Archive for June, 2012




Our Olympic tickets arrived the other day, and I’ve now booked our train tickets for the event.  Was relieved that the prices don’t seem to have been overly inflated, and that there was still plenty of choice in terms of ticket availability.  Prices might have affected our decision whether to take the train or go by car, and I’m relieved that we leave the car behind, both from the point of view of the hassle involved, and the environmental impact.

Even more delighted to discover in our ticket pack tags for the BP Target Neutral scheme.  OK, possibly not a huge fan of BP in recent times – a quick search of the internet will bring up all sorts of crimes against the company, and accusations of a poor safety and environmental record (we’ve not forgotten the gulf of Mexico oil spill for instance, which seemed to take months for them to tackle). But shall we give them some credit for trying with the Olympic Target Neutral scheme, or do we just discount it as a massive publicity stunt?

Publicity stunt or not, the effect will be a positive one if enough people sign up to the scheme.  It’s pretty simple – if you’re a ticket holder, you go to the website ( and enter the code on the tag which was sent with your tickets (one per person) – and BP offset the carbon for your journey (on an estimated basis, obviously, calculated on the basis of the country from which you’re travelling).

If you’re not off to the Olympics, or you’d like to offset your whole carbon footprint, you can also buy into the scheme, which helps fund environmental projects around the world.  (There’s a cute video fronted by Adam Hart-Davis in a mad-scientist’s basement which explains more:

If you want to hand over your real hard-earned money, The Woodland Trust also have an offset scheme ( which is perhaps easier to understand, and arguably less open to abuse, but you can explore the two schemes for yourself to see which you prefer.

But if you’re off to the games, make sure you sign up for the Target Neutral Scheme – it’ll cost you nothing, and if nothing else, will help make a statement about sustainability for future Olympic games.

New recruits

Thanks in no small part to some silly woman who is leaving dog biscuits and other tempting treats in the lane that runs outside our house, a fox braved coming into our garden the other night.  It managed to get into the smaller A-frame hen house, and kill the two hens in there.  So I hope dog-biscuit woman is pleased with herself.

Anyway, we’ve just had three new chucks delivered (honestly – there are three, just the other one went straight into the house before I could take her photo!) – and the hen house has a new catch which will hopefully foil Mr Fox if he returns.

Let’s hope these hens have a long and happy fox-free life!

Wash ’em and squash ’em

Tomorrow sees the start of National Recycle Week.  According to Recycle Now ( the focus of the week is on raising awareness about plastic bottle recycling, as currently less than 50% of those used in the UK get recycled.

I’m always a bit dubious about these national ‘weeks’ – I know they’re great publicity, but you can’t help feeling the issues raised should be just as important the other 51 weeks of the year.  Still, if it makes people think about it a little more, I guess it’s a good thing.

Amusing statistic on the website: “If all of us in the UK recycled just one extra plastic bottle during Recycle Week, this would save enough energy to power over 71,000 plasma screen TVs for a year.”

Think what we could achieve if we recycled plasma screen TVs!!  😉

Ok, so we didn’t go away for Bank Holiday weekend, and the weather might have been typically dismal, but we feel like we’ve had a break anyway.  Yesterday we had a lovely long lie-in, and this morning we went to the other extreme – out of bed early, and off for a walk.  It’s funny how when we’re away on holiday, going walking seems second nature, but at home, we tend to forget about all that there is to explore right on our doorstep.

So this morning, we headed from the house, out across the fields and down into Newport, following the canal – or what’s left of it.  The canal actually goes much further than we’d originally thought, and then the original route is marked with a footpath (another route to explore next time).  Doubling back, we headed through the town, to the walk route we’ve always been meaning to do since we moved here – and it’s a good job we did it now, given they’re likely to build a Sainsbury’s superstore on it in the near future.  Lots of local resistance, as to be expected – check out for more information on the campaign against the development plans.  It seems criminal to dig up another bit of our green and pleasant land, when there are alternative brownfield sites available.

Cutting back through quiet country lanes towards home again, it was just like being on holiday – spotting gorgeous cottages and farms, and saying hello to the odd grazing pony.  We’ve also realised just how much more there’s left for us to explore another day.

And the weather might well have been a bit of a dampener on the Jubilee celebrations, but it’s done wonders for the garden – all the veggies have gone mad!  😉

Return of the old bag…

Put our recycling out on Sunday night as per, then on Monday after the collections, went to retrieve the various bags and boxes provided by the local authority for all the different types of recycling.  The big blue bag for the cardboard had disappeared.  This would be less weird if it didn’t have our house number emblazoned on the outside (following a previous loss of the can/bottle crate).

We had a brief search, then waited for a while to see if someone might return it, but no sign of it.  Having yesterday finally resorted to ordering a new one lo, this morning, it turns up at the end of the lane.

So now we’ll have two!  Some irony that we have now acquired some more stuff in order to dispose of other stuff.

Anyone need a spare cardboard-recycling bag?

Can they be recycled??