I have had highlighted hair for about ten years. About a year ago, I decided to let my hair grow out uncoloured, as part of my adventures in not washing my hair with shampoo. I now use a Lush bar shampoo to wash once or twice a week, and I like it thus far.
Today, I had a hair appointment after the gym and I’d toyed with the idea of a fringe beforehand. I’m not very adventurous with my hair, but I needed a change so I went for it. I went for it, got the chop and I love it.
I cleaned our oven using baking soda and a vinegar, vodka and orange peel solution, combined with a lot of elbow grease. It came up pretty well and the lack of heavy duty cleaning smells meant it was easy to get right in and scrub.
I’ve consigned some hand towels to the dishcloth stage of life. I cut them, washed them and folded them for use. The edges are a bit frayed but I can live with that.
I’ve grown to really like the Lush shampoo bar I’ve been using. It does the job and I can stretch to about four days between washes. Depending on whether my outfit suits a headscarf, sometimes I can go even longer.
I have fallen down on the clothes front though. I’ve been ruthless about my wardrobe, anything that sparks no joy or is has tiny holes in it or has become too shabby has gone. This has meant a greatly reduced collection of clothes, with the result that I’ve bought new dresses and a top from Cos. I have worn and loved every item. I’m going to try to resist the urge to buy a few more things and instead use what I have left and seek out other options. I have never found anything I like in a second hand or vintage shop, so online browsing is the plan for now.
I’ve broken out my three pairs of Saltwater sandals following some nice weather. This is my third year wearing them, and they’re just as good as new. I’ve decided to bin all my flat shoes, two pairs were never really comfortable and two are too worn to keep as I’ve been wearing them for five or six years now.
When we’ve been to France we’ve brought back a lot of wine. Sometimes we’ve found a great cave to buy from, other times local supermarkets have proven to have some good and great stuff. This summer we’ll bring back more because for the price we pay per bottle we get much better wine than we do here. And because we drink wine, we end up with a lot of corks. We’ve discarded them up to now but my husband has hit on the great idea of saving them and making something useful and beautiful out of them. Given it’s a bank holiday this weekend, we’ll have one more cork than usual.
I made a big pavlova for dessert over the weekend. It’s my failsafe, tried and tested dessert but the only problem is the leftover egg yolks that invariably end up going off in a jar in my fridge because I didn’t fancy carbonara within a day or two. This week I’m off work and, therefore, feeling, as Marjorie might have put it, a little domestic. I bought some lemons today and whipped up a big jar of lemon curd. It’s a delicious balance of sweet and sharp and the colour glows nicely. Yummy.
I use a similar recipe to this, but I always use whatever egg yolks I have and throw in one whole eggs. I learned the hard way this is not something to make in a rush. The slower you go, the better.
Having had some time to declutter and reorganise some more, I’ve found some of the things I need to help me along with our zero waste holiday plans. I knew we had more vacuum bags than I had folded away and lo and behold some turned up when I sorted a random box of crap and more turned up when I did a job on our attic space and realised I was ready to let go of more things belonging to another phase of my life which would spark more joy if used by others than if stored for months ‘just in case’.
Packing everything in vacuum bags rather than in suitcases was probably our best packing decision last year. The bags took up no room and kept everything clean and dry en route, then took up no space and-or were pressed into use as laundry bags. We didn’t have to worry about how to squeeze suitcases into the tiny mobile home and our packing to come home was easy as we could squash everything around all the boxes of wine we picked up.
I also found our bedlinen that works fine for a more rustic holiday and which can do double duty wrapping things on the journey home. I might invest in a travel kettle this year because last year we wasted a lot of money and disposable cups on very mediocre tea and coffee. As we bring a picnic bag on board with us, packing two cups and some snacks makes financial and environmental sense.
I also found many summer tops I had totally forgotten about, plus a kaftan that I was sure I’d donated. I’m currently using some of the tops for the gym and I’ll see how I feel about them for summer. An old pair of jeans turned up too, I had been looking for them as they’ll make great shorts once I cut the legs off. The legs parts can be used for cleaning.
In June last year, I gave up washing my hair with shampoo. I lasted until just before Christmas with water only. I felt it was a good run to see if the no shampoo thing would work for me. I wanted a haircut and in all honestly I wouldn’t expect any hairdresser to willingly touch my hair. It had a greasy, waxy texture and it just didn’t look or feel particularly clean. I caved the day before my appointment and used an old half-finished bottle of shampoo I decided to keep ‘just in case’ to wash my hair. I’ve been using the same bottle ever since, as I now wash about once a week on average.
This week, I bought a Lush shampoo bar which fits nicely with my zero waste efforts as it comes in no packaging at all and I can fit it into an old tin I had saved for just such a purpose. I used it for the first time yesterday and this one time use was good. It’s a little fiddly to use but I can get over that. I’ll see how long I can stretch between washes using this type of shampoo. If I can manage a week with the creative use of some scarves I’ll be happy.
After some weeks of mainly pointless research and reading of reviews, we’ve decided to return to the same place we holidayed in last year. This will be our third year of the same sort of holiday and I feel like this year is the one we’ll nail it. We’ll be travelling on a ferry and staying at a campsite in Brittany.
Last year, having started on a zero waste approach, I noticed some of the supermarkets in France had dispenser like things for putting nuts, pulses and pasta into your own containers. I plan on bringing some of our own containers this year to take full advantage. There’s also an excellent deli about five minutes’ walk from where we’re staying, so the containers will come in handy there too.
We eschewed suitcases last year for reasons of space in the car and in the mobile home. Packing everything into vacuum bags, even if they’re not actually vacuumed out and fill with air before you even drive onto the ferry, was a revelation. We also brought about half of what we did the year before. I plan on bringing a capsule wardrobe of whatever worked last year, including two pairs of my trusty Saltwater sandals, and washing everything half way through the holiday. Fingers crossed the sunshine will do the drying.
I never liked waste even before trying to go zero waste. Therefore, it came naturally to me to pack a box of things we know we’ll use while away. We tended to eat in most days, a BBQ and a glass of Crement de Loire being as relaxing as any dinner out after a long day of sitting on the beach reading. So packing a box with staples from home, including our salt and pepper grinders, condiments we like and our own linen napkins and tea towels is a must. We shop while away, but knowing we have the basics to tide us over saves time, hassle and money.
This year I’m going to do a little more research into local caves and see what’s on offer. We always leave room for plenty of wine and sourcing amazing finds locally, as we did on our first holiday like this, is even better than a large supermarket run.
Sometimes I think planning is the best part.