Saturday, 2 August 2014

Summer Holiday Frugal Fun!

Random summer holiday frugal fun so far, in no particular order:

  • Picnics. We've been back to our favourite local river picnicking spot with a bunch of friends, and everyone from the 2 year old to the over 50s, as well as the teenagers in between, enjoyed themselves.
                                       
  • Parks. Whilst we were in London we visited two fantastic free parks: Bunny Park in Hanwell, Ealing (which has a small free zoo (except they call it an animal centre) and an amazing maze as well as play equipment and extensive green space), and Dukes Meadow in Chiswick which has a wooden adventure play ground suitable for both younger and older kids. It also has a water play area (which sadly wasn't working when we were there).
  • Decluttering. I've attacked a very neglected pile of paperwork. Not owning a shredder, I tried out a means of disposing of personal paperwork suggested by a friend. It involved soaking bank statements etc in a washing up bowl, mushing them up, drying them in the sun, and then recycling the whole lot. My methodology was queried by some but it was surprisingly quick and easy, and much more pleasant on a hot day as well as lower in carbon emissions, than burning it. Fortunately Husband is so used to my strange ways that he didn't bat an eyelid at discovering a ton of squodged pay slips sunbathing in the garden.



  • Reading. We all love a good read in the holidays. Inspired by our visit to the big smoke, one child is reading A bear called Paddington by Michael Bond and the other has his nose in Bob, No ordinary cat by James Bowen (the children's version of A Street Cat named Bob). I've finished Talking to Zeus and am about to move on to Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman. Husband doesn't do fiction but is happy with his newly arrived CTC Cycling magazine.
  • Guests. Friends from up country coming to stay with us for the night en route to their holiday destination. There's nothing like a houseful of boys fuelled with pizza and icecream performing magic tricks and gymnastics, sharing their loom band expertise, playing the guitar, fiddling and twiddling on their technological gadgets, and doing all this seemingly simultaneously.
  • Haircuts. Son and I have let Husband loose on us with his clippers; a number 8 seems to do both of us just fine! (Who needs a Cleopatra fringe anyway?!) Thanks to fellow bloggers Lovely Grey and Simple Suffolk Smallholder for convincing me that clippers are the frugal way forward when it comes to short hair cuts for ladies as well as gents...
A rare appearance on the blog 
by me complete with clippered hair.

If there's one thing I want to give my kids, it's the learning that real happiness comes from their relationships with others - time spent with the people that are precious to them and the people around them, not from desiring and owning lots of stuff and looking beautiful and having expensive haircuts and living a virtual life through Facebook, Instagram, or the like (blogs included!). I may never be able to persuade Daughter to let Husband clipper her long flaxen locks but in all other respects I think I'm just about winning in my mission this holiday...


18 comments:

  1. Sounds like you are having a brilliant Summer and I love your haircut. Well done. What have you done with the recycled paper? If you have a log burner you could make it into firestarters posibly, or if you make it into paper sheets you could probably sell them on Etsy (making money from bills and bank statements sounds really good to me).
    Hope the rest of your Summer is just as adventurous. :o)

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    1. That's a great idea about the fire starters. Hope you're having a good summer too :-)

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  2. Great method on the "shredding"! You look great; as you can see, I do the same :)

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  3. I love your way of shredding! I think I'll be going down that route in future. Lovely pic sweetie x

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    1. Occasionally we've dabbled with the idea of getting a shredder but it's another 'thing' in the house and we've got enough clutter as it is, plus it would use electricity. This way was very simple! I was told the ink would run and make the stuff illegible but that wasn't the case - the mushiness was what did it!

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  4. Congrats on the clippered hair do, looking good and it uses less shampoo too - win, win!

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    1. Yep and I can't remember when I last brushed my hair since it was clipped either. Truly a low maintenance haircut!

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  5. Sounds like a wonderful summer so far and you have the perfect summer haircut to go with it. :)

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    1. We've had a quieter week this week but it's whizzed by. I think I'm enjoying the hair cut even more now it's growing a little :-)

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  6. Sounds like you're having a great summer :) It's winter here but I am also doing a lot of these activities as I am unemployed and am enjoying frugal fun.

    Also, that is an interesting method of recycling :)

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    1. I've been across to your blog and it's good to see you've got your cooking groove back on now the dissertation has been handed in! Well done! :-)

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  7. Your hair looks fab! I have short hair, and husband has clippers but my hair is so fine I'd look bald if I let him cut it...

    Next time, don't throw away the paper mulch- dry it (I use those mushroom trays from greengrocers/farm shops and PYO farms) and make your own cat litter! http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/diy-kitty-litter-from-old-news-155881

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    1. Another great idea! Our experiences of cat litter deserve a blog post in their own right...but I'm loving the home made idea.

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  8. Love the haircut. We shread our paperwork then use it a Guinea Pig bedding then put it in the compost heap where it rots really well.

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    1. We use shredded paper (from a business next door to us) for our chickens and do the same thing. It feels good when you can make use of your own rubbish so close to home doesn't it? :-)

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  9. Rather non-eco of me, but I had a cathartic bonfire one day with all my old bank papers. It was a good feeling, but not that good for the ozone layer.

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