Towards a Good Life

My Journey Towards Living a Life I Can Live With

Not Stupid Courgettes 10/07/2009

Filed under: Community,Food,Garden,Home education,Lifestyle,Sewing,Transition — snoozerider @ 22:04

Yes, yes, I know, it has been ages.  I’ve been pretty busy living life – working on Transition stuff, sewing bunting (yes, it is useful, honest!), paddling in the sea, making and eating cakes, reading “The Joy of Not Working” (thoroughly recommended by the way), signing petitions and writing to my MP about the Badman Review, making use of my Family Railcard…

Anyway here’s a summary of the Towards a Good Life bits:

The Age of Stupid

Went to see this film a week or two ago, which was put on by Downham and Villages in Transition.  I was pretty excited about seeing the film and it almost lived up to expectations.  I imagine if you didn’t already realise the scale of the climate change issue, then you would find it quite a wake up call, it’s fairly visual and hard hitting.  My only criticism would be its bittiness.  It’s made for the channel hopping cable TV generation I think, skipping from one thing to another.  The best bit for me was a cartoon segment showing the relationship between the stuff we buy and coal emissions in China – can’t really describe it very well in words!  I may have missed a few key bits of the film due to the fact that there were lots of subtitles and a tall man sat in front of me 😦 .  I would recommend it, but still prefer the Wake Up, Freak Out film – which has the added bonus of being only 11 minutes long!  For those that haven’t already seen it:

On the Plot

Much excitement heralded the arrival of the first harvestable courgette, as you can see:

IMG_2126

Since this picture was taken a few days ago, we have harvested a couple more, but have also had 3 go rotten on the plant.  Looks like it may be a good idea to remove the flowers once they wilt, so will try this. It’s all a learning experience.

Elsewhere on the plot, the first few beetroot have been harvested (the ones that survived the initial sparrow attack), the next batch of radishes are nearly ready, the red spring onions are proving delicious – if a little potent, and we have beans growing on the runner bean and borlotti bean plants.  Got plenty of salads in pots, a chilli pepper on the Hot Wax plants, some little green tomatoes…sure to have missed some stuff!  I am discovering that I am giving everything a bit too much room in the raised beds, so there is the potential to have much more growing.  Can’t decide what to put in the gaps at the moment though – more salad leaves, radishes, oriental veg?!?!  Decisions, decisions.

Politics

There is to be a by-election in my ward in August and I have agreed once again to stand as a “paper” candidate for the Green Party.  Don’t yet know which other parties will be represented, but might put a bit more effort in to campaigning this time!  I WILL beat the BNP!!

Sewing

Sewing is coming on well.  I have made some bunting from scraps of material not big enough for the Morsbags, and I must admit it looks rather fab, although does remind me of a row of knickers hanging on a washing line!  I will post photo next time I have it strung up somewhere :-).  The bunting that is, rather than my knickers ;-).  Bagging has taken a bit of a sideline to that, but total is now up to 33, a rather poetic one bag for each year of my life.

Transition King’s Lynn

Have been working hard on keeping the momentum going on this.  We recently had our first public event, a picnic and planting day in the Walks which went pretty well. Hopefully the event will have spurred some more people into action so there will be more of us actively involved in keeping the bed going.  Read more about it on the Transition King’s Lynn website, here.

That’s all for now folks – will try not to leave it so long next time in the hope that I might actually remember what I’ve been doing!

 

Downham’s Not Stupid and Saving the World Geek Style 19/06/2009

Last Saturday, me and the boys took the train to Downham Market to help out the Downham transition group with publicity for The Age of Stupid film showing.  We used our new family railcard and were pleasantly surprised that the fare was only £2.65 for me and £1 for Gman.  What a bargain!  It was a beautiful sunny day and we parked ourselves outside Tesco there.  Downham Trannies (is that the right term?!?) had a banner “Downham isn’t Stupid”, together with their portable argument kit, leaflets and a poster for the film.  Gman was a bit disappointed that no-one was prepared to climb onto Tesco’s roof to unfurl the banner over their logo…he is going to make a proper eco-warrior I feel :-).  Anyhow, the boys did a champion job of handing out leaflets – people weren’t unkind enough to refuse to take one from such cuties.  Did feel rather cynical, but they did enjoy it, honestly!!

The boys handing out Age of Stupid leaflets

The boys handing out Age of Stupid leaflets

You can read about it in the EDP here:

http://www.edp24.co.uk/content/edp24/news/story.aspx?brand=EDPOnline&category=News&tBrand=EDPOnline&tCategory=xDefault&itemid=NOED15%20Jun%202009%2010%3A46%3A13%3A843

In Transition Film

Later on the same day, M² and I settled down to watch the live streaming of the In Transition film, which was available from the Transition Culture website.  I thought the film was pretty good in as much as it showed loads of positive projects that transition initiatives have been part of, from all over the world.   There were also some good titbits of info on peak oil eg one litre of oil is equivalent to seven hours manual labour in energy terms.  On the negative side, it had a really annoying sound track and it was a bit twee in places.  I certainly don’t think it will help to dispel the idea that transitioners are all disorganised, white, middle class do-gooders in woolly jumpers :-).

BOINC

Now I don’t claim to fully understand how this works…but we have signed up to help out http://www.climateprediction.net/.  It’s a project that uses people’s computers to help run a complicated climate change model.  Or summat like that.  The technology is called BOINC – google it and see if you can work it out!!  Do get nice little model of the Earth to look at how the model is working and data on how many work hours your computer has put in.

Morsbags

It wouldn’t be a blog entry without a morsbag mention, would it?  Tally is now up to 30.  Gonna have a break for a few weeks now, while I make some fabric bunting 🙂

 

Freecycling, recycling and a bit of scavenging too 17/03/2009

Filed under: Community,Environment,Lifestyle — snoozerider @ 17:08

In a bid to clear my life of clutter, I embarked on a bit of freecycling this week.   I had an old rebounder in the shed which was taking up far too much room.  It’s not bouncy enough to be fun for the kids to jump on and I couldn’t ever be bothered to drag it out the shed for an exercise session, so it was just collecting dust, and one more thing to bump into when I try and get my bike out.  I put up an advert for it on freecycle at 11am and by 3pm a lady had been round and picked it up and seemed really thrilled with it.

Buoyed by this success, I thought “why not get rid of the old electric lawnmower?”  Having put this up on freecycle, I was bombarded with responses.  Then I had a dilemma – who do I give it to?!?  Should it be the first to reply, the one who sounds the worthiest, the politest email, the email with the best grammar?  Who am I to decide who is most deserving of the lawnmower?!  In the end, I went with someone who had written a nice email, who could pick it up the next day and who had left a contact number.  Oh, and was a DJ as well.  Got to give priority to the music lovers 🙂

On the recycling theme, took a trip to the tip on Sunday with three bagfuls of clothes, as well as bottles and tetrapaks.  Took me a while to find the textiles section at the perplexingly organised new tip but I found it eventually and it was kind of like a big metal shed, rather than a bank.  I duly deposited the bags there but then happened to notice that there was a brand new, unused, perfectly nice rag rug sitting on the top.  “I’ll have that!” I thought, and it looks rather smashing in the dining room, slowing down the spin of the computer chair.  Not sure if it is green to be coming home with stuff from the recycling centre?!  But hey, it’s being put to good use…

 

Climate Change and Energy Security 20/02/2009

Filed under: Community,Environment — snoozerider @ 21:31

This week, I went to a talk about climate change and energy security given by Dr Keith Tovey from the UEA, hosted by the local churches together group.  G-man came along with me and diligently took pages of notes! Whilst the information given about climate change and energy sources was of interest (you can view the presentation here) I was disappointed when it came to the solutions given, eg switch appliances off standby, put a lid on your pans.  TBH, I found it a little bit insulting to be telling this to a group of people who had enough interest to come to such a talk and are probably already taking such steps.  Surely it’s time to admit that something more radical might be called for?