Monday, 30 June 2014

A Delay

I've decided to delay my challenge...but make a much bigger challenge commitment. So much is happening with coming and goings at the moment, and this year marks the 75th. anniversary of the start of the second world war. So...now I intend to wait...and treat 3rd. September 2014 as if it were the first day of the war. I want to learn about what happened more, and have decided that to follow rationing as it truly happened, I need to run the length of it's course allowing for differences in rationing throughout the war and afterwards. So this challenge as far as possible will last for several years. Petrol will be an exception, but constraints will be put in place...the details I'm working on...for now if this was 1939 what would I be doing to prepare for a possible conflict? Don't laugh, when we were told that computers would crash at the millenium I stocked up on tinned foods!

I'm well aware that this us going to be one almighty commitment, doomed to failure and the lure of blackmarket goods will be ever present...but hey...My Dad had to fight the cause...I'm his daughter...I will give this my best shot.

J. x

Friday, 20 June 2014

Feeling Confused

Well I've researched, read and re-read various bits of information about the rationing in WW2...and quite frankly I'm slightly confused. My book came today...not quite what I was expecting, more a political statistical angle than bare facts, but in there it stated that shaving soap, scourers, shampoo, powders, dental soap and certain detergents were ration free. (Source Austerity In Britain by Ina Zweiniger-Bargielowska)

Don't think I like the sound of dental soap...but on the plus side I'm not going to feel guilty about washing the dishes, I will have shining locks and I shan't have to go all hairy and native! I don't use powder, so no win on that count.

Yesterday I went on a thankfully rare visit to the Dr. And apparently I need a blood test. Great. Do I eat red meat...ooohhh yes. Well looks like I'm a little lacking in something...so this meat thingy is going to be a real challenge. Would you have been allowed more red meat if you were anemic during rationing. We are lucky enough to be having steak for tea, and roast beef on Sunday. I know I've been feeling constantly tired of late, but just kept putting it down to being busy. And with the diet thingy...it's our night out tonight, maybe Guinness would be a good idea and a new item as a healthy extra! We'll see...anyway 9lbs lost so far.

I've been cramming the polytunnel full to the brim of all sorts of goodies. I've found it very hot hard work, but have 6 baby sprout plants planted into individual pots. Another cucumber plant came home with me today as one just isn't going to keep us supplied, and I hope to get that one sorted in just a while.


Believe me this is not an up to date photo...it's got much more than this in it now.

So there you have it, my exciting day!

J. x


 

 

Thursday, 19 June 2014

A Shock

Today has been another beautiful if breezy day. I hung out three loads of washing...then decided to weigh out what would be a months ration of washing powder 6ozs...for a whole bloomin month! This looked sooo small so I decided to make it look better to add hubbys and daughters rations. Still OMG. This is it.

Apparently each person was allowed 4 coupons per month. Bearing in mind the need to wash ones self and hair and dishes as well...the above would have taken each of the three of us one of our 4 monthly coupons...bath sharing then anyone?

However...polite cough...if I thought there was a war coming...and I had the chance...I may have squirrelled away some provisions of such things as maybe just maybe washing powder. I do have a store at present of ingredients to make my own soap. A batch lasts us a year or more easily...sooo...big question...would I have been making my own soap prior to WW2. I'd like to think I would have.

So for the purposes of putting my family....as painlessly as possible onto something akin to WW2 rations I will continue to make my own soap, handcream lipbalm and body butter with the ingredients I already have. I will use our coupons to buy washing powder as needed. I have a husband in agriculture and boy does he get dirty. My job as a support worker includes personal care tasks, so I'm not prepared to make do and just wash once a week.

I will also use our allotted coupons to buy a small bottle of washing up liquid per month. No dishwasher any more, so yes I know there was no detergent per se during the war, but lets face it...now we do have it, and it's just as cheap as liquid soap.

If we were having to do this for real I'd definetely be keeping chickens and a pig.

It seems as though chicken was not part of the meat ration so as I live in the country, I'm going to presume I would have kept poultry for both eggs and meat.

That and the fact that sausages were mostly off the ration, and again I'm presuming that we'd rear our own pork...we have before...though I know that you would have to give a percentage to the war effort..I'm hoping to eek out the red meat allowance to cover our needs.

I'm hoping to start the rationing as soon as eldest daughter moves out...looks like that will be sometime in early July now...so have until then to research everything else...such as what our fuel allowance would have been.

Another sticking point would have been our Esse cooker...it runs on oil...would we have had it back then...and an electric cooker...no but there's not a lot I can do to change these at the moment anyway. Perhaps I could cook at times over wood outside, but if we're still here in the winter even though I could cook on the woodburner realistically our place would be very cold and damp without the Esse going and that in turn runs radiators. If I have my way when we get to our Winters End I'd love a back boiler behind a woodburner, to heat water and maybe a radiator or two.

But until then it's defenitely a case of make do.

J. x

 

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Why I Feel Like There's A war On

For the last week or so I've spent much of my free time researching what it would be like to live off war-time rations. I seem to find the same information about certain aspects over and over again, but chunks of what I wish to know are missing. Bread apparently was only rationed after war had ended...but what about flour...could you buy that freely...could you obtain white flour at all....what about cornflour? I've resorted to ordering a book which I hope will answer some of my more in depth questions.

Now when I decided to go for this our household consisted of my husband and myself..our son and two daughters...plus frequently the two daughter's boyfriends. Quite a selection of coupon choices and rations to work with...but now eldest daughter has almost completed on buying a house with her boyfriend...probably leaving in a couple of weeks...and today I hear that the job that's been imminent for son could finally come to fruition in a couple of weeks. Which means as this is away that I'll be down to three point something people's rations. And as in wartime I'm going to miss them all terribly. I've been trying to tell myself that this is nothing compared to what the Mother's that had to wave goodbye to sons in wartime went through..but all the same I know it's going to hurt...badly.

I'm going to need a challenge to keep me occupied in my...cough splutter 'free time' and this is going to be it. I have vegetables growing at home...apples will be a problem for a while...as no English ones yet. We have a few fruit trees of our own...yes still in tubs...but you bet that come autumn...every one of those pieces of fruit will be put to darn good use.

At our last house we had a huge vegetable garden...here not so much...I never used to have to buy an onion, now I wish to goodness we'd grown more this year, as I read they were very difficult to come by in wartime.

I'm also concerned about our usually prolific runnerbean harvest...the ones planted outside have either not grown...been descimated by hoards of slugs, or ripped to pieces by cold winds. I've planted three tub fulls in the poly tunnel and am hoping they provide an extended cropping season due to having the protection from the winds.

A friend has gifted me some young parsley seedlings, and before work this afternoon I need to purchase more compost, canes and maybe look at what I can extend our poly tunnel growing season with.

At our last home we nearly always kept chickens...I miss having chickens...but knowing that a move is hopefully shortly on the cards for us am aware that will be just one more thing to have to pick up and move. I don't think hubby will want me to keep chickens just yet!

The sun is shining... And I am blessed...not with what society knows as wealth..ie money...but I have a husband and three beautiful wonderful children that I love with all of my heart. I am sat in the garden surrounded by plants, some from my parents garden...heck some even had roots in grandparents gardens...the birds are singing, washing is drying on the line...I have a job that I love(most of the time!) I have independence in that I have a car of my own, I have the right to vote...and well this is my beautiful dog...who has been taken by eldest daughter to the school for children with challenging behaviour today and I'm missing like crazy...no slobber for me today...


And yes she was wearing sunglasses!

J. x

 

Friday, 13 June 2014

Just Sittin' In The Shade

Yep thats right...after a hair cut this morning and a token go at housework I'm just sittin' in the shade until it's time for work this afternoon. Birds a singing...dog a snooring...the weeds can wait...I need this down time like a duck needs water...to sit and dream of Winters End...what it'll be like...where it will be...how to make it into a real home. Precious thoughts.

But for now this will just have to do.

Spot the bee!

J. x

 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Embracing The Brown

Today started out rather grey, but thankfully...it being my day off things improved drastically and mostly it has been glorious sunshine with a stiff breeze.

The tumble dryer was repaired last evening by clever son...it finished drying his thick items like jeans...then stopped heating again! Fun fun ha ha! Not so bad with the sun shining though.

I spend many an hour searching for things...that safe place I left it last...you know the sort of thing...I want to be more organised...I need to be more organised...so why the heck can't I get my act together and be more organised...it just isn't in me. I'm by my own admission always leaving things till the last minute. I seem to work better to a tight deadline...but sometimes I infuriate myself.

Today I've tackled half of our messy kitchen...washed the larger of the two...actually three, but one's behind a piece of furniture windows inside and out. Cleared off a bookcase, washed down the table and chair legs, and re-organised the fruit baskets..moving them out from a corner and using the apple crates to hold them along the back of my pushed to the wall island unit. Looks quite nice, and blocking some of the large window that's in the walkway line to the front door gives a bit more privacy.

Exciting day all in all...so yep I've snuck outside for a while...taken some snaps, and am soaking up some of this lovely sunshine cos tomorrow it's back to work...and in a minute I'm going to start planning how I can ...almost without the rest of the household knowing...try to feed us all on ww2 rations! Well I do love a challenge. And putting on half a pound this week...though that's probably due to weighing at the late afternoon group instead of the morning one makes me even more determined to crack this nut.


This lazy dog refused to go very far on her walk today!

This is my foxy lady!


What we call The Collabear Rose... Originating from my mothers childhood garden.

Sweet honeysuckle...and of course proof...

I'm embracing the brown.

J. x

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Flaming June!

Yeah right...thunderstorms, torrential downpours...and the tumble dryer has gone wrong...then son sends down from his room half a tonne of laundry for his trip abroad...leaving late tomorrow!

Joy oh joy...too embarassed to show the kitchen, but lets say it looked worse than the living room.


No sign of Miss Haversham!

So flaming June turned out to mean light the woodburner to dry the laundry.

J. x

 

Saturday, 7 June 2014

How Time Flies

Surely it can't be as long as that that I wrote anything on here. May has been cold at times, and June appears to be rather stormy. Yesterday had me fearing for the polytunnel. I've had to order some tape to reinforce all the places that rub against the frame. Today the wind has picked up again thoughly thankfully at present not as strongly as yesterday. Last night we had thunderstorms too.

The raspberries and many other plants seem to be getting blown to bits. Why do we need wind?

The diet is still in progress 8lbs lost so far! The other day I was oggling a little uk size 10 skirt that sits in my wardrobe that I've never worn. I'm still a way off yet but every little helps.

I have been doing a lot of reading about rationing in ww2 and am toying with the idea of living off them for a while. Yesterday saw the 70th anniversary of the D Day landings. My father was a mile or so away injured and waiting for a boat to bring him back to the UK on that very day. Knowing how he went back to his war years just before he died and the terrors he suffered I couldn't bring myself to watch any of the television coverage, though I really wanted to.

Strange feelings.

But back to the present...work soon...a late today followed by an early tomorrow! Waw...guess who's going to be pooped by the end of that shift!!

J. x