: I restocked all my emergency bags with up to date essential medicines with long expiry dates and have recorded all the details in a paper notebook I keep for the purpose. I have swapped out  the cash as well as the UK has changed £10 notes, £5 notes and £1 coins in the last year or so. It was an opportunity to review the contents too, some of which were removed.

It is coming to winter so my winter car bag is being reviewed and the car is to be serviced. I don’t want it failing me on a cold night after work or first thing in the morning.

Decluttering and Minimising: Not much done since I last wrote due to poorliness, being busy and going away.  I will be back to it this week. I cleaned up the house before going away on holiday and it was a pleasure to get back home and only need to do my washing.

Personal Growth:  I am going to remove this heading for now but will add it intermittently if I have anything to report.

Posted in cleaning and clearing, Couch to 5K (C25K, decluttering and minimalism, Health and Fitness, holiday, Making Money, personal growth, Prepping, Uncategorized, Update on current themes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Cancer Update: Oncology Review

I had my 6 month review with the oncologist today. After the usual prod and poke I had a chat with her about Tamoxifen as I had been told I may be starting on Anastrazole when I visited the nurse specialist 6 months ago.

I haven’t been on Tamoxifen for a full two years and so she will see me again in 6 months to swap over. Anastrazole stops cancer cells growing with evidence in post menopausal women showing promising results.

Recent research has shown that women should stay on Tamoxifen for ten years if they are to stay on it on it. There is no value for those on Anastrazole to be on it any longer than five years.

On anastrazole joint aches and pains may get worst but hot flushes may be reduced. Its all very vague because people respond differently to the drugs.

The only other thing of note is that my slow recovery from chemo may not be just about the chemo, that the menopause may be also affecting my energy levels.

So all in all, nothing much to report, which is good in itself.


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In Memorium.

20170705_Poppies for blog




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Current Themes – An Update

A  bit late  in the month. Lots of ther things going on. Now mostly sorted

Health and Fitness: So I started the Couch to 5K and had completed the first week. I was re-doing the first week before I went on to the second but developed a heavy cold, sore throat and a juicy cough. I am still coughing now but am just about better and hope to restart in the next day or so.

Despite the short duration of my first attempt I did notice some very quick benefits. One is that I didn’t actually want to eat so much, I had more energy and I found my walking speed improved. I wasn’t getting puffed out walking at speed either.

I had expected more joint and back pain but didn’t notice any real difference. I was running on hard surfaces too.

I have been over the allotment over the last few weeks. I am able to do more for longer including digging. We are in the process of doing it up as a lot of the jobs have had to wait until I was fitter.

Making Money:

Although I am not working to earn more money at the moment I am still keeping an eye on my banks and cards. Well worth it too as £380 was taken from my credit card for something I didn’t know I was paying for. Being the person I am now I dealt with it straight away and got my refund. Although its a lot of money in the old days I would have procrastinated for so long the moment would have passed. The charge went on and came off in two days.

Prepping: Nothing to report this month.

Decluttering and Minimising: I have cleared 10 bags of clothes, books and bric a brac in the last week.  I have given up hanging onto stuff to sell and am just distributing it to charity shops, MiL’s church events, work and people who need stuff. Its very therapeutic just giving it away and seeing space appear.

Personal Growth:  Nothing much to report here. I am just maintaining confidence and appearing on various committees which I have got myself involved in. I find it a lot easier to not be scared of authority figures now. I used to be so frightened to say anything, but now I am not. I don’t say that I don’t get an anxious flutter every now and again when I have to deal with someone who may be difficult, but it wouldn’t stop me now.

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Slipped Off the Radar Again

So where have I been I find you asking? Or maybe not.

Well I was doing OK. Had completed the first week of Couch to 5k and was repeating it to be sure when I  got hit by a heavy cold and my annual chesty cough. It was my own fault. I had been saying how I hadn’t been off for a year on my appraisal and the very next day along came the sore throat.

So I have stopped running until I am fully better, I have not gone out much but have managed to go to work. I was at my worst over the weekend before last, and have just about recovered now.

Life has gone on anyway and so I managed to get to the allotment to water the tomatoes, still going strong. Pick up my regular courgette (the same plant has been supplying two courgettes a week for months).

Over the ditch Dan kindly let me try some of his curly kale. It had white fly but once scrubbed it was lovely, like cabbage. my daughter wasn’t too impressed by the caterpillar that fell out of one her leaves though.

I have been playing with my dehydrator again and found that it makes curly kale VERY crisp. DD tried it and dried cabbage in a Chinese stir-fry. Her judgement is kale great, cabbage not so great.

So that’s it for now. Will do my monthly update in the next few days.

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