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 9 May 2013

Blinded by the light - on being woken up earlier than I would like, and how to stop it.

At the moment we are sleeping in a bedroom which has one large window, facing East.  I recently noticed that I am being woken up, earlier than I want, by the early morning sun streaming in and hitting me in the face. We have lined curtains, but obviously not lined with thick enough material to block out sunlight.
Thinking about "covers for windows" and how well they work has become a higher priority for me because the Pink Bedroom, which Compostman is currently refurbishing, has not one but two large windows, one facing North and the other facing, yes you guessed it, East. So when we move into this room (soon!) we will have the same issue with early morning sunlight in our faces and an additional window letting in light. We can't turn our bed around, so we don't look at a window, as the shape of the room precludes that.
We always planned to move into this room when it was completed (only waited 16 years!) As we are now fast approaching the "choosing paint and fabric" stage of the works I need to find a solution to the problem now.

What I have done in other upstairs rooms is use blinds; to me they seem to block light without shutting it out altogether. Thinking about it, we actually have blinds in all the upstairs bedrooms except ours and the Pink Bedroom. Compostgirl has blinds and curtains in her (South facing) room and all the South and West facing windows downstairs have blinds. It is only the sitting room and dining room which have curtains.

So, problem solved - I will be getting some blinds for our new bedroom  - so the question is, what sort and what size? We want to measure and fit them ourselves rather than have someone do it for us, so after a quick Google search for bedroom blinds, I had a look at  Web-Blinds and found lots of helpful advice.  I had no idea there were so many different sorts of blind!

The Web-Blinds site also has lots of useful information on how to measure for a blind and a wide selection of different patterns and colourways. I also found easy to understand fitting instructions for all the different types of blind :-) And if you would rather someone measured and fitted them for you there is a link to their sister company, Hillarys.

In the other rooms I have simple roller blinds but I think for our bedroom I would like Roman blinds - although I am very tempted to get some roller blinds made using one of my own images (they call it a Digital blind on the Web-Blinds website)

Maybe something like this, from when I went to Garden Organic last year?

The bee garden at Ryton.
or this?

Marigold Hen

I think Compostman would prefer this, though!


Hmm. Maybe just a nice, lightly floral pattern, instead?

Disclaimer - I am looking around for ideas to decorate the newly refurbished Pink Bedroom (may need a new name as it may not be pink much longer)  This post features a paid link to a company I would be happy to order from, in the future. As always, the words I write are my own and are my honest opinions.


  1. My son and his girlfriend have the same problem and erected a blackout blind in their bedroom. When we visit, I have v. light curtains and wake up early as well. We have just put black duvet cover onto the back of our lined curtains - has helped quite a bit as well. I think you would need your blind to be as dark as possible.

    1. I think I might go for a dark blind and then some pretty curtains over the top like Compostgirl has? That seems to work really well - her room is shady even at noon in midsummer.

  2. Get neutral coloured plain blinds,as they last forever in a bedroom,and you will be tied to a colour or get fed up with a pattern !

  3. As a "morning person" I love being woken by the sun, and have no curtains at all on the bedroom windows..or the rest of the house. When I am in the UK in summervand wake very early, I think of all the lovely things I could be doing when everyone else is still asleep..gardening, riding the horses, etc. ?..so consider yourself very lucky to have that extra summer sun and think of it from my perspective in the U.S.....maybe you can get a horse??!!!!!!

    1. Well good for you, and I am glad you like the early mornings, but as it is sunrise at 5 am at the moment and I don't get up until 6.30 (still quite early, by most peoples standard!) - I would prefer to be asleep for the extra 1 and a half hours.

      Especially as I go to bed quite late, in order to catch some "grown up" time with Compostman, after our daughter has gone to bed.

      I have had horses - been there and done that for many years - but have no real desire to go back to keeping them, much though I love them.

      To each their own I guess.


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