Looking after Planet A

I’ve never been someone to litter and I’ve always found it frustrating if lights are left on unnecessarily or taps are running etc but I’ve only really started taking things seriously in the last 18months.

Just over a year ago I moved from plastic straws to metal ones and from the standard washing up sponges to a more eco version.

Last Christmas Adam adopted a polar bear for me because I love them and I’d sad for them. More recently I bought the polar bear bracelet from 4ocean to take a pound of plastics out of the ocean (read more about their amazing work here)

I’m ashamed to say that I completed my first ever beach clean this year in September but since then I’ve done another three – one in England, one in France, and a lake clean in Germany.

I found a great online shop called Turtley Eco which just launched a week ago

and is helping me move away from certain products like cotton wool pads and replacing them with reusable alternatives

and a natural charcoal hard soap rather than anything in a bottle.

We’ve replaced cling film with a reusable silicone wrap,

and just yesterday I started on my first ever eco-brick.

The final change is that I’ve sold my car (if I’m honest, the biggest reason was to save money) but actually getting the bus instead of driving is also helping to do my bit.

This section of the blog is to share my steps in the hope it may inspire others to do the same. More so, it’s for you to tell me and others about other steps we can take to look after our planet A!

Our story

We met in 2012 and instantly hit it off despite having very different interests.

Early in our relationship I found out that Adam isn’t a ‘normal’ kind of guy! The giveaway to this was the first meal he cooked me.

He tested me over the next few months including a trip to the Lake District when he skinned and butchered a deer for dinner and we jumped in freezing cold water in the mountains.

Six months later we moved in together and I found out a lot more about him, including what he considered to be ornaments.

In 2013, we went skiing (my first time ever) and then spent a week in the Sahara Desert – a first again of course!

Then in 2014, we visited Sweden where we kayaked and wild camped the Stockholm Archipelago and then canoed and camped at the Malingsbo-Kloten Nature Reserve. We got engaged here with the help of Mikael of Nordic Discovery and this was the beginning of a long friendship.

Fast forward a couple of years and we got married (not your standard wedding) and enjoyed an amazing honeymoon which blended what both of us enjoyed.

Since getting married in 2016, we’ve enjoyed plenty of adventures; mostly canoeing related and Adam tried out his homemade buckskin trousers when we were skiing in the Alps.

Most recently Adam built his own canoe and drove it out to Sweden. I flew out to join him at the end of his trip and we canoed in the same place we got engaged four years earlier.

Now we are embarking on the next chapter of our lives and Adam is soon to head out to Ontario Canada for the winter. Just short of four months apart…..

The Finnish Candle

I love making tea outdoors (it always tastes better) and last week in Sweden I got to learn a new method.

Usually we use Adam’s pocket rocket and gas canister or we boil water on a campfire or suspended from a tripod. Adam has shown me a Finnish candle before but I hadn’t tried it myself…. until now.

To get us started he canoed over to the shoreline, leaving me marooned on our little island and felled a dead pine tree, bringing back a seasoned log and some small twigs and birch bark.

He split the wood in quarters lengthways and positioned the four pieces together with a small gap between each.

I placed little amounts of birch bark in the gaps at the base

and fine then slightly thicker twigs towards the top.

The whole point of this Finnish candle was for me to learn and it took me eight matches to light (because of lots of heavy winds and my general bushcraft inadequacies).

Once it was going though, there was no stopping it and we had hot tea in no time.

Sitting there chatting and eating lunch I noticed how long the candle continue to burn and give out heat with just one log.

It lasted long enough for us to enjoy our engagement chocolate which took……well, not very long at all actually!

Packing for an unplanned trip

Tonight I will board a flight to Stockholm Skavska Airport to meet Adam after three weeks apart. I’m sure he will be extra hairy.

Adam recently built a wood and canvas canoe – a lifelong dream for him – and he drove it out to Sweden to test.

In his car I packed a bag of clothes (3 jumpers, 1 fleece, 4 base layers, one summer playsuit and bikini just in case 😬, a pair of shorts, two pairs of leggings, waterproof trousers, 1 towel, underwear and my toiletries) so I wouldn’t need to take them on the flight.

The bonus for me is a cheap £31 flight with just a small bag.

When I say small bag I really mean it. My friends tease me for my small cases but I really can’t be bothered with carting tons of clothes and things around.

We don’t actually have any plan for our trip other than knowing what time and day our Eurotunnel crossing is. Everything else is yet to be decided 🤗

Adam already has our camping equipment so we have what we need wherever we end up;

– two person tent

– double sleeping bag

– camping stove and pots etc

– roll mats

That’s about all we need I reckon. Simple is best. Back packs and jumpers are also pillows don’t you know.

I stuck to the minimal theme when packing my teeny weeny case and day pack.

I loathe going on trips with tons of stuff – it’s just more to organise and more things to lose if you’re anything like me. Adam and I are trying to declutter our lives too so this is all good practice 😁

As I have warm clothes already out there, all I have packed is my favourite boots ever (which I’ll just wear to travel), my Rab Gillet which is so cosy, and my waterproof Mountain Equipment jacket which I got for a real bargain.

Food and drink is just the ‘essentials’ of course

-I love peppermint and liquorice tea and no milk is needed – just add water. Adam will probably also make pine needle tea or something wild.

– Jumbo marshmallows because it’s not camping unless you eat at least five of these toasted to perfection.

Home made fruit leather made from apples and damsons and designed to satisfy our sweet cravings in the middle of nowhere

In terms of bits and bobs, I don’t need a lot.

– A hot water bottle is my treat item in case it gets chilly – for me the most important thing when camping is being warm.

– A head torch is a must for hands free light.

– Sunglasses. I haven’t checked the weather but I’d hope for a little glimmer of sunshine over the next week.

– Power adaptor. Shouldn’t need this as we have portable phone chargers out there but you never know and we might need to charge them when we stop at cafes etc.

– A selfie stick of course, there’s only the two of us so if we want any photos together it’s a must 🤓

– Vaseline because I hate having dry lips but it’s also a useful fire lighting item

– A metal straw cause I certainly won’t be using a plastic one and you never know when a straw may come in handy.

– A whistle because you should always be prepared 😇

– Playing cards for when we run out of things to talk about around the campfire😝

– A brand new 16GB memory card for our camera because I’m trying to learn photography and this trip should provide ample opportunities 🤓

And then the flight. This is actually my first time flying alone so I’ve got to make sure I’m entertained.

– The essentials of course are in my Travel wallet which my lovely friend Amy got me. My passport is hopefully tucked safely inside

– A huge tub of chewing gum cause I might be a little addicted

– Four Chunky Kitkats. I actually only packed one for my hand luggage but I’m sure no one will believe that

z- A book of puzzles and pen to keep my brain active and delay the onset of dementia 😎

– A book on wildlife photography (a birthday gift from Adam) so I can swot up on the plane

– A pair of earphones in case I’m seated next to someone who breathes or eats really loudly!! 😂

What would you pack for such a trip? I’d love to know 🙂

Joint Adventures

Since we’ve met, Adam and I have always enjoyed adventures together whether they are short walks near our house, canoeing and camping in England, or trips abroad.

In June this year (2018) we vowed to make our lives as adventurous as possible and make our own path rather than following the one laid out in front of us. Its bloody exciting!

Celebrating my 30th Birthday in Scotland

Fruit leathers

I’ve made a few fruit leathers in the last month and they are sooo easy – my kind of cooking!! They are pretty much free to make, take no skill whatsoever (I can do this so trust me!) and are quick as anything.

Continue reading

The Great British Beach Clean Up

Today I took a trip to the Norfolk coastline and spent a couple of hours litter picking at Heacham and Snettisham beaches.

There wasn’t as much litter as I thought there might be but I still managed to collect a bag full of pieces of plastic, fishing line and rope.

When I first started collecting I felt a bit self conscious because I was by myself and just walking along with a bin bag!! Lots of people were walking their dogs so I soon had to get used to it, and I did. A couple of people even stopped to tell me what they had picked up over recent weeks.

It was a really windy day but warm and I enjoyed being by the sea. I’ve always loved the coast and water generally, be that rivers, lakes or oceans. I think it comes from boating holidays as a child.

I was thinking that just because we don’t have the bluest seas here in the UK, it doesn’t mean they can’t be clean.

It’s only right that we all do our bit to clean up and look after our environment.

I read something the other which really made me think:

“We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our grandchildren.’

I don’t know about you but that really motivates me.

Anyway, I’m only just beginning to take steps to help make a difference and it’s nothing to shout about yet but we all have to start somewhere.

After a day at the beach, walking back to the car I found a huge blackberry bush and collected as many as I could carry. So not only have I come home with a bin bag full of harmful rubbish, I also have blackberries – a thank you from nature I like to think! 🙂

Crumble anyone?!