I am very pleased to have received this guest post from Eddy. (OK, we all know it is a false name…) He was one of the first to follow this blog, and has remained one of my most valued and loyal followers ever since. This gives an insight into his move from the north of England to rural Poland, and his story of starting a new self-sustainable life there with his wife, Gosia. He built his own house from straw bales, and can turn his hand to many things it seems, even small-scale farming. A friendly and engaging character, always willing to be a part of his chosen blogging community.
I rarely endorse products via this blog, but on this occasion I am making an exception. Gosia makes some excellent soaps from natural oils and ingredients. They are for sale through his website at a very reasonable price, and can be posted to any location from Poland. Some readers will know that I have long suffered from an incurable skin condition, Pityriasis Rosea. This causes areas of my skin to became inflamed, and very itchy. Over the years I have tried lots of lotions and potions, but using Gosia’s natural soaps has made a huge difference to me, as they help to soothe that irritation. As an added bonus, they also soften the hard water in this area, and make the bath easier to clean too!
As you can imagine, I recommend them without reservation. I should add that there is nothing in it for me to do this, and I do so solely from my own experience of buying and using them.
So, here is the guest post.
“I started to blog at much the same time as Pete, with the intention of documenting, if only for me, the construction of a straw bale house. A complete change in lifestyle and a move to my wife, Gosias’, home country of Poland. Unlike Pete though I have only managed a couple of hundred posts, so when Pete offered me the chance to do a guest post, I jumped at it.
Our big plan was to set up a bed and breakfast based around an organic farm; eco-tourism if you like. And that’s pretty much what my slow paced blog http://www.winkos.wordpress.com covers, the journey so far.
Of course nothing ever goes quite to plan though, especially if you are relying on me to do the work in a timely manner. Five years on, and I still have quite a bit to do. But we do have six goats, lots of rabbits, pigs in the summer, chickens who stay at grannies, three dogs, two cats, and Malina. (Our soon to be three year old daughter) And of course to feed them all and ourselves we farm about 3 acres of land, which ultimately gives me the perfect excuse as to why I haven’t finished the house yet! Oh yes, and we have composting toilets, I mustn’t forget to mention the composting toilets! This is the reason we started to look for eco-friendly cleaning products so that we didn’t poison the land with our waste water.
And so completely by chance, in an attempt to create our own eco-friendly cleaning products, Gosia started to take an interest in a book I had bought several years ago on how to make soap. This in turn led to lots of research on the Internet, quite a few experiments, and finally to a product that we could use at home.
Soap making is a kind of alchemy; you take oils and or fats and mix them with an alkali solution, stir, add to a mould and wait for the chemical reaction to take place. The soapification of the fats results in a solid which we know as soap. Easy really! Although unlike the pioneers of soap making who created lye by filtering water through the ash from a wood burning fire, the modern lye solution is caustic soda!
Sadly, once big business gets hold of a centuries old craft and industrialises the process it is soon manipulated to a point that it requires chemical stabilisers, petrochemicals, preservatives, artificial aromas and a multi-million pound marketing fund to convince you that you need their soap. Although, as you might expect, you don’t have soap anymore, instead you have a product that strips the natural oils from your skin and replaces them with a man-made alternative.
So using only natural ingredients and pure essential oils for fragrance, it’s no surprise that Gosia only had positive feedback from friends and family who received the soaps as gifts: Rashes clearing up, relief from itchy skin, improved complexion. It soon became apparent that Gosia had hit on a winning formula, so much so that the range has now expanded to over twenty varieties of soap, several creams, body scrubs and lip balms.
Natural soaps curing for at least one month.
I would like to say at this point that full details and online shop can be found on our website, but truth be told, just like finishing the house, I’m not quite there yet. We do list all our soaps on http://www.winkos.co.uk in Polish and English, and we also have a contact form for you to get in touch with us. We like to make the experience of buying soap a personal one, so if you are interested then please fill in the form, or leave a comment here or on my blog and we will be in touch.
Gosia selling her wares at a local market.
And finally, after this blatant promotion of Gosias soaps, I would like to thank Pete for all the posts that he has written over the years, the comments he has made and the friendship that he extends to all who circle in this blogging community. I’m happy and honored to fill a gap today but I look forward to his return soon.”
Please check out Eddy’s entertaining blog via the link. And have a think about buying some of those soaps. You will be glad you did. If you would like to leave a comment, please do so in the comments section here, or over at Eddy’s blog. Best wishes to you all. Pete.