Occupy Blogoshpere 18

My contribution this week has been prompted by recent, unrelated posts by three great bloggers that I follow.

In ‘Trash Talk‘, on her blog, ‘Dragon’s Dreams‘, Corina discusses the effect of plastic waste on the ocean, urging us to think about what happens to our rubbish – plastic in particular. You can read her informative and thought provoking article here.

It certainly made me think….

We have an excellent refuse collection system, here on The Isle of Wight – anything that cannot be recycled (and most things can) is turned into fuel pellets, or compost and sold on.

I shop locally, buying home-raised produce, as much as possible and grow herbs, fruit and vegetables to eat and store and share.

My car has a 998cc engine and – although some may consider a Harley Davidson a luxury – we’ve owned The Sportster for over ten years. We traded in a thirsty sports car for it and Martin uses it as his everyday mode of transport. He’s currently ‘up-cycling’ our 50 year-old classic car; hobby/art-form/British eccentricity rolled into one. (Who says that conservation has to be boring?) And, while it’s off the road, it’s not consuming any fossil fuel at all!

We walk to work and back again, rarely travel off the Island and haven’t taken a vacation since we moved here – why would we when this is the perfect holiday destination, with so much going on?

We drink tap, not bottled water, never throw good food away and re-use our shopping bags. We’ve insulated our old house, so that it takes less energy to heat, have a fuel efficient boiler and low energy kitchen appliances and lighting.

I use natural cleaning products In the home – white vinegar, bicarb, non-detergent washing balls – and organic pest control in the garden.

Most of these measures are driven by thrift as much as social conscience – but it’s great to know that ‘being mean’ is now considered ‘Green’.

Which brings me to the second blog I’d like to share. Judith, author of ‘I choose how I will spend the rest of my life’, posted That Green Thing – musing that Eco-awareness is not a new invention. We lived frugally, in days gone by, because we had no choice; that was just the way things were. And, on reflection, it was a more healthy way of life, for us and for the planet. Judith’s article and the comment thread that accompanies it, is an insightful read – even if you are not a ‘grumpy old woman’ harking back to simpler times, (like me!)

In her poem, Irrevocable Trust Gayle (‘Bodhirose’s Blog’) has published her take on our relationship with Mother Nature. Her words – and the clever way in which she uses them – are uplifting and encouraging. And I only have to look outside my window, to know that they are true.

Although I live close to a road, I’m surrounded by healthy trees. Thriving on emissions, they mop up polluted air. Plastic-eating bacteria have recently been discovered in the ocean and polyurethane degrading fungi in the Amazon; evidence that life – even at basic levels – is able to adapt to any environment. Hope indeed!

Taking the carbon footprint test on Corina’s blog confirms that I’m consciously reducing my impact – but there’s always room for improvement. I’ll continue doing all I can to respect and protect planet Earth so that we – and future generations – can delight in it’s abundance.

‘Occupy Blogosphere Thursday’ was started by Souldipper, to give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy. While she takes a short break, I’m helping Amy out.

If you would like to help spread the light, please mark your post ‘Occupy Blogosphere Thursday’; add the link: https://wightrabbit.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/ and make a comment below, including the URL link back to your own contribution. I reserve the right to remove any comment or link that I deem inappropriate. Thank you 🙂

Occupy Blogoshpere 17

I’ve been distracted today, because my brilliant, crazy daughter took part in a sponsored skydive for a small local charity. Providing adventure holidays in tall sailing ships, for people of all abilities, The Jubilee Sailing Trust’s motto is ‘Changing Lives.’

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I tracked Rachael’s status on Facebook: delayed by morning mist….sunshine breaking through….putting on ‘Red Devil’ overalls…’Omg…. Here I go!’ I could only imagine how she felt – but my heart was pounding!

I’m not sure that I could ever be that brave, (too high, too fast!) but she faced her fears and did it anyway. And now she wants to do it all again! Watching the video clip of her jumping from the plane, at 13,000 feet, I can understand that. She had a big grin on her face, as you can see here

She’s still buzzing, hours later.

And I’m so proud of my beautiful, caring daughter, that I just have to share it! 🙂

Occupy Blogoshphere 16

The ‘Occupy Blogoshphere’ movement, started by Amy at Souldipper, has been running for four months now. Over the past fifteen weeks, I’ve followed her brief to inject a shot of positive energy into the planet. This week I’ve decided to review why this is important to me.

I first heard that 1% of the world’s population controls 99% of it’s wealth some years ago. That they have been planning – for centuries – to reduce global population by engineering wars, economic crises and famine, seemed like just another conspiracy theory. (Recent events have proved otherwise – Amy has posted information, useful links and videos on her blog.)

Concluding that there was little I could do about it, I concentrated on developing a positive attitude and a spiritually centred way of life. I read self-actualisation books, practiced yoga, t’ai chi and meditation, learned healing Massage and held the faith that ‘good’ would ultimately prevail. But was I truly part of a swelling universal consciousness or simply deluding myself?

Reading Amy’s blog – and others like it – reassured me that I’m not alone in my beliefs. So, when she started ‘Occupy Blogoshpere Thursday’, as a protest against the 1%, I decided to give it my best.

To my surprise I have discovered that there are fringe benefits. Making a commitment to contribute keeps me searching for positive messages, to inspire my next ‘Occupy’ post. I’ve learned a great deal from my research and find working to tight deadlines energising.

The ‘stats’ on both of my blogs (this one and Tao of Scrumble ) are steadily improving. It’s fun to interface with my readers directly (and sometimes instantly), by means of conversation threads.

I’ve discovered many co-incidences between myself and other bloggers – Jacqueline, from maturestudenthanginginthere for instance. In addition to sharing the same first name, we have both studied for degrees by distance learning, whilst working – hers in Health and Social Care, mine in Social Housing. She hopes to complete hers before her fiftieth birthday, whilst I achieved my qualification twelve years ago, when I was 48. We share a number of other connections – the most unusual being that both our husbands have rebuilt classic cars, using kits by the same designer – Nick Green. Theirs is a NG TD, ours a NG TA. I was so excited when I read her blogpost about it!

Here’s a picture of ours:

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Sixteen weeks on, I’m glad that I accepted Amy’s challenge to Occupy the Blogosphere and to connect with others doing the same, every Thursday. I like to picture our sparks of inspirational energy, zapping across the Internet – lighting up and lightening up Our World 🙂

Every Thursday we OCCUPY this space, giving this planet a shot of fun, support and positive energy. To learn more about this movement, or to join in, please visit Souldipper’s Blog

Occupy Blogosphere 15

Today I’m sharing a You Tube video for the first time – fingers crossed it works!

The original song – satirizing  conformist middle class attitudes and the development of suburban housing estates – was written by folk singer/songwriter and political activist, Malvina Reynolds, in 1962. Her friend and fellow activist, Pete Seeger, recorded it the following year.

I was only eleven at the time it became an international hit but I remember it clearly as being catchy and appealing, with apparently child-like lyrics and an insistent tick-tock rhythm.

Even then I was beginning to sense the sinister implications of ‘going along with the herd’, of adopting conventional attitudes and aspirations, without question. Maybe that’s why I have always thought ‘outside the box’?

Fifty years after it was written, the irony behind the lyrics is as incisive as it was when they were penned. Perhaps even more so – which is why I have chosen it today.

I discovered this version – by the amazingly talented Canadian Indie band, Walk Off The Earth – this morning. The video is stunningly clever and ultimately chilling.

Enjoy!

Every Thursday we OCCUPY this space, giving this planet a shot of fun, support and positive energy. To learn more about this movement, or to join in, please visit Souldipper’s Blog

Occupy Blogosphere 14

Three weeks ago, in Occupy Blogosphere 11 I wrote about the changes I’d made to our main bedroom; how cosy and inspiring it was. By the time we’d finished, it was too dark to take photographs. I promised myself that I’d post pretty pictures as soon as I could.

But I never got around to it.

I was going to explain why the following week – but events at work incensed me so much, that I wrote posts about that here and here, instead.

Now that the work situation has been resolved, I can return to why I still haven’t shown any photos of our new, improved bedroom.

On the Sunday morning, following the change-around, I woke early and went to the bathroom, looking forward to snuggling back under the duvet for a little while longer. No such luck. As I padded back to bed, my feet got wet. At first I wondered if Summer had left us a liquid calling card – but it didn’t smell of cat wee and she’s never done that before, so I checked the glass of water beside my bed. It was full – that could only mean one thing.

Our bed was leaking!

We’ve slept on water-filled mattresses for more than fifteen years and this is not the first time that one has sprung a leak; the manufacturers include repair outfits, so it’s always a possibility. Contrary to popular belief, a punctured waterbed does not cause a tidal wave, flood the room below or send you surfing down the stairs in your pjs. You can actually unscrew the filler cap and bounce up and down on the bed without spilling a drop. Freaky!

On inspection, ours had clearly been leaking slowly, for a quite a while and the inner lining had scrunched up, allowing collected water to seep through the spongy sides. There was a time when this would have been a major drama but I’ve changed my point of view.

Apart from the fact that I was forced to forego my lie-in, there was no damage – the water hadn’t run through the floorboards, the bedding was only damp around the edges and I was planning to wash the rug anyway. And we’re fortunate enough to have a spare bedroom, with a comfortable double bed – albeit buried under rolls of Christmas paper, winter woollies, piles of clean laundry and the cat who isn’t our cat.

When I thought about it, my over-riding emotion was relief – I’d been fearful of this happening for a while as we’ve repaired it several times already. Martin said he felt the same, adding that now we could go ahead and have the walls in our room plastered. Apparently he’d been figuring out how that could be managed, with the heavy waterbed in situ.

So we’ve decided not to rush ahead and buy a replacement mattress, (unable to locate the source of the leak, we’ve thrown the old one away but kept the base and the drawers.) Instead our friendly plasterer has given us an estimate and agreed to start work in a couple of weeks. Which gives us enough time to prepare – we’ve already started stripping off the polystyrene sheets and lining paper, put up by the former owners. I’ve always wondered what horrors might lurk underneath this but the plasterer pulled off a strip and the walls look sound – bringing the overall cost down, considerably.

A niggling fear has been dismissed and another job will soon be crossed off our ‘to-do’ list. When it comes to decorating the room, we’ll have a smooth canvas and can allow our creativity full rein – we’re already tossing a few ideas around. And – compared to genuine suffering in this world – how lucky are we to own a waterbed; to have sufficient funds set aside for the work, to be fit and able to do some of it ourselves? It’s turning out to be a win/win situation all round.

As I said, I would not always have thought so. There have been times when I focused on the negative, allowing situations to bring me down. Instead I’ve made a conscious decision to accept minor inconveniences like this, as part of the yin/yang of life. I’m ‘going with the flow’, (pardon the pun) and grasping the opportunities that open up.

As a wise friend (The Artist?) once told me, it’s all a matter of perspective.

Use it, or lose it!

Every Thursday we OCCUPY this space, giving this planet a shot of fun, support and positive energy. To learn more about this movement, or to join in, please visit Souldipper’s Blog

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