New Person Saying Hello

We love hearing from you, so here is your chance. Introduce yourself and tell us what makes you selfsufficient 'ish'. Go on don't be shy, we welcome one and all. You can also tell us how you heard about us if you like.
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Ascerti
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New Person Saying Hello

Post: # 291891Post Ascerti
Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:42 am

Greetings,

My name is Ascerti and I live in the East of England.

I’d like to say a bit about myself, where I’m at and my current ish-ish-ness:

I’m looking down the road at 40 but am not there yet. At this time in my life, I enjoy listening to audiobooks, reading books in the bath, going to see the sea, taking photo’s (when I remember to take my camera out with me) and trying to improve my health. A fair amount of attention is going into creating a daily structure which I might be able to work with (after a couple of decades of mistakes there’s plenty of scope for more), and I’m just generally trying to do things that might make my life a little… different.

I live beside a busy road, pollution makes the net curtain go black after a few months. The house vibrates when there’s heavy vehicles passing by, the sirens of multiple emergency service vehicles can be heard every single day. Over the years I have watched programmes about people who say they’ve had enough of this thanks, and they go and do something about it. People who go to some lengths and people who go further than a lot of us might dream about. It always strikes me at those times, where I feel respect and wonder at what some people achieve, where I might get to (along with a dose of personal reality and an acknowledgement about how much I value running water, electricity and warmth).

A couple of years ago the boiler broke in January, I discovered it takes 13 buckets of water (heated on the gas stove) to fill a bath. It was a useful lesson… I enjoyed it, it felt as though there was a purpose in what I was doing and I appreciated the bath all the more, and the water felt cleaner. But as with a lot of things, as soon as the boiler was fixed I returned to having instant hot water and haven’t repeated the exercise.

My ish-ness is at the stage where it’s a work in progress, you could say its not that ish-ish at all, but a little more ish than not having any thought of it. I’m looking for ways to reduce waste. I want to move home to somewhere that feels a bit more like its in the landscape of this country and not planted beside a major road. In the course of my life I have hoarded things, and not wishing to be held by this I’ve been giving items to a local charity shop over the last four years (though I still have a lot of stuff, the house is clearer now and things are being used or enjoyed by other people). Lately, we’ve been trying to change our eating habits, there’s still a lot of things in packets but the food waste has reduced significantly over the last year, and there’s been more cooking from ingredients and not from a packet.

My latest plan is to use part of the garden throughout the winter… there’s an incinerator bin and we’ve been collecting sticks after windy days, shredding letters and newspapers with a view to make paper bricks, once I’ve found a brick maker. This is an attempt to enjoy some time outside during the autumn and winter. I don’t get out of the house much, following a period of as yet unresolved ill health, and it’s simply a step I’d like to take. Perhaps to move closer to where I’d like to be, and getting some practice at a type of activity which could one day involve a healthier type of thinking (rather than sitting inside with the heating on, feeling cold and taking everything for granted).

I have a number of health issues/conditions, neuropathic pain prevents me from doing whatever I’d like to do whenever I’d like to do it with my hands, autism makes it challenging to do things that I’d like to do, or just generally doing things with my life. For both I try to be inventive and find a way around the problems those things create, I think there’s always space for new perspectives and a different point of view to learn from.

If there is a point I’m aiming for, or would like to be at, it would be somewhere that feels like a simpler life - in the sense that my actions have a clearly defined outcome and reflect the ideals and values I wish to live by. Where the way I live makes clearer sense to me and has some continuity, meaning and purpose to it. If that took shape as something to dream about, it would be a stone cottage on high ground or a cliff overlooking the sea. A garden where I could tinker around and make things, perhaps grow some things. A landscape that offered inspiration or something that I could create something out of. I’d like to have a little fire, to sit around it in winter and play cards or board games and listen to the radio. I would still like a local shop, supporting heating, running water and ideally a gas cooker I’m afraid. But I would like and believe it is possible, dreams or not, to tread more lightly and make less footprints on this world, and be more self-sufficient-ish.

So that’s a hello from me

Ascerti

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Odsox
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Re: New Person Saying Hello

Post: # 291892Post Odsox
Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:32 am

Hello Ascerti, welcome to our forum. :wave:
I hope you find some of our posts useful and to give you some encouragement to follow your dream.
You are among like minded people here.
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

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Green Aura
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Re: New Person Saying Hello

Post: # 291894Post Green Aura
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:44 am

Hi Ascerti and welcome to Ish. :wave: :wave:

Have a good look round the forum - use the search option if you're looking for something in particular, and don't forget to have a look on the blog site for more info too.

https://www.selfsufficientish.com/main/

Ask questions, offer suggestions - we're all here to learn and share.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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KathyLauren
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Re: New Person Saying Hello

Post: # 291896Post KathyLauren
Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:36 pm

Hello, Ascerti, and welcome.

The important thing is that you have the awareness and the urge to do something about it.

I felt the same way when I was your age. I was lucky enough to have a spouse who felt as I did, so we moved to an island off the west coast of Canada where there were lots of hippies, both original and neo. We lived there for eight years. It was an amazing experience, and I have no regrets.

We still had all the modern conveniences, but there was an environmental awareness in the community that is rare these days. They had a Free Store, where household goods were re-used. You'd contribute anything you had that you no longer wanted, and someone else would pick it up for themselves. No charge. We had neighbours who built their own tiny house (140 square feet!) before such things were trendy. They lived off the electric grid and used solar panels to recharge their cell phones.

I would encourage you to follow your dreams. Find a community where such ideals are lived out, or forge your own path. Making your dreams come true is what life is all about.

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Re: New Person Saying Hello

Post: # 291897Post Brewtrog
Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:07 pm

Hi Ascerti, welcome to the ish :wave:

ina
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Re: New Person Saying Hello

Post: # 291913Post ina
Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:55 am

Hi Ascerti - welcome to Ish.

Dreaming is a good place to start - and it doesn't end; I'm rather older than you and still dreaming. Is there maybe a way you could start coming closer to your dreams in a very little way - I'm thinking of container gardening or such like? That was always my minimum if I moved somewhere new; at least a pot of herbs on the window sill...
Ina
I'm a size 10, really; I wear a 20 for comfort. (Gina Yashere)

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Ascerti
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Re: New Person Saying Hello

Post: # 291917Post Ascerti
Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:24 pm

Thank you everyone, you have all brightened my week and its very good feeling so welcomed.

You could say I arrive at a personal low point in my life (in that my health has had me confined mostly to bed for the last year or so) but perhaps there is something good about this because there are many directions to choose to go next. I’ve always encountered a range of challenges in my life, but a few years ago a bunch of events happened, centred around losing our home, (through circumstances beyond our control) and things generally became significantly harder.

In the past I used to enjoy making things or doing things for myself, I was self-sufficient-ish in the sense that I would find a way to do things myself if I could. I really value the experience and views of other people, because there’s always so many brilliant things people can do and its great sharing ideas. I relished the challenge of learning how to do a task that needed doing, whether that was building a new counter to increase the size of our tiny kitchen, laying laminate flooring, plumbing in the washer or fixing my OH’s pond issues. If it needed installing or fixing I would rise to that challenge.

I have always liked putting my mind to random little projects too, I made a fairly rickety cold frame (it worked for three years), I grew tomatoes in it, and my neighbour donated me some courgette plants which I kept in grow bags beside it. I loved the plants but sadly am not that keen on the produce, so I gave the courgettes away to courgettes appreciators (who appreciated them).

After fixing the guttering one day, I thought about what a waste of water there was and how much we used the garden hose. I started working on a water collection system, it fascinated me as to how I could make a semi-self-watering little container garden (with the view of growing some vegetables). I never did get the getting water to go uphill part sorted out but the trying to do it was really fun.

I’m usually interested in things a person is doing, for example, my neighbour demonstrated to me how to bend thin pieces of wood with steam, something I grasp the theory of more than the practice. I’ve enjoyed doing various crafty-type-things too over the years and have made jewellery or things with paper or anything I could lay my hands on.

My final project prior to moving home was a little sanctuary of seclusion where I gathered a lot of old tyres (they were everywhere around our area), some old doors and a medium-sized log. I stacked the tyres to different heights and grew grasses and wild flowers in them and around the doors. The log became a home for insects and things with all the deadfall from the trees. There was a lot of guttering laying around, and an old wheelbarrow embedded into the ground. So I made a “hill” (bump) for sitting on near the barrow, and used the gutter pipes diagonally along the fences because it sort of fitted aesthetically (I thought).

I believe sometimes that when you lose or risk losing certain things, it puts things into perspective. I’m not so able to do anything I wish with my hands any more, I’m not able to do much by comparison. There are costs in my life now that I never had to consider before. I’d like to get some of those things back into my life (because the mind is still willing and able even if the body can’t keep up) and my OH is much more supportive these days.

While initially he had no interest in doing many of the things I did (although he enjoyed the outputs), he is helping me by lending me his hands. Together we made a large super high table, which two years later got turned into a large box on wheels, and finally another year after that was dismantled and is now a free floating table top for puzzles or games. He helped me create a little area at the bottom of the garden, we rent the house so can’t change much, but there was a raised bed about 3 foot square that the previous tenant had installed in a very weed choked shady area. We made my own little ‘garden’ with re-used objects I found, similar to the secret garden I guess, its me and the wildlife who like it the most. I like seeing what I can do with what I have to hand or find.

I appreciate the supportive words and friendly hellos from everyone, I’m glad that the paper log maker I was intending to purchase had sold out, I wouldn’t have found this place at this time if it hadn’t. I'm looking forward to having a look around and seeing what's what. I think it would be good to get back in touch with things I used to be dancing around before, and see what I can make out of where I am today and where that might lead.

Ascerti

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Weedo
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Re: New Person Saying Hello

Post: # 291918Post Weedo
Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:23 pm

Hi Ascerti and welcome. Like you I am still dreaming Ishishness (at 60++), collecting knowledge and experimenting.
The winner of the rat race is still a rat!

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Ascerti
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Re: New Person Saying Hello

Post: # 291920Post Ascerti
Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:04 pm

I bought a little pot of parsley once, (this was several years ago) it looked fresh and smelled great. I put it in the kitchen overnight, with the intention of repotting it the next day. I wasn’t really sure I liked parsley to eat / use in food, but I liked the plant and thought I’d give it a go.

The next morning it was covered in tiny caterpillars and was more like a skinny limp hostage than the full, fresh and lusciousness it had had the night before. There were about 30 in total, little tiny things and I was impressed at their plant stripping abilities so I decided to keep them.

I named them “the squigglies” and saw them through the next part of their life cycle, it was quite a thing, as they ate a lot! I found myself frequently wandering around finding the right food for them from the wildness. When they finally formed their chrysalis’ I wondered if they would ever emerge.

They did, and over a few days, maybe a fortnight later, I released 26 very tiny moths in total to go forth, wreak havoc and destruction, to eat clothes and be a menace to plant lovers and growers everywhere.

It put into perspective just how much these little critters eat and how delicate they are and their life cycle is, yet for something so small (they honestly were tiny and the emerging moths would have fit in a centimetre square space) yet so incredibly destructive. Maybe there's something in the idea of better understanding the foes to parsley and learning to check the plant over more thoroughly!

Jasmine
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Re: New Person Saying Hello

Post: # 291938Post Jasmine
Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:03 pm

Hi There
I am Jasmine from 'sunny North west'. Thank you for welcoming me to your forum
I am newbie to the orchard planting and gardening itself. I know nothing about it, but taken on task to go ahead with it. I like the fruit types usually not found locally or when when someone says 'you can't do it do it or it's not done. Then I do it.
Like this site I came backyard gardening and across 'Tom Spellman, from Dave Wilson Nursery (who says if the fruit is small, has some blemish or damaged, he does not care as long it tastes good. His reviews some options for home gardeners to consider when growing fruit trees and I am hooked. I am following him and Englishman abroad Eliot Coleman'. They don't know but I am like a stalker and taking in what they are saying like planting three trees in 4x4 sq ft. spot or close crop planting. Mr Colman's movable polytunnel is ingenuous. . Finger lime is a challenge I am relishing. Will let you know How I am doing
I hope to make myself a good self sufficient gardener in 12 months- - at least I hope so...
My kitchen scraps first go in freezer and then buried in soil for six months and then transferred to compost bin. green green grass? I am trying to make drunken compost.
Hoping to get few ideas from this forum to use in my garden
Please wish me luck because My Sheeba inu Michi and Border Terrier are not very helpful around garden

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Re: New Person Saying Hello

Post: # 291940Post Green Aura
Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:51 pm

Hi Jasmine, welcome to Ish. :wave:

I like Eliot Coleman's work too. I've got his 4 season polytunnel book - unfortunately no polytunnel any more.

Have a look round the threads, old and new. We'll try and answer any questions you might have.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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