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Monthly Archives: January 2013

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One of my early childhood chores was to collect the eggs from our hens. I was the youngest girl, but the second youngest of five children, three girls and two boys. We lived in the city centre but were so lucky to have had a summer house in a sea side location just a half hour from the city of Cork. This access to the wild and beautiful coastal location gave the perfect balance to any childhood and the memories run deep.

My mother grew up in the house right next door where my Nan lived until two years before she passed away. From modest upbringings where my mother often told us of her delight and enthusiasm to be first up to get the cream off the milk. Imagine that excitement in today’s youth! My granddad was supposedly a tasty cook, using every last ingredient to feed a family of 8. Fridges were non existent for the first 13 years of my mothers life and food was stored in boxes or hung in net bags on the back yard wall. Perishables and daily necessities were bought fresh in the local shop, meat was bought when needed and cooked for the dinner, there was not much need for storage containers for leftovers as you guessed it, there wasn’t much left over.

My mother also had the experience of a sea side summer retreat and she passed this love onto us when she convinced my dad to buy a timber summer bungalow when they didn’t really have the finances to buy it. They bought it anyway and I am forever in their debt. An outside loo and we were washed in the sea, as all we did all day long was swim. Saturday nights we had kettles boiled to wash our hair in buckets. We were not allowed socks all summer long and rain or shine we wore ‘summer clothes’ other wise you were labelled ‘Paddy Winters’. Now I know why my mother had these sly rules, every Thursday morning out came the twin tub hand washer and a spinner and she diligently washed an enormous pile of washing, the no socks and winter clothes rule saved her hours of work…she is a very clever lady!

A packed lunch was provided daily and off you were sent to the beach, hordes of us children. Until the mothers came to join us with their flasks of tea you weren’t allowed swim. My mother knitted all five children’s school jumpers to save on buying the shop bough ones that she said “didn’t keep us as warm as her knitted ones” – I can vouch for this!

We were rarely sick as children, we were all breast fed. Another sly rule was the hot cereal rule. Monday to Friday we had to eat a hot breakfast weetabix or porridge to save on the expensive brands of lesser quality, “anything else didn’t keep your tummy warm” – I can vouch for this too!

Windows were open in the morning time regardless of the season to clear the stale air from the night before, this has been proven to be beneficial and can help with allergies and sicknesses. If we were cold then we would put on a jumper, imagine!

Winter time she showed me how to keep a fire going using slack once the coal got the fire started, slack burns longer and is cheaper. The hens were fed all the peels from the vegetables and we ate the most amazing eggs, I can still taste the orange yolks now, delicious! We always said my mother should have been an accountant but I just think she has an amazing sense of survival and common sense. All her sly rules I now keep myself (except the knitting) and I find myself drawn to more and more of her ways. They are simple common sense rules my mother follows but she managed to rare 5 children on one average wage, plus put us all through college.

My mother, Dolores, is amazing and is very ECO savvy without her even knowing – then again I am my mothers daughter.

Thanks Mum for just being you! xx


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Hey Guys I am launching The ECO Network to provide a platform for all like minded organizations, businesses, eco entrepreneurs and individuals sharing the one goal to make a difference to the world as well as being successful in business. Find us on Facebook/TheEcoNetwork and stay tuned for the first launch Eco Network Party.

An ECO Network for growing sustainable communities, eco entrepreneurs and businesses with green core values. Focused on growth through resource exchange, networking events and helping you make a difference to your business and the earth organically 🙂

If you are one of the above and would like to hear more on The ECO Network or our events please contact claire@clairelewis.ie, we would love to hear from you. P.S. LIKE & SHARE us on Facebook.

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It really annoys me when food manufacturers make foods that contain chemicals that really are BAD. The key to staying healthy is not only the obvious eating raw unrefined foods as much as possible but also EDUCATION. Having the knowledge to know whats on the food label and what chemicals are good and which are not. Please do not be fooled by the NO ADDED SUGER, it means they have replaced sugar in the normal sense of the word, the stuff we find in our cupboards, with the new CHEMICAL substitute, most likely to be ASPARTAME.

drinkingI am not going to rant on about recent findings of the side effects of aspartame but you can read about them here. It is pretty grim reading and what is even more scary is the fact that we give our children including toddlers glasses of these juices every day. Kia Ora contains aspartame along with practically every artificial sweetener and any low fat products. It will take a few years to figure out the health implications on our children as symptoms will be passed off as one thing or another. Similar to what happened over the years when Coke was branded to be a happy drink instead of making you happy it made you FAT. Now Coca Cola the worlds number 1 drinks company has recently unveiled a cunning plan to win back support from a society and sales that are dwindling.

Some useful reading relating to Coca Cola’s new add campaign & other stuff here:

The Daily Mail UK 

Rude Health

Artistic Marketing 

So get clever people and teach our kids that water is not only the cheapest drink but also the safest. It also is the best fluid source for our bodies. But with all clever marketing, large multinationals spend billions on telling us other wise. There is only one person who is always right and that is MOTHER NATURE, bet she does not drink artificial anything 🙂

 


Could you imagine being one of the last 400 remaining Sumatran Tigers!? No words needed really. My daughter loves tigers, I hope there will be some left in the wild when she grows up, and not just in captivity loosing their minds and wildness…. It is the whole planets responsibility to care for every single element, as every time a chink in the cycle is lost, another problem is created from the imbalance. In the end humans will suffer most. It is not only our responsibility as the “king” of the planet not least the jungle, to care for the welfare of all animals but also our journey as humans has brought us to a place of superiority in the animal kingdom. We have unimaginable intelligence and so many learnt abilities that have catapulted our species to the place we find today. Lets just hope intelligence prevails and we give a little because do we really want to live in a world with just humans, domestic/farm animals and zoo animals. I could not think of anything worse!!

For biodiversity’s sake save not only the Sumatran Tiger but all the other WWF critically endangered species.

Sumatran Tiger


Hello all! Wishing you all a very exciting and joyous new year, even if it is mid month all ready where does the time go? I am hoping the year of the snake actually applies to Ireland or has St Patrick screwed us over this year and all the snakes will be getting their vengeance on us now…..its raining snakes…this is kinda true with all the political goings on over here in Eire!

This year I have officially become Claire Lewis, with an amazing New Years Eve wedding and so much to be thankful for. For 2013 I have a list as long as my arm of things I want to achieve and complete. Besides saving the world one soother at a time… with the publication of my first book The Soother Cycle in Spring/Summer 2013. This book is a must for parents who’s little darlings LOVE their soothers but the time has come to give them “away”. The carefully planned and worded book makes this transition easy peasy, but the hidden gem is the soothers are sent to be recycled into something new. Teaching toddlers the power of recycling from a very young age. 

I have some other book titles that I want to explore this year centering on my love of our environment and teaching kids about nature and how to respect it in fun filled way. Children of today will be the leaders of tomorrow! 

Hubby and I flew to Las Vegas on Honeymoon!! It was the most bizarre, exhilarating, frustrating and so many other things all at once. I have so much blog material from my week there, I called it the confused paradox city as it displays opposite behavior to almost everything. For example it uses enormous amounts of energy not to mention the Luxor Hotel beaming light into the sky for no other reason than to look good…but its buses are run from the power of the sun. Do not get me started on food consumption and the waste that is left behind…blog to follow dedicated to this!

But the highlight of the trip was our visit to The Grand Canyon – it blew me away. And learning about the native American tribe, The Hualapai or people of the tall pine trees,  that lived there was so inspiring. Any community that can be so self sufficient in such harsh environments is amazing. 

For 2013 I have an ambition to go to Peru and learn about Fair Trade networks and how exactly they work and benefit communities in remote towns and villages. Chris Haughton is an inspiring and talented guy/author who’s books my daughter loves especially ‘Oh No George’. I got in touch with Chris in relation to Fair Trade as he is heavily involved in producing goods in an ethical way. I must get my Lama socks out for this trip!!

Wishing and hoping the year of the snake is as I visualise it to be, because what you visualise you materialise. Best wished for 2013 XXCL