Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Catchy uppy blog post

Everyday Life on a Shoestring has been busy...

getting inspired...
  • by the free business advice that the Wessex Chambers of Commerce offers to the people of Wiltshire. We attended a free Become Your Own Boss seminar which was really useful for people without an entrepreneurial bone in their body (like us) and for the more entrepreneurial. In Wiltshire it seems much support is available, including a grant of up to £1500 for specialist advice on, say, building a website or marketing your business. We've got a couple of ideas for the future and the seminar really helped clarify the next steps.
  • by Peter White MBE (the BBC's Disability Affairs Correspondent) who was giving a talk as part of the local Arts Centre's Senseability week (which focused on the issue of disability and inclusion within the Arts). Blind from birth, Peter's positive, can-do approach and insights into his life and disability issues, made for a really interesting and inspiring evening. This event was free, and I found myself feeling paranoid that the Arts Centre staff will think I'm Corsham's ultimate cheapskate who rocks up for anything free. (True, of course, but I DO buy tickets for other stuff too!)
  • by the Bristol Big Green Week . Lots going on, including Bristol's biggest bike ride and lots of cycling stuff this Sunday.
  • our plants struggle! One cat likes to sleep in a plant pot with a (now very squashed) fuschia. The sunny wall against which my tomato plants are growing is also the wall that Son likes to kick a football onto. Football + tomato plants = more squashed plants. My bargain Magnolia tree/stick purchased last month, was sporting four healthy leaves. Turns out slugs like Magnolia leaves. I do hope it recovers.


  • frozen grapes. They were being suggested as a 'palate cleanser in between courses' or 'like a grape sorbet' at a local food festival. The sort of simple meals served up in our house don't generally call for 'palate cleansers' but in the recent hot weather we've decided we really, really like frozen grapes for an any-time snack or a pudding (using reduced price grapes obviously). Try it - they're scrummy.


  • Daughter's signed up for a World Challenge expedition to Iceland in 2015 and needs to raise the jaw-dropping £1600 costs herself. After a slow start, this money finding challenge is gathering momentum, with two supermarket bag packs recently, selling a load of her old toys, clothes and our clutter on eBay, getting paid for watering our neighbours' garden while they're on holiday, and a sudden flurry of local events involving mountains of cake baking and selling. Amazingly she's on target to meet her '£500 by the beginning of July' target.

If I'm missing from the blog over the next few weeks, you'll probably find me in the kitchen making cakes or supervising a cake stall...


  1. Good job to your daughter!
    One of my daughters has her sights on a study-abroad summer term for next year or the following. I told her that she'll need to earn that money herself. We'll see just how important studying overseas is to her.

  2. Your kitty looks so comfortable in the pot. I see how you can't kick it out. Also, we love frozen grapes here. However, they haven't dropped in price yet, so we haven't had any this year.

    1. 2 weeks on and the fuschia is a bit bigger and she seems to have abandoned that spot!

  3. Frozen grapes are awesome!!

  4. I have frozen grapes in the freezer at all times. I buy in bulk when they are yellow labelled as they tend to go down to 30p a punnet or under......bargain!

    1. I'm keeping an eagle eye out for reduced grapes at all times!

  5. Forgot to add, I'd rather have a cat in my plant pot than a fuschia any day lol x

  6. Doing as mothers do, supporting your child. Well Done and happy baking.