It’s Good to Celebrate

I celebrated my birthday this week: as the date approached I reflected on ways in which the day could fit in with my quest to live more justly, particularly thinking of ecological concern and my approach to money and material goods (two of the areas covered in Just Living). It’s good to celebrate and there’s nothing inherently wrong with material items but I’m aware of how much I have already.

I received some fantastic physical presents along the sustainable living theme (some I asked for and some were surprises), including:

  • Bamboo toothbrushes from Humble Brush
  • A pot of ink and reservoir for my fountain pen
  • Organic perfume (which I discovered by reading this article)
  • An aloe vera plant for the kitchen
  • A large plant pot for our garden
  • A resusable snack bag

I was also given money for a photography workshop so I can spend time being creative and for another sailing session. A friend took me out last weekend for afternoon tea: more than the sandwiches, scones and Moroccan tea, I enjoyed spending time chatting without having to think about children and chores. I also had a celebratory dinner with my ‘mum friends’. These women are all really precious to me and it was lovely to gather together without the children.

[My Love Language is ‘time’ which means I feel valued and appreciated when people choose to spend time with me.]

The day of my birthday was spent as a family – me, Mr Pilgrim, Small Boy and Little Miss. We made a cake (in Small Boy’s eyes birthdays are all about the cake) and had a picnic by the river before paddling and looking for fish. There’s something about being by water which brings me peace.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. Psalm 23:1-3

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The picnic featured sandwiches made with our new pre-loved bread-maker. Trying to cut down on the amount of single-use plastic we use, I wanted a bread-maker.  Mr Pilgrim said that it would be more zero waste to buy one second-hand so I did some research, and discovered:

  • Six per cent of people who receive bread machines as presents don’t use them
  • There could be up to 10 million bread machines sitting sadly on shelves

I asked on Facebook if anyone had one they no longer wanted, a friend said she’d seen one for sale on a local group page, I did some digging, sent a message and then the next day I collected a bread-machine for £20 from someone five minutes away!

Our picnic also featured Snact – they’re a bit like yoyos but made from unwanted ugly fruit and in compostable bags. Small Boy voiced his approval – which was good because I bought three boxes so I wouldn’t have to pay postage!


Following a much-needed nap (woo hoo!), Mr Pilgrim and I headed over to St Albans to Lussmanns. I wanted to go to a restaurant where the provenance of the menu matters.

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Lussmanns are shortlisted finalists in the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s 2017 Food Made Good Awards in the Serve More Veg and Better Meat: to reward the most innovative ways of encouraging customers to eat more veg and better meat category. They have a comprehensive and well-thought out sustainability policy, seem to care about their staff and support local charities.

And the food (I had North African style organic lamb followed by honey and thyme pudding) and service were impressive. I can recommend a visit.

So that’s my birthday over for another year…next year it’s a big one!

 

The Random Cafe: inclusion, community and sustainability

Excited to discover this week that a group in Watford are setting up a Real Junk Food Project: a cafe where all the food is unwanted – but edible –  and customers choose how much they want to pay for their meal.

Random Cafe is something really different for our town,  it’s about inclusion, community and sustainability.  We want to create a cool cafe and restaurant, where the food and atmosphere are great, a place where people want to be, where all of the meals just happen to be made from waste ingredients, and served on a pay-as-you-feel-basis.

To support The Random Cafe, please visit their Crowdfunder page, connect with them on Facebook and Twitter and visit one of their pop-up cafes soon.

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