Spring has arrived with an explosion of daffodils around the Cotswolds, and blue skies and howling bolshy winds up here in Rollright! My dad always says that since we’re on the North-Eastern-most high point of the Cotswolds, and our house is on the North-Eastern-most point at the top of Rollright, and there are basically no real hill ranges east of us until you get to Siberia, that be why we get some real weather up here. Oh, you can laugh in skepticism, but the shocked faces of the BT engineers who looked at the state of our telephone poles recently confirmed this. 😉 I dare not go outside right now lest I get swept over to the other side of the rainbow… given the stunning bright colours blowing about outside I assume that we’re already on the right side of it!
Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, Spring cleaning. I treated myself to this rather exciting book recently… Make Your Place a book about making your own household products. I saw it in Daylesford of all places when we took some friends to visit (it’s kind of like a zoo to us!) and thought it looked really fun – not least because it’s printed in the author’s handwriting, complete with doodles and silly comments! I don’t have any serious skin issues, but I do have very very dry hands every year, and dry skin on my head that won’t go away either, and after looking at the list of chemicals on the back of the ‘soap-free’ Pear’s soap… I thought it could be an interesting challenge to make some of my own products.
Getting hold of some of the ingredients seems to be mainly possible through the internet, but I got hold of some olive oil soap locally and had a go at making my own handwash to start with. I found this old soap pump bottle in the back of the bathroom cupboard and washed it out. I grated some of the olive oil soap into a bowl (it’s pretty difficult/toxic to actually MAKE your soap from scratch sadly) added a hot herbal infusion of lemon verbena, and some vanilla essential oil, before straining and putting it into the bottle the next day.
This was a mixed first attempt. If I’m honest, the soap smells weird. I think it’s the olive soap. It smells very ‘manly’ – like leather sofas. On the other hand, you kind of get used to it, and I’ve used it for my face and hands and it leaves me with really soft skin! One thing you do have to realise with home-made soap is that you’re not going to get the foamy lather you do with bought stuff… fancy chemical thingies do that (I’m so science I know!). If I haven’t put you off then give it a go! I’ll certainly be trying more from this book.