Help Save Mohammad from Execution

Mohammad, an Edinburgh grandfather on death row for blasphemy in Pakistan, is in a critical condition. He was shot by a prison guard and remains at risk of further violence. Mohammad has a documented history of mental illness and has been charged with blasphemy after becoming delusional. It is a tragic case. Tomorrow, Jasmine, Mohammad’s daughter is taking a petition to Downing Street (please see the link below).

According to 38 Degrees (a non-party-aligned political action group), a Downing Street spokeswoman said yesterday that “the PM has been following the case closely.” More than 70,000 people have signed the petition to save Mohammad. Please would you consider signing it too?

https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/bringmohammadhome

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Scarlet Blast

So good I wanted to share it here, too.

Easy Cooking on a Budget

I made the following smoothie this morning for breakfast and it was so good that I didn’t even notice that I’d forgotten to take my medication.

Handful fresh spinach

Handful blackberries

Handful raspberries

400ml water

2 small dessert apples, chopped

2 tablespoons lime juice (I cheated and used bottled lime juice)

1 tablespoon agave syrup

1. Place ingredients in blender.

2. Blitz until smooooooth.

3. Drink straight away otherwise the liquid separates from the solids and it’s not so nice.

Serves four (unless you’re greedy and only share it between two, like we did)

TOP TIPS

If spinach, raspberries and blackberries are not in season, you can use frozen versions. When using frozen, I use spinach direct from the freezer, but usually defrost any fruit overnight in the fridge. 

Ice would also go well with this, especially on a hot day.

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Waste Less Live More-Discover It

It’s so much fun discovering new ways of doing things!
I think we just have to try to not take the burdens of the whole world on our shoulders and not worry about where we have got it wrong, but focus on the little changes that gradually add up to bigger changes. These then begin to influence those around us to make little changes for themselves. 🙂

My Make Do and Mend Year

Waste Less Live More Week has flown by.
Today is the last day, and it’s time to #Discover It.
Discover itDiscover new ways of doing old things-different ways of getting to the same place; different places to shop; different things to do with the kids…

I thought that as this blog came about from a year of Buying Nothing New, I would encourage you all to discover alternatives to buying thing new (I know I’m kind of preaching to the choir here, but maybe you might find a little nugget of inspiration!)

  • Discover alternative retail outlets: charity shops; auction houses; flea markets; vintage fairs; jumble sales; reclamation yards. These are all fab places for finding ‘new’ things. And don’t forget Freegle and Freecycle, as well as events like Swishing (clothes swapping) to pick up some totally ‘new’, totally free stuff
  • Discover how to make: once you can sew, or…

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Tackling Mount Washmore

I’m thinking of getting one of these

Ecoballs: simple, effective, eco-friendly and inexpensive

We have been attempting to save energy recently by hanging clothes up to dry instead of using a tumble dryer. Of course, this is nothing worthy of an Archimedes’ ‘eureka!’, but I have figured out that if I hang clothes in a certain way, they dry with far fewer creases and hence require little to no ironing and irons use an awful lot of energy (as well as being boring). My method uses lots of pegs, to ensure garments are drying as ‘flat’ as possible. I also have clothes hangers which I keep by the washing line so that anything that requires a hanger now goes straight on the hanger after drying and then directly into the wardrobe. I got this idea from one of FlyLady’s emails. We have two people in our house with bladder problems so we regularly have lots of washing. I do at least one load of laundry every day to stay on top of things, and I use ecoballs instead of laundry powder. This method saves time, money and electricity, so it’s win, win win!

The Italians have it right, but I doubt this would work in rainy, cold Brittania…

Two Weeks In…

Well we’ve been in our new house a fortnight and we’re s l o w l y getting sorted. We’ve had a quote for a new roof that would make you choke on your dinner, but thankfully the plumbing issues were (relatively) minor, as are the electrical problems. What can I say? In an old house these things are part of the ‘character’. Two weeks in and, despite there having been flooding nearby, we now have central heating, hot water and, as of a half hour ago, a brand new cooker! I like camping, but it wears a little thin trying to live the camping life in your home o_O Having said that, we have made good use of the bread-maker, slow cooker, microwave and halogen oven, skills which I’m sure will come in handy as we endeavour to lessen our energy consumption. After all, it’s a journey, not a race. The new cooker is A-rated for energy efficiency, has a double oven so we can choose the appropriate size to use and is British made, so not too bad on the environmental front (by which I mean it didn’t travel from China). We have dreams of solar panels, biomass stoves, growing our own fruit and veg, etc., but, for now… we’re ok. 

CAM00411

Our new sitting room

Mad Dogs and Englishmen

Our house faces due East. Oh how lovely to be woken at 5am by the glorious sun rising over the horizon. So beautiful! This weekend temperatures are forecast as high as 32ºC here in the UK (or at least, they are in London – the rest of us may not be quite so hot). What the weather forecasters sometimes forget to mention is the humidity; our ‘green and pleasant land’ sweats like a steam room on hot days. On the radio the other day they passed on a tip from the Mediterranean. I’d already heard this before but you may not so I am sharing here. What our southern European cousins do is to close all windows and curtains (or shutters, I suppose) on the side where the sun is. For us this means closing the windows and keeping the curtains drawn at the front of the house in the morning, with those at the back of the house left open. As the day progresses, we open the windows at the front of the house and close windows and curtains at the back. We leave windows open all night and avoid going out in the middle of the day. We live at the top of a hill so there is always a good breeze. In terms of the environment, this is relevant for two reasons:

1) We’re going to have to get used to hotter days in the summer, and

2) This method lessens use of electric fans, which must use a lot of electricity on days like these!

 

On a postive note: that sun ‘don’t half get yer washing dry ever so quick!’, as my Nana used to say. Now that reminds me…

New Beginnings

I already have a blog. It started off being about life in general, but later it changed course and became more reflective. I also have a budget healthy eating blog.

 

Over the past six months or so, having studied with the Open University, I have begun blogging about the environment, climate change, etc., and the steps our family is taking towards a more responsible, eco-friendly lifestyle. These posts are over at multicolouredsmartypants.com, under the category ‘The Un-paving Paradise Project‘. But what started as an experiment has grown. The Un-paving Paradise Project needs a home of its own.

 

My husband and I are nearing completion on the purchase of a wonderful old house and I am thrilled at the notion of finally owning our own home after years of renting. I am jumping up and down like a frog on a pogo stick so excited by the prospect of making it as environmentally friendly as possible, and sharing that journey here, on my new blog.

 

This blog will also be more family-orientated than multicoloured smartypants, as our family figures out new ways of being together and ways to alter our lifestyle to leave less of an impact on the planet.