Brussels sprouts, ceilidhs, and ethical clothing

I went to the allotment yesterday after an absence of almost a month due to treacherous ice on the bike path. It was just as well I went as most of my netting had been blown off and was no longer protecting plants. Something has been having a good nibble of this:


I wasn’t even sure what this plant was until I lifted up one of the leaves:


My first ever home-grown brussels sprouts! How exciting.

Last night we went to our very first ceilidh. A ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee) is a traditional Scottish community dance. Other countries call them a barn dance. I’ve been wanting to go to one for ages but most of the local ones are not kid-friendly. It was great fun! Daniel and Elizabeth really enjoyed themselves too. I have been to one or two barn dances years ago in New Zealand which were similar. However the barn dances I went to had a caller shouting out the steps throughout. There wasn’t a caller at the ceilidh and it was a bit of a dog’s breakfast for us since we didn’t know what we were doing and nor did many others. Community dances like this are wonderful and I wish there were more of them. It’s great exercise and they’re really social, friendly, and inclusive events.


I got a tartan dress especially for the occasion.


My dress is made from a recycled blanket which has been repurposed into a dress. The straps are also recycled. A lady in Chippenham makes them as well as other eco clothes like dresses made from old jumpers.


12 thoughts on “Brussels sprouts, ceilidhs, and ethical clothing”

  1. I’ve not grown sprouts, but I can say that your’s look better than my next doors neighbours – and he is an experienced allotmenteer! I have just lifted my first leeks of the season – for Christmas dinner tomorrow. I also have “January King” savoy cabbages to look forward to in, well, January I suppose !

    My level of repurposing clothing is to patch my “allotment jeans” with other bits of old clothing; on the last count they had 10 patches (4 on each leg and 2 on the, err, rear). Like many “ethical clothing” outfits, your Etsy source is women only – there seem to be only a few catering for men – I have used Thought for a few years and am thinking about some stuff from Komodo. It is really the case that men aren’t concerned about living more sustainably ?

    1. I’m not sure why there are more eco clothes for women. I suspect it’s because women have more clothes overall and so there’s greater demand, not because women are more eco-conscious or anything. We just have more clothes. My husband is happy to wear the same pair of trousers day after day after day whereas I like a bit of variety.

    2. Topical. This is definitely a thing. Clearly many women engage in the same behavior, and it would be interesting to know if that’s mainly because of men setting the scene.

      1. Steve – thanks for the article that was an interesting read.

        The wikipedia page on masculinity provides some interesting (to me, at any rate) insights. One is the suggestion that if masculinity is culturally determined then that makes it “precarious” which in turn encourages men to demonstrate (culturally defined) masculine behaviour. Its not clear whether masculinity is driven by mate-seeking or peer pressure from other men (although succumbing to peer pressure might result in greater status in a bachelor group, leading to greater self confidence, leading to greater attactiveness to women)

        The wikipedia page also points to a phenomena in Japan called “Herbivore Men” which seems to equate un-masculine behaviour with sexual abstinence. The name also seems to conflate vegetarianism with un-masculine behaviour. Lots of cultural stereotypes to unpack there then 🙂

      2. I am familiar with the myth that vegetarianism is unmasculine. This is a fairly common view in Australia. I completely disagree with it and think there’s nothing more attractive and *masculine* in a man than compassion towards other living beings. To behave otherwise is to be a bully which is repulsive especially in a prospective mate as this is not a good characteristic for a father.

  2. Well done with the sprouts – must be a strong Scottish variety to withstand that chomping from pests. Actually I think it shows you must have prepared the ground well, as the plant has grown so strong.

    1. That plant got moved from my old plot to my new one so it did particularly well to withstand the move and still produce a lot of sprouts. We ate some of them today and they were good. Hope you had a nice day!

      1. Google confirms that Brussels sprouts are a major winter crop in Scotland, Damp and not too cold, basically winters similar to what cool Mediterranean climates get.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s