10 goals for 2010 – June progress update

Half way through the year – so where was I with these things…?

1. To make a meal using only ingredients I’ve grown, raised, caught or killed myself.
I’m getting closer with this. Ok, I don’t grow my own wheat but I’ve made slow-rise bread about every other day for the month, and handchurned butter too. We’ve had homegrown salad & herbs nearly every day for lunch and for most dinners too.

We’ve got about half a dozen courgettes & lots of their flowers begging to be picked, more salad (two different types of mixed leaves) will be ready for picking early next week and some broad beans might be ready this weekend too. Aside from slug damage to a lot of the beans & peas, everything else is growing well – it’s all kinda exploded over the last few days. Going to spend a lot of time potting stuff on/out tomorrow and over the weekend.

But you know what though? Sod that veg stuff – at long long last, we got chickens! We only got them on Tuesday night but we’ve had four small-but-perfect eggs (and two not quite there but almost eggs) from them, so if I was being pedantic, I could right now have a herby courgette frittata with side salad to complete my goal – but I’d rather keep striving for it ;)

2. To travel to a place on my “top ten places to go before I die” list.
Nope, still nothing on this one. I think my first step would be to re-write my list because I think I’ve plum forgotten about half of them.

3. Finish writing my second novel.
I’ve been thinking more about another idea but really. really. should. refocus.

4. Learn how to make sausages – wet English style ones and cured ones too.
Completed in April. We’ve not made any of our own at home yet though. Maybe this goal should change to that…

4. Make some sausages at home – wet English style ones and cured ones too.
As I’m thinking of making/getting a smokehouse for my birthday, I’d be able to make some interesting dried ones!

5. Spend at least a day fishing out on the North Sea.
Another idea of something I thought of doing for my birthday. Also been looking at changing the sea focus and doing a “learn to fish” thing in the Lakes or North Yorkshire instead…

6. Finally finish learning how to drive.
Still done nothing on this and, well, tbh, I’ll losing the will to do so. I know I should just do it because sometimes it would be useful to go exciting places like Morrisons without John but I think I’d drive so rarely that it wouldn’t be worth it. I will expect a kicking from certain people for saying that ;)

7. Make a full outfit’s worth of clothing for myself – including spinning any wool used.
Oh, I had lots of fun spinning during my two days off work at the start of the month! I started on a little DIY CD-and-pencil type spindle but bought a better one mid month, as well as some more roving – and I got a bruised palm pad from spinning so much one night. Extreme yarn crafts! I still haven’t spun enough yarn to make much though.

To update on what I spoke about in my last progress report, dyeing was lots of fun. I dyed two lots of wool yarn – from cream to duck egg blue and heathery lilac – and with more of the original cream, imagine it’ll make a nice chunky blanket. I had purple dye left over from the purple-ish yarn so dunked some of my slightly-greyed white knickers in and they went a lovely plum, then I told John about it and he demanded I tie-dye some of his impractically white underpants & made a vest stripey – I had to comply ;) I definitely want to try natural dyeing some time soon.

8. Learn how to program and make a mini-game/application using Ruby.
The weather has been too nice to be sat inside on my computer. And the people who claim I’ve spent many, many hours playing Theme Hospital this month are LYING.

9. Climb a mountain or at least a jolly big hill.
Lots of walking with Lily but nothing more than the Chevin in Otley – and that looks a lot bigger than it really is.

10. Participate more in the real world – plan/run a real life green event or scheme.
I’ve taken the first baby steps with two of them – but haven’t heard anything yet from my contacts. Will poke.


One of my ten goals for 2010 was to learn how to make sausages. I’ll admit it was a bit of an easy one — the “make to-do” list item on your to-do list just so you can cross something off straight away — as I was already planning on attending a sausage making course in March. When March came along though, I was incredibly disappointed when we had to cancel our places a couple of days before the course – and delighted when Rachel, the course organiser, said they were running the course again a month later, and would we like to attend that instead?

The course took place on Saturday at Old Sleningford Farm – a lovely informal community/small holding near Ripon in North Yorkshire. The drive up showed off Yorkshire at its best – the sun shining on all the hills, dales and cute cottage-filled villages – and when we got there, the group were having a cup of tea in the sunshine next to the herb garden. There were five of us on the course, plus Rachel & Martin, who ran the session together.

Once the tea was supped, we headed into the purpose-built kitchen and Rachel & Martin told us about their experiences developing the recipes, how they’d come up with their fatty/lean meat ratio and why they used homemade bread instead of rusk. Then we read through the recipes of the sausages we’d be making – all standard wet pork sausages but we were given two recipes for dried/smoked sausages and throughout the day, they discussed how each stage would be different if we were making them (we also got to try the dried sausages at lunchtime – super yum!). They had also thoughtfully copied out large versions of the recipes and hung them on the walls so we didn’t keep having to refer to our take-home A4 papers.
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