My mum’s birthday is exactly half way through the year. This year we marked it by visiting the bench we had placed in her memory, with flasks and home-made shortbreads. It was a beautiful day, and the end of a lovely weekend with friends. It’s now 7 years since she died, and so much has changed and happened in the meantime.
Our visit put me in a reflective turn of mind, and I found myself looking back and looking forward on all sorts of topics. One of them, when I realised the ‘halfway through the year’ thing, was to consider what progress I’ve made on the goals I set myself for this year.
As a reminder, here they are again, with a brief progress report:
- Use less water in 2019 than we used in 2018 – this is about reducing our environmental impact – this is going well. The trend for our water use at home is downwards, and I have adopted several new habits that I think will take us further. Plans for more are in the pipeline. Yes, pun intended. In addition, I am working with colleagues at Bath City Farm to put additional water saving and water capturing measures in place there. Growing salads and keeping livestock are water-intensive activities, and we need to ensure that we are as well prepared as we can be for the years to come,
- Use less single-use stuff in 2019 than we used in 2018 – as above – this is also going well. I have continued with habits adopted over the past few years, but been much better organised about carrying a box and bags with me when I’m out shopping. It’s rare now that I find myself accepting unnecessary packaging. I have also, just this week, finally tackled my biggest issue: milk in plastic bottles. It’s been clear for a long time that the bulk of our plastic recycling is milk bottles. I’ve grappled with trying to find good (scientific) evidence about the relative environmental costs of milk in plastic and milk in bottles. It may not be as obvious as it first seems. But the recent TV programme showing the reality of what happens to our plastic ‘recycling’ finally decided me. I have ordered milk to be delivered in re-usable bottle and it started this week. It took me a long time to get there, but I’m glad I’ve done it. At the same time, my plan is to see if I can reduce the amount of milk I use. One thing I know for sure, and that is that it will cost a lot more than the milk we’ve been buying from the Coop – largely because we buy our supermarket milk ridiculously cheaply compared to the actual cost of producing it.
- Eat less meat – likewise – this is one I haven’t been measuring, so it’s hard to say for sure, but I believe I am getting better at this. Certainly my choice is almost always not to have meat, but it’s not been my plan to give up eating meat altogether. Several meals a week are vegan. This is easier to achieve at lunchtime, when I’m normally eating separately.
- Get my allotment and garden back (or maybe I mean forward?) to how I want them to be – I feel this is going really well. For the first time in several years I can look at the front garden with pleasure, sit out on the back garden terrace and enjoy what I see, and feel that even the allotment is slowly slowly approaching what I want from it. Another 6 months to go. I’m feeling optimistic about this time next year.
- Lose a stone in weight (This is about health not appearance – the weight has steadily crept on over several years, and it has to stop) – OK so this one is to demonstrate to you and to me that I’m by no means perfect, and that wanting to achieve something is just not enough. Time to ‘fess up and acknowledge that I have lost precisely no weight at all since I last wrote about this. BUT – I weigh 3k less than I did. “How can that be??” I hear you ask. As well you might. A recent visitor pointed out that she weighed significantly less on her scales at home. Something I had noticed when visiting several other people. So I checked our scales (using some weight-lifting weights), and found an error over-reading 4.4%. Doing the calculation, that shows that I actually weighed several kilos less at the start of the year than I thought. Which in turn means less to lose. Another 6 months to go, so I’m still feeling optimistic. I know I eat a really healthy diet, I enjoy my food, I drink very little alcohol, and I am fit and active. It’s just that the balance between what I eat and what I do isn’t right. My bad. But when you enjoy your food as I do, what’s a girl to do? (I know, I know – more exercise!)
- Do some sewing. Not sure what. Anything will be more than nothing…. – well yes, anything would be more than nothing. And indeed it will. I’m going to start by sewing some produce bags from old (worn out) cotton shirts. (Thanks here to Anne for the suggestion…). I’ve made a start by sorting and tidying the room where the sewing will happen. Well, you have to start somewhere.
Watch this space.