Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Live LAGOM Part III

The final word




With the rain spattering on the window, the whipping wind and the high teen temperatures we can be
sure...summer is here. This also means that the Live LAGOM project is drawing to a close...just over six months of making changes in and outside my home to live more sustainably.

So have I achieved this ? 
To be honest, I feel like the journey is only just beginning. There was so much to take in, so many great ideas and suggestions that I feel like I've got a life times worth of projects to try out. Both from the official IKEA workshops and Live LAGOM blog and from all the other participants. Such an enthusiasm for new ways of being sustainable that I often feel only half hearted in my efforts. But I feel like I'm chasing my tail 90% of the time with everything I do ! 

What has really worked ?
I can fully champion my recycling boxes in the kitchen...these have reduced my rubbish and tidied up my kitchen no end. The storage jars have decreased my stock piled cupboards, but have also meant that little hands get tempted and know where to find the sugar ! My electricity bills continue to get cheaper and I can thank the LED light bulbs, and lamp lighting for this. And my home is much more green thanks to plant pots and hanging baskets. 

What has been my biggest stumbling block ? 

To be totally honest I would say fear. I'm yet to use my pressure cooker because I'm terrified of it...surely that amount of hot pressurised steam can only result in disaster ?! I keep telling myself not to be stupid but it remains. 
I've also struggled with growing the herbs, I managed to destroy the first two lots I tried to grow, so again became afraid of planting the tomato and pepper kits. I overcame this by getting the kids involved. We did it together and it became a lot less scary ! Perseverance is key right ?!

There have been some practical setbacks too. My bathroom lights are still waiting on an electrician, my outdoor bench is waiting to be screwed into the wall. It would have been great if there had been someone at the store we could have booked to come round and help with such things... this would have really got me further down the line than I am now...





...that said I have REALLY enjoyed the workshops and chance to chat to other people taking part in the project. In particular my last worksop where I used a sewing machine for the first time and am now proud owner of my self made peg bag. My daughter was so proud of me ! 

And to the future ? 
I will definitely be continuing on my journey, and hopefully updating the IKEA team as I discover things. I would love the project to continue for another six months so that it lasts a full year. I will be getting lights fixed, my indoor drying rack up and ready for indoor drying in the winter, my herbs tended to, and hopefully some tomatoes to eat come the end of summer ! I also intend to switch over the rest of my lightbulbs as and when they need it and make some thick curtains for my front room.





Thanks IKEA, for opening my eyes and allowing me to try certain things that I may have shied away from due to lack of knowledge...and for giving me loads of cool new stuff ! I will be recommending the project highly. 

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Somewhere in on a farm in Wilstshire...























Last Saturday saw me and some other carefully selected ladies frolicking merrily in a field. We were there to see the fantastic next venture from Sadie Spikes, owner of the famous The Boutique Arthouse guesthouse on Fishponds Road, Bristol.

Sadie has, over the last three years, lovingly bought, restored and nurtured three old circus caravans back to a happy, healthy life. And now they are ready to welcome their first visitors.

Named after Sadie and her husbands' grandparents... Sid, Dot and Iris all have personalities of their own. Ranging from dark wood, to kitsch coverings and pretty crockery each caravan is kitted out with cooking facilities and beautiful wood burners. Sleeping two comfortably per caravan, the site is perfect for a booking of six.














We were there to give the place a test run, not only the caravans but also the magical dressing up room (set up in a horse box) that stocks ballgowns of varying shapes, sizes and styles (all bought from a Bristol charity shops) but also a range of body glitter, paint, accessories and more. It is a place to let your inhibitions loose and your imagination run wild. It felt like we were in a happy dream all day...dancing through flower filled fields in posh frocks !




The toilets (two) and the bath (a proper free standing beauty, once stationed in Billy Connelly's house) are also in their own horse boxes. You could bath with the door open looking out on the surrounding countryside...

It is the little touches that really make this place special... each caravan has been decorated with flowers, there are sweet jars filled with favourites in the back of the Merc that is permenantly parked there, the curtains are made from blankets, the door handles have been specifically sourced... this is a real labour of love...it oozes style.








What the final idea is for the retreat is left to Sadie... talk of it being a women's only place, where no phones are allowed are top of the list and when you step away you can see why this idea is probably the one that will work. A break from all and every stress of modern life, where women look each after, laugh, cook, dance, dress up and relax. I left having done all of these and slept VERY well that night...

For more information contact Sadie via the website

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Polaroid Week Spring 2016

     



           



Friday, 25 March 2016

Live Lagom Part II



Finally the winter is beginning to thaw, and the flowers in the garden have started to bloom which must mean only one thing… spring is finally springing…it has felt like a long winter. But this has been good for indoor activities and organisation ! We have been working hard at home to implement and enjoy our new lagom lifestyle. 

I have noticed a huge reduction in the amount of household waste we put out… having moved over from Berlin where the bins got emptied on a twice weekly schedule I was a little worried about our wheelie bin only being emptied twice a week, but following the installation of our recycling boxes the bin is now only ever half full and most of the rubbish are dirty nappies ! 




As the kitchen is being slowly redesigned, I am also really enjoying my storage jars, limiting the amount of food I buy and increasing the beauty of the shelves ! 













My blind on the kitchen window works wonders, keeps drafts out so the kitchen is bearable first thing in the morning (there is no radiator in there and I didn’t want to have to use an electric heater), and below this are the newly installed taps. So far, I can’t say that i’ve noticed much of a difference, other than the hot water pressure is slightly lower, but it feels good to know I am not wasting as much water, especially as I do the washing up analogue style by hand, and know that water is easy to waste. 











Unfortunately I have come across a few barriers in my project. 

Some are purely seasonal and I hope to get going now the above mentioned Spring has truly kicked off, mostly to get my outdoor furniture built and installed so I can continue to create my sensory garden just outside my back door. I have been able to start planting herbs indoors, with the help of my little greenhouse and growing sets… cannot wait to see the fruits from these, and will move them outdoors once they are more established. Joining these will be my tomato and pepper growing kits, again, just waiting for the weather to really warm up. 





Others have been, sadly, that the products I selected just couldn’t be installed, or simply didn’t fit. The VITAHULT charging unit I chose and was REALLY looking forward to using, didn’t fit my iPhone, which was a real shame. Also, the bathroom mirror. Because of the way which the UK law works about having switches in the bathroom, and the design of the STORJORM mirror not having an independent light switch has meant I’ve had to rethink my bathroom lighting…but all is not lost. I have re-thought the lighting design, and am replacing the mirror with other LED lights which can run off the main switch and not cause problems.

My bathroom has also seen more “green” improvements with the addition of my plant hangers, which create a little oasis. I love them and cannot wait for the plants to grow bigger and start taking over ! 







































I cannot wait to get everything else installed and up and running, and I am looking forward to sharing the results of both my outdoor and indoor activities…

Friday, 26 February 2016

Blue Skies to Lift the Mood

It's been a while... I've been feeling BLUE...





Thursday, 21 January 2016

CALLING ARTISTS...


The Distant Future Always Sounds Lovely and The Kingfisher Cafe present:

An exciting new collaboration is taking place at the much loved Kingfisher Cafe.

Anna Blightman, (The Distant Future Always Sounds Lovely) will be taking on an artist coordinator role for The Kingfisher, working as an independent to discover and introduce new local artists to the space and its potential.

The collaboration will open doors (and walls) at The Kingfisher to support local artists by offering them a chance to host an exhibition of their work, which will include an exclusive evening opening. The work will then remain on display for the entire month, before the show changes.

Arriving in Fishponds in the summer last year from Berlin, Anna works as an artist using the medium of Polaroid photography showcasing the originality and nostalgia of the classic Polaroid in prints and other gifts.

The new venture with the Kingfisher Cafe, beginning at the end of February, will give the opportunity to all to discover the diverse and accomplished range of artists living and working in Fishponds.

Alongside the main exhibition the project is hoping to include one piece of artwork from up to six artists on a two weekly rotation basis that will also be on display in the cafe and available for purchase. There will also be a stronger focus on products and crafts by local artists being available for purchase, with one area of the cafe dedicated to these items.

For a chance to be involved as an artist please contact Anna Blightman via email at anna@thedistantfuturealwayssoundslovely.com or for the chance to sell products and crafts contact the cafe directly.

0117 965 1001

Friday, 15 January 2016

LIVE LAGOM...New Years Resolution

As always with this time of year, I begin to think of clean sheets, fresh starts and new leaves. It is such a great time to rethink everything, sweep out the dead wood of the previous year (quite literally with the Christmas tree) and start as you mean to go on...

...and an even better time to start thinking about my LIVE LAGOM New Years Resolution and how, with the help of my products, I can create a more sustainable live for my girls and me in our new home.

Reducing waste is going to be my big resolution, allowing it to encompass all types of waste including:

- food waste
- wasted energy
- wasted time !

For the first time ever we have a garden, so when I was thinking about Living Lagom my thoughts instantly turned to utilising the underused outdoor space to create a sensory area with plants and herbs which can also be used in the kitchen and cooking.

Using my outdoor bench and shelf unit I am looking forward to planting some seeds and reducing the amount of herbs I buy to sit in a pot and die, or dry out and become flavourless, not to mention the benefit of looking pretty. I also hope to plant some vegetables in the spring. My main challenge with this is remembering to look after the plants, I am hoping by being able to see them outside my kitchen will encourage me !










To combat wasted energy I have several bits and pieces to help me. Including:

- sensor motion light for the landing and late night loo visits !
- LED light bulbs and night lights (our solar ones don't work in the winter !)
- blind for the kitchen window to stop the draught
- wireless charging pad so my phone isn't on charge ALL night
- and most excitingly a pressure cooker, ...I cannot wait to start creating recipes in this, lots of lovely stews, curries and other meals.

Which when all added together is hopefully going to make a big difference both in the amount of energy consumed and the amount of money spent paying for it !

And finally, the waste of time ! We currently have no recycling bins indoors and I spend so much time moving pieces of paper from one side of the room to the other, then having an unsightly stack of stuff that needs to go out to the front...this is crazy and has to stop ! 


Alongside this is the kids "stuff"... playdough, scrap paper, bits of string, ribbon etc etc. All of which I am loathe to throw away but ends up in a mess on the dining room table, and once again I feel I am constantly re-organising into slightly more pleasing piles of mess.  

Not to mention the kitchen food stuff I spend hours looking for in the backs of cupboards.


With my newly acquired storage boxes and jars I aim to eliminate all the above !

I cannot wait to unpack everything properly, and get started. I am looking forward to showing my children the joy of growing your own, and helping the planet to stay beautiful at the same time. To saving energy and ultimately money on heating and lighting my home, and to having a more functional, streamlined recycling system that makes it simple to achieve.