Saturday, 1 October 2016

Paper Straws et al

Salty Dog is the girl who persuaded many bars in Antigua to stock paper rather than plastic straws by handing out samples and information leaflets.  Here's the boy in James Dean mode demonstrating that they're a perfectly viable alternative.  So my environmentally active mate was really excited to hear about  France banning plastic crockery and cutlery by 2020,   Can't the counter argument about the ban being encouragement to litter be overcome by a bit of education for the ignoramuses who think that it's perfectly acceptable to strew paper based products all over the landscape on the basis that they'll eventually turn to mush?

I've been thinking about my own  individual environmental footprint again lately.  A man at Fishstock told me that most bio-degradable plastic just breaks down into the type of tiny particle that causes marine life to have a tummy ache and die when they eat it.  I hadn't thought of that before.  Can I reduce my own consumption of plastic by being more careful about my consumer choices?  A move away from over packaged supermarket veg to using the greengrocer and  choosing toiletries that don't come in plastic bottles are the first ideas I've come up with.  Little steps towards a better world.  We can't ignore problems just because they seem too big.  Small improvements do make a difference if enough of us make an effort.  I'll let you know down the line how I'm getting on.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Look Down

My Slamma  is in the post, in the good hands of the Royal Mail.  Let's have a printing post to celebrate shall we?

I've featured something from the very inspirational Colossal website before.  It makes me want to give up work and just go out there creating stuff.  Alas!  I have mouths to feed and a roof to keep over our head so that's doesn't seem feasible anytime soon.  But I can dream!

Here's a brilliant idea from Berlin artist Raubdruckerin.  It's means 'pirate printer'.  Sometimes I wish I'd learned German as it's a language with such wonderfully descriptive words.  Some of our street furniture, for that is what all those manhole covers, hydrants, and drainage devices are called, are rather beautiful.  Little bits of history that perhaps deserve more of our attention.  Even if I don't get a chance to go out and take prints from them, at least I can be more appreciative and look down.  I'm off for a run in a moment.  I'll see what I can discover on the pavements that I trot around.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

A Fistful

My personal jewellery wearing style tends toward big, brash statement pieces.  No delicate little pendants on chains as fine as spun spider's web for me.  It's a good job that I don't have a penchant for diamonds!

I've now filled all the fingers of my right hand.  I'll talk you through my ring collection digit by digit. Even though my heavy old sunflower thumb ring is my newest acquisition, it's very familiar to me as I made it. It was gifted to my sister but was returned to me after her death.   On my index finger is this year's holiday treat to myself from  Me-Mo-A Boutique de Createurs in the walled part of Comcarneau.  It's a ring by a local jeweller. I've got her card somewhere so I'll have to amend the post with her name once I find it. The ones  on the middle finger are all my own work as are the two narrow rings each side of the big fat band on my index finger.  That used to house a spinning copper band adorned with leaves but probably the result of too much fiddling meant it fell off.  Last but not least are my pinky rings from Seattle, the ones that Louis says he would have bought himself if he hadn't forgotten his wallet! They now frame my engagement ring which sat in a box after my separation. Now I've decided it's too lovely not to wear.  Oh there is a diamond after all. When I got engaged one of the girls in the office looked dismissively at the vintage piece.  'When I get an engagement ring I want it to have a diamond that's so big it's got a name'.  'Mine has' I replied.  'He's called Titch!'.

All that bling might be having an unintended beneficial effect.  I have a little hypothesis that some of my clumsiness may be because my proprioception isn't too hot.  That means that I have trouble knowing where bits of my body are in space.  The extra weight of the rings means that I have feedback about where my hand is. And funnily enough I seem to be less accident prone since I've added that extra silvery weight.  Of course I might be speaking too soon. I'll probably pop downstairs now and knock something precious off a shelf!

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

A Crafty Trump

I thought I'd get into the swing of things as regards the US presidential election by posting something topical.   What better than to show off some of the Trump related election memorabilia that's out there.   The  pet wig and tie was so close to being featured.   It's a must have for any discerning dog or cat out there . As was to be expected, even the website selling official merchandise for the Republican campaign offered some rich-ish pickings.  I had not realised that there could be a market for  a baggy Trump Pride T-Shirt.   Any self respecting gay male that I know wouldn't vote for a bloke with hair like that let alone wear a tee that wasn't of the muscle hugging variety.

But, after some deliberation, I finally settled on this.  After all I like to encourage people to get crafty.  So how about making your own Donald?  It seems like the perfect way to while away an evening as those dark nights are drawing in.  Its creators suggest that it  doesn't have to be merely decorative but can be put to use for storing pins.  Now isn't that a wonderful idea?

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

A Long One...But It's Worth It

What's going on Joo?  Why are you sharing a 45 minute video featuring a Christian evangelist? Surely a blog post is meant to provide a quick interlude and not be the Internet equivalent of Cecil B De Mille's Ten Commandments.

I hope one or two of you  watch this in its entirety for it is truly inspiring. Give the first few minutes a go and I reckon that you might want to hang on in there until the end. And then show your teenagers for they are the target audience here.  Goodness knows they need to hear about  resilience, self esteem and showing respect for others to counter the negativity that is often perpetuated by modern day media.

Although Nick Vuijic shares aspects of his personal faith and his beliefs do not entirely match my own  the way he expresses these do not jar.  There is none of that 'repent or burn in the fires of hell' stuff that featured in many of the sermons that were a source of terror in my youth.  Rather his message are full of love.

Nick was born with a body that defies stereotypical norms and as such poses so many practical challenges. I haven't even scratched the surface of considering all the tricky little problems that the physical environment might present.  Yet  he exudes positivity and his life is full of meaning and joy. As an occupational therapist I reckon he should be my profession's poster boy!

PS:  For those who make it right through the video, congratulations.  This little update can be your reward.  Nick is now married with two children.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Where To Leave Leif

Another reasonably successful attempt at being arty-farty with my phone camera I think.  Here's a shot of the cranes outside the M-Shed in Bristol.  Mostly when I visit Red Mel I travel up by train but this time, as Lou came along and we haven't got a Friends and Family Railcard, it was more cost effective to go by car.

It wouldn't have been if we'd have used a conventional car park. Where Red Mel lives, slap bang in the centre of the city, these cost about £20 a day.  Instead I used Just Park for the first time. For the less eye watering sum of £13.50 in total we left my little green Skoda, Leif , in a driveway behind a student house.  It was about a mile away from Red Mel's apartment.  She came and picked us up because my bag was a bit heavy.  A perfectly adequate thrifty solution to those exorbitant charges.  Yah boo sucks NCP!  I'll be doing the same again if I drive to areas where I haven't a cat in hell's chance of finding a convenient free parking space.

All would have gone swimmingly but for the fact that it was the Bristol Half Marathon yesterday. Yes!  The one that I'm planning to do next year.  It closed all the roads around  Mel's house so we couldn't get our lift back to the car.  I had to trudge up a great big hill with our stuff with Louis sporting my pink handbag.  Not a good look for a image conscious teenager.    It was totally necessary to break the journey at Swoon where they make gelato on the premises.  A post race reward spot for me next year.  And then we'll take the train back home!

Sunday, 25 September 2016

A Bit Star Struck!

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to hobnob with the stars of the tiny screen at Bristol's M Shed at an exhibition about children's TV from 1946 to the present time.  I'd have recommended that you all should be hurrying  down to take a peek.  But rats!  It's the last day today.  That's a real pity because it was fascinating.   There will be some people out there who are green with envy because I got to see the original model of Tracy Island made by Anthea Turner on Blue Peter.

And I stood in the presence of the actual Major Clanger!  Not some enthusiastic fan's knitted replica.  He was the real thing. Being a child of the sixties it will come as no surprise that 'The Clangers' has to be my favourite kiddie programme of all time, a perfect visual and auditory treat that was shown just before bedtime when I was wee.  Forty odd years on I still find it aesthetically pleasing.  The episodes are stop-motion masterpieces with timeless charm.

I reckon it's a perfect  excuse to share an episode   Here's the one that they were showing at the exhibition.  It's where an astronaut with a remarkable similarity to Action Man comes to the Clanger's planet to collect rock samples. Enjoy!