Monday, 1 August 2016

SmallSteps week 5 roundup & can we BuyBritish furniture

If you're new to this theme, I am blogging a series of Monday posts about SmallSteps lifestyle changes I think might help our disUnited Kingdom communities to get through the post-Brexit turmoil ahead. You can read the first post here. Let's at least keep our towns and communities afloat and vibrant whatever the politicians decide for the country as a whole.

I've decided to keep a track of my attempts to practice what I preach! My four SmallSteps are:

1) to CheckTheLabel and BuyBritish whenever possible
2) to ShopLocal and spend at least £5 each week in independent local shops
3) to eat healthily and walk or cycle short distances
4) Not to use self-service checkouts or Pay At Pump.

So how did I do this week?

The Soap Stall, Torquay Indoor Market 
My ShopLocal spend this week is a truly amazing £1028.75 because we have been scouring local furniture and charity shops for our new flat. Other than furniture though, I managed to find The Soap Stall in Torquay's Indoor Market (mentioned last week) and met Lee who runs the business. I bought two soaps here and will be returning regularly as Lee stocks such a tempting range of natural soaps and other bath products. One soap I bought was made very locally in Paignton.
As mentioned in an earlier post, we visited Daisy Cakes cafe. I also bought boiled sweets at The Bon Bon Shop on Torquay harbour (but they didn't have Chocolate Limes) and I got a refreshing Boosting Bomb Iced Tea takeout from Calypso when I went for a two hour walk exploring and forgot to carry a bottle of water (again!). I also liked Marshfield Farm ice cream which I tried at Meadfoot Beach Cafe. The blackcurrant flavour is divine and the cafe also has a box of books for sale in aid of Rowcroft Hospice. (Yes, I bought a book too!)

As well as that long walk, we walked to the Wellswood shops once to buy envelopes and I've walked to the nearby Co-Op for a loaf of bread which means all our journeys under about five miles this week were car free. I am yet to attempt cycling Torquay's hills though! And we didn't use automatic checkouts at Sainsburys or when buying diesel.


New dining set from Super Seconds 
I am hoping to get as much of the furniture we need for our new flat according to my SmallSteps principles and am pleased with how we are doing so far. Half Price Bedz of Paignton are an independent ShopLocal business and swiftly delivered our BuyBritish Dreamlands mattresses. The beds to put under them should arrive in just over a week from the same place. In the meantime we are being all studenty - sleeping on a mattress on the floor! We spotted this lovely dining set at Super Seconds, also in Paignton, and it was delivered the day after our purchase - great service. I have no idea who had the table and chairs before us, but they were painted up at Super Seconds so I am counting them as ShopLocal and Upcycled. We nearly couldn't have the table though - it only just fitted along the narrow corridor to our flat! Last and least - least expensive anyway - Paignton YMCA charity shop came up trumps with a neat little computer desk for Dave for just a tenner.

We are still on the lookout for a comfortable armchair and small sofa so I am keeping an eye on Preloved and eBay amongst other sites. There are a couple of second-hand shops in Torquay we can wander around before re-running the Newton Abbot and Paignton routes again. Maybe we will get lucky? Maybe our camping chairs will need to do us a few more weeks?!


Please do feel welcome to shout out your favourite / your own BuyBritish and ShopLocal businesses in the Comments. Make sure to say in which town they are so other nearby folks will know to look out for them!

Finally I have made a blog badge from my SmallSteps logo image. If you would like to join in this Monday (or any day) blog theme, feel welcome to display the badge and let me know about your post so we can link up.




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