Friday, March 16, 2007

Two new blogs and two nice things

I've added two new blogs to my list of ones to read.

Sally Gardens is a second blog from Rebecca, An Irish Craftworker - looks good to me and I can certainly see how they have so much to share that two blogs are needed.

Grobsness is about a family who moved to Shetland and after a couple of years managed to buy a croft. They've only recently started blogging but it all looks very interesting and some of the scenery from Shetland is stunning. I think it just got added to my list of places I'd like to visit.

Stonehead (I've heard via a discussion on the selfsufficientish forums) is taking a break from public blogging - I'll miss his posts which I always found very informative and fun however I'm not removing the link from my list for the moment in the hope it'll be resurrected at some stage.

Two nice things happened on Wednesday evening that made me feel good and proved to me once again that it really is the simple things that count. When I arrived for choir one other member (who I had regaled with my mayonnaise woes on Sunday) had brought me six eggs from his own chickens. 3 are bantam eggs which I don't think I've ever had before. There's so tiny and cute!

The second thing requires a bit of explanation. As I speak German I am sometimes called on to help choir with pronunciation if we are doing a German piece. In this smaller choir we have done a few parts of Schubert's Deutsche Messe which I have taught people the words for in previous years. This term we have two Germans in the choir so when we began rehearsing the Agnus Dei from this mass on Wednesday, our conductor asked one of them to read through the German text. As I was leaving choir someone who has already done that piece came up to me and said "Just wanted to tell you, she read it exactly the same way you did it before. You were spot-on."

This compliment to my German was much appreciated as I rarely get a chance to speak it any more and am very aware that I've lost most of my German accent. However enough seems to have remained that to a casual observer at least I don't sound like a beginner either.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

One final post

P.S. Does anyone know how to delete comments in blogger? There's one attached to a post below which looks like spam advertising a particular type of shop (don't want to use the name of it in case it causes me to get more hits), which is completely irrelevant to this blog. I cannot find anywhere to allow me to edit or delete comments and I'm sure this is something I should be able to do.

Hair update

Forgot to update on my hair and the whole not washing with shampoo thing. I'm halfway through week 4 now. At the weekend I used oatbran - you're actually suppsoed to use oatmeal but it's essentially the same stuff as far as I know and I wasn't about to use my lovely organic porridge when I'd bought the bloody oatbran anyway. You scrub dry hair and scalp well with it and brush really well to take it out again. It does make a bit of a mess but I think this was partially caused by the fact that I'd taken my glasses off and so couldn't see when I was making a mess anyway. This worked really well and I was pleased with it although I felt I'd done a much better job on the long part of my hair than the scalp simply because it's much easier to get at. After brushing out the oatmeal you rinse with hot water to get rid of any lingering bits. My hair looked good after this and felt good too, if a little thick.

On Sunday I decided to try the mayonnaise conditioning treatment. What can I say but that it was a disaster. First of all I should point out that I don't like mayonnaise and don't eat it. So sitting with the smell of a headful of the stuff wafting down to me for almost an hour wouldn't rate highly on my list of fun things to do. I couldn't hold out for an hour so after about 45 minutes went down to wash it out with some very hot water. Seemed to work okay and my hair did feel silky smooth. That was about ten o'clock. Left it to dry naturally, as I do most of the time. Went to market (smelling a bit like a salad sandwich) and then drove down to Arklow (about an hour's drive) for choir competition. Met choir for lunch and then went off for practice before competitiong at 2.45. A couple of people gave out to me for coming out with wet hair and I thought to myself it was a bit strange that at 1 o'clock it still wasn't showing signs of drying (it takes a long time but more than two hours when it hasn't been tied back is a bit much). Finally realised that it wasn't so much that it was wet as that it was greasy. Yuck. I don't think my hair has ever been that oily. I tied it back and made it through the day (we won our plain chant competition so that was good). As soon as I got home I washed it in very hot water again. I really didn't want to have to use shampoo.

Next morning I woke up with unbelievably matted, greasy hair. This is the kind of thing I'd expected to gradually happen over a few weeks before my hair sorted itself out but not overnight so I'm very happy to attribute it to the mayonnaise. Tied back but looking a bit terrible in work all day so when I went home I tried washing it in a mixture of vinegar and hot water, rinsed with lots and lots of cold water (so much for cutting down a bit on my consumption of water!) and it felt a bit better although I'd now switched smelling like a salad to smelling a bit like a bag of chips liberally drenched with vinegar. Tuesday moring I woke up with still very greasy, although slightly less matted hair. Another day of feeling icky in work. Yesterday eveing I decided to try the oatbran thing again although this time I just did the dry version and didn't rinse with hot water afterwards. There was definitely some improvement but again mostly on the long part of my hair and the scalp is hard to get at with the oatbran. This morning I washed well with hot water and for the first time this week feel like I'm almost approaching normal.

I'm very disappointed as I'd heard good things about hair being left in great condition after using mayonnaise. All I can say if that it didn't work for me!

Edited to add: 6 years later - update on not using shampoo


I'm struggling a lot again to just do things. I feel like I'm just skimming along on the surface of life and don't have any energy for more than that. In a way I feel like there's something going on beneath the surface that I'm just not able for at the moment but really, there's nothing in particular wrong. I think I really need a break and am looking forward to my holiday at easter. I'll be spending a few days staying with different friends and then four full days with my sister in France. Spending time with her and her family is always fun and relaxing and enjoyable.

I want to try and get some things done and we have a bank holiday weekend coming up so I feel like a list is in order. I have a lot to do but at least if I write it all down I can try and get a handle on what's achievable and what's just going to have to wait a bit longer.

  1. Clear out bedroom - involves filing papers from last few months (started on this a few weeks ago so reckon an hour should see it done), setting up PC so I can use it, making list of old videos and getting rid of them on freecycle, shredding old paperwork, fix runner for drawer so it's useable again, dusting, the Big Book Clearout (supposed to happen in January and still hasn't), put away last week's washing, clear out old t-shirts and decide which ones to use to knit a rug with, find box for sunrise clock and put it away till next winter (it's finally getting bright in the mornings again!).
  2. Finalise and submit 2005 tax relief for medical expenses claim - nearly finished this a year ago then put it to one side and never did.
  3. Make sure I have all receipts for 2006 tax relief for medical expenses claim.
  4. Check to see if I can claim anything from Bupa for physio and acupuncture last year.
  5. Buy new laces for hiking boots. Buy two pairs.
  6. Find CFL bulb small enough to fit main light in bedroom - if not possible, find different lampshade.
  7. Clear out garden shed.
  8. Plant first seeds.
  9. Buy compost.
  10. Weed garden (shouldn't involve much, one flowerbed and underneath the gorse bush).
  11. Make yohgurt.
  12. Go to market, buy chicken. Cook, use leftovers for pie/bake, stock.
  13. Clear out freezer - try to use up what's in it and defrost soon.
  14. Go for walk up mountains.
  15. Write letter to friend.
  16. Turn compost heap. Put chicken wire on new pallet which is now the front of it. Find/buy something for a "lid".
  17. Check compost cone and see if compost ready for use yet.
  18. Clean containers used last year and put in nice clean shed ready for use when seedlings grown.
  19. Start spreadsheet tracking expenses.
  20. Write out German text from Mahler's Symphony No. 8 and check translation (I more or less understand them but it's biblical German so if asked, I can't always explain exactly - am going to be going through this with choir soon probably so better to be prepared).
  21. Gather photos in one place.
  22. Finally go through all those places I have bits and pieces of documents shoved and maybe collect enough receipts to be able to start tax relief claims for 2004 and 2003 (can only go back four years so really need to start doing this before I miss out on any more relief!).
  23. Cook and eat good food all weekend. Am hoping for sunny weather and will do barbeque if so.
  24. Make it down the town at lunch today or tomorrow to buy small wedding present for a colleague.
  25. Re-start on my 3 Little Things project and get rid of all those naggy little bits and pieces that build up.
I have a mountain of work work to get through before the weekend as well so that I'll be able to relax and not be thinking about what I've left on my desk. Three of my bosses (I work for three other management as well as my main boss and several staff) are away today and so far haven't rung in with any work so hopefully the afternoon will be productive. We're allowed leave at three on the Friday of a bank holiday weekend and I really want to do that so want to have all the filing on my desk cleared.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Jane Austen heroine

I was going to try and come up with something profound for International Women's Day. But that's not really me. So instead I give you my results from taking the Which Jane Austen heroine are you? quiz:

I am Anne Elliot!

Take the Quiz here!

Thanks Sockknittingmama for the link - that was fun!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

No more shampoo

Am nearly half-way through my third week of not using shampoo. The idea being your hair doesn't really need shampoo and can clean itself. It apparently takes about eight weeks for your hair to get used to not being washed with shampoo any more. I've been using Faith in Nature organic shampoo for six months or so but in the back of my head I knew I wanted to try using nothing at some stage to see if it really worked. I work in an office and need to look presentable though so wasn't sure I'd get away with it. However, as I wear my hair up most of the time in work anyway, so far it's been fine.

I have long hair, it's a bit further than halfway down my back (and I'm 5'9" so that's quite a long way :-) ) and is very thick and curly/frizzy. One thing which is also supposed to happen when you stop using shampoo is that the curls become more defined, which would be a nice bonus. So, my three main reasons for trying this are (1) to use less product, consequently (2) save money and finally (3) less frizz.

I didn't really plan this. I usually wash my hair once a week but the weekend before last I was really busy and in and out of the house a lot so never got around to doing it. I didn't really have time during the week (it only takes about ten or fifteen minutes but then a couple of hours to dry naturally or half an hour with a hair dryer which I hate using) and on Thurdsday, the first time I got a chance, I decided to just go for it since I was already ten days in. Admittedly I felt grotty and my hair was not looking great. On Saturday while having a shower I washed my hair throughly in water - gave a good scrub to my scalp as well. I used a tiny amount of conditioner on the ends of my hair just in case.

So far this week it feels much better than last. It feels strangely heavier but looks "smaller" - not as wildly thick or something. Even though I have had it up most of the time my face is starting to feel a bit greasier than normal. I've also been warned that you can fall victim to spotty shoulders during the run-in period so I'm going to use some almond oil mixed with sugar to exfoliate and hopefully avoid that. I don't know if that's too harsh for using on my face though so if anyone has any suggestions for natural products that can be used on a greasy face, let me know.

The important thing I have to remember is that I haven't stopped washing my hair. I've just stopped using shampoo. So, I will keep washing with water and use other things as I feel they are needed. I bought oatmeal, which is supposed to be good for dealing with the grease - will try that tomorrow I think. You put it into your dry hair, rub vigourously then brush out and rinse well with hot water . That one could get messy. Then, at the weekend, I'm going to try the old mayonnaise conditioning trick.

I'm off to sing in a choir competition in Arklow on Sunday. Must go and try and learn some words now. There's one plain chant piece we're doing that I just can't seem to get into my head - thankfully my part isn't singing much of it!

Edited to add links to update posts: 4 weeks after stopping to use shampoo and 6 years later