Going Home

I don’t often repost a blog, in fact I think this is the first time, but today I would like to share the thoughts of Ladysighs who never fails to put a smile on my face. Thank you.

 

 

Gosia, this is for you 🙂

Going Home.

Blogging: real-time education.

I occasionally search for other blogs with a similar subject matter to my own and I was rewarded in the last couple of days when I found http://vibrantenergies.wordpress.com/ an inspiring site for anyone who has an interest in straw bale construction. The detail provided expands upon my own write up of our straw bale house and the I have nothing but admiration for the team as they have built without plans and no real assistance from outside contractors; a true inspiration.

As anyone who reads my blog you will know, I tend to go beyond the subject of straw bale and as our future plans include the running of a self sufficient small holding, with bed and breakfast on the side, my search for relevant blogs stretches far and wide.

One site that has really caught my eye is the great Sugar Mountain farm, the livestock farming methods described are fascinating and I would love to go down the route of pasture pigs (sheep and chickens) as it will reduce our reliance on commercial feed; something that we would like to avoid altogether. The detailed information provided on the methods used and the reassurance that they have to deal with very similar climate conditions to those that we experience in Poland has convinced me that this will be a route that we take once we have completed the house. It will certainly raise the eyebrows of the local farmers who still marvel at the fact that we kept our sheep outside last year, never mind pigs!

As you would imagine there are a number of blog sites dedicated to running smallholdings and crofts, growing crops, animal husbandry and self sufficiency in general; many of which I subscribe to. In doing so I have access to so much valuable information that is written from experience rather than the prescribed methods set down in the many text books on the subject; and for me this a great example of the power of the blog. Of course this is in turn powered by the internet, but as we all know the internet in itself can be very confusing and provide conflicting and somtimes out of date information; what the blog format brings is real-time information from real people and as a rule you can get in touch with the author and ask them questions. I cannot think of a better format to educate oneself in your subject of interest and expand your knowledge further as you are drawn to the comments of others and invariably follow the links to the commentators own blog. My understanding and growing interest in permaculture has evolved as I have followed the route above and an honourable mention has to go to Deano at the sustainable smallholding; he provides detailed guidence as he journeys through his permaculture diploma. His dedication, enthusiasm, willingness to try something new to satisfy his own curiosity and the fact that he has spent the time to share his experience make this a must read if you want to explore the subject further.

It is also good to see that many bloggers decide to go that extra mile and I was pleased to see that Under the Linden Tree is involved in the creation of the Sanctuary Network, although it is still in its infancy I hope that its membership and ethos can spread far and wide; why not sign up and join in, the more the merrier 🙂

There are of course many other blogs which I follow and read, often making my laugh, cry, cringe or contemplate; I have listed a few of my favourites in a previous post so make yourself a brew and take a look, you may be surprised on what is on offer.

Missing post

After struggling to find the time to write a post I found a ‘saved in drafts’ (great blog by the way) and thought I could quickly publish it with a few witty comments to try and make up for my lack of attention to blogging.

After a quick edit and spell check I thought I had posted it, only to find this evening that it has gone missing! And despite my best efforts to find a temporary copy lurking on my laptop, it appears to be gone forever 😦

Without the time or energy to rewrite it I will surmise the entry as a ‘how to’ germinate chilli’s and making sure you get them in pots on your windowsill any time now; it will save you money and you and up with three products; Fresh Chilli, Chilli Flakes and, if you have the patience, Cayenne pepper (made from the ground seeds). I’ll try and rewrite it when I convince my sister that she should have a few plants going on her windowsill, even if there not likely to make it outside in the fickle Yorkshire summer.

So what’s happening, why no posts, no replies to comments, very little reading of your posts? All I can say is I have entered into a life of servitude, I am not only the chief cook and bottle washer, you could also add baker, cleaner, plumber, driver, shopper, electrician, mechanic, wood cutter, fire starter, recycler and all round handyman 🙂 I just don’t have the time! That’s not strictly true, but by putting this down in my blog I’ll find out if my sister is reading it and if I never blog again then call the police and tell them to search for a shallow grave in the Dales:)

I have a little bit of work lined up, helping my nephew out with some dry stone walling at Bolton Abbey, so another feather in my cap if it comes about; although I hope the weather improves a bit first!

Ok, that’s it for now, I did manage to get some photos today which I hope to post soon, but I don’t want to post too much now just in case this one disappears as well 🙂

Random post

First of all, thank you Tracey and Solarbeez for helping me out with my problem viewing pages and apologies to anyone who is wondering where the post went that may have appeared in their reader and then disappeared. A brief explanation is that my internet provider stores pages on their servers, so when I try and view my site I see the one that they have copied. Even if I have updated my site, I might not see the changes until they update the copy they hold. For those of you who even bothered to read that, I added a page today Volunteers, check it out, I await your emails 🙂

But back to the topic of this post, ‘Random Post’ It is probably one of my most used buttons when I first discover a new blog. Of course I always check that latest post, normally followed by the About Page; I like to know who I’m reading about. and then I normally move onto the Random Post button from the WordPress menu; under the heading of the blog you are visiting, top left.

http://shapeofthingstocome.org/
Thank you to http://shapeofthingstocome.org/ for the screen grab, please visit and try a random post 🙂

I think it’s all too easy just to check out the last post that someone has posted and this can often lead you with a false impression of the blog you have just visited, even reading the about page doesn’t always give you an insight into the type of blog you may end up reading, or even following. So that’s why I head for the Random Post link, not only does it give you more of an insight, you often discover developing styles and occasionally come across some real gems that you wouldn’t normally expect from the author.

Of course I sometimes set myself the task of reading every post that they have ever published, but this can take quite some time with some of the more established sites, so once again Random Post can save the day and even if you only read one extra page every time you visit, you will soon catch up with them all 🙂

So go on, next time you visit a new blog, or even go back to one you might follow, hit the random button and be enlightened. Maybe even leave a comment and remind the person of something that they have forgotten about as I did today with Ladysighs 🙂

It was that cold my MP3 player stopped working!

It’s not actually that cold, but it is true that my MP3 player stops working when the temperature is below zero. It took me a while to work it out as I thought the battery was on the blink and the unit was no longer holding a charge, but then after several experiments it appeared that I could get my player to work if I held it in my gloved hand. Strange but true! I’m glad I solved the problem before the Archers omnibus on Sunday.

But that’s not the reason for this post, in fact there is no reason for this post; it’s just a bit of a ramble.

Gosia seems to be doing well in Holland and the work isn’t too hard (maybe it is, I’m making this up), if anything I think she would like to find another job to help make the days pass quicker; I have of course reminded her that I’m still waiting for her to make my crocheted underwear in the hope that would distract her for a while and keep the hooks in motion, but it seems she can’t find a coarse enough yarn for the purpose! Although I understand that as the cold weather hits Holland she has being busy crocheting hats.

To her delight she has discovered that the largest covered market in Europe is on her doorstep and the Turkish market in particular is full of wonderful foods and spices at a remarkably low price, so fresh fruit and veg is the diet of choice; so much for my objections to globalisation! I pointed her in the direction of Food and Forage Hebrides for some great spicy recipe ideas.

I’m looking forward to visiting her as soon as the opportunity arises, I spend my days thinking of excuses so I’m sure I’ll come up with a plan soon:)

My earlier thought about knitted underwear reminded me of a great film that I watched recently ‘The Hairdressers Husband’ which then reminded me to tell you about Beetlypete again, who has started a fascinating series of posts on great films from around the world, which in turn has led me to try and discover some of the wonder he has found in the many titles he recommends. Well worth a look, even besides the film reviews.

As it is Friday today meat is off the menu, a tradition that is rooted in the dominant catholic religion of Poland, not that I mind this at all as I can quite happily survive on a vegetarian diet; only occasionally getting the urge to eat red meat! But I do get this urge and that is why we intend to keep animals for meat in the future, not so that we can gorge ourselves silly with fistfuls of blood dripping flesh, but so we can have a controlled and balanced diet; knowing where our food is from and knowing how it was treated before it reaches our plate is something we want to achieve. We experimented with lamb this year and even though the slaughtering was a little traumatic we needed to go through the process to make sure it would be a viable idea for the future. Gosias family is already converted to this strange meat so I can see a small flock developing this year.

Having conducted a bit of research yesterday following the ‘My Lidl Pony’ scandal I was shocked to find that many small farmers, crofters, smallholders and even some of the bigger players in the market have culled their herds of pigs this year as the cost of feeding is now greater that the price offered by the supermarkets. This article on the animal slaughter, brought to my attention by Stonehead provides more detail, but with an expected pork price rise of between 15 and 50% predicted for next year I’m hoping to buy some good breeding stock to help support my Polish family as pork is by far the most widely eaten meat in this part of Europe. Mind you hopefully one of the consequences of this drastic action will be that pork is produced and sold at a more realistic price in the future, at least it may give some of the smaller free range breeders a chance to sell and make a bit of money for a change.

Mind you these things are all a long way off and I need to get off my lazy backside and get on with the house before I have any time for all this animal husbandry, never mind all the other plans that seem to be floating around in my head. Unfortunately the ten day forecast and predicted low temperatures are still putting me on hold; along with my Walkman 🙂

 

unwanted ads

If you read my post on Awards then you should read this as well, I had no idea about the adverts. Mind you I guess it’s also a sign of your success if wordpress start to advertise on your blog; none on mine yet! Thankfully

Ripe Red Berries

That’s what I recently found on my blog. I was horrified. Why are these ads on my blog? Who did this? I don’t support these companies! That would go against so much of what I write about, so much of what makes me – me. I was saddened. Here I am sharing my life and then (unbeknownst to me), some terrible video advertisement is imbedded at the bottom of my post. Gasp. I needed to know where it came from and more importantly, how to get rid of it. I did a little research and learned the ads were placed by WordPress.

At WordPress they sometimes display advertisements on your blog to help pay the bills. WordPress says,“this keeps free features free.” I get it. I realize (now) that I overlooked this fact when I agreed to start this blog with WordPress. Too bad for me, though I doubt…

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Be aware of awards

I was recently nominated for an award by one of my few readers, http://solarbeez.com/, something that I was very flattered to receive. I have followed Solarbeez for a number of months and enjoy reading his articles on natural beekeeping and his other ethical living antics, take a look for yourself.

Curious as I am, that and the fact that I have lots of time on my hands at the moment, I thought I would look into the awards system in more detail and in doing so I came across this article: http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/how-to-nominate-bloggers-for-awards-etc?replies=3

Now even though I don’t fully understand the technical side of this article it seemed to me that the best thing to do was not to get involved in a chain, despite the fact that the nomination was genuinely given by Solarbeez and I’m certain he also received his nomination in good faith; I simply didn’t think it was a good idea to perpetuate the chain any further.

Of course I may well have lost the opportunity to gain more viewers and followers because of this, but then that’s not the reason I’m blogging, I’m blogging for me; as Beetleypete recently put it ‘It is like a diary, just one that you let others read. So, treat it just like that, and see it as a bonus if someone else is interested.’ I’ve followed Beetleypete since I started blogging, a truly random find that I’m glad I made. He has some very interesting stories to tell and is willing to share his opinion on a number of items, and whilst I don’t necessarily always agree with him; I enjoy reading him; he has a great style of writing that I wish I could emulate.

I then started to think that perhaps I should have continued the chain so as not to cause any offence to anybody, and generate some traffic for all those involved, keeping everyone happy?

One of the requirements of many of the awards, that I have seen, is to list a number of things about yourself that you haven’t previously disclosed; this in itself would be a real challenge for me as I tend not to hide much and if I don’t reveal something it’s probably because I don’t want to. You are also encouraged to nominate a number of blogs for the same award that you have received; in this particular case up to fifteen. Now I don’t even follow fifteen blogs so I think I would struggle to come up with many nominees, or should I simply nominate them all, inspiring or not?

Talking of inspiring, you should take a look at Leaf and Twig as I do for a daily dose, I’m not sure how he does it, but he comes up with a great picture and words to match; every day! Or maybe you want to be inspired in the kitchen, then head over to Food and Forage Hebrides or Ripe Red Berries for great recipes and real life content, not just cooking;. Of course you could also go to Musings from Stonehead or The Foragers Year two great sites that seem to have almost accidentally added a great selection of unexpected recipes in between there specialist subjects. I’m slowly reading through both of their blogs and enjoying the task, although it could be some time before I catch up.

So maybe that’s the answer, rather than nominating blogs without having the opportunity to cast a vote for a ‘ self marketing award’ with an unknown beneficiary somewhere down the chain,  I should write a post and tell my meagre readership of the blogs that I like at the moment and why I like them.

I know that I would definitely mention pasdelouptech for her quirky cartoons which I don’t always understand, as well as Uphilldowndale for glorious pictures and memories of a land that I left behind with the added bonus of the Further Adventures of Spud the Dog; a winning combination.

But maybe I’ll leave that post for another day, or another blog; it’s too far away from my normal subject matter 🙂