General ramblings, My Make Do and Mend Year

Lovely Hubby Guest Post…

Hubby wrote this for me, un-asked.
Some of it is a bit soppy, and made me a bit teary eyed, and I considered editing it out, but I am going to leave it, un-altered. Because he rocks. And you should all know that.

I’ll admit it I took some persuading to jump on board. But I’m glad I did. What Jen has achieved over the course of the last 12 months has been truly incredible from being on the radio, to a spread in the Sun (still pinned to the notice board at my work), being shortlisted for an award, and talking at TEDx. I’m so proud of her. I was proud of her pre-MMDAMY of course! But she needs to know how fantastic she is.

 I think we both thought the year would involve fixing a few things here and there and making some presents but we have learned so much that will stay with us as we move on. Much of what we have started we will continue with for example…

  •  We now take all our stretchy plastic bags to the recycling points at the local supermarkets. When we did the Bin Slimming we identified that bags and packing accounted for quite a high volume of our rubbish. Now we keep all the bags in one big bag and drop them of once a week. No real hardship there and I’m sure more people could try it
  • I’m sure we will continue to make some of the presents we give to each other and to family and friends, just remember to start nice and early…..
  • Fixing stuff is really good fun and satisfying. Maybe the laundry basket has been over fixed but it’s still here and doing its job. Before, we definitely would have got another one
  • Sugru is just magic! I’m not sure we would have discovered it without MMDAMY. Now if I can just find the best way to store an open packet without the edges going off I’d be a very happy man.
  • Ebay has been used a bit more than before and we have had some good and bad experiences but it is amazing what is out there if you are patient and look hard enough.

 You may have read about our Make Do and Mend pet, Speedy the Tortoise.
Well the old Girl ( I can call her that she was born before the war!) is in need of a new home to fit in our garden and give her everything she needs (we got a book from the library, it’s scary what we don’t know about Tortoise care…).
I envisage a sleeping area, sitting room and a conservatory along with heating, insulation and access to a run and then the garden beyond.
But within the space of a week I have started to amass the things I need just from what others are throwing away.
Watch out for more on the build later.

 The main thing I have learned is that Making Do & Mending , thinking and acting on the wider environmental implications of our daily lives really isn’t that hard.
You don’t have to live in a Yurt and make your clothes from old sacks.
You can drive a car, just think about what type of car and when you drive it.
You can shop on the high street just think about what you are buying and from whom.
You can live in a normal house just think about the energy you use, the things you buy and probably most importantly what you throw away.

 Just think.
That’s what I’m taking on from here. 
Hats off to Jen my darling, gorgeous wife for opening my eyes. And hopefully some of yours too.

Awww, *blushes*
Thanks lovely hubby. Couldn’t have done it without you.

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  • Reply notjustgreenfingers August 18, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    What a lovely post. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Reply Jen August 18, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      Thanks for reading 🙂

  • Reply Maggie August 17, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Hi Jen and lovely Hubby.
    As you know from my previous comments and attempts to send comment today, I do not usually get involved, let alone respond to blogs/posts etc !
    I am doing so to yours because what you are doing and have done is very Special.
    I wanted to encourage and comment “well done” in the things you have achieved and having read your comments lovely Hubby well done in supporting Jen too.
    The things you have learnt are such simple ways of looking after ourselves, each other and the environment as well as making a difference. We need to encourage more people to do so, and your Make do and Mend pieces do just that.
    From practical advise and experiences to amusing stories of altering a dress that you fell in love with because of the material (been there done that !) making me laugh. . . lovely photo . . . how do you find the time to write about it as well ? !
    I have a couple of aged donkeys on the farm here as well as other farm animals and can identify with you your concern over aged tortoise. All my animals have at one time or another had ‘second homes’ from all kinds of recycled material from all kinds of sources. (The larger animals do have ‘proper’ building too ) I have no doubt that with such grand plans for Speedy, you will have a very happy tortoise – and yes tortoises of such a grand age deserve the best too ! Good luck lovely Hubby with your Make do, Mend and Create Tortoise Haven.I look forward to seeing the ‘Open House’ photos! Keep supporting each other and I see that you have lots of people whom you have inspired to do the same Wishing you all, the very Best and THANK YOU Muesli Maggie- Partner Imbhams farm Granary

    • Reply Jen August 17, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      Thankyou Maggie. What a lovely comment.
      It is brilliant to know that people appreciate what we are doing, and take the time and trouble to leave comments. It means a lot.
      Have a great weekend 🙂

  • Reply Jo aka Kiwijo August 17, 2013 at 6:45 am

    Awww, what a sweetheart, he mustve been made in the same factory as mine :o)
    Lovely to have his thoughts on what youve been doing. Well done Mr Jen!

    • Reply Jen August 17, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      Thanks Jo. Glad you have a good one too!

  • Reply helen marshall August 16, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    oh how lovely! im proud of you too Jen and proud of your hubby for writing this piece-we have all been inspired by you-i now have some eco nappies eek! lots and lots of love to you all! xxx

    • Reply Jen August 16, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      Thanks Helen.
      Great news on the nappies!

  • Reply Sue August 16, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    What a fab hubby….a wonderful role model for your two little ones. I’ve got a brill hubby too, just had 39th anniversary and he’s still special! (In a nice way of course!) well done on your year!

    • Reply Jen August 16, 2013 at 9:10 pm

      Thanks Sue, and congratulations! Big party next year for your 40th?!

      • Reply Sue August 16, 2013 at 9:26 pm

        Not sure Jen, I’m 60 next year…might need to take things easy!!!! Seriously though – having party in the garden with our family, BBQ, booze and kids sleeping in tents, life doesnt get better than that!

        • Reply Jen August 17, 2013 at 12:57 pm

          Sounds perfect 🙂

  • Reply Mrs Marianne Hayton August 16, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    You are so lucky ,you have learned in one year what some families never will learn.Life is all about giving ,compromise and finding love and laughter in the simple challenges life sets us.I do hope you you keep us up to date with all your family milestones.

    • Reply Jen August 16, 2013 at 8:35 pm

      Thankyou Marianne.
      Undoubtedly I will! Already pondering the next challenge…

  • Reply Rae Hodgetts August 16, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    That’s really lovely – and so well written that I think perhaps Mr Jen should consider doing a follow up challenge and a blog of his own. If he can find time once the tortoise mansion is constructed, that is! 🙂

    • Reply Jen August 16, 2013 at 8:32 pm

      I just asked him Rae. He said No!!
      Maybe this is going to be one awesome mansion…

  • Reply Julie August 16, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Brilliant that you have such a supportive hubby behind you & that he is now as passionate about the reasons you have for doing it. You have inspired so many people. X

    • Reply Jen August 16, 2013 at 8:31 pm

      Thanks Julie. That’s so lovely to hear.

  • Reply Emma Croft August 16, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Touching 🙂

    • Reply Jen August 16, 2013 at 8:31 pm


  • Reply Emma August 16, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    What a lovely post. You’ve been a real inspiration to me!!!

    • Reply Jen August 16, 2013 at 8:31 pm

      That’s so kind of you to say so Emma, thank you 🙂

  • Reply Anji August 16, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Can I have him when you’re done? Well done to you all!

    • Reply Jen August 16, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      And thankyou 🙂

  • Reply Antonia August 16, 2013 at 6:26 pm


    • Reply Jen August 16, 2013 at 6:48 pm

      Is that Aaaaah, as in how lovely, or Aaaaaah as in running away screaming..?!

      • Reply Antonia August 17, 2013 at 9:04 pm

        As in lovely of course!

        • Reply Jen August 17, 2013 at 9:37 pm

          Of course..!!

  • Reply lindasgarden August 16, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Reblogged this on My garden and it's Wildlife by Wildlife Linda and commented:
    a lovely couple and awesome blog

    • Reply Jen August 16, 2013 at 6:48 pm

      Thankyou 🙂

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