Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Tuesday 19 August 2008

Some thoughts on modern life.

Reading a post on another blog and catching a news item on the radio just now has set me thinking....always a bad thing!

It made me muse about the way most people choose to live their lives..well I *assume* it is a choice.....(!)

They work long hours, to pay credit card bills they have run up for "stuff" then watch TV programmes on how to "de clutter" their lives of all the "stuff" they have recently bought ...they have no time to cook so they have to buy ready made meals or fast food or takeaways ..they get ill through stress or overwork...they have no time to go for a walk so pay money to use fossil fuels to power gym equipment to take exercise.....they have NO TIME to just BE....

They throw away stuff because they don't know how to fix things and lots of people throw away things JUST BECAUSE they are a few months old or are not "the latest model" what ever that is?

Parents are encouraged to go back to work when children are very young ( whether they want to or not) and then have to pay most ( or all) of their salary to someone else, to care for their children... :-o Do people really WANT to live like that? I don't...

Even when Compostman and I were both in full time work and lived in a small town house, we were not like that! ... OK we spent a lot of time and a lot of our surplus cash playing with an old racing car (which we restored and maintained ourselves I hasten to add!) BUT, we cooked real meals from real food, we grew some of our veg, we recycled and repaired stuff, we were active in our community and in various environmental groups, we made our own amusements ( walking, gardening, reading, music etc ) we holidayed in the UK ( apart from a couple of work trips in the space of 10 years...to the US of A ...where we stayed when the job was done and made a big holiday out of the need to fly there for work!) and were modest in our lifestyles, only spending money we had saved up if we wanted to buy something big.

And after we moved to Compost Mansions and we had Compostgirl, I stayed at home with her until she started school. I wouldn't even have dreamt of restarting my working life until she had started at school! I did this because I and Compostman both viewed it as important for US to bring up OUR OWN CHILD and we both felt that it was the most important thing we could do in the WORLD.

It meant we had less money, yes, than if I had gone back to work BUT we also had a beautiful daughter who was raised by her parents, not some other person who we had paid to do our job for us.

It may sound like I am critical of others in this post...I am NOT! Honest! I do understand that everybody has different needs and circumstances! I am not knocking what other folk have to do with their lives or children BUT I AM wondering why we, as a society , seem to undervalue so much the traditional ideas of making a home, growing our own food and raising a family SO MUCH nowadays. And why so many people seem to worship at the altar of "stuff" and "celebrity" so much as well.....

So I don't know...do people like living the "rat race" way, eating fast food, watching reality TV, working all hours in the week, shopping all weekend etc......or is it just that they know no different, or can't afford to do things differently or ( maybe) can't bring themselves to dare to think that they COULD live a different way?

What do YOU think?

Rant over. ;-)


  1. I think people think they have "made it" if they have the big house, all the latest gadgets, the fast car etc etc. They think other people will be impressed. Sadly too many people are impressed by materialistic goods so people buy more - and either work all the hours to pay for them or worse still get deep into debt. We downsizers are seen as backward yet cannot see that we love the simplicity of our lives. Our children enjoy the simple things in life, do not nag us constantly for the latest computer gadget and spend very little time in front of the tv. They are fit, happy, care-free and above all children for so much longer. We may not be rich in money or gadgets - but we are rich in life.

  2. True, oh so true!

    Although..( thinks) I am probably as happy with my dehydrator as someone "more materialistic" might be with their new clothes.....

    so does that make me like them? or am I redeemed by the fact that "my" toy is useful?

    Hmmmmm tricky stuff this thinking!

  3. No - it doesn't make you like "them" at all. They would think a dehydrator a complete waste of money where-as some new phone or car is "essential". What we buy is useful and in the long run money-saving - no phone is going to save you money.

    Actually I was talking about this to a friend earlier today - we are both seed junkies and can't resist buying a packet of something new and intersting looking - other people do the same with fashion but where-as their "must-have" piece of fashion is being added to landfill in a few months time, our little packet of seeds is producing fine, home-grown, pesticide and food-mile free food.

    Rosie x

  4. Other people's more materialistic things are useful to them in some way, but the difference between these people and you and your dehydrator is your attitutde towards life, how you value your possessions, and why you buy things. Your possessions aren't going to end as landfill in a few months because the latest model is just out and you need to have it. I'm not sure how much pleasure people get out of their phones and cars. I reckon for many people it's short-lived and needs to be revived by buying something newer and better soon afterwards.

  5. Oh so true !

    I DO have a car I wanted and as I enjoy driving ( still oops!) and used to drive powerful Hillclimb cars for fun..I got a car which I would enjoy......BUT it was 3rd hand, and I have now had it for ( thinks.....) 8 years....and it has served me well.....

    WHEN I come to replace it I shall get a car which will run on Bio Diesel.....but at the moment my trusty Skoda Octavia is going strong......

    hmm guess that is NOT the consumerist way of thinking..is it?


Hello! Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. I try to reply as quickly as I can and I really appreciate your interest in my life and doings here in The Compost Bin.