A life laid out in guide books: 2005


I’m a Thankful for… September 30th 2016

My thank yous from one day awhile ago. 

  • Beautiful birthday cards 
  • Minimal gifts
  • Kisses in bed
  • Hot shower
  • Tartine morning buns and ham croissants 
  • Stand up time changed 🙂
  • Riding my bike
  • Birthday messages from friends and family near and far
  • An autumn chill in the air
  • Getting on Bart without pushing 
  • A new Boniver album
  • Happy Birthday in stand up 
  • Working with a friend  
  • Honest feedback from customers 
  • A cup of tea
  • Handshake from a friend 
  • Lunch with a friend
  • Cupcakes
  • A hug from a colleague 
  • Chairman Bao
  • A cider
  • A chat with a friend
  • Silly gifs in Slack 
  • Not looking totally shitty in a selfie 
  • My Dad Wrote A Porno
  • Drinks after work
  • A glass of water 
  • Chats with I
  • Boozey chai
  • Bike ride home 

Autumn Days 

No I mustn’t forget.

Autumn days when the grass is jewelled
And the silk inside a chestnut shell.
Jetplanes meeting in the air to be refuelled.
All these thing I love so well

So I mustn’t forget
No, I mustn’t forget.
To say a great big
Thank You
I mustn’t forget

Clouds that look like familer face
And the winters moon with frosted rings.
Smell of bacon as I fasten up my laces
And the song the milkman sings

So I mustn’t forget
No, I mustn’t forget.
To say a great big
Thank You
I mustn’t forget

Whipped-up spray that is rainbow-scattered
And a swallow curving in the sky
Shoes so comfy though they’re worn out and they’re battered
And the taste of apple pie.

So I mustn’t forget
No, I mustn’t forget
To say a great big thank you
I mustn’t forget.

Scent of gardens when the rain’s been falling
And a minnow darting down a stream
Picked-up engine that’s been stuttering and stalling
And a win for my home team.

So I mustn’t forget
No, I mustn’t forget
To say a great big thank you
I mustn’t forget.

Thank you Estelle White 

First two weeks zero waste 

My zero waste month is up.

I haven’t been able to keep all the waste together because I travelled for two weeks in the middle so I’ll give my updates and reflections in batches. 

Here’s the first lot of waste. It’s the waste for about 11 days. It was collected at home. 

The lows

It looks way more than I thought it would. It’s nowhere near zero. 

The most frustrating things are the veggie packaging, receipts, the junk mail and a stupid plastic straw that arrived in a glass of water I asked for. I refused things as much as I could but it was surprising how much waste seemed pointless but just gets given to you. 

The highs

Although there was more waste than I’d hoped maybe it’s not too bad for two people? As I live and share meals with my husband many of our meals and therefore, associated waste were for two people and so if I consider only half of this to be mine I guess it’s not too bad

The vast majority of the waste is recyclable (in Oakland where we live) which is good as it means landfill waste is minimal. Also with the exception of the veggie packing most of the packaging was also paper based which I prefer over plastic waste. And even the veggie packets had an upside. I contacted the farm who provided me my CSA veggie box and asked if I could have mine without the plastic and they said that they’ll try to do that as much as they can. I haven’t had a box since then as we’ve been out of town but here’s hoping its plastic free. 

I also started to use Catalog Choice again to help me with the junk mail and contacted the newspapers that just appear at my house to try to get them stopped. Sadly over the last 3 weeks I’ve seen no changes but here’s hoping.  

I also switched to loose leaf tea for a lot of my cuppas to reduce the tea bag waste.   

And I thought twice before using paper or stickies as a todo list and just used my phone instead. 

I am also pleased that I resisted chips, individual snacks at work and individual yoghurt pots for a whole 11 days. No junk food waste in here from me! 

My Zero Waste month

Oh hello, you’re here. Guess what? I pledged to do a month zero waste. 

I have some experience trying to be zero waste as I have been working my way up to it for a while. I’d say that this year I have been lower waste. Lower waste meaning I have a water bottle, use cloth bags for veggies, we compost, we buy shampoo/conditioner/body wash in bulk, we buy some dry goods like rice, pasta, black beans in bulk and I make my toothpaste. 

Primarily I did the pledge because I wanted to take stock of where I am and see what other options there are for me to reduce more. 

My rules for zero waste month

1. Recycling is waste 

2. Purchased by me before the month starts is still waste 

3. Purchase by someone else before month start is not waste

4. Used solely by Ian is not my waste 

5. Food wasted is not ok (e.g. I’d rather eat something in packaging than let the food waste) 

My hopes for zero waste month 

  • One whole day of zero waste
  • Take reusable containers on holiday to reduce waste while traveling 
  • I have all I need. No non food purchase packaging
  • Get new ideas and alternatives for waste
  • Reduce junk mail
  • Refuse unnessecary packaging 
  • No packaged snacks
  • No plastic yoghurt pots 
  • No disposable coffee cups
  • No disposable plastic bottles
  • No plastic personal items such as toothpaste, shampoo, moisturiser etc…
  • No plastic bags or Ziplocks etc…
  • No plastic cleaning product packages 
  • No plastic packaging on toilet paper 
  • No plastic cutlery
  • No plastic straws 
  • No plastic milk bottles 

I’ll update what I learn and what I waste over the next few weeks. 


This weekend I made cheese. I used my liquid rennet, butter muslin and cheese mould that Dawn and Matt gave me as a gift. 

First I made rennet cheese.

Heating milk

Heating milk

Curdling curds

Curdling curds

Setting curds

Setting curds

I followed this lady’s instructions but left my curds for 30 minutes to become a bit squeaky. 

From the curds we made 4 dishes. 

Curds and fruit. Ok. 

Fresh curds with an aprium

Fresh curds with an aprium

Poutine! Oh yes. 

Curds with gravy and fries. Super yum

Curds with gravy and fries. Super yum

Cheese curd tacos. Good.

Curds with kolhrabi slaw and corn torilla

Curds with kolhrabi slaw and corn torilla

Chilli curds. Great. Eaten so fast I forgot to photo 😦

Then from the whey I made whey ricotta. 

The whey yielded enough fine ricotta for a savoury starter and sweet dessert dish.

Salted ricotta and crackers

Salted ricotta and crackers

Fresh fruit, ricotta and honey

Fresh fruit, ricotta and honey


At the start of the year I made some goals for the year. I won’t bore you with the whole list. But one item read…

Hike Whitney or something else big

suzie on whitney

Here I am on July 4th 2015.

Some things can happen. So what else is big that we should be hiking?