Change of location, change of habits

Hello there! Long time to see.

I moved flats a month and a half ago, and this has changed my habits. I live in the same area, so have access to all the same shops as before. However, my new flatmates have a new way of doing things, which I hadn’t anticipated. In all my previous flats, each person bought their own food. Some things were shared (teabags, milk, etc), but for the most part each person was in charge of their own “stocks”. In this flat, however, everyone contributes to a kitty and we all share the bought food.

This does mean, however, that I don’t feel comfortable continuing the zero-waste lifestyle  in this context. How could I justify imposing my methods to the other three people? How can I justify spending more than necessary (even if it is justifiable, in my eyes), when we all share the costs? We all have different budgets for food, depending on our priorities, tastes, lifestyles, and dietary habits. I don’t want to upset the balance this flat already has, and have melded in to their way of living for now.

After a year of zero waste, I’m also rediscovering a lot of joy in small things. I have been strict about what I buy, and have deprived myself of quite a lot of things I love, because they are not available in bulk where I live, and because I don’t have the time to make them myself. For example, pasta has been making me very happy!

There are still some things that this flat buys in bulk: laundry/dishwasher liquids and oils, for one. Today’s bulk shop:

IMG_8779

IMG_8780

Sadly, the dishwasher liquid is not refillable, so we will use the tub as a food tupperware.

So I guess my mission from now on is to actually do the long-awaited maths to see what items of food are cheeper bought as bulk, or as packaged. Thus some stuff can still be bought package-free, to the advantage of everyone involved….

Advertisements

Pottery classes and clay re-use

For a few weeks, I have been attending pottery classes at Fireworks Studios, in Glasgow. It’s been a lovely experience, we’re a really concentrated crew so there is little talk as we each work on our throwing. It’s very difficult but also very satisfying, and like with learning any new skill, it kind of whacks you in front of yourself and your fears and desires. I personally get immensely frustrated and impatient, and then berate myself for being too demanding and not knowing how to enjoy things…. So as well as learning pottery, I am trying to learn to calm down and take things slow.

IMG_8488

I am writing about this on here because I am amazed at how no single piece of clay is wasted. All the clay gets re-used. The wet clay, the dry clay, it all gets put back in adequate places where it can get wet again or stay wet… And then kept there until it’s needed again.

Notwithstanding this element of the class, it also makes me reflect on the idea of adding more objects to the world, and on the objects I own. How to love them, how to preserve them, why I love them, do I love them? I would love to live in a place where everything I own is loved, because of aesthetics or function or memory. I’m still young and moving about, so I have a lot of IKEA crockery and bedsheets, but eventually when these need replacing I would love to start investing in beautiful objects that will last. I have a wish list of pottery and jewellery items I like, which I keep looking at every so often in case, you know, my salivary glands need exercising.

Also if you like pottery check these Instagram accounts out (UK potters only so far):

Glasgow based Mariella Verkerk

Glasgow based Jono Smart

Berkshire based Luke Eastop

London based Tom Kemp

London based Elliott Ceramics