Category Archives: journal

Task of the day – kindling bundles

It’s the time for trimming back in the garden, so it’s also a good time to make kindling bundles for next year. The best trimmings for these are those from fruitwood trees, hazel and vines – basically, trees whose fruit you eat. Avoid toxic woods such as elder, or any others you aren’t sure about. I also use the stems from… Read more »

Task of the day – bed-making

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No matter how little money you earn, you can enjoy a well-made bed. Slipping between cool, smooth, wrinkle-free sheets like you would in a hotel is a private pleasure. It’s well worth making your bed properly every morning, so that when you crash at the end of the day, you don’t have to think about it, and you can relax… Read more »

Brand of the day – Woolovers

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Woolovers is one of those brands that I find myself returning to again and again for nice, well-made basic knitwear. Recently, I really lucked out by introducing a friend – she got 20% off and I got a £50 voucher to spend, which meant my next purchases cost virtually nothing. Woolovers makes a range of knitwear for men and women… Read more »

Product of the day – alcool ménager

Alcool ménager is one of those French cleaning products that I never came across in the UK – cleaning alcohol. It’s a denatured alcohol that’s available in every supermarket and DIY store, and comes in plain (labelled Alcool à bruler, because it’s used for starting barbeques or burning in shepherd’s lamps) and a number of scents, including vanilla, lemon, peppermint… Read more »

Recipe of the day – household cleaner and degreaser

For many years, I’ve made my own household cleaners, mainly because I don’t want a toxic soup of harmful and unnecessary chemicals in the house. While most things can be cleaned adequately with bicarb, vinegar and water, mixes made up in this way tend to clog up the sprayer. Recently, however, in a book about cleaning (yes, I’m that sad),… Read more »

Tip of the day – sugar cubes

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Keep empty tins and jars fresh by popping a sugar cube inside before sealing. This is an old antique-dealer’s trick and works on all manner of sealed containers in glass, ceramic and metal, including biscuit barrels and decanters. In the biscuit barrel, it also has the advantage of keeping your biscuits crisp. Sugar is a biocide, so nothing can grow… Read more »