Friday, July 1, 2011

clothes update...

This blog has become my accountability tool for my clothes buying!

So thus, I feel I should confess some purchases...

1) lovely pair of work shoes, to replace those which BROKE. They are Carvela, and so should last... and thus ethical, right?? (don't mention they were made in China...)

2) tights - within the rules... not good for the world, I'm afraid, in anyway, except for for my pocket, as they were considerably reduced.

3) PANTS. In the English (and not North-West England) sense of the word. Again, within the rules, and I have need of non-VPL pants. Girls, you'll understand. Maybe boys too, I don't know. Do boys worry about VPL?

Also, my lovely friend Lindsay sent me a belated birthday present of bamboo socks (ethical because it grows quicker...and they're beautifully soft) and a cute black linen tunic dress, from Nomad and organic and fairtrade and all that shenangans. Thanks Linds :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

on procrastination

I am the world's worst procrastinator, and the world's most disorganised resident. The other day, I spent the majority of the morning tidying my desk, and it's still covered in 10 piles of different 'stuff', set in opposite directions to try and provide some kind of a code for when I next tackle it. The shelves above my desk are still scattered with sheaths of paper and old diaries and CDs and I haven't even begun to tackle them.

The following day, I was mostly procrastinating, firstly cos of having to fill in 8 weeks of timesheets, which is in itself a result of procrastination, and then this afternoon because of a having to do a structural job (which I ALWAYS put off because I am basically scared of them).

So therefore, I know all about 'tau day' (oppositions of 'pi') and the fact that Kate Bush did a song called pi, and what tau (2x pi, 6.28) would sound like if it were made into music, and I've watched a funny vid of a man falling over the boundary trying to catch a ball at a cricket match, and a video of folkface (off of Chris Moyles) at Glastonbury, and Tina Daheley (off of Chris Moyles) 'scaling' the five storey Radio1 building in a cherry picker, and the fact that Alistair cook got out for 5 and then they went off for rain in the cricket.

In a bid to CONQUER this terrible habit, I have printed off an excel sheet marked out in half hourly boxes with Monday to Friday across the top to fill in with what I have been doing each half hour, in the hope that the guilt will hit me as I go to fill in each half hour and discover that I have to make stuff up for 'searching for Kate Bush tracks about mathematical symbols'.

So far, it has not worked, because since I decided to do it, I have spent the afternoon firstly making the table, drafts 1, 2, and3, and then putting off the structures job, by printing things out for jobs I need to do later in the week, washing up tea mugs, and attempting to descale the kettle.

I could go on and discuss my untidyness (as anyone who as ever lived with me for any time, however short, will be able to testify to) but that is just a bit too confessional. Anyway, I have decided that my gravestone should read 'lovely girl, but more than a trifle disorganised'.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

on fruit eating

I have an ethical dilemma of how to eat a kiwi fruit. Well, it's not ethical at all, but never mind.

If one peels a kiwi fruit, with one's fingers, a little bit of skin at a time, it takes about five times as long to peel as it does to eat. Thus the effort is felt to have been wasted as the fruit is gone in two bites.

However, if one cuts the skin off with a knife, inevitably one loses a sizable fraction of the fruit. So you get less goodness but quicker.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

clothes update

OK, so I'm rubbish at updating.

Anyway, it's time for an update on my Year Without Buying Clothes (almost)(yes there's a confession coming up).

I think I'm doing well! It was tricky when the seasons started to change and the weather started getting warmer, and the shops had lots of lovely summer floaty clothes in, as it's always nice ushering in the spring with new togs! However, I went to my mum and dad's a couple of times and discovered all last year's floaty clothes so I've restocked. And the housemate and I have swapped and shared a few bits (although I have to be careful at encouraging her to buy things I think I'd like to wear!).

I also found it a bit tricky when I was in a foul mood; that's the time I'd ordinarily buy some new clothes to cheer me up. Luckily, I was placated by one of the lads from work who, fed up of my moaning, bought me a starbucks cheesecake. Bless.

I'm also planning using different coloured ribbons in some shoes that are currently fastened with a black ribbon - instant new shoes!

I did say that if I needed new things, I would get them from charity shops. But only if I NEEDED them. With the warmer weather I discovered I could do with a new lighter weight cardi - so hit Goodramgate in York today, otherwise known as charity shop street. I think about every other shop is a charity shop! I think I have got a bit snobby about these places; a bit nervous about getting things from them. But I had my eyes opened today; I think when I am buying clothes again I will definitely spend more time here. I had to be really self-restrained; I could easily have bought a few bits, particularly a gorgeous Reiss short sleeved light tan sweater dress for NINE POUNDS. I shall be wanging on about that particular sacrifice for ages, so deal with it. NINE POUNDS. But, I did find a very cute Laura Ashley black cardi with a cute vintage frill and buttons on the cuffs for a fiver.

In other news, we have started composting and taking the proceeds to friends' who have a wormery!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

just managing

I am feeling incredibly snowed under by work at the moment. And the fact that worktime seems to encroach upon hometime! And that I am Rubbish at getting on with what needs to be done both at home and at work.

Anyway, this has reminded me (this, and singin the line 'by the grace of God, we will carry on') of a time when in Ghana that I spoke to a friend who worked at the airport, and asked him how work was, and he answered me

"By His Grace we are managing small small"

Which is my favourite ever Ghanaian quote. Ever.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

i forgot to buy tights!

I've just realised that this is the day I said I'd officially start my no-clothes-buying and I forgot to get any tights in advance! Still, I kind of feel it's cheating to buy stuff prior to starting my resolution, and if I rip my tights there's not much I can do anyway but buy a new pair.

I have been a bit encouraged already at the memory that last summer I customised a pair of shoes not just once, but TWICE, in order to wear them for two different weddings. They were very simple New Look cream faux-satin, high heeled court type shoes that I'd worn to be a bridesmaid for my friend Gem a year before. I decided I would probably not wear them again in their current state and so for wedding #1 (navy, cream and pink dress) I stuck some navy buttons in place of the plastic gemstone, and for wedding #2 (red dress) I removed the navy buttons and stuck some tiny red fabric roses in their place. Inevitably as it was me doing it both these alterations were done last minute, the night before, with scavanged tools, but it lasted and the roses are still in tact! The shoes got a bit muddy so I'm thinking this year I may try and dye them...

I have also already been offered a pair of shoes by someone who found out I was not buying any clothes, but alas they were the wrong size! I have been telling a lot of people, as a bit of an accountability thing really, the more people who know the less likely I am to break it... but something else that I hope will come out of it is a step towards living more in community; there's no reason why my same-sized housemate and I shouldn't borrow each others clothes more, and maybe this will spread to other friends and encourage us to live much closer lives!

Reading the green book has inspired me (hopefully not just momentarily) to do more things to conserve resources. I sat mending my coat on the train yesterday; in my bag I had a Spork, a cloth bag for shopping, a plastic mug for coffees and a thermos for soup or cold drinks. Just in case like. I try to do these things anyway but hopefully they will come more as second nature rather than a constant afterthought...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

late resolutions

I have a good friend who is going travelling for a year, and she is having the inevitable clear out and passing-on of bits and bobs she think various friends might appreciate! I was thus the grateful recipient of a book entitle 'How green are my wellies' by Anna Shepard, a kind of manual to greener living, but in a very unthreatening and amusing way.

I like to think of myself as a bit bothered about the world around me but far too often I'm too lazy... take right now for example, where I've left the radio on downstairs and I'm sitting upstairs.

Anyhoo, last night I got to the February chapter, although the fact it is in reality nearly February is more a coincidence than a plan, and the author told how she gave up buying new clothes for a year. I then and there spontaneously decided there was no earthly reason why I should not do the same!

I have lots of clothes, far too many in fact, but still feel the need to buy new regularly. It turns out there are many reasons I can use to support this plan; green reasons, ethical and moral reasons, financial reasons and also reasons of faith...

I am Rubbish about things like this so I am publicising it to the world so I have no excuse!

There are, however, rules... I am permitted in that time to buy brand new underwear, but will endeavour to ensure it is organic and fairtrade! If I need new things, I am allowed to search in charity shops, but as for me it's as much about frugal living as about not creating new waste I am going to try not to browse idly in charity shops. Accessories are allowed! Shoes are not allowed (this is the worst thing!!).

Ultimately though, I'm not going to go round in indecent clothes so if I need something I will get it from the high street, but last resort only...