Oh, how times flies! I'd love to explain my lack of posts by regaling you with tales of our adventures but the truth is that Jon was laid low with a virus since Tuesday (he's better now) so it's been a week of solo shopping, reading and gardening.
|WEARING: 1960s hand embroidered Indian cotton maxi dress (Viv's Vintage, Worcester), Lamani pre-Indian Independence coin belt (India, 2000)|
There was respite in the form of a visit from my friend Claire on Friday when I was able to don the twin of my blue dress (last seen travelling with me around the delights of India's Golden Triangle), stroll around St Matthew's churchyard, have a lazy lunch in Wetherspoons and rifle through the rails of Walsall's chazzas. Claire's a gifted photographer, she was one of the finalists in the annual National Trust photography competition and her winning picture of the Clent Hills is on the inside cover of the official 2019 guidebook.
As she wanted a bit of practice with human subjects I was more than happy to pose for a few photos. And before you ask, of course I've got a disco ball in the garden, haven't you?
You can check Claire's work out HERE.
As I've only been into Walsall pickings were slim this week. A 1970s Sears "Great Looking Dresses" label balloon sleeved cotton blouse (£2) and a £2.99 Greek souvenir bag - also 1970s - which'll hopefully get to see Greece again before too long (Br***t permitting).
A couple of DVDs, Lion (which I've seen before and love) and The Devil's Double (described on the cover as being the Asian Scarface which made it a must-see) - a whopping 25p each! A fabulous twentieth century fashion book (£3) and a box of vintage Tabu soap (£1). I'm no perfume expert - I wear either Lush's Karma or Sikkim Girls - but man, this smells good. Created in 1932 Dana's brief was to "make a perfume a whore would wear" and so Tabu was born. Not sure what it says about me.
Not such slim pickings in the form of Royal Mail parcels which I've recently been treated to.
A gorgeous Anokhi block printed cotton kurta, vintage Indian belt with zardozi embroidery and some brilliant turquoise wooden beads from Veronica.
& some fabulous 1970s dressmaking patterns, including one designed by Jean Muir (on the left) from Gisela.
Lynn sent me Christine's Garden (the down-to-earth BBC gardener's diary) which I finished along with these other books this week.
And talking of fabulous bloggers, Kezzie has been charting her journey towrads making her life more eco-friendly which has inspired me to make more of an effort to reduce the amount of stuff I throw away. When the council collect our general waste bin fortnightly it's rarely more than half full but there's always room for improvement. As the quote below illustrates, every little helps.
My bathroom shelves carry the bare minimum of plastic packaged products. I wash my face with unscented soap and a muslin cloth and my disposable razors have been replaced by an epilator (nice one, Jon!) We use soap to wash with (no shower gels, liquid hand soap or bubble bath unless bought as a gift) and I take a contraceptive pill which stops periods altogether, so no sanitary products for over two and a half years. When I've finished my pot of cotton wool pads (which I use for eye make-up & nail varnish removal) I intend to investigate a more sustainable alternative. Yesterday, I placed a repeat order for more of Daniel Field's Watercolour natural hair dye and opted for no instructions, no developer bottle and no plastic shower cap or gloves as I've kept the ones that came with my first delivery.
As I'm sure you already know, I'm a huge fan of Lush, the ethical, cruelty-free cosmetic company, and I've banged on about their shampoo and conditioning bars for years. No plastic bottles, no false promises, no gloopy product, just an item that resembles a bar of soap and lasts for months. I use their Jungle conditioner (HERE) and swap between shampoo bars, 'cos I love them all! (If you do decide to switch to the bars I do recommend buying the metal tins).
I also adore Lush's deodorant bars. I'm not a particularly sweaty person (the menopause hasn't come a-knocking at this door....yet) and they work just fine. Again, no packaging and a bar will last at least 6 months. My favourite is Sunflower (HERE) which I store in a travel soap dish to keep it from drying out. Aromaco is also very good and smells gorgeous.
My recent discovery is Argan, a solid facial oil. Like the other Lush products I use it is unpackaged and resembles a bar of soap. The smell and how it feels on my skin is amazing. I use my trusty Superdrug Vitamin E Instant Radiance Cream over the top but this gives my skin a bit more of a moisture boost. (HERE)
We don't have a Lush in Walsall so I buy on-line. My order arrives in a recyclable cardboard box filled with biodegradable packing pellets which you can put in the compost bin or use as mulch around your plants. No waste!
Recently I discovered British company &keep and decided to give some of their eco-friendly, ethical and sustainably sourced products a try.
Did you know that every time we use those supermarket synthetic sponge scourers, the plastic fibres are washed down the drain? These fibres are small enough to get through the filtration systems at water plants and often end up in our waterways and oceans. Scrubbies are 100% biodegradable cleaning pads made in the UK using organic cotton & thread, are bamboo lined and hessian backed and can be washed in the machine at up to 40°. When they lose their scrub they can be cut up and composted. Find them HERE.
You fill Hydrophil's Soap Pouch, which is made from sisal, with a bar of soap (or leftover scraps of soap which normally clog up the plughole) and use it in the bath or shower to scrub your skin. Hydrophil's products are water-neutral, vegan & fair-trade. 10% of profits go to a charity providing access to clean drinking water for people living in the southern hemisphere. Find it HERE.
I've been looking for an alternative to conventional toothpaste for ages, I hate the sweet taste of the mass produced stuff and the plastic tubes are so wasteful. Truthpaste is a handmade, natural mineral toothpaste made with Aloe Vera, Neem, Myrrh and certified organic essential oils. It comes in a fantastic recyclable glass jar and is 100% vegan and cruelty free. I love that it doesn't froth up and the peppermint and wintergreen flavour is so refreshing. Find it HERE.
When I placed the order - which arrived carefully wrapped in recyclable brown paper with no plastic - I was given a 15% code to share with friends (which I consider to be anyone who follows my blog), just enter my name "Victoria Brearley" when you checkout.
***This isn't a sponsored post, I'm sharing 'cos I love and I'd quite like Planet Earth to be around for a few million more years.****
It's another bank holiday tomorrow and I'm hoping for some car boot action. It was cancelled yesterday and it was too wet this morning, third time lucky.
See you soon!