Diary Entry: January 6th, 2023

It’s true. I’m actually a bit disappointed in myself. we have just been through two years of uncertainty and now it looks like 2023 will be the most uncertain year of all for the whole of Europe. If ever there was a good time to rein things in, tighten my belt (metaphorically, I always wear stretchy leggings!) and knuckle down and save more money, 2023 is it…

I just wish I’d done it with more effort, sooner.

Much love, C xxxx

PS: I’m also working on my ration book recipe books which will be a combination of some the authentic recipes I’ve already recreated on my blog, some new ones and some wartime tips to assist with the “Cost of Living”. I am HOPING the first volume will be ready in early spring and the 2nd volume late spring. They will of course be listed here on my blog and be on Amazon and listed on my Authors page HERE


16 thoughts on “Diary Entry: January 6th, 2023

  1. I’m trying not to buy any clothing in 2023, though I know I will have to replace swimming costumes. I can make clothes, if I already have most of the supplies.I have cast on a cardigan as I have both the yarn and some beautiful hand made buttons that match (a present from my daughter).
    Do you have the WW2 Make do and mend pamphlet? I have a copy and it’s excellent, I refer to it quite often.

    • Sewing is a fantastic skill to have! That is one thing I would like to teach myself more of this year.. I even have a sewing machine and a half finished 1940s apron to finish. It was way too small and I was finding it difficult so gave up but will get back on it later this year. No excuse with all the fabulous tutorials on Youtube! xxxx PS: The handmade matching buttons sound nice!

  2. Feeling pleased with my grown up daughters – one arrived for Xmas with 4 jumpers which had moth holes, and asked me to darn them. (whilst she conjured up meals from bits and pieces in the fridge) The other had 3 prs of smart work trousers (Charity shop/eBay bargains) which needed shortening. She helped in the kitchen too. So many complaints in the media about the younger generation being wasteful – I am proud of my girls for supporting make do and mend, and avoiding food waste. They’re better cooks than me, but I’m the best at sewing – so we divide the tasks to suit. Your blog is a great encouragement Carolyn – looking forward to the year ahead.

  3. I’ve followed you for a few years now, love your blog, used some of the war recipes…I too needed to lose weight, not easy but achieved what I wanted, now just need to stay there!! In all of the last few years I’ve learnt one thing, life is for living not existing…whether thats a small weekly treat, a daily chat with a friend etc…it’s about being happy with what you’ve got, what you can get and not pining for things other people, aka society, deem we should have to be happy..for me happiness is knowing I can pay my bills, save a bit, see friends, have the odd meal out, cinema, coffee etc…see family, read a book/tv…simple things I guess…I retired after working through the first year of the pandemic and life is, mainly, pretty good…I look forward to following your journey to your happiness, (losing weight, saving cash etc) I have every confidence you can do it..

    • Absolutely! It’s really driven home to me this past year what makes me happy and they are all simple things. Being able to pay for my daughters therapy, reading books, meeting up with a friend once a month at one of our houses for a few hours of chatting and sharing some wine (I’m going to continue that with the wine too for a few months as I have a few bottles so one bottle a month until it changes to beer- there was wine available but mostly in restaurants but have read experiences of people having wine at the table during WW2) writing, art, a walk in nature (got to lose weight to be able to do that again). Thanks for your message Christine xx

  4. My entry for today is so very similar to yours, worrying cost of living crisis, war in Ukraine, stick to rations, ‘make do & mend’ (only buy essential undergarments), spend less save more & drink more tea! 🫖😆

    • Snap! I think so many of us are thinking along those lines especially after Christmas too, it’s a perfect time to put a plan into action. xxxx

  5. I am so excited for this year long challenge, but I, also, don’t want it just to be about the food. I want the experience of living through WW2 on my little country home front; rations, the victory garden, being frugal, making do with what is at hand. I would like to experience a bit of what a woman in Britain during the 1940s experienced with all the shortages and the hardships, along with the good times. They were STRONG women.

    My friend called me a ‘cheater’ the other day. I was steaming potatoes and carrots to make Carolyn’s recipe #29 but was shamed as a cheater because I was using a modern plastic Ziploc steamer bag in the microwave to do it. We laughed, but then I really thought about how realistic I want to spend this year if I want to personally get the most out of it. I have a gas stove for cooking and a wood stove for heat so I shut off the electric breaker to the kitchen and the central heater. I packed up the modern electrical appliances in the kitchen for the year. No microwave, food processor, toaster oven or grain mill. I’ll do everything by hand and have hand grinders from the war period. I can only survive until April without the refrigerator plugged in, as it is cold enough in the back laundry room to keep an unplugged refrigerator below 40F and I am deep in winter snow/cold for another few months.

    I will replace tv with reading my wartime books, watching wartime related movies from 1939-1945, listening to British Home Front Radio that has news broadcasts and music from the WW2 period and will limit internet time to reading Carolyn’s blog and checking the weather. I plan to drive less than 5 times to town in the next year; for livestock grain and two dental cleanings. I hope my pantry is already stocked enough with staples; yeast, spices, suet, dried fruit, dried beans, lentils, oats, baking powder and soda. The rest I will need to grow, trade or do without. A lot easier for me to do than some because I am here alone, except for the animals.

    I’m still thinking about the household water and fuel restrictions. I’ll give it a go. I will watch 1940s House and Wartime Kitchen and Garden this weekend to remind me of anything else I am forgetting. I have cardboard boxes and black paint so may even do the blackout windows. I sure hope my neighbors don’t think I’ve lost my mind and have me arrested. 🙂 They are a mile away, thank goodness.

    For simulated air attacks, I might go so far to use an old shed here as my Anderson. My town blasts an air raid siren every day at noon and the military sometimes flies over during the night to practice, since it’s mostly open land where I live. I’ll see. I think I’m already taking on a lot. I love learning about life on the British home front and have so much respect and admiration for the women and men that made do with so little, for so long, under such dire conditions. Sometimes I complain about the most trivial things. I hope this year is an eye opener.

    I will try my hardest not to be a ‘cheater’. I am curious to see how I will have changed by the end of the year.
    ** I have been laughing and smiling since your post yesterday about the undergarments. I bought a pack of socks and undies last week, before the clothing ration coupons were issued. I’m ready!

    • Gosh that’s dedication! I think you ought to record your days/experiences and thoughts about it all in a book and publish it next year!

      • I don’t have Carolyn’s writing talent, although I will keep a daily record for my grandkids to read when they are older.

      • You really should keep a diary 100%, it will be fascinating to hear how you get on, it will be a wonderful slice of life for your grandchildren. And poppycock about the writing talent!! Just read your comment and it’s great!!! C xxxx

  6. Dear Carolyn,
    I was born in 1961 to parents who were respectively born in 1909 and 1921. My parents knew how to make do and mend, and old habits dying hard; my Mum continued to use the useable parts of any existing fabric, e.g., an old quilted dressing gown, for new items, such as padding for a hot water bottle cover or tea cosy.
    I learnt to knit and sew at my mother’s knee, and yet do I do as she did, no! I am frustrated with myself that I don’t and haven’t over the years. I haven’t because it’s challenging to save time and money, and everything I would like or need is readily available to purchase. I have readily succumbed to the power of advertising and, in turn, become lazy and only too willing to buy what I need and shamefully also fancy.
    I am sure many of us are in the same boat as you where our ‘rainy-day pot’ needs replenishing.
    So I have taken a little trip to Amazon and ordered three of your journals: the 2023 Yearly Planner, Peacock Daily Spending Log Book, and Living on WW2 Rations Journal. Armed with these, I hope to be able to turn my spending habits around and that a combination of your journals and the American (?) slogan used in 1943 (?) of “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” will help me manage my less than frugal habits.
    I look forward to the publication of your Ration Book Recipies.
    Frances xxx

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