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Let's Start Again


So here we are again, ‘I’m Back!’

Last year was such a rollercoaster wasn’t it? Now we appear to have manoeuvred through the worst of the pandemic (fingers crossed please everyone) and out the other side into a somewhat changed reality let’s hope it’s all onwards and upwards from here.

The high point of last year for the Railway Man and I was that we became grandparents for the first time to a beautiful granddaughter ‘Bee’ and this together with the COP26 world climate summit which took place a month or so after she was born made me take a look at how we live and decide that we need to move toward a more sustainable and ecologically friendly way of life. Not that we are suddenly going to go all “Good Life” (if you’ve never seen this fab 70’s sitcom do google it you won’t be disappointed) but we can work on the garden and produce some of our own fruit and veg as well as jams, chutneys, pickles etc, it will take a few years to really get into the groove of the seasons but I find it’s something I want to do.

In pursuit of my sustainability goal, I have already made marmalade this year, I have never made it completely from scratch and found that it is quite an intense process, though the resulting jars of jewel bright marmalade definitely gave me job satisfaction and should last the year, until the Seville oranges are in the shops again, not to mention that it tastes great! I used a recipe that I found on www.bbcgoodfood.com , ‘Ultimate Seville Orange Marmalade’, a word of warning though, it says the marmalade takes 4 hours to make however the first batch took nearer 7 as I’d never made it before so I would suggest tackling it on a day when you have no other plans.

Still in pursuit of greater sustainability I’ve decided to try to use up my current craft supplies before buying more! However, this may go out of the window for a day as the Railway Man has very sweetly agreed to take me to the big Creative Craft Show at the NEC in March and I’ve got money that I was given both at my birthday and Christmas saved, I’m already bouncing up and down with excitement even though it’s over a month away as it’s been years since I went to this show. I also want to give more handmade gifts this year not just because I want to use up my craft stash but also because I feel a well thought out handmade gift can be better than something bought with 2 clicks and very little thought online, gives me more reason to spend time crafting too ‘winner winner!’. Not that I don’t like shopping online I do and Cato the elder loves the boxes and of course people often want something particular, but why not add in a little homemade something too.

You’re probably wondering how Cato the Elder and Professor Picklepants are, Cato the Elder has sadly developed a thyroid problem and needs medication twice a day he’s slowing down a little and currently loves to nap on our bed where he snores gently but he still rules the roost and enjoys life and food. Professor P has developed some rather naughty habits lately mostly jumping on my kitchen counters and despite being well fed having a nibble on anything he can find we think he is acting out as his little nose has been put out of joint with the arrival of Bee, until now he saw laps as his personal territory and now he has to share. He still likes a cuddle in the evening and tends to try and sit on the Railway Man’s belly just after dinner which doesn’t go down particularly well as you can imagine.

Well I’m off to start planning the garden, see you soon.


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