I'd been thinking about starting a blog for a long time and then eventually did it all in a rush. I'm not sure what the final impetus was but I'm glad I did it. It’s been fascinating looking at where people viewing my blog are from- every continent bar Africa (and Antarctica). Even allowing for those who have found it by accident and won't return, that’s exciting!
Why blog at all? I've read many blogs over the years and some have been a better 'fit' than others. I’ve really enjoyed finding people with the same ideas as me through blogs, especially All the Blue Day, where I love Jo’s thought provoking posts and the equally thought provoking conversations in the comments. Jo makes me think about things that have been in the back of my mind but I might not have articulated.
Not many friends in my everyday life view things the way I do and it can be hard when you feel that you're swimming against the tide. Blogs offer support in what can ironically be a very complicated journey towards a simpler life. Trying to make the most sustainable decision isn't easy. New with eco credentials or second hand sweat shop production?  Organic or local? Or cheapest if that means you can afford to buy sustainable electricity? Organic but wrapped in plastic or non-organic but wonky and loose? Reuse plastic or buy new glass or stainless steel? And the time! Making your own sour dough, yoghurt, preserves, toiletries, growing your own vegetables- it's time consuming.
Sometimes I'd quite like to be able to buy half a Welsh mountain and just live my sustainable life in peace, but I have to live in the modern world and have a job and have teenagers with all the modern tat that that entails. That used to make me feel like an apologist- what kind of eco warrior could I call myself without dreadlocks and tie dye and half a dozen sheep? Maybe my children would be happily wearing handmade clothes dyed with wild plants instead of shopping in Primark if I hadn't tried to straddle both worlds? Possibly. But I don't have any of those things (though I have always secretly fancied dreadlocks, I'd love some sheep and I do still have a pair of tie dye trousers at the back of my wardrobe for a festival emergency) and actually,  if I'd like to change the world, maybe that's better? People need to see that you can have the same principles and ethics regardless of clothing style, hair cut or house. We can't all live in a yurt or on a small holding and many don't want to. 'Bloom where you are planted' covers more than your immediate community, it's your sense of self as well. Sharon Astyk has written a book about it, 'Making Home', all about settling in place, adapting what and where you have, building community among those who may not seem to want it or even deserve it. She covers it in 'Depletion and Abundance' too- she argues that in a post carbon world, we have no choice other than to adapt where we are. (I do recommend Sharon Astyk's books. 'Independence Days' is also very good. But do the local library have them? Or should you buy them new from the local bookshop or from the author or second hand on Amazon??)
People are more receptive and less threatened by ideas from within their tribe. Previous neighbours have said they recycled more because I made them feel I ought to. I didn't preach (I don't think!) I just was so shocked that they didn't! Not much but a small change in the right direction.
Maybe I should have titled this Ramblings instead of Musings. I'm not sure how coherent it is but it's things I've been thinking about. Hope you can make some sense of it.


  1. Hazel, I am so pleased to see that you are ready for any festival emergency. That must be a load off your mind:) I am sure it won't surprise you to know that I have these exact same ethical dilemmas on a daily basis. Sometimes my answers steer me one way, sometimes another. I think that on the whole I am heading in the right direction, so that individual dilemmas probably don't matter so much either way. Plus I live with other people who don't necessarily share my every ethical conviction, so much compromise is necessary (on both sides). I have never wanted to retire to a smallholding (unless someone else was running it, and I had a minor but useful role such as 'herb garden hermit' - I am sure that is a necessity on a smallholding), but enjoy my life in the suburbs with neighbours and friends close by. I am certainly sure I can be more useful here in the city. Smallholdings generally require 157% dedication. I get to spread my energy around more here, plus I don't have to drive everywhere. Thank you for sharing your musings.

    1. Jo, thank you for making sense of at least some of my stream of consciousness! And yes, I like to be prepared for all eventualities, so knowing I'm covered in a festival emergency is a relief :-)
      I still have dreams of a smallholding, but actually I think I'd have been lonelier on that mountain than I thought I would at the time it was a more serious consideration. I have my micro farm in the back garden and that'll do, I think. But should I ever acquire one and need a herb garden hermit, I'll ensure that you're the first to know of the vacancy.


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