Sunday, 14 January 2018

Oh what a beautiful morning!

When you don't have to get up and go to work, and the mornings are cold and dark the thought of starting the day with a hot drink in bed is just too appealing!  One morning last week it did look promising so we managed to get out just as the sun was beginning to rise.

It was slightly misty but there wasn't a cloud in the sky apart from the vapour trails left by passing planes. As we reached the beach the sun was just rising above the sea, creating wonderful vistas over the water.

Following Storm Eleanor our local beach at Eypes Mouth last week was stripped of stone and gravel overnight and transformed into a beautiful sandy beach. It is incredible how the power of the sea is so strong to do this! 

Eypemouth Beach December 2017

You can see below that the gravel has already slowly started to return with each tide.
Eypemouth Beach January 2018

I sat on the rock below, watching the waves rolling in. It was so beautiful that I wanted to capture the moment, and share it in the video above - sorry for the slight slant  in the video the rock wasn't very even!

Spot Tavi's ball

As we headed home via the inland route the views were equally magical!

Wishing you a good week with some special moments!

Sarah x

NB :It was good to hear some steps are being made nationally to reduce single use plastic, it is however a shame that will take 25 years to achieve, let's hope that there is real appetite to sort this out as soon as possible. It was good to hear all your views  and support about this subject. This report from the BBC may be of interest to you.. Seven charts that explain plastic pollution worldwide

Monday, 8 January 2018

Stormy waters and tips on reducing single use plastic

 Storm Eleanor passed overhead overnight last week and high winds and rain seemed to stay with us most of last week.

After repeated washing of our white dog, as the fields got muddier and muddier we searched out for drier places to take our walks, even in the countryside the river was running fast.

 However, it was a delight to spot the first flowers in bloom.

When the sun eventually returned we headed to Sidmouth for a change of scene, the colour of the waves turned pink with the red Devon soil that had washed into the sea.

With a cold North wind blowing yesterday, we soon warmed up on our beach walk by picking up plastic, for once we remembered to take a rubbish bag with us, sadly it didn't take long to fill it.

As we walked back along the track an elderly couple drove by and rolled down the window to thank us, which was unexpected, but nice and made our efforts even more worthwhile.

I found this mind map on pinterest which originates from Learning Fundamentals it really encapsulates in such an easy way what I am trying to achieve by reducing the plastic in our life. When we went into the supermarket the other day and tried to find items without plastic the shopping isles just seemed to be awash with a sea of plastic (sorry can't get away from the sea terminology but it is quite apt on this occasion!)  The statement in the top corner of the mind map - Once you start you see plastic everywhere is just so true!

I have been delighted to see so many of you are also looking at this issue too. It is really important to just take small steps and achieve something, rather than feel it is completely overwhelming. Saying no to disposable coffee cups and plastic bottles are good places to start!

We are currently focusing on reducing the single use products and are experimenting with alternatives it would be interesting to hear if you have any tips or have tried something different too. Below are some of my solutions with plastic bottles :-

Get doorstep delivery

Ginger Beer
Buy in glass bottle
Make at home
Buy in glass bottle
Make at home
Hand Gel
Use bar of soap

Shower Gel
Use bar of soap
Take empties to be refilled
Use shampoo bar

Use conditioner bar

Deodorant bar
Washing up liquid

Take empties to be refilled
Toilet Cleaner

Take empties to be refilled
Floor cleaner

Take empties to be refilled
Washing Powder
Switch to powder
Take empties to be refilled

We stopped having our milk delivered when the local milkman started using plastic bottles. When we discovered last year that the milkman in Bridport uses glass bottles we immediately arranged a delivery, and it has significantly cut the number of plastic bottles that go out for recycling. Did you see last week that China has recently changed its rules on importing waste for recycling and there will be a significant amount of recycled plastic that will be now piling up, so that is another reason to reduce our consumption - see BBC News.

I had lots of plastic free Christmas presents including soap, a deodorant bar and mesh bags from Earthwise that can be used in place of plastic bags. I was pleasantly surprised how happy local shops and local supermarkets have been for me to use them for loose fruit,vegetables and nuts.

They can easily be made - there are sewing instructions on my Plastic free pinterest board. Some plastic free alternatives can cost more money so it is good to save pennies where you can! There are many homemade recipes for cleaning materials in one of my favourite blogs Down to Earth.

I hope you have managed to get to the end of the post- apologies for the length of it.! Thank you very much for all the comments on my last post it was good to know that so many of you enjoy my sea views.

Wishing you a good week, until next time.
Sarah x

My husband has just read this post and isn't impressed with the idea of home made ginger beer especially as he is the only one that drinks it, I will let you know what he thinks of it!

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Review of 2017

As the year draws to a close a short moment to look back at the highlights of my year......

The Cobb at Lyme Regis December 2017
Looking out to sea is a big part of our lives and the views change constantly from one moment to the next. There is always something different to see and photograph.

From stormy seas to sunny days......

Tavi enjoys the water too and the countryside, he is not so keen of walking in towns or cities.

In 2017 we sadly said goodbye to Twinkle and we took Jackson a rescue cat into our home.  Initially he spent most of his time eating or sleeping, but after having previously lived in a town he soon started to appreciate having a huge field next door to explore.

Looking back over the year it is always the pictures of spring and summer I find the most appealing. From the beautiful bluebell covered woods to our visit to David Austin's Rose garden.

Our holiday to Anglesey gave us the opportunity to see puffins and seals close up in their natural environment.  

Our year has been full of  involvement in community projects from running a Green Fortnight, and a street party, to community walks, community gardening, beach cleans, helping at the museum and redeveloping an old building for community use.These projects will continue, some at a more demanding pace as 2018 proceeds. We also aim to drastically reduce the amount of plastic coming into our home in 2018 and produce a local directory of plastic free alternatives!

West Bay - looking towards West Cliff

 Thank you for all your comments and friendship during the past year, especially as I don't have so much time to blog. It was so good to meet some blogging friends face to face for the very first time, it always feels as if you are meeting old friends rather than strangers.

I would love to hear what has been good for you in 2017 and what plans you to have in 2018. Wishing you a very Happy and healthy New Year!

(In case you missed it the last look of 'Through the Garden Gate' was posted a few days ago.)

Sarah x

Friday, 29 December 2017

Through the Garden Gate in 2017

December is quite a bleak month in the garden so this month I am going to concentrate instead at looking back at just a few highlights from my gardening year......

It wasn't a bad year in the garden we had an abundance of flowers and vegetables, the bulk order of cow manure did  help. We did run out of water from the water barrels, the slugs and snail numbers are increasing and they have now been joined by moles!

I aimed to produce the same view from 3 locations in the garden each month - I have just realised I wasn't as strict about doing this as I had thought!

Although my favourite flowers are tulips, roses and geraniums, sweet peas and cosmos and they always feature, some less popular plants should also be given some of the limelight from the Blue echinops above to this wonderful pink hollyhock.....

and finally this white verbascum chaixii  album, which was magnificent with so many flowers from May-July that were also such a favourite with the bees. We find them so much easier to look after compared with lupins or delphiniums. This is the second verbascum we have planted in the garden, after this success I will try and source another one next year!

What is it like in your garden in December? What were your favourite plants in the garden this year?

 Thank you to everyone who has joined in with Through the Garden Gate this year, I have really enjoyed visiting your gardens through the months too.If you would like to join in with Through the garden gate each month please let me know in the comments below and I will add your site. 


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