Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Rewilding Our Life - Day 14

Yesterday's activity was to think about the human population.
How many people live in our area? 
Our hamlet has 31 permanent residents now & during the holiday season (April to October) there can be up to 1050 more... As there is a campsite at the top of the lane, a youth hostel across from us, 2 holiday lets & a B&B.

We are all pretty well spread out along the lane, but for us - the hostel is near & the campsite stretches to the back of our garden, so it is pretty intrusive, we knew this before we moved here & are just happy to be in a beautiful place...

Our house is on the left & that's the hostel on the right.

Lupe outside the hostel...
 Looking up the lane - Meadowcroft is on the left.

We did our rewilding in the garden at work yesterday, so we didn't see anyone else...
We picnicked, lay in the grass & looked down at the sea for an hour... And forgot the camera!

We love the warmer months, but we don't enjoy how busy our little place becomes... We like November too when it suddenly goes quiet, it's really wonderful.


Kay & Sime
xx


Monday, 14 April 2014

Rewilding Our Life - Day 13


We didn't get a chance to do yesterday's activity, as it was to go forest bathing...
Our nearest forest is over 20 miles away & we already had plans for Hugo's other family to come over,which was lovely.

We did venture outside last night & it was very cold, but the sky was beautiful... Just a shame the photo didn't come out! :-)

But we do have an accidental video of all us around the table...

video

Oh dear, we're still tired & it's back to work today for us & day care for Bebe, so another full week ahead for us all...


Kay, Sime & Bebe
xxx


Saturday, 12 April 2014

Rewilding Our Life - Day 12

We managed a stroll again with Bebe today - just to what we call the first gate.
Neither of us felt like venturing out too far, after such a busy week... 
Bebe wasn't happy about it though, she always gets restless at weekends & just wants to go out in the car... But in reality, as soon as we go out - she wants to come home, so we can never win!

Apart from spending 30 minutes outside, today's activity was about ancestors & creating a ritual to think about them & thank them...
This kind of thing isn't really our bag, but we do like candles & incense...

We burn Nag Champa incense pretty much all the time & patchouli in our little oil burner. 

We don't need a reason to light candles...

Nice being at home today.

Kay & Sime
xx

Carob

We have been using carob powder (also known as carob flour) since the 80s, when Sime developed an intolerance to caffeine.
He had overdosed on coffee & his body couldn't take any more. 

We discovered carob powder in our local health store & have used it ever since as an alternative to cocoa... 
We enjoy it warmed in a pan of plant milk & drink it like hot chocolate, but mostly I use it in baking. Carob doesn't have the kick that cocoa can give you, but it is higher in fibre, has a lower fat content & is naturally sweet - so it's possible to use less or no sugar at all in recipes. It is also rich in calcium & contains a long list of minerals, as well as Omega 6 fatty acids. 
We love it!

You can substitute carob for cocoa in any recipe, but I would recommend adding an extra half of carob to the required amount of cocoa, so if a recipe says 2 tbsp cocoa - I would add 3 tbsp carob & then deduct 1 tbsp of sugar from the recipe... Otherwise, it would be too sweet!

Here are some of my recipes, which are free from sugar & added fat.

Carob Balls
4 oz chopped dates
2 oz chopped apple or puréed apple
2 fl oz plant milk
2 oz carob powder
1 oz toasted hazelnuts
1 oz desiccated coconut
6 oz porridge oats
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Ground cinnamon for dusting
Makes around 16


Method
Mix the dates, apple (or purée), milk & carob in a pan.
Gently bring to the boil & simmer for 5 minutes.
Chop or grind the hazelnuts.
Take the pan off the heat & whizz the date mixture with a hand blender.
Add oats, nuts, coconut, vanilla & spice.
Mix thoroughly, then roll into walnut-sized balls.
Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Leave to cool on baking sheets.
Store in airtight container.


Carob, Orange & Apricot Cake
Wet ingredients: 5 tbsp puréed apple, zest & juice of 1 orange & 3 1/2 oz chopped dried apricots.
Dry ingredients: 5 oz self-raising wholemeal flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 tbsp carob powder, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, pinch of ground nutmeg & pinch of sea salt.
Makes enough for one 8 inch cake tin.


Method
Preheat oven to a medium heat & line cake tin.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the wet ingredients.
In another bowl mix the dry ingredients.
Gradually add the dry to wet ingredients & mix well.
Add a little plant milk if the mixture is too dry.

Transfer into the cake tin & bake for 20 minutes.
Test the cake with a fork, if it's still soggy - bake for another 10 minutes.
Remove from the tin & cool on a rack.

We think this cake is nice as it is, but for some extra sweetness... 
This is a delicious topping or if you double the cake recipe - you could also use it as a filling.

Carob Fudge Topping
4 oz chopped dates, 8 fl oz plant milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract & 4 tbsp carob powder. 


Heat it all up in a pan for around 10 minutes, then whizz the mixture up with a hand blender or food processor & just add extra milk if too dry.

Enjoy!

Kay x







Friday, 11 April 2014

Rewilding Our Life - Day 11


What a crazy day today has been...

We started out incredibly organised & Bebe was in a fairly ok mood. To top it all - the weather has been wonderful... We got the washing on the line early this morning & enjoyed the warm sun on our backs, the birds were singing & bees humming - a lovely start to our day!

Work was straight forward, until guests turned up early, which caused a bit of chaos...
Our friends, Lou & Vanessa  are a fantastic help & we couldn't do it without them, especially today, so we are very grateful & feel very lucky to have such lovely friends! :-)

We've been looking after another holiday let today too, which some other friends own.  Unfortunately there was a power failure after some work had been carried out on electric cables in the area... So we ended up spending a couple of extra hours trying to get it sorted out.
Poor Bebe had to come with us, but although it was a warm evening - she refused to get out of the car & just sat pulling her face & moaning about everything.
There's a bench just outside the office, so we sat for over 30 minutes in the sun, fussing our friends' kitties, while we waited for a call back from the electricity company... It was all resolved in the end, but we were home late & Sime had to then rush off to his gig.

Our rewilding has been a bit haphazard really, but we shall make up for it tomorrow.
Today's activity is to take up deep breathing exercises - something we've been into for years...
We don't breathe deeply enough, but it feels great when we do & it's amazing how just concentrating on your breath & filling your lungs can be such a calming, yet uplifting exercise. Nice to do for a few minutes on waking...

It's been a long day, so think it's bedtime...Goodnight!

Kay (& Sime)
xx

PS. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your comments... We love to read them & do mean to reply... At some point soon! :-)

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Rewilding Our Life - Day 10

We are preparing a house in Portmellon for the owners, who will be arriving next week & we never tire of the views, so we enjoyed our rewilding break just soaking up the scenery...  







The property has been closed up for a few months & amongst the usual dead flies was this small tortoiseshell butterfly, also dead...

Today's activity is to research ecovillages because they can be a much more sustainable way to live... 
We were interested for many years in joining an intentional community & have visited a few too.  One of the major downsides for us is that we very much like our own space & we're not always very sociable - we like hibernating & doing our own thing. Even the thought of getting together with  the same folks every week is just too much on a regular basis & would be worse if there are communal chores to be done! We work hard, but only because we have rent & bills to pay, otherwise we'd rather be lazy... 
Most of the established communities require some capital to join, which we've never had, but we did nearly join a community in Yorkshire some years ago. We left excited after spending the day & being offered a house, but on the journey home - the more we thought about it, the more we doubted our decision, until eventually we decided not to go for it. Another issue for us is animal husbandry, we could not live in a place that breeds animals & slaughters them, so it's not easy.

That's why for us, LETS (Local Exchange Trading System) & Transition Network are a better way. We can do our own thing, live how we like & meet up with like-minded people in our own time.

Proud to be selfish buggers!

Kay & Sime
xx

Rewilding Our Life - Day 9


Hemmick Beach.
We managed to make time to have an hour down there again yesterday, we finished work & dashed on down. There is lots of rubbish further back left by the sea & more concerning is the stuff folks continue to leave behind... We always take bags with us to pick up as much as we can, but it's just so terrible that we even have to. We have lots of photos of the stuff we collect & we'll blog about it soon.

Anyway, we still enjoyed another paddle in the freezing water...

 Now for yesterday's activity - wild food...
All these foods are just on the lane which goes up from the beach to the hamlet of Boswinger.

Alexanders.
The stem & flowers can be steamed or stir-fried.

Dandelions.
We made fabulous wine from the petals last year & the leaves are nice in salads or stir-frys.

Three cornered Garlic.
We love these & eat it raw while walking... Both stems & flowers are delicious in salads. 


Nettles... Our absolute favourite wild superfood!
We make beer with them, put them in soups & dry them for our morning cups of tea!
Full of great nutrients!

Cleavers/goosegrass/sticky willy.
Not only great fun to stick on people's backs, but we use them in beer with nettles & can be eaten raw or put in a stew & contains Vitamin C.

Pennywort.
Lovely on a hot day... Refreshing burst of moisture.
It's said to lower blood pressure & help memory!

This is what our lane looks like.
It's quiet at the moment, but come Easter it will be busy with folks going to the beach.
Our kitties joined us for a stroll last night... That's Flea.

And Lupe...


This shows just how tall some Cornish hedgerows are... Sime's 6ft, so gives you an idea...

Bye for now,

Kay & Sime
xx


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Bebe's Memory Test



Bebe struggles to retain information due to her dementia, but we find that by repeating things sometimes - it eventually sinks in... 

It's quite shocking if you've never met anyone with memory problems, but at the same time it's very fascinating!

Kay & Sime
xx





Rewilding Our Life - Day 8

We worked all day yesterday, so we thought it would be nice to take Bebe for a stroll when we picked her up, but no, she refused & got quite angry when we tried to persuade her, so our 30 minutes of rewilding was spent in the garden.

Lupe's always there...




Fleaby joined us too.

Sime managed to zoom in on the moon.

Tired, but happy to be outside in the sunshine.

Our activity was to spend time outside at night, look at the night sky, think about everything that's out there & just how small we are - something we do a lot. When you have chaps like Sime & Hugo around there are always these kind of conversations going on...  

We ventured out around 10pm.

Of course, Lupe followed us out...

The sky was clear...

And the moon was beautiful!

These are the only photos that came unfortunately, but it was great sitting out there looking up. We can always see Orion's Belt & The Plough on a clear night, but we also saw a tiny red Mars.
The hamlet was very quiet (although the hostel & campsite are busy), so we were able to hear the sea & the local owl hooting.
A few weeks ago, we spent a weekend in a wooden lodge on The Lizard & it had a hot tub, we spent hours in there & really enjoyed sky watching... On the last night we saw satellites tracking across the sky & shooting stars too... Wonderful stuff!

Kay & Sime
xx



Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Rewilding Our Life - Day 7


Yesterday, we spent more time on our beach... 
We collected driftwood & picked up a bin liner's worth of rubbish.

The activity was to think about our dream house & where it would be... 
Well, we've thought lots about this over the years & Sime wrote a post about it back in 2010: Losing Our Way, Finding Our Way.

Living off grid, generating our own power & having our own water supply is very important to us. We know we'll get there, when the time is right... 

Log Cabin, Cabin, Hillbilly, Forest, Log, Appalachian Mountains, Rustic, Tennessee

Meadowcroft has been a great house for our family, we've been here for nearly 9 years... We've enjoyed having various lodgers & relatives moving in with us, but now Hugo has practically moved out & we're not sure how long Bebe will be with us, so we are seriously thinking about our future & believe we'll be on the move fairly soon.


Kay & Sime
xx

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Rewilding Our Life - Day 6

We've had thick fog for the last 2 days...



Today's challenge was to look for wildlife...


We actually saw several rabbits feasting & lots of pheasants near Caerhays Castle...

The castle is in there somewhere...

Country Diary : Caerhays castle as spring starts, Cornwall
How it looks on a brighter day.

Back at home on the patio... Remus Lupin (AKA Lupuschki The Jazz Cat) - our eldest kitty is sheltering from the rain under the table. He just likes to be with us outside...

Not nice... 

Thank goodness for the woodburner!

Kay & Sime
xx