Category Archives: resilience

The colour’s coming back in

Like post-war technicolour movies, colour has come back to the landscape, despite a winter which won’t let go. In another throwback to the 1950s, the 2018 Doomsday Clock is now at two minutes to midnight, where it last was in … Continue reading

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Getting through January: with a little help from the starlings

8am on a gloriously bright January morning. The storm last night has washed the sky clean of cloud and the light is strong and clear, purged of dust. I should be getting ready for work but instead I’m lying up … Continue reading

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A better life is possible – I’ve seen it

This blog started out as a record of my attempts to ‘escape the system’ and live more lightly and simply on the planet. Over time it’s become more focused on nature as a theme, and I’ve posted poetry as well as prose. … Continue reading

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Blast away winter blues with herbs

Seeing as I’m running workshops at a city farm to help people move to a simpler lifestyle, I’ll start sharing some of the learnings here. I’ve covered lots of different subjects in my workshops this year: growing on balconies and containers; … Continue reading

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Growing and making your own medicines

Earlier this month I found myself alongside three other women, standing round a stove watching an older, grey-haired woman stir something in a cauldron..sorry saucepan. I was on a day’s intensive workshop focusing on 15 medicinal herbs – how to grow them, … Continue reading

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Two weeks of silence and poetry

I recently spent two weeks on a silent meditation retreat deep in the Scottish Highlands. I’ve done a silent retreat before but it was only 7 days long, and it was four years ago. I don’t meditate as regularly as … Continue reading

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Knitting: when a scarf becomes conceptual

I’ve finally finished the scarf I started two years ago. Someone came round, saw it, and asked: ‘Is it conceptual?’ It’s quirky and a bit random, like its owner. I recommend using these 15mm needles if you’re a beginner. You … Continue reading

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urban foraging

Rich pickings: hunt for a cold frame (and a digression on local autonomy) One of the advantages of attempting self-sufficiency in the city (rather than the country) is the sheer quantity of stuff left lying around. In the past this would … Continue reading

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The New Home Front

Most people are concerned about the climate change threat and know that not enough is being done enough to avert it. And yet our politicians dither and fail to act. If all the collective pledges made the Copenhagen Accord to cut carbon were actually … Continue reading

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Self-sufficiency: the challenge

  I’m attempting to do something radical. Something elusive. Something we all talk about nowadays, but rarely pull off.  I’m trying to simplify my life. I want to wean myself off the supermarket, and to produce some of the food that I eat. I want … Continue reading

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