Saturday, March 24, 2007

Town or Country

Hello friends, I'm sorry I've been away for so long. It's been a very busy week, Dot's still up a good three or four times a night so I'm a bit of a zombie, my parents were over and now we're up at the house so there's all that. But the truth is, this life is sudennly so different from the life it was when I started the blog that I'm not quite sure what to write about.

You know the broad strokes: then, I was at home all day with my baby in a cute but decrepit old cottage in the country; now I live in Brooklyn and commute 40 minutes four days a week to a corporate office in Manhattan. Instead of the Delaware River I've got the F train and instead of the organic farm round the corner, I've got any number of chi chi grocery stores.

The weirdest thing is that when I first got here (for we're up at the house for the weekend - aaaah (the sound of me exhaling)) I thought it was much easier being green in the city because I could buy eco-friendly loo roll/dish soap and organic fruit at the all-singing all-dancing grocery store a walk across the street. Ah, but I was inexperienced in matters green then.

Now, of course, I can see that in many ways it's the other way round. Here I can buy food from the local organic farm, much of which generates a grand total of less than five gas miles and all of it less than twenty, plus almost no packaging. I can compost our biodegradable waste, including Dot's nappies (of course thanks to Sarah I can still do all bar the nappies in town). Here I had the time to cook all our meals from scratch, hence no take-out and much less other packaging (now I barely have time to pee). Our wood stove makes for eco-friendlier heat and since it is our house, we have more control here over the electricity source, the water temperature, etc.; there someone else controls these things and something about that makes you lazy, though I'm sure I could get them fixed if I tried.

It doesn't help that I have absolutely no willpower and of course here there was less temptation. For example, when I was full time in Milanville, you would have been unlikely to find me guiltily leaving H&M with a plastic bag containing four items for me and one for Dot from the new organic cotton clothing line which, despite being made of organic cotton, is still a lot of new garments, all flown in from Turkey and a plastic bag. (The clothes are gorgeous, by the way, and at least I resisted the urge to buy any non-organic cotton things, even though lots of them were very nice. Two did make it to the changing room, though, before I got a grip).

There are also a million more packaging-y things for the hubby to buy in town and outlets for him to get plastic bags from and since I'm out at work all day, far fewer opportunities for me to call him out on it until I find three plastic bags surreptitiously stuffed in the bin (along with his tea bags and coffee grounds) and by then it's too late.

Not to mention, if we want to come to the house regularly, we'll be doing that drive a lot (but since there'll be much less mid-weel dricing, maybe it cancels out). Phew.

The other thing that is less clear cut than I expected is that I'm quite enjoying work. I miss Dot terribly while I'm there, but I like using the old grey matter and having the space and time to do it, and I can feel that old demon ambition stirring its stumps. I feel like a traitor even saying it, and when I get home and her little brain is about to malfunction in spite of her Dad's best efforts because she just needs her mum, I hate it.

But some real green progress has been made in the office this week.

The tricky thing there is that I can't really tell you about it because, well, we all know what happens to people who blog about their offices.

So bear with me while things settle down and I work out a way round it.

Till then, my green thing for today? Dot and I had local organic celery root (celeriac) for lunch. And she loved it, adventurous little soul that she is.

Oh, and the thing you've all really been waiting for:


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