Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Start Where You Are

 Use What You Have...Do What You Can...

As I've been reading books with "Libby" over the weekend I have come across this quote, [from the late, great Arthur Ashe] in a surprising number of places. I'm a fast reader, and books with lots of pictures take even less time. But these words have cropped up in books on Minimalism, Sustainability, and Frugality. These are my three favourite non-fiction reading topics at the minute.

On Easter Monday I decided to put things into practice. The day began with Bob discovering the small hole in his pjs had turned into a massive split down the side of the back seam. All other nightwear is packed or already in Norfolk. I got out the machine and made a patch from the pocket. Sorry, Patrick and Esme, I didn't pattern-match! These pjs are so thin that we'd already decided they would be chucked**.  But I used what I had to salvage the situation just for a few days.

I went through the food stocks - and made 2 beef&butterbean bakes [topped with squash&spud mustard mash] plus two apple&date galettes, two pasties, and most of the remaining veg plus lentils produced 3 days worth of soups.  Now I can pack a few more kitchen items [stick blender, potato masher etc]

I know many of the books tell you to 'eat out or live on takeaways' during the week you are moving - but the former is currently impossible, and the latter would not be my choice. Especially since I discovered that I packed all but one pair of chopsticks- and we can hardly share one stick each.

**This past year - and especially the last month, I have been wearing the same clothes - day in, day out. Many are stained, thin, frayed...and I have been mending and darning - but I have consciously decided to "wear them out". They are not good enough to pass on to a charity shop, they're unsuitable for rags, and sadly, most are non compostable. 

Liz made the suggestion that at the end of the pandemic, one should have a "Viking Funeral" - and ceremonially burn all these garments which have come to the end of their lives after much honourable service.  I quite like the idea- but not sure that I want to waste the wood needed for the longboat - or that the council would like such a spectacle happening on Bournemouth Beach!


  1. That's one of my favorite quotes! You did a good job mending, even if you didn't pattern match! :)

    1. Arthur Ashe was a wise man who said some good things

  2. I remember that we treated ourselves to a couple of really nice pub lunches and Chinese takeaways the last time we moved house before putting the last of the kitchen stuff in a box labelled "last box downstairs". I also remember that the box didn't come out of the removal van first as we had planned!
    I like the sound of the apple and date galettes.

    1. When we moved to Dorset,I had a box with mugs, milk, teabags all accessible in my car...but forgot that removal men take sugar in their tea. Fortunately my new neighbour Jim lent me a cup of sugar.

  3. Really enjoying your efforts to squeeze out the value of every item before you move. As an old coffee advertisement used to say...Good to the last drop (or perhaps, in your case, the last fiber).

  4. Well done for doing what you can with the things you have!


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