The satellite dish. That reliable, omnipresent parabolic residential appendage, facilitating technology for the rise of satellite television in the late 70s, and modern day delivery medium for Murdoch’s media empire. On a short impromptu photowalk in somewhat economically deprived Bexhill-on-Sea my lens inadvertently captured a huge range of the rusted concave devices, their cables trailing across rooftops like determined vines clamouring for vertical dominance, terminating at this strange metal plate seeking a favourable situation on a pebbledash plain. I wondered: to what extent could the “dish density” of an area be a socioeconomic indicator?
They will sell you a dish outside Asda. Aspiring salesmen, fleece top proudly embroidered with the Sky logo, enthusiastically propping up a portable sales stand, together representing an unavoidable gauntlet between shopper and shop. The determined survive but the weakest are cornered and eventually convinced they sign, committing to 24 months of box sets, premier league and propaganda. A typical contract could cost a day’s pay packet on the minimum wage, but out there in the cold the numbers might just start to make sense.
Nice little article by a chap called Ajit Menon, a hobbyist photographer from New York City. Ajit talks across topics ranging from the desirability of some very expensive photography hardware to an introspective look at the ‘soul’ of his own work. Some great photos too…
The Tories very deliberately pitch themselves as the thinking voter’s party. The party of the head, not the heart. So why is it that many indicators suggest that those who are proactively engaging in the democratic process – with their heads, not their hearts – lean left?
Continue reading Vote with your head and your heart
Weaning has been a bit of a journey. Of all the many challenges one faces as a parent, few offer so many highs and lows, or introduce so much parental anxiety, as the process of ensuring your child develops a healthy relationship with food whilst trying to get enough balanced, healthy calories into the kid before his patience runs out. Luckily for every tantrum there is a giggle and one realises quickly that meal times are the perfect time to get to know the little person who is developing in front of you.
Dunes under grey skies, 2 of 3.
Dunes under grey skies, 2 of 3.
Dunes under grey skies, 1 of 3.
The wind today blew us around a little. Our first walk of the day was a battle, with rain driving into us on gusts of Atlantic breath. Later it softened a little and we braved the huge expanse of Woolacombe’s beach. Bare feet, rain pocked sand, bitingly cold water, white cloudy skies. It was beautiful. Walking south. Talking a little; observing a lot. The grasses on the dunes shivered in the wind, giving life to the land; hairs on the back of a cold, slumbering giant. We paused at this small formation of rocks – a lone landmark in an ocean of sand. Looking back to Woolacombe village the sea spray fogged the view of the distant buildings; cosy boxes under a featureless grey sky.
Today we were sad to have to watch as the wonderful cultural and community hub of Battersea Arts Centre was ravaged by a violent blaze. Initial reports at the scene were that nobody was injured. Here’s hoping that the centre can rebuild quickly.
These were taken on 22nd December 2014, days before Christmas. The sky was grey and unremarkable but the English channel drove wave upon wave of cold, dark water onto the pebble beach of Bexhill-on-Sea. Just days later we enjoyed a swim in calmer waters with the winter sun in our eyes.
Continue reading A (Cold) Day at the Beach
Every week Lucy and I look forward to a delivery of fresh, organic produce from Riverford. The company has impressed us with its quality of produce and variety of recipes, with its customer service and reliability. Above all we value the company’s credentials as a small but significant force for good in a world where food production or scarcity represents one of the greatest threats to the wellbeing of individuals, and of the world in which they live.
Riverford push a short letter through the mail box with each delivery, always interesting, and this week Guy Watson’s words resonated so deeply with me I felt I really couldn’t have articulated my thoughts better myself.
“All this serves to illustrate that managing [ones] environmental impact is a minefield of personal and collective culpability; sadly I have almost no hope for leadership from the Government, so it lies with individuals and businesses.”
Guy goes on to compare the reaction of the automotive industry to environmental challenges to that of the farming industry.
“…in an industry that should essentially be about capturing and harnessing sunlight, environmental impact has spiralled out of control. It is thought that [farming consumes] ten calories of fossil fuel for every calorie of food produced, while mercilessly raping the planet’s soil and wildlife. Don’t blame population increase; modern agriculture should hang its head in shame.”
Riverford is a small but hopefully growing company with its heart in exactly the right place – I’d strongly recommend considering it for your grocery delivery needs. At £39 per week for three 100% organic and very tasty recipes, it’s not bad value at all.
Riverford Sustainability Project
I’ll admit it. I’m a serial abuser of perfectly good bicycles. I ride them into the ground giving them very little TLC; the bare minimum of maintenance. I’m hopeful this time will be different, but don’t hold your breath.
I’ve got myself a Fuji Track 2.1, an aluminium version of their very popular Track. I’ll be running it fixed for the time being and am in the market for some pedal straps.