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What Would John Bercow Do?

aka I would love a dishwasher.

I probably wouldn't ever use it, but believing there was the option of not washing up is very appealing as is the idea of not making bread, or houmous, or anything else for a while. I'm sure it's just down to the time of year but I'm having plenty of those walking through treacle days where everything just seems to take an age, and even then is never really done. 

Dan has struck upon a sure fire way to get me to do what I need/want to do by simply asking me - what would John Bercow do? For those who maybe not hooked on watching BBC Parliament by just being a normal person who does more interesting things, the man in question is the Speaker of the House of Commons, he shouts "UNLOCK" a lot and makes everyone behave. So by asking me WWJBD Dan is reminding me that I want to follow procedure!* 

This week I am mainly annoyed by the seemingly endless washing up. The kitchen frequently looks like some version of this 


Bits! Tiny bits of th…
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Life On The Veg

After much discussion and procrastination we decided to start getting a veg box delivery. Ours arrives on a Thursday, which is ideal for me, ordering is easy and delivery is very simple as we have an outdoor store so I don't even have to be in when it arrives.



Here's what we got in our medium box (enough for 2-3 people) and what I made with it.

I'd already used one large carrot and an onion when I took this picture. The box contained 1kg potatoes (in the brown bag), oakleaf lettuce, 2 red peppers, 2 courgettes, carrots, onions, 2 sweet potatoes and purple sprouting broccoli.
First up I used a sweet potato, a carrot and an onion to make soup.

That evening I made risotto, something I hadn't made for many years. From the box I just used half an onion and half the purple sprouting broccoli. I adapted this Tesco recipe stirring some pesto through at the end instead of cheese.

On Friday we ate some leftover shepherdess pie, so didn't use anything from the box. Saturday we had…

Useful?

If anyone is interested in textile recycling but happened to be asleep at 3.06 this morning World Hacks on BBC World Service was talking about how we currently reuse fabrics and how we might do it in the future, available to listen again on BBC Sounds. 

After finding the wall chart I'd been keeping in a safe place for the best part of a decade I knew I had to face up to something else - the stationery in the sideboard. I think if I could just bring myself to get rid of the sideboard so many stashing opportunities would be eliminated.



One of the files went straight back onto the shelf as it holds my budding stamp collection, I need an album for them but I would prefer one that looks nice, rather than a fusty looking leatherette one (I know, just get it sorted and then stop buying stamps). 

What I thought were quite useful brown envelopes were in fact just rectangles of brown paper, who knows where they came from.


This rabbit template was for some bunting I made for Dan's 30th birth…

Paper Clutter

I have a real problem with paper clutter, actually I have a problem with any tidying that involves dealing with little bitty bits of stuff, but today it was paper. Recycling, shredding, another barely used pad or notebook, obviously it's something I could use, but how much scrap paper do I need?

Now I have my new kitchen step I can reach the top cupboards (if you're interested to know what we've bought this year I'm keeping note of it here, link to the page also just under the blog title). This is the cupboard above the oven and to be honest I rarely look in there and this space more than any other is a great example of having the space doesn't mean keeping the stuff.

It's mainly for books and magazines, appliance manuals and other assorted paper, I even found my sketchpad in there, which is just as well as I was on the verge of buying a new one.



The pink file (above) was full of leaflets and catalogues for art events and exhibitions we've been to, we also hav…

The Layers of the Onion

I spoke quite a lot last year about decluttering the house, including my craft stuff. This year I've made a start on my scrappy quilt and have been shocked at how much unused fabric I own. It got me thinking about other craft items in the sideboard that I know I'm not going to use but I just haven't been willing to donate. So I faced the fear, it took about ten minutes, hardly a trial!



This is what I found. Pretty things, but things I won't use but someone else will. 

I've added a page for things I've decluttered this year, you can see it at the top if the screen, just below the blog title if you're interested. 

I'll be taking this stuff to the charity shop at the end of the week, if anyone wants any of it then let me know, email me at thriftdeluxe@gmail.com The pastel pencils and coloured pencils have been used, but not much.


One Less Trip To The Shops

For what seems like the past 600 years I have been trying to make my own houmous, but it's never been all that nice. I can't imagine how many recipes and tweaks I've tried. 

So a couple of times a week, one of us goes to the shop to buy houmous as we eat it for lunch every day, well I didn't eat it on days I was going to the charity shop but now I don't care if I'm a bit garlicky, maybe people won't stand as close to me as some of them choose to do. 

But all that shopping, and all those plastic pots that are too flimsy to use for anything else have always annoyed me so yesterday I typed "perfect houmous" into my phone, then I typed "easy perfect houmous" because I am not jumping through hoops for anything, even perfection. 


From the glamour of my draining board I bring you my perfect houmous! I used this recipe from inspiredtaste.net. The secret is to whip it! Creaming together the lemon juice and tahini before adding the chickpea is what m…

Value

I haven't chosen a word of the year, I was just focusing on being aware of when I thought I couldn't be bothered. But one word keeps popping up over and over, a couple of people used it when I spoke about my perfect Friday, the day I didn't meet my friend to go shopping.

Value

It's just a word that keeps jumping out at me, and I think it's something I need to pay attention to. Whether it be decluttering items that don't add anything to my life, or spending time doing things and surrounding myself with positive people taking me in the right direction. 

Being in the town is a lovely thing at the moment, it's so nice to have the sense of belonging to a community for probably the first time. I did a favour for the manager of one of the shops last week, so then they gave me the heads up about something I might be interested in, I then told someone I know so they could benefit too. Just little things that make the day a bit brighter. 


In the value for money sense of …