Monday, 12 September 2011

Living in a Micro-Climate Bubble

Hurricane Katia Passed Us By

Despite all the preparations, the predicted gales from the tail-end of Hurricane Katia managed to sail on past Frugaldom.

Don't get me wrong, the little free-standing bird table that I forgot to secure did get blown over and we could see the tops of the trees bending under the blasts of wind but, other than that, all has been normal in and around Frugaldom today.

High tide came and went around noon, causing a bit of spray to be thrown up across the main shore road, but we were fortunate in that no storm hit us here.

There are white horses the length and breadth of the bay, reminding us all that the choppy waters are at the beck and call of nature, rather than any person or group within any society. Respect for nature is paramount to the success of frugal living while embracing the whole concept of microholding.

Frugal washing was dried safely on the line, the ducks and hens showed no signs of noticing the blustery afternoon and then, this evening, we went out for a stroll to check out the nearby foraging sites. (The ducks and hens stayed home.)

The brambles aren't exactly what I'd call abundant, but this is probably more a reflection on the council having trimmed all the hedgerows. The sloes, on the other hand, which are out of reach of the trimmers, are in great supply. They look almost ready for picking, so I'll need to raid the drinks cabinet to rake out the vodka. (OK, I'll try to find the cardboard box and unpack it!)

No gin drinkers here, but sloe vodka tastes great, especially during the nippy, winter nights as a delicious, alternative cold 'remedy'. It somehow reminds me of cough syrup from many years ago and gives a warm glow - frugal feelgood factor! (My opinion only, I'm not advocating this as a real remedy.)

While out walking this evening, we could see a band of cloud drifting across between us and the Mull of Galloway. It was nearing sunset, so made for quite a spectacular sight. (The camera isn't the best, but it was frugal - as a 'Buddy Points' bargain from eBid.)

By the time we got home, sun had set but was delivering a fine spectacle of pinks and blues in the sky overhead, so I'd to nip out the back door and snap a quick photo of that, too.

This photo on the right was taken shortly after 8pm this evening.

Since moving here, in April, we really cannot fault the weather. Compared to where we were, a mere 16 miles from here, this is a completely different climate. It's almost as though the area has its own micro-climate, which is in excellent keeping with my longterm plans to create a microholding, right here in the back garden. (Microholding, as opposed to smallholding, because our garden, at a push, extends to no more than quarter of an acre.)

Anyone can create a microholding. It just takes a little bit of thought and planning to ensure that you are making the absolute most of whatever space you have available - even if it's no more than a balcony or a patio.

The variety of plants, fruit and vegetables that can be grown in relatively small spaces is extensive, so start planning ahead for how you could create your very own microholding in 2012. And don't forget that it's never too late to begin planting.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have sown some poppy seeds, all year round cauliflower, carrots and my saffron crocus bulbs. Hopefully, I'll can get started planting up the tubs outside the front door before the month is out then, when the frost is liable to start getting into the ground, it will be time to get the garlic going.

My late potatoes are still growing at an alarming rate, so I'm not convinced that there will be potatoes under the ground or simply a huge array of foliage towering a metre high already. The potatoes I planted were nothing more than household ones that had sprouted! Waste not, want not and only time will tell.

Today's money saving:

Laundry - Washing done with homemade laundry detergent then dried outside on the line
Keep fit - a frugal walk in the fresh air
Foraging foray - free berries
Work - post all sent out Second Class
Recycling - plastic tray packaging from foodstuffs rinsed and kept as seed trays.


  1. I just had a look at your recipe on an earlier post for your home made laundry detergent and washing up liquid. Very interested in it as I have tried making home made washing up liquid before with less than good results - ie, didn't clean anything properly! You inspire me to have another go and to look into the laundry detergent too - prices are becoming too ridiculous to NOT try!
    Glad the winds left you alone.
    Congratulations on a great blog by the way.

  2. Dan, I'm not all that keen on the homemade washing up liquid, so am still buying the cheapest variety available. The laundry detergent, however, is brilliant! I must have saved a small fortune over the past couple of years simply by making my own. I couldn't believe the price of commercial detergent when I saw it recently, truly shocking!

    Good luck with trying this out and thank you for taking the time to visit my frugal blog. :)


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