Baking, Making, Cooking

I’ve spent the week baking more bread, making jams, a sourdough starter and am planning to spend this afternoon cooking a vegetarian onion and potato tart.

Here’s a few pictures from the past week’s results, will post some of today’s tart later:

I am very aware of how much more I am using the (electric) oven, but I can justify that for knowing that our food is healthier and homemade.

While writing this, I’ve decided to bake a traditional Victoria Sponge cake, but will likely do that tomorrow. Will have to keep you waiting for those pics until tomorrow. ;)

Back home…

…back to normality?

So, I arrived back ‘home’ in Spain late Wednesday afternoon and haven’t had much chance to sit down until today (Saturday).

I did however find time to bake a whole grain loaf, and am rather pleased with the result. I’m not able to start off my sourdough yet, so have used yeast. Now, I’m not saying it’s a perfect brown loaf, but for a first attempt it is the most delicious bread ever! ;)

One of the first things I did, after unpacking was get out and tend to the plants. My partner’s done reasonably well keeping them going. I however had to get out and satisfy my own budding green thumbs/fingers.

The weather is gorgeous right now, and I’ve even been tempted to sit out in it. Something rare for me, but being amongst my own nurtured greenery and the buzzing bees was heavenly.

We’ve had some peas already, plus the blueberries and raspberries and more are slowly growing.

I have moved into the kitchen a little more than before, wanting to get used to spending time baking, preserving and cooking. Making it the heart of the home.

We’ve agreed to spend some of next weekend’s three days adding more pots and soil to the terrace and I’ve eagerly planned out what new seeds I can get sowed this month.

Otherwise life will go on as before, I’m glad to get back to our way of living but already miss my family terribly.

The Big Summer Plan!

My Big Green Summer.

I had decided on this plan sometime ago, but my time here in the UK has made me more determined than ever to go ahead with it.

My partner will be heading home to the Philippines for six weeks this summer. I had decided to take two weeks off during that time, as we won’t be able to find time for a holiday together until Christmas at the earliest.

Wanting to save money during my holiday rather than spend more, especially as my time-off is unpaid, I will stay home and set myself a challenge.

So, for the whole of July I will avoid using any electricity. That means the first fortnight literally using none, but I will need to charge and power my laptop and the modem (only) for work in the second-half of the month.

I will fetch water from the local fountain for watering the plants and also for my showers. Which I will take on the terrace, using the sun to heat a bag of water – much like a camping shower.

I will hopefully have a good crop by then and will in the coming months preserve food we grow and from the market. The only thing I will spend on is my drinking water and will try stock up on dry ingredients like oats and rice and possibly stuff for baking bread.

However, I will have to cook all my food on the wood burning stove or eat it fresh. Additionally, I will try going vegetarian during this time. Excluding the eggs, I guess I’ll be vegan. We’ve already unplugged the fridge-freezer, so preserving is going to become essential in future. And what with only eating local we’ll need to stock-up for winter too. So this should be good practice.

That also means using only candle light once more, reading or playing tabletop games for entertainment during daylight hours plus going for long walks and hopefully some foraging. Cooling the house will not be an option, aside from opening windows and hoping for a cool breeze.

Who knows, all being well this could easily become a permanent/long-term switch. Heating in the deepest of winter would still be an issue and keeping my partner off of games consoles another. Well, let’s not worry about that for now.

I am very excited and eager to try going back to basics as much as possible. :-D

The N-Word

Let’s talk about the N-word.

Or should that be the n-words. Nude. Naked. Naturist. Nudism. Naturism. Nudist. (in the) Nuddy.

I think I was born inclined towards nudity, then again aren’t we all?

Maybe then it would be more correct to say that it was never really “educated” out of me. I would increasingly grow to hate clothing and would wear as few, loose items as possible whenever possible.

Getting nude in the local forest and during an entire month each year when looking after my grandparent’s home (when they went away) were sanity patches for me.

When I left the UK, getting nude became more difficult and even potentially dangerous.
So I tried to forget about it, but my clothed frustrations along with stress at work and lack of natural places to visit left me in a very bad place.

A change of jobs and locations allowed me access to nature but it wouldn’t be until arriving in East Java, Indonesia that I would fully be free to be nude and rediscover the joys of it in a very spiritual way.

Jolotundo Temple was a surprise for me. Knowing I was staying at an eco-centre with a planned trip to a local temple was as much as I knew. To then discover it was a bathing temple where the old religious ways of nude bathing had survived, was a huge surprise in a strictly anti-nude muslim nation.

The thing is, all manner of men would bathe nude there. Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, whatever. I can’t say if the same liberations were true for the women, being sent to a second-separate baths at the other end of the temple.

When I first arrived I felt nervous, but was reassured by my guide, and so I took the plunge and was immediately set free from my own self-imposed body consciousness, from the stress of a difficult few years and from years of being forced to wrap up.

I was a fully fledged nudey once more.

I spent many trips, times and hours at the temple and got to meet a lot of interesting people. Hanging out on the jungled slopes of a mountain without much care or concern about not having any clothes on. I would even hike nude, to which the local farmers only commented ‘it’s normal’.

Well, I would not let modern society shame me anymore. I would seek out opportunities to do the most natural thing wherever I went. I made lots of new friends both local and global and felt the most peace I’d ever known.

I’ve not so much forgotten that, but threats about losing a job and petty minded people meant I have taken a break. That break has gone on far too long, sadly I cannot now recover the many photos, videos and articles I published about naturism or nudism.

But, I do not like regrets. I know my blog helped many people and still remember their thanks and comments. I do not intend to get so involved in the political and social arguments of naturism/nudism this time. Yet, I will also not hide the fact that I enjoy being nude. This time I will just do, and hope that my doing is enough to spread the word that nudity is neither shameful nor sexual.

Screenshot 2017-04-13 at 06.49.35

A photo of me (first on the blog). Sadly, I’ve lost the original and copied this from our TrueNudists profile. The same picture was included in one of BOP Naturist’s newsletters, along with my review of the nude beach resort we stayed on in Thailand, which sadly seems to have closed.

 

So what next?

With the warmer weather and a desire to remember and re-embrace meditation and naturism, and also to improve my personal body image and acceptance. I have decided to create a partly sheltered spot on our terrace.

Somewhere to have a shower, sunbathe and chill in my birthday suit. This isn’t going to be some impenetrable wall or screen, more of a symbolic attempt to send a message to the neighbours. Something along the lines of ‘Don’t look and if you do, don’t complain!’.

Not My Country

I’ve been here two weeks now, trying to remember the post I “wrote out” in my head while flying over and in the first few days here.

I love my family and friends very much and do not wish to judge anyone’s lifestyle choices, but I was literally stunned into silence that first week.

So much waste, consumerism, excessive choices of products, a society driven on spending, masses of people hooked on mobile devices, a lack of care for the environment and more processed foods than you’d ever want to eat.

I had full blown culture shock at the supermarket (well, hypermarket). The sheer number of different brands and varieties of the same thing was ridiculous. The number of aisles and mountainous shelving felt like a canyon of consumer goods.

And tucked away in a far left corner? The small fresh fruit and veg section. With all manner of goods from all over the world. Who needs seasons, right? And of course to make a public used to processed goods feel at ease, everything was individually wrapped or grouped into a ton of different plastics.

I mean, does anyone really want their fresh fruit sat there exposed and naked*?

The fresh bread section was larger, and had lost any sense of being a bakery… instead it felt like yet another factory churning out more than was needed. In itself driven by consuming ingredients and not worrying about what became of the output.

That evil word Brexit had also been let wild, with our idiot PM invoking the (hopefully more than) two year process on the day I arrived. Arrggghhhh!!!!!

If one more person says ‘democratic process’ to me, I’ll explode. Argh again!

I’d argue for them to give me one example in the world today of a true democracy, but they’d look at me with glazed eyes unable to fathom that someone might actually have a different opinion to the brainwashed masses.

That was another thing that had shocked me, the blatant and endless propaganda. Adverts about how great Britain was, is and will be. How Brexit will leave the UK as champions to a competition only it wants to play. How the world envy our greatness and will want to do business with us. How everything (economy, society & environment)  is OK, and needs just a little more care and attention. I’m sad to say that even the BBC seems more biased than ever.

They say travelling opens your mind and changes you, and I’ve no doubt that has happened. But the past 12 years has also changed the country I left behind. Now, no, this is not the country I left. I guess home is where I and my partner choose to be – it’s just a shame that it can’t be the same place as either/both of our families.

 

*Speaking of nudity, being at my parent’s home and stuck in clothing 24/7 has made me realise and affirm two things. Nudity is more environmentally friendly and wallet friendly  (at least in warmer months?!) to help save on laundry. Second, I miss being a naturist/nudist and will try return to it.

More about that next time. ;-)