Archive for May, 2011

Hugh is taking the fight to Brussels today.  If you’ve not already signed up, please add your support now:

Good luck, Hugh!  😉


So, the German‘s have decided they will shut down all their nuclear reactors by 2022 following the disaster in Japan.  A sensible decision in my view – though obviously controversial judging by the wide range of responses in the media.

We can surely all agree that nuclear is not safe, and that its danger is not just in the immediate aftermath of any incident, but in problems of long-term contamination.  So hurrah to the Germans for deciding to shut down that form of energy production.  We must learn to do without it.  But not so hurrah if it simply means buying in their energy from nuclear sources from other countries (France, for instance).  Or if it means greater reliance on fossil fuels (e.g. coal-fired power stations). 

Let’s hope then that their overall philosophy is achieved in practice.  Develop renewable energy sources and at the same time use modern technology to reduce the energy requirements of homes and businesses.  Sounds good to me.  Very good.  Well done for taking the lead, Germany.

So the petrol retailers are up in arms because supermarkets are undercutting them.  They think it’s unfair competition and have appealed to the Office of Fair Trading.  Ah bless!  Am I the only one who doesn’t feel overly sorry for them? 

Perhaps now they know how the owners of small, independent local shops feel when the big supermarkets take their customers.  Or the farmers who end up being paid less per litre of milk than it costs to produce it.  Why should the Office of Fair Trading step in to protect petrol companies and not everyone else affected by powerful supermarkets?

Like it or not, consumers in this country tend to be influenced by price over many other considerations.  And, unlike many small local traders, I very much doubt the petrol retailers can count on any kind of brand loyalty from a moral or ethical point of view.  Perhaps our only real concern should be how the supermarkets are achieving such low petrol prices – presumably by cutting their costs elsewhere.  Does this mean they are paying their food suppliers even less than before?

Come on folks, we can’t grumble.  Yes, it’s Bank Holiday, and yes, it’s throwing it down, but we honestly did need it.  The plants in the garden and the crops in the field (not to mention the farmers), will all be breathing a sigh of relief!  Isn’t it great how nature sorts out the balance in the end? (Though I’m sure there’ll still be people complaining it’s not enough.)

Have to say though, very pleased I decided to spend the time in the veg plot yesterday.  😉

Spent a fair amount of time in the garden today.  Cleaned the hens out, and then concentrated on weeding the veggie patch, along with the area around the raised beds, and the herb garden (the hens getting all the resulting weeds to pick through). 

The garden looks much better for it, but it occurs to me that my weeding has an air of the medieval witch hunt about it.  A small plant falls foul of my hand fork, and I look at it dubiously.  Is it a weed, or is it a precious seedling?  Undecided,  I put it back in the ground, firming up the soil around it, just in case.  But I know full well that if it was an innocent seedling, it will die, whereas if it was a weed, it’ll bounce back with vigour as though nothing had happened.   Grr.

Tonight though, we’ll reap the rewards of our labours.  Omelette for tea (eggs from the hens, chives from the garden), followed by rhubarb crumble (rhubarb freshly picked this afternoon).  Very satisfying.   😉

Finished moving the carrots this evening (spread now over three raised beds).  Pigeons/cats/slugs allowing, we ought to have a good crop this year. 

Also put some runner beans in – though I’m not convinced they’ll grow.  I’m a bit late with them – not so much late in the season, as late in the century (they were meant to be sown by 2008!!).   😉

They say one man’s rubbish is another man’s gold, but imagine this – our rubbish could form part of the answer to our energy requirements of the future.  Have a look at Damian Carrington’s blog post for more details:

Looks as though the French are really investing in photovoltaic technology – follow the link for more info:


That’s it – I’m never going to Denmark! 😉

As if we needed any further encouragement to explore alternative forms of energy and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, here’s another disaster in the news – an explosion in an oil refinery in Iran.  (See for details.)

The Japanese experience has already shown that nuclear just isn’t safe (just in case we thought it was!).  Why, oh why, aren’t we concentrating on wind, solar and tidal forms of energy production?   These are safe and perpetual.  And ok, currently they don’t provide enough energy to meet our needs, but if on the one hand we invest in their development to keep on improving their potential, and on the other, concentrate of reducing our energy requirements, we’ll achieve a sustainable, safe energy supply for the future.

It is, in my opinion, to use that awful modern expression, “a no-brainer”!  😉