Hi everyone. As I recover from the news I’ve just watched of the government’s plans for the quite drastic 4 July lockdown easing, I want to talk about free (and nearly free) stuff today. Yes, I am going to stay in my little garden sanctuary world ignoring all our new freedoms and you’ll have to drag me kicking and screaming back to my old super hectic life (if you don’t, my boss probably will!).
Who doesn’t love free stuff? I certainly do. And quite a bit of it seems to be gravitating towards me at the moment, how nice is that? Here’s the run down of my freebies:
1 The picture above shows my home grown spinach about to be cooked last night. This wasn’t exactly free as I did buy the baby spinach plants, but that was a while ago and now they are so prolific all over the vertical garden wall, it feels like I’m getting a lot extra for my money. We only had a small portion so far, but it was so nice and fresh, and I can see it yielding a lot more over the coming weeks.
2 The rhubarb I planted several years ago… it goes on and on producing free sticks of rhubarb for me. Isn’t nature wonderful?
3 Tomatoes – I have some tomato plants I bought, some I grew from seed, and some that were given to me by someone at work. The free ones from work are doing extremely well. Luckily I really like tomatoes as I think I’m going to have A LOT!
4 Lettuce – my colleague Helen gave me loads of lettuces. Thanks Helen! They are thriving. I gave a couple of plants to my parents. I still have so many. They look so nice on the vertical wall.
I have a cunning plan to get David eating lettuce (Shhh, don’t tell him). I have found a recipe to make pesto from lettuce or any wilting spinach/old greens. How great is that? I’m going to try making lettuce pesto tomorrow. One of David’s favourite dinners is chicken pesto pasta. Usually we both prefer pesto from a jar, but I’m going to give this a go – I’ll keep you updated.
5 Plant pots – my old yoghurt pots etc are great on the vertical wall. This one has mint in it. Mojito anyone?
6 Cook books – my lovely friend Pat has had a clear out and has offered me her recipe books before she takes them to the charity shop. She has some Delia’s I don’t have yet, a signed Gary Rhodes and some curry ones that sound good. She knows I’ll make good use of them, always cooking, always seeking out new recipes and challenges in the kitchen.
7 Blogging – I think my initial set up for the year was £36. back in January. From then on I have had free blogging and reading of other people’s blogs and taking lovely photos on my phone. A very cost effective new hobby/therapy/creative outlet!
8 Ikea cabinet – yesterday on the local nextdoor forum I spotted an ad for a free Ikea cabinet that looked like it would go well with others we already have. I want to replace the wooden furniture in my study especially my dark shelves with something lighter/brighter. This new white cabinet will be great. It’s in very good used condition and has a drop down door at the front. I’m not sure what I’ll keep in it yet, I just like it. And did I tell you it was FREE?! Lots of others were interested in it but I was the most local and acted quickly to collect it. I have never got any furniture in this way before. I guess I have also saved this item from landfill to give it a new lease of life. I’ll do a photo for you when it’s all nicely dusted and installed in my study.
9 Clothes – on Sunday I dug out a dress from my underbed drawer I bought in a sale over a year ago from La Redoute and knew I would never wear this unless it became a top. I really like the material which is very comfortable and soft, but the dress was too short for me and didn’t suit me. I also thought the pattern was a bit too bold to wear all over. Anyway, I chopped it off, hand hemmed it, gave it a press and voilà, I have a new top for work or whatever! I’ve tried it on and it looks quite nice for work with a black pencil skirt I have.
I am so proud of myself for finishing this. I am extremely good at starting sewing projects but not finishing them. For my next trick I am going to convert a maxi dress into a long skirt. I love the material of this too, but the top of the dress is a little too tight for me and it is a semi backless dress I bought in Grand Cayman I would only ever wear on the beach somewhere. As a skirt I will get much more use out of it.
10 My last freebie of the day I am experiencing right now is time. I am not so busy at work these days and with David chauffeuring me in to the office rather than going on the bus I have oodles more free time. I also give myself a big pat on the back for managing not to fritter away my new found minutes and hours. I use them for getting enough sleep, cooking, gardening, sewing, crafts, blogging, relaxing in the garden, walking every day and reading. Wonderful!
I’m off to get the fish cakes and baked beans on now, which weren’t free. In the meantime I’ll leave you with a poignant reminder that Christmas is finally over (!) as our poinsettia has finally shed its last remaining red leaf…
Ps I nearly forgot one of the best freebies of all – my friend Sue’s Saturday morning yoga class. Thanks Sue. We’ll take her out to say thank you when we all feel ready to go out again – for me not quite yet, hold your horses! (or downward dogs…) Xxx