Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The joy of conversation

I became re acquainted with the beautiful pastime of talking this weekend.  My partner and I had a very rare, not happened in the about 15 months, night out.  I forgot just how much I love to talk.....you know really talk.  We chatted pub politics, put the world to rights and made future plans that will probably never come to fruition.  

My partner and I used to love to talk.  Indeed on the first night we met we covered all the conversational bases; African American feminism, the plight of the refugee, the state of mental health services and Woody Alan. And after our first meeting we carried on happily chuntering away to each other.  We used to have 'favourite conversations' , one's we would churn out again and again and never tire of.   

Since Frieda's arrival, talking has been relegated, it's value not truly recognised.   Sure we communicate; we discuss what we will have for dinner, who will pick Frieda up from nursery? where did we put her hat? but we don't take time to delve in to our souls and communicate wildly till our hearts content.....this weekend we did and it felt great.   

Now if only we could have been re acquainted with sleep too! Sleep feels like a distant memory.

Thursday, 23 October 2014


Life lately looks a lot like this. I feel a real sense of adjusting at the moment. Life feels different to how it did this time last year and indeed how it felt in the warmer months. I feel we are finding our feet at the moment before we settle down into a rhythm for the colder darker months. Lately Frieda wants to stay close at home preferring to visit the same park near our house and the same woods at the bottom of our road. She is enjoying spending time at home and finds toddler groups stressful. This is very different to this time last year when I had a manic excitable baby who never wanted to spend a moment in the house. We would spend ours days going from baby group to baby group, drinking tea in cafes, visiting the library, going on trains and buses and visiting anyone who would have us.

Like many people of my generation, I spent a lot of my 20's flitting from one job to the next and living in shared houses. Moving house each year was the norm. A house was really a room that you spent very little time in and free time was typically spent out of the house. It was only when I met my partner and we rented a little flat together did I discover hobbies to fill the extra hours that I was spending at home. Frieda's need to be out somewhere new and exciting felt familiar and It was easy for me to think up things to do outside the house. Staying close to home feels less natural but i'm easing my way in and we are finding ways to balance both our needs and life feels quite pleasant.

A new addition to our house hold is Peppa Pig. I had slightly rose tinted specs before I had Frieda and assumed that t.v would not feature in her early years. We don't have a t.v and I didn't see how t.v would fit into her early life. Frieda has discovered Peppa Pig, she loves it and can sit for a couple of hours as happy as anything watching this little pig and her friends. For the first time ever us adults have spare time in the day. On Sunday we were in town and my partner said fancy getting the paper? And we looked at each other 'oh my gosh we actually could couldn't we?' Frieda could watch her cartoons, and for the first time since her arrival we could spread the Sunday supplements all over the house. We are still working out Frieda's relationship with the telly, it's a new issue, neither of us are sure what feels right; but as the three of us sat there on a rainy Sunday playing in parallel, Mummy with her wool, Dadday with his organs and Frieda with her cartoons, we knew that we are very pleased that this little pig has found her way into our lives.  

Monday, 13 October 2014

Gone but not forgotten

Before I start I must apologise for the old grainy off centre photograph, This however is the only photo I have of my favourite cardigan that is sadly no longer with me.  Taking part in the sustainable fashion challenge has made me question a lot of the items that I have in my wardrobe.  I receive an email each day as part of the challenge which encourages me to examine my relationship with my wardrobe.  I have quite a lot of clothes that were cheap charity shop finds that I quite like but I have very few items of clothes that I absolutely love.  I want to start buying some more expensive (sustainable and ethical) items of clothes such as statement dresses that will last me many years, are good quality and that I love.  I'm thinking of investing in something new twice year summer and winter and then adding to this year on year.

Back to the cardigan.  Thinking about my wardrobe has led me to think about this cardigan. This was the first successful larger item of clothing I ever knitted.  I bought pure alpaca wool (which doesn't come cheap) to make this cardigan.  It took me ages to knit. I was thrilled with the finished item.  Not only did I love it, oh the fit and the feel, but knitting this gave me a serious amount of confidence not only with knitting but with life in general.  I, Hannah Taylor, someone who never  thought I could never make any thing, had only gone and made a cardigan!  I seriously thought I could take over the world.  I couldn't believe that all my hard work hard paid off.  

Now for the sad part,  three days later I left this cardigan on a rail replacement bus to Whitstable.  I made many phone calls but sadly I was never to see it again, I was heart broken,  I cried.  I hope someone somewhere is getting pleasure from my cardigan....that would make me happy.

Making something to wear is life affirming.  We should do it more.   


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Sustainable fashion challenge

Skirt: Clothes swap REISS
Jumper: Charity shop M&S
Coat: Charity shop: Laura Ashley
Shoes and tights: New

Excluding shoes and underwear, at least 85% of my wardrobe is second hand.  I'm a self confessed charity shop addict.  A limited budget and desire to have slightly more clothes than I need has meant that I have been seeking out the thrill of the hunt for more years than I can remember. I like clothes and experimenting with colours and patterns but fashion has never been a big interest of mine, I have never bought fashion magazines or followed trends in a major way. I NEVER EVER thought I would do a 'what I wore' blog post as I think I often look quite unfashionable and a bit clashing.  For a long time now I have been concerned about where my clothes come from and the impact that my purchases have on the individuals who make my clothes and the planet.  This is another big reason why I chose to buy so many clothes second hand.  My aim is to always buy the majority of my clothes second hand and then the rest from more ethical companies.  In reality this does not always happen.  I slip up sometimes particularly with the lure of internet shopping. I used to try and keep an eye ethical shopping index ratings but I found that these changed and it was sometimes hard to keep up.

With all this in mind, I have decided to take part in the 'tortoise and lady grey' sustainable fashion challenge as I think it could give me the push I need into having a fully functioning sustainable wardrobe.  I will be blogging about this over the next 20 days so do come back and take a look. Anyone else fancy taking part check out the torotise and lady grey blog. 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Another blogger gives up shampoo

Last Summer, inspired by this post on the Lulastic blog, I decided to give up shampoo.  The picture above was taken in the height of my no poo adventure  I think we can all agree that my hair looks ok....nice even??  And importantly not greasy.  After I had a baby I barley had time to clean my teeth.....in fact some days I didn't. I completely stopped wearing make up, if there was the slightest chance I may have had time to put it on in the morning I knew I would never have chance to take it off at night.  All I had time to do with my hair was shove it up in a bun.

Hair wise I have often found my curly hair a little hard to manage.  I relied on using a few products to tame it/liven it up, depending on what sort of hair day it was.  People who know me would probably view me as someone pretty unlikely to use hair products.  I think I have an air of the dishevelled about me, I don't wear make up very often and  my partner sometimes says I look like a child who has been through the dressing up box. For many years I have never felt at peace with myself with regards to my hair product usage.  

Like many women when I was pregnant I had the hair I thought I deserved.  I didn't need to use hair products and I had what I describe as 'public school girl hair'. In my eyes it was a glossy, flowing, wavy mane.  I was brought back down to earth after Frieda arrived and my hair returned to it's sometimes limp sometimes frizzy, in need of taming, mane.  Like many women after they have had a baby I began think more about the chemicals that were coming in to our house and near my baby and I wanted to cut back.  

No poo seemed like the perfect solution.  I dived in, my hair looked better and I didn't have to use products.  I was however never able to leave the bicarb and cider vinegar solution, these no poo staples are the arm bands of the project.  I was using the bicarb solution every other day and it was feeling like a faff and if I got the cider vinegar solution wrong I found my hair went greasy.  I then got a fringe cut and it didn't seem to like the no poo and well you dear readers can guess the ending, I gave up.  I managed five months.

My blogger friend Lori recently took the no poo plunge and she inspired me to try again. She goes into much more details about the effects of chemicals contained in our shampoos.  I have gone a little more cold turkey this time only using bicarb once a week.  It has been three weeks and my hair is a greasy mess tied in a head scarf, i'm starting to despair.  I'll let you know how I get on.  I wanted to put photos up on this blog of myself with nice no poo hair to spur me on.

note-  I couldn't find any pictures of just me during my no poo adventures so I had to include a very bald Frieda.

For more information on do check out the following resources.



© Peggy Jobbins' Little Big Adventure. All rights reserved.