Keeping warm on snow days – cozy in a haramaki back warmer

Do you have a snow day today? The key to getting outdoors is the right gear. We even managed a sea swim (6 degrees) with the help of our hats, haramakis and thermals.

Cozy with a fire, tea and a haramaki (with a hot water bottle shoved down the back) we can crack on and go through finances, stock take and planning for the future. With a little help from Gary ūüėČ

Photo credit Ruthie Delfruity

Furoshiki zero waste wrapping

Haramakis are not the only Japanese concept that NukuNuku has adopted. We have cut down on our wrapping paper waste by using Furoshiki – fabric wrapping. We have a few beautiful posh ones from Japan, some slighly fraying but well-loved home made ones and a number of scarves that have been repurposed.

They look beautiful and can be reused every year time and time again. Just folding afterwards – no paper mountain to make you feel guilty and end up in the recycling. I am working on the more complicated wrappings for complicated shapes….

Furoshiki is also used to carry items or in place of a bag. Here there are some beautiful ones and advice on how to tie…

Cold Water Swimming Hack

Discovered a few weeks ago when we had a river swim….

I took an isothermal bottle¬† full of boiling water, my daughters mini hot water bottle and two haramakis – one cotton for next to the skin and an ultra-warm angora core-warmer. Once out of the water and dressed (and while my fingers still worked) I filled the hot water bottle with the boiling water and popped the hot water bottle in my roo pouch of haramakis. Combined with my robe I built up a nice warm core radiating heat.¬† Added tea and amazing marmalade cakes and I was a very happy post-swim seabird! Been doing it ever since to beat the after-drop….

Tips for a less wasteful Christmas…

Pondering on the horror of the cult of consumerism¬†epitomised by the feeding frenzy around ‘Black Friday’ we started thinking of an alternative way to approach Christmas and came up with …

A few tips for a less-waste Christmas

Buy pre-loved

Shop from second-hand shops to find unique gifts that are built to last. Charity shops, vintage markets and shops like Brighton’s own Pre-Loved

Give memories not ‘stuff’.¬†

Go for an experience. No shortage or great ideas in Brighton. It even has Feminist Swear Nights¬†which sound truly perfect for our potty mouthed Seabirds… Membership of the Duke of Yorks Cinema? (last year they had great Black Friday deals…might be the same this year? Apologies for mentioning BF), A Kimchi making workshop, a gig or a talk about anything from micro-dosing to the art of flirting….

Make your own cards, presents and wrapping

We love re-using fabric wrapping like the Japanese Furoshiki¬†or old scarves. The kids re-use last years cards for gift tags and we are busy collecting glass jars to make kimchi for everyone this year. Show our love for their guts ūüėČ

A Secret Santa actually worth doing

Have fun, save money and get a gift you actually want with a friends and family Secret Santa. Our family uses¬†¬†DrawNames to keep it anonymous and add as many present suggestions as you want. Saves you time and money and avoids you getting or buying unwanted landfill…

  • Don’t go anywhere near a Poundland.
  • Make your own crackers without the landfill plastic moustaches.
  • Buy things that will last – as Vivienne Westwood says “buy less, choose well, make it last”. Like our haramaki core-warmers ūüėČ

What are your top tips? Do share….

 

 

NukuNuku on tour – or how to plan your holidays around swim spots

“Imagine a summer spent swimming in mountain waterfalls, exploring lost ruins and caverns, and camping in ancient forests.” Wild Guide – Lake District and Yorkshire Dales: Hidden Places and Great Adventures

Inspired by the above and the heat of early summer this year I planned our family holiday around my new love, wild swimming. I found two amazing resources – the Wild Swim Map.¬†¬†This is a website where you can search for swim spots wherever you are heading and read other swimmers’ reviews and notes. I also bought one of the¬†¬†Wild Guide¬†series for the Yorkshire Dales. This not only features swim spots but covers other ‘wild’ aspects wherever you are going – forests, ancients spots, walks etc.

None of us like a long journey without a stopover – so I used the amazing resource that is the¬†Wild Swim map¬†to find a swim along our route – Port Meadow on the Thames. I wanted somewhere halfway (ish) between home and final destination. We took a picnic from Brighton, drove up, parked in the car park and ate in the car because it was pouring with rain. Of course. The braver (less grumpy) 3 of us then went investigating up river, guide book in hand. Argued over whether this was ‘the spot’,¬† looked round and felt slightly shy as¬† dog walkers were the only others around. Our inner Seabird kicked in then and we thought ‘sod it’, whipped off our clothes and jumped in with the ducks. Weedy green water caused squeals when legs became entangled in it, ducks and swans and anglers only a little further off. We felt slightly self conscious before getting in but the minute we were in we didn’t care and felt adventurous (or a bit naughty).

It was the perfect stopover when heading North – just off the M40. Rope swing nearer the bridge that even the older two would play on – smallest one ending up soaked to the waist and doing the rest of the journey wrapped in a towel. Then onwards and Northwards….

Masons Campsite is right next to the river Wharfe in the Yorkshire Dales near the village of Appletreewick. The river is at the bottom of the small campsite and has 2 great rope swings where the kids line up and swing out over the river endlessly or spin each other into dizziness and the thrill of nearly falling in.

10 minutes down river from the campsite, after a bit of hesitation and doubt, we found the spot that matched the picture in the book. Despite the glorious sunshine nobody else was in there. Whipped off our clothes again (becoming a theme) while bemused dog walkers looked on and slid in tentatively. Much much colder than the sea in Brighton, peaty tasting brown water, soft and silky. Fantastic. Numb feet like November in Brighton in just a few minutes. Slimy, weed covered stones under foot and bum. Surrounded by stunning scenery. All to ourselves.

We spent the holiday using the Wild Guide as our bible and it kept us outside, off screens and well fed with great pub grub suggestions. Fantastic. Highly recommend. Take your haramaki with you and keep those kidneys warm. Keep tuned for the next wild swim spot recommendation coming soon…