I'm going to start straight off and state that I really don't think there is anything eco about holidaying. But I didn't half need a break!
I once read that you should build a life from which you don't need a holiday - sage advice - but not necessarily something that the majority can do. Whilst I probably feel less inclined than most to depart from normal life (as normal life for me is pretty enjoyable!) it is nice, once in a while, to leave the distractions behind and find a new corner to explore.
Flying is ruled out immediately - not just on account of the environmental impact, but also because there are too many of us to make it feasible! And although a foreign jaunt is appealing, we are lacking in passports and the means to make it happen comfortably. The weather has been so fine this year though, that actually staying on home turf is not a bad option!
The UK has plenty of unchartered territory for us, and with vaguely predictable weather, making an active choice to stay in the country was perfectly viable. The first choice, Mull, however was ruled out last minute due to rain and low temperatures, and instead we picked Norfolk, somewhere we had never ventured.
I have a favourite pair of work trousers for the summer. They're light, quick to dry, mud coloured and above all of this, mysteriously only a size 8 and big! (This shouldn't be a consideration, but when you spend your life dressed in wellies with odds and sods of vegetation stuck in your hair, ingrained fingers and mucky fingernails, the positive affirmations of a clothes label that reminds you that at least you're holding the muffin tops at bay is generally a thing to be celebrated!)
We managed to pick up a colony of bees a few weeks ago (literally pick up, in a box in the boot of the car!), which we've safely rehomed in an empty hive that had been kicking around the garden, wishfully thinking, for a couple of years.
We have no aspirations for honey this year - we will have done well to keep them alive through winter. (The colony is a swarmed one and only little. Bee colonies need to have enough bodies to collect food to store to keep them through the cold months and sadly I really don't think they're going to be able to do that). But honey or not, we wanted to inspect the hive and make sure things were going OK, especially after ferocious storms a week ago.
I have a thing about natural fibres. I can't even claim that this arose as a result of all the publicity relating to microfibres in the oceans; I've been fanatically checking the labels on clothing for as long as I remember.
More by accident than design, I've reached the middle of the summer having been able to tick off quite a few items from my mental 'skills bucket list.'
I suspect I stand alone with this, but I love learning new things, especially those that involve a practical application - a 'making' skill. It's a gift when someone takes time and energy from their life to introduce something new and amazing to yours, and I love that the things you make yourself are wrapped in so many memories and experiences.
I started with ceramics, with my lovely friend Carol, who is an incredibly talented and inspirational artist (who, thankfully for me, also has unlimited patience!) Carol ran a short course from a new pottery and workshop she's developing and we made small pinch pots, ceramic birds and modelled a head. Clay is definitely not my forte (and I'm awaiting my fired pots to see if I can salvage any level of pride!) but the opportunity to have a go under her guidance, and meet others who felt the same need to give it a try, was lovely. I also got to spend unexpected time with my nearly-adult son, which was a joy.
Treading Lightly is simple living, within your means and the means of the planet, and making a minimal impact on the Earth. Find out more here about Catherine, of Barefoot Solutions, does this from day to day.