Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lessons learned from Possum Living

Though the production of the 'Teenage' film itself seems to continue to pootle along slowly (it was originally expected to be finished by this Summer) the accompanying blog provides endless gems where old documentaries and various nostalgia-laden 'teen memorabilia' is concerned. So in my book the website surpasses my own expectations of the yet-to-be completed film and continues to be one of my must-reads when it comes to finding 'totally awesome' stuff I might not otherwise know about. 

Possum Living falls under this category of cool stuff unbeknownst to me (although I'm sure that plenty of you are already in the loop) and since watching the three-part documentary on youtube which follows Dolly Freed, a teenager living off the fat of (suburban) Pennsylvania in the late 70s with her Dad, I've been thinking about what exactly Turtle Soup must taste like and I've added 'Possum Living: How to Live Well Without a Job and With (Almost) No Money', Dolly's guide to self-sufficiency to my reading list.

In my search for more things Dolly, I found this brilliant interview with her over at Vice Magazine. It turns out that in addition to dropping out of school at the age of 12 and writing Possum Living at 18, she went on to become a NASA aerospace engineer. Awesome! I recommend you watch Nancy Schreiber's documentary in full (the second and third parts can be found here and here) I'm always interested in hearing about how people live frugally, and though after two years of studying at University without a job I've rather reached my 'poor threshold' (of course my use of the word 'poor' is relative-I always have enough money to actually eat, just left to treat myself to nice things that might cost a little bit more money) and I'm now enjoying earning once more, it's still nice to think about the little ways that we can maintain some frugality even whilst earning. Buying second hand clothes is something that is pretty much second hand nature to a lot of us, but it would be nice to also apply this creativity to what we eat too. Yesterday I was in the park next to my house picking blackberries for the cafe I work at (to be used in our fruit compote) and realised how ridiculous it is that I rarely buy fresh summer fruits like strawberries or raspberries (or in Autumn, blackberries) from the supermarket because of how much they cost when all along there are hoards growing in abundance in the park right beside me. And instead of moaning when I can't find kale in the supermarket, why don't I just grow some in a window box instead? Despite the whole 'buy local, grow your own' ethos having been the food manta a la mode for a pretty long time now, it's still easy to miss the glaringly obvious solutions and still fall in the trap of buying overpriced vegetable boxes when you could grow some of your own greens and spend those saved pennies on..well, a delightfully overpriced jumper. Those are my priorities for now, at least. To continue to embrace frugality but to stop being such a martyr about it. Less 'all or nothing' and more 'I like Lidl and I also like pricey mojitos and the two needn't be mutually exclusive.'

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Back in the Groove

Hello, hello. It's been quite a while, hasn't it? Apologies for the unexplained absence but I'm back. I've been having a bit of time out and doing a bit of thinking but writing again feels good. 

Some things that have happened recently: I celebrated my 21st birthday at the end of last month in a beautiful field in the Cotswolds with some friends. There was quite a lot of Cava and dancing to Disco and I wore a baby pink feather boa which has since lead me to the conclusion that baby pink feather boas should be worn more often. (Whether this sentiment was intact cava-induced remains to be seen..)

I've been kicking around a lot in my new Nike Air Safaris which were a birthday present from my Stepdad. I've been sticking to my usual 'it's new and I like it and I'll wear it all day and everyday if I want to..' formula. This is along with some simple gold hoop earrings I bought at the start of the month from (ahem) Claire's accessories.

The Olympics.. who wasn't glued to the screen? Bit of shame it's all over now, really.

I've signed up to do a 160 mile bike ride from London to Paris with some friends. It was floated as an idea and I booked a one-way Eurostar ticket back from Paris before I could change my mind. It's only a month away and the reality of what I've signed myself up for has started to sink in, but in order to remedy these nerves I bought a fairly ridiculous bike top from one of my favourite second-hand shops in Manchester today. (Does it even have a name? The one in the United Buildings on Oldham Street.) Hof hof hof..I may be in head over (sweaty) heels but at least I'll look tropically Wiggo. I also bought this mustard yellow cardigan from Ryan Vintage which is fairly more conservative in a Land Girls kind of a way. 

More updates soon. Until then, what have you all been up to? I'm always interested to know what you've been listening to/watching/doing with your summer. I've been listening to the Beegees, and working at the cafe a fair amount. I also cooked a rather fantastic 'Bristol' Slow Roasted Jerk Pork last week (Jamie Oliver's recipe from when he visited Bristol as part of the Great Britain series) Absolutely perfect on a summers evening enjoyed with plenty of Coronas and lime and chat with one of my girlfriends.