2016 Aspirations

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When catching up on the Downton Abbey Christmas special, the post-festive season adverts told me it was time to start getting fit, redecorating the house and booking holidays. These themes did arise in our New Year’s Eve reflections on the year past and the days ahead, but they weren’t the only features of our discussion. We are content with the framework we have established for our lives, prioritising sustainable living, fostering community, exploring creativity and honouring God. In 2016 we hope to continue on this trajectory, which means making more incremental steps to thread these throughout the fabric of our lives.

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Making home from second-hand – part 1 (the why)

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bookshelf2A month. The act of leaving one home and starting to make another has taken over five weeks and left room for little else. Having cleared the items deemed surplus, life outside of work has become packing, moving, unpacking, arranging and rearranging that which survived the cull. It hasn’t been particularly stressful, just tiring and demanding of our time. It has also been enjoyable; a season when we have tangibly experienced the joy of community as our friends gathered to help pack boxes, move furniture and even clean our old oven (a sign of real friendship, if ever you needed one). Continue reading

Decluttering

decluttering bookshelvesThis May is mostly about moving house. We came to this home as newlyweds, so there is a definite sadness in leaving it. It has its imperfections (shabby around the edges, an awkward staircase for negotiating a bike up, a distinct lack of cupboards), but it is the first place we made ours, and it will always be special for it. It’s time for a new adventure though, and it seemed a good moment to start decluttering our lives. Continue reading

A lifetime of words

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I have always made time for words. Reading them, arranging them, pondering them…

At the age of four I was proud that I knew my letters. Even on the day that we moved into our new home, the most important thing to me was practicing them and showing them off. This was for some reason not appreciated by my parents when I chose to show off my writing skills on the side of a new chest of drawers (the perils of stray biros and four-year olds!). For the next 15 years the letters stood as a blue-inked monument to my early priorities. Continue reading

A sustainability journey

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Photo credit: T Kendal

Why sustainability? Here’s a potted history of how I ended up working in sustainability and trying to navigate the pitfalls of sustainable living day to day.

I am a stereotype of my generation. David Attenborough played a significant role in my decision to work in sustainability. For me, it all began with the oceans and with the poles. Since the age of five I had been sailing with my family. Daily trips to a small Greek aquarium made a big impression, with particular affection felt for an octopus required to unscrew a jar to retrieve its shrimp dinner. A few years later, David Attenborough’s series ‘Life in the Freezer’ exploring life in the Antarctic came to our television screen. It was in one of the last episodes, a scene where a diver became the first to enter the water without a cage to film a leopard seal. Counter to its vicious reputation, the seal brought a penguin to the diver “like a cat brings a mouse to its owner”. I was hooked, declaring to my father that I wanted to work with fish when I grew up. Continue reading

Beginning

Papier-mâché | Chewed paper
mulling it over,
building up the layers,
seeing what they become.

Having considered for too long whether or not to begin a blog (Is it my vanity? Do I have time? Do I have anything to say?), I have taken the plunge. I’m not certain exactly what you’ll find here, but they are likely to cover my forays into: Continue reading