If you read the content elsewhere on this blog, you'll have an idea of us and who we are as people. We're vegan, creative, interested in taking a slightly less standard route through life. P describes us as 'non-traditional traditionalists'. We'd both like nothing more than a 19th century style smallholding, but with 21st century social attitudes and healthcare. And Netflix. "Hold on sweetheart, let me Google vegan recipes for Mead!" (Actually, genuinely, we'll get back to you on that...)
So if the Happiness section of this blog is a mental map of where we want to go in life, and the recipes and DIY sections on the blog are about the concrete things we do to get closer to what we want, this section is more about the way in which we live and how it expresses what's important to us. In two words (which basically come to mean very similar things in our eyes): Frugality and Minimalism.
Important disclaimer: this might not be for you. You might get a whole lot of joy getting the latest consoles, going out to see movies every week, or luxuriating in a takeaway. And if you can afford that without financially stranding yourself, rock out. But this isn't that website - go in peace, friend (to the recipe list; we can probably agree on that).
Frankly we both feel ridiculously lucky that when one of us said "Hey, shall we find out how to make a compost loo in our future home?" the other one thought that sounded like fun. And that our main hobbies together involve making and preserving lots of our own staples, just in case an apocalypse strikes tomorrow and Aid centres don't have vegan protein supplies.
There was a holiday suggestion I made to P last year - "so the shower in this place is a bucket with a hole in the bottom, that you have to fill with water you've heated yourself and also it's outside..."
If I was lucky enough to find a partner whose response was "that sounds awesome!" in a city as big as London, we're both sure this blog will find more people who are interested in a low-impact, minimalist, frugal vegan lifestyle. If that's you, or even if only some of those things are you, hello!
So what do Frugality and Minimalism mean to us?
Frugality is like minimalism for your wallet.
Minimalism is frugality for your home.
But more helpfully...
Frugality is - being conscious with your spending choices; not spending more than you have to, or is personally sustainable for you. It's not about being 'cheap' or 'stingy', it's about responsible and prudent.
Sometimes that means learning to make your own versions of things where that's easier or cheaper, and learning how and when you need to do that. Sometimes it's just about saying "no", or "do I really need that? Would I be happier doing something else?"
Not having more possessions than you need, keeping your impact on the world light. To us it's not necessarily about having a magazine-styled space with just the perfect expensive area rug and meditation cushion. It's about reducing what we buy and consume and fill our lives with so we only own and live with that which matters most to us.
You may possibly have heard of the lifestyle-blogger phenomenon that is 'The KonMari method'. Basically you don't keep anything that doesn't 'Spark Joy'. Another way of putting it is in the words of William Morris:
We think our way has got some advantages and we'll be passionate about that. But don't feel we're disparaging anyone who's doing something different.
Disclaimer: if you saw photos of your house, you'd laugh at the idea that we believe in minimalism. It's very much a work in progress. We believe in the concept and part of this blog will be about how we put that into practice!