About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Little things

Sometimes, just a small change can make quite a big difference to your quality of life. In this house, we can't get radio reception, not DAB, not analogue, nothing. On the other hand, we do have a reasonable broadband connection, so we can listen to the radio over the internet, as we do for watching TV. I quite like listening to the radio while washing the dishes, but unfortunately my laptop speakers aren't powerful enough for me to hear over the sound of rattling crockery and splashing water.

Here's my solution: I found some little speakers that used to belong to a desktop computer. I checked that speakers will work upside down without getting upset. I cut denim straps from an old pair of jeans and fixed them to the underside of a kitchen cupboard with drawing pins. I hung up the speakers by their little stands.

No, this photo is not upside down, the speaker is.

It's still more faff than switching on a radio to take my laptop in there, plug in, and switch on the speakers, but not so much that it isn't worth the effort. I can now listen to the radio whilst washing the dishes. This has transformed a chore that I used to avoid until the kitchen was unbearable into something I really don't mind doing. Little things.


  1. Ingenious!
    You are right abou little things making a difference- if I am feeling unmotivated to do a chore, I put music on and that usually entertains me enough to do the boring thing.

  2. I agree... that's a fantastic idea! I often find myself in "just don't wanna" mode when it comes to tedious chores. Sometimes I'll strike a bargain with myself where I'll put on one of my favorite CD's and tell myself that I just have to stick with whatever it is for the duration of the CD. Generally once I get going I don't want to stop even after the CD finishes. Apparently I have issues with momentum! :-)

    Anyhow, I've sorta gotten out of the habit of doing this, but I'll have to give it a try the next time I find myself avoiding the dishes (which will be tomorrow since I already made myself do them today!)

    1. I have trouble getting started on things too, and also try the "I'll only do so much" trick. That's a good idea to link it to music - define your "only so much" by how long you have entertainment available.

  3. Great idea.
    I bought a bluetooth speaker last year from a friend and it has really come into its own lately as I can carry it from the kitchen to the top floor and still listen to music coming from my ipad.

    1. As I read this I thought, "Oh, I don't have anything so high-tech as bluetooth," but I'm using the internet to listen to the radio, for goodness sake! Isn't it wonderful to have such things available!


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