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  • Writer's pictureLilac Mills

Upcyling and other things...

I'm not sure whether this is strictly upcycling, but I found (actually I "borrowed" it from my neighbour's skip - it was going to be thrown out, so I felt justified) this old wheelbarrow and thought I could do something with it, a la Lottie in Make Do and Mend in Applewell.

It was fairly battered, covered in cement and had holes in it, but that made it an ideal candidate for a planter. With no need to drill drainage holes, I hammered the cement off, prettied it up with some exterior paint that was left over from another project (Waste Not, Want Not, you know!) added some compost and a few plants, and voila!

What do you think?

The Applewell village series by Lilac Mills, Waste Not want not, make do and mend, a sttich in time, lilac mills books
Old wheelbarrow - before and after

Recent Reads

As you know, using less and reusing more is important to me, as is reducing my carbon footprint. I don't always manage to do a good job in that respect, so when I saw a couple of books that might shed a little light on what else I can do, I eagerly reached for them.

The first was A Year Of Living Simply (that sounds like a perfect title for one of mine, doesn't it?) by Kate Humble. I must say, it made for interesting reading. Here's a snippet of what made me read it

"Could it be that our lives have just become overly crowded, that we've lost sight of the things - the simple things - that give a sense of achievement, a feeling of joy or excitement? That make us happy. Do we need to take a step back, reprioritise? Do we need to make our lives more simple?

Kate Humble's fresh and frank exploration of a stripped-back approach to life is uplifting, engaging and inspiring - and will help us all find balance and happiness every day."

I don't know about you, but I feel life is becoming ever more complicated, so I welcomed the chance to see how I might simplify things. However, I didn't find a great deal of inspiration in this book, which was a pity, because I was really hoping I would. I came away with the feeling that in order to live more simply, a great deal of funds was needed, and that somewhere along the way the author had lost sight of the brief of the book. However, the overall message of finding peace and pleasure in nature, in growing your own veg (even if it's just a pot on your windowsill), in taking time away from technology, and thinking carefully before you buy something as to whether it would add to your life, is one many of us will appreciate.

The second book was The Wilderness Cure by Mo Wilde (I love the way the author's name is reflected in the title and also her name is very fitting since she is a forager - amongst other things). This book is more of a memoir of the author's experiment of eating only what she could forage for a whole year. I'm not a forager, although I have been known to pick the odd blackberry or three, but I was interested in the premise. It very much involved returning to the way our hunter-gatherer ancestors used to live, and much of the book consisted of detailed descriptions of what she foraged and how she cooked and prepared the food she found.

Foraging isn't for everyone - it can't be, because if we all did it, we'd soon strip the countryside bare. However, it did make me think more consciously about my food choices in the supermarket, and how I tend to stick to the same basic foodstuffs week in week out, paying little or no attention to what is in season.

I won't be using either book as an instruction manual- and that's not what they are intended to be - but I will be picking snippets out of each, which hopefully will improve my mindfulness, health and wellbeing.

That's all for now - watch this space because I have an exclusive follower-only giveaway coming soon! I had a little think about how to celebrate Summer on the Turquoise Coast going into print and... Sorry, you'll have to wait and see!

Hugs and kisses,

Lilac x

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