Reimagining Santa’s Grotto: The Restart Project

The mental image we were brought up with of Santa’s workshop was of hoards of elves working away making new stuff, painting wooden trains with paintpots and so on. But what if we were able to shift that image, and instead tell our children that the elves aren’t making stuff, they’re repairing it?

What can we learn from the austerity of 1939-1945?

Waste nothing. Keep a stock pot going for soups and stews. Use up leftovers. Cook without meat several times a week, using eggs, cheese, lentils, pearl barley, rice. Use seasonal ingredients. Use cheaper cuts of meat, cooked long and slowly. Have fun foraging for wild food: mushrooms, blackberries, nettles; if you live near the sea, mussels etc. Share and barter: if you keep hens, swap eggs for your veg-growing neighbour’s glut of courgettes.

On the skill of sharing and the sharing of skills

One of the most important skills we have lost, that facilitates the learning and practicing of all the other skills, is the skill of sharing. This is particularly true if you are on the receiving end, we are still fairly good at telling other people what to do or at doing a good deed, but so many people are no longer comfortable with asking for help or to borrow something. I wonder how much of this stems from the fact that you are then ‘in debt’ to the other person?