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!

Thursday 10 July 2008

"You don't work...you can't be tired!"

You know, it struck me ( not for the first time!) how odd some folk's attitudes are. I know we live in a fabulous place and have a lot of land, however it IS a fair bit of work to look after. Compostman and I grow most of our own foodstuff, tend to various animals, renovate and look after the house, make preserves, compost, manage a woodland for wildlife and for our wood supply and generally we are quite self sufficient in making stuff and mending stuff etc. My days are really very full..especially when I factor in that I am often forced to rest or can't do stuff due to CFS/ME..which means I HAVE to rest and recuperate when I am exhausted or ill.......And I certainly don't seem to have much "spare time" to just sit and twiddle my thumbs! (not that I WOULD, but you know what I mean :-) and neither does Compostman!)

Compostman is busy fixing up our house and grounds, doing jobs which many people would have to employ a builder or carpenter etc to do...as well as gardening, felling trees, digging, shredding, etc etc.

We both do various voluntering activities and I work as an Environmental Educator occasionally, as well as doing my Master Composter volunteering and various college courses. and for our recreation we do stuff with computers, but usually ( as you may have observed!) late at night.

Unlike people who work 9-5 type jobs, our weekends are, if anything, even busier than our weekdays...as we have family type things to do as well!

BUT because I don't work in a "conventional " way ie for an employer 9-5, 5 days a week....I get various comments along the lines of "it must be nice to have lots of leisure time" or if I say about having been busy or feeling rather tired I get "but you don't work, you can't be busy/tired! " I can only assume that people think my life is like one long holiday from full time work. Except it IS NOT..this IS my work........doing what I do...

Hmmm wonder who they think does all the stuff at our place? Do they think we have an army of gardeners :-?

Ah well, to each their own I suppose and I would rather have *my* life than be working all hours to make money to buy food because I can't find the time to make food, because I work all the hours...etc etc ...I think THAT is called "the rat race" ....and I don't like rats ;-)


  1. Completely understand what you mean CW. A life like yours is actually what I aspire to (yikes - that sounds a bit creepy! But I'm sure you know what I mean.) It will not be an easy option, but it is one that I'm sure is much more satisfying than doing otherwise.

    I'm in the rat race at the moment and I am looking for ways out so that I don't spend my whole life like this. I'm just glad I've realised this relatively early on and that I am trying to change things. Now I just need to make that change...

    Mrs C

  2. I am SO glad you posted, as after I read this post I nearly deleted it as I was worried it sounded...I don't know...patronising? something bad?

    ANYWAY...it wasn't meant to be, it was the random musings of a wittering compostwoman ;-0

    and you have taken it the way I was meaning it, so thats a relief!

    I like the idea of our compostbin life being an aspiration actually....:-)

    we have SO much more we want to do here, ( more animals for meat etc, rearrange the garden so its more producctive and beautiful, more stuff to the house to make it more energy efficient, etc...but lack of funds and time mean it all goes very slooooooowly.....

    I am sure you will get your self sufficient ambition Mrs C..you have the desire and youth on your side!

  3. Hi - thought I would pop over and say thanks for visiting my blog. I have enjoyed reading yours and will pop in again soon!

  4. Likewise - thanks for adding me to your blogroll.
    I know what you mean about "not working". I work from home as an upholsterer and a fair few people assume that makes me fair game for a cup of coffee or school committee!

  5. Hi Patient Gardener and Jean..I like your blogs and have just had a visit to both of them

    Jean your pigs are great! I want to do that here, but Compostman is ..ahem..shall we say a little soft hearted? HE wouldn't want to send them to slaughter......


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.