New Year's resolutions

  1. Use up everything in the freezer
  2. Only by local meat from ethical producers
  3. Buy local veg via Tomnaha veg box
  4. Cut down on food waste
  5. Avoid flying
  6. Start tree-planting scheme to offset guests’ journeys
  7. blog once a week
  8. Exercise
  9. Resurrect sewing club and make at least one garment in 2020
  10. Be proud of achievements and think ahead to next ten years


Since we’ve been in Scotland, nearly five years, I have been cutting D’s hair. When we first arrived, after several weeks of moaning from his mum, D duly went to Perth and had his hair cut. It was so awful and he was so miserable that I have been cutting it ever since. I’m now the household’s hairdresser and whilst not perfect, far from it, we do save quite a lot of money! This week I am debating whether to cut my own hair. I had a particularly nice cut in Gleneagles a few weeks ago, my first paid hair cut in about 18 months. Problem is it’s so funky, that it already needs another cut and I don’t really have the time or the money. So, do I cut it? It could be a disaster, but it might not be and I could be on a path to a lifetime of free haircuts. This idea is so crazy considering I used to spend an absolute fortune on paying a hairdresser to cut my hair and a colourist, or should I say colorist in a top Soho salon (in NYC). How my life has changed.

Going Green…

I’ve been working hard this year on becoming more green at home. Namely using washable and biodegradable nappies, using eco products, buying in bulk and giving up Amazon for new year.

We decided this year that we would also try and go more green with the cottages too, so slowly introducing eco friendly products and looking into ways we can improve.

Today we had a phone call with a rep from Green Tourism. It started off well with him enthusing over our private water supplies (apparently Scottish Water are one of the biggest users of electricity) and our 1950s hydro electric plant, which powers the estate and feeds back to the grid. Then he started asking if we had insect houses?? I replied no, we had an SSSI area and insects are in abundance already. “Did we have energy saving lightbulbs?” He continued with such questions. We mostly have the energy saving ones apart from elderly ones that have not blown yet. Should we replace all our bulbs with these better performing ones? Should we replace our four-year old fridge with one that is more efficient? I’m torn with the incredible waste of these things ending up in landfill and whether it is more eco friendly to buy new ones or keep the old ones, particularly considering that our energy is eco?

When I think of all the things we have done in an eco friendly way. Most furniture has been upcycled. We are lucky to have Monzie Joinery on hand and Ally is a complete whizz at making any tatty piece of furniture look brand new. That combined with my upholstery skills have ensured we have made everything pretty eco already. I buy a lot of fabric, zips and other things from Remake, my favourite shop in the world, alongside several designer fabric seconds shops!

We’ve bought a lot of kitchen items, games and puzzles (gorgeous antique Wedgwood dinner sets, Le Creuset tea pots and such like) from charity shops, the church coffee morning and gumtree. We’re really lucky to have the most amazing charity shop in Comrie!

The rep ended the call saying that off the top of his head we looked like a solid bronze entry. I was silently fuming, I didn’t want to be bronze, I want to work hard to get the gold entry.

So my question is, what more can we do to be more environmentally friendly and what is most effective?