Why I am eco-queen 2009
1. One advantage of being so busy in term-time is that you have no time to sort out your bellybutton fluff. Voila! Seven weeks' worth of fluff carefully extracted and kept in a pillowcase, then lovingly hand-knitted into a soft and silky sweater, makes a super gift for a favourite relative. Who wants real wool these days? So itchy and hot. So last year. And not just that, but the interesting speckled effect of the sweater adds a touch of rustic charm to rival anything from the fashion shows.
2. My, my, the length of my toenails! No wonder my shoes were tight! It took me half an hour to clip them on the first day of my holidays, and I was just about to swill them down the bathplug when I thought, Wouldn't they make the most marvellous mini-rainstick for a musical little boy I know? And - how fortuitous is this? - I then noticed the pile of cardboard toilet roll inserts festering in the corner of the bathroom which I hadn't had time to recycle, to my shame. Oh well, no one can say I'm not eco-aware now! It didn't take long to construct the rainstick and I even had the innovative idea of making a couple of clear panels in the sides of the instrument, using some discarded cling film with the tomato sauce wiped off, so that the little boy can see the toenails moving up and down inside as he tips the rainstick this way and that in time to '20 Favourite Children's Songs'.
3. Boy, did my floors need vacuuming! I had to empty the bag three or four times while I was doing the house, and no way was I going to just dump all those hooverings. I mean, what does the proud housewife need if not some nice, plump cushions to decorate her living room? So, I have several relatives and friends in mind to receive one of these presents. Fortunately, there was enough carpet fluff in the bags for me to be able to crochet some covers (they're a bit scratchy, what with bits of old rice from under the dining table and pencil sharpenings from the study, but the natural look is in vogue) and then when I'd teased out all the rest of the material, there was plenty to stuff them with. Oh well, I thought, cheerily. Those skin cells were all very useful to me at one point; no reason why they can't have their life extended, poor little things.
4. Finally, there was I, thinking, 'Oh no. Got to clean out the fridge of all those bits of leftover food I've ignored for seven weeks.' And yet, I never imagined how useful that would be. I have invented some lovely dishes which I have baked and frozen ready to give as tasty presents over the Christmas season. I will be bringing out the recipe book soon (log on to http://www.newfoodfrommould.com/), so I don't want to give away all my secrets now, but here's a selection:
a) Truffles made from green cheese slivers, scrapings of leaked chilli sauce and some fluffy little tomatoes, rolled in a thick layer of cocoa powder.
b) Little cakes made from furry apricots, sour cream cheese and a layer of spilled milk, decorated liberally with sugar strands.
c) A unique sauce for meat or fish made from a jar of (recently become) lime green pickle, half a pint of flat lemonade and three spoonsful of rancid butter, mixed and poured into a bottle which is then wrapped in a flattering layer of silver paper and labelled 'A Christmas Treat from Someone Who Loves You'.
Hey. I know what you're thinking. How come I have all the good ideas, just as you're considering what DVD or board game to buy? Well, some of us just have the gift, I'm afraid.