I don’t know quite when it happened, or why it happened, but according to someone at work*, I have turned into a hippie. The way she says it, it’s interchangeable with ‘laughing stock’, but I’m kind of ok with it, because I think it just means that I’ve started standing by what I believe in a bit more.
It started with the realisation that if I made my own clothes, I didn’t need to worry so much about people far away in sweatshops being exploited so I could buy a cheap top. So far, in the last two months I’ve made two pairs of comfy trousers, three pairs of smartish trousers, half a thing I won’t admit to yet in case it goes hideously wrong and I’ve converted a dress from a charity shop into a rather decent skirt. I have one more skirt to make and that’s my summer wardrobe sorted. I admit I will be buying a few tops as they tend to be more tricky. And yes, I know the material has to come from somewhere, but you know, little steps.
Then it was the fact that I could probably eat better than I was. I started eating vegetables. A lot – I rarely have chocolate spread on toast for my tea now. I actually enjoy them, it’s most peculiar. Now it’s all about the courgettes and the eggs. Then I got a bit funny about eggs, so I did some research and found a local place that sells free range eggs that are actually free range (rather than some of the supermarkets ones that are a bit fluffy in their claims). They taste really good too. And yes, I still eat a lot of biscuits and chocolate. But you know, little steps.
And then, in that week I had off work recently, for some reason it dawned on me that I was being better at what I put in me (almost two months in, I’m still on patches rather than the cigarettes, other than the 5 I have had and am still angry with myself for, but it’s not so bad considering I would usually have smoked several hundred in that time). But what about what I was putting on me? I did a bit of research on cosmetics – what went in and the ethics of the companies producing them and I felt a bit sick. So I bought a book and have started making a few bits and pieces. It’s a whole new sort of makingness, it’s slightly chaotic, very messy and I love it. It’s like making potions when you were little, only making potions that you can actually use!
I have now been using homemade lip balm, moisturiser, exfoliater, toner, body scrub and makeup remover, all from natural stuff for a couple of weeks and my skin looks better than it has done in ages.
I’ve learned two lessons: 1) you shouldn’t use body stuff containing oil on your arms in the shower if you want your nicotine patch to actually stick to your skin (I’ve had to use bandages more than once now) and 2) homemade bath melts need to be given with a warning that after use the bath must be washed down as the amount of oils and butters in them leaves a slippery mess that may result in a broken neck for the next person trying to wash.
OK, it’s not everything I put on me, but you know, little steps….
So if that makes me a hippie, then that’s ok with me. Although I’m a little concerned about what the next step could be. If at any stage in the future I start talking about joining a commune, feel free to intervene :o)
* the someone at work calls herself a vegan (loudly, frequently….you know the sort), but has admitted to eating a poached egg and an oyster in the last month on the grounds that one came from a chicken she was sure would have been happy and the other doesn’t have a brain. She’s clearly not that great at giving people accurate labels…:o)