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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Soucis, friends and books

A little pot of marigolds.  I cut some back where they were growing across the path to the washing line and saved the flowers to display in a little paste pot on my kitchen windowsill.  The marigolds grew from seeds originally given to me by Lesley over at Printed Material and the little pot is a 1950s paste pot one of several given to me by another friend when I had admired one she had.  I am reminded of yet another friend too this time a French friend who grew marigolds in her garden and who told me they were called soucis and that the word also means little anxieties or worries.

Speaking of anxieties have you ever noticed how it is that when a topic takes your eye you come across it over and over again?  Last week I watched a programme about consumerism The Men Who Made Us Spend and was shocked at the number of mobile phones that were shown being thrown away as consumers rush to get the latest and newest version. That people would be prepared to queue for 18+ hours just to be first with the latest version strikes me as crazy but then as you know I am a bit of a technological Luddite.

 Then I picked up this leaflet in the local farm shop mainly because I liked the illustrations but it seemed that the actual magazine was on a similar topic but looked at from a different view.

That of the land or the earth and how we all depend on it for our very survival.

In the Waitrose Weekend freebie on Friday I came across this article in which Kate humble is talking about the Barefoot Wine Beach Clean-ups in which she tells of the incredible number of cotton bud sticks which litter the beaches causing death to wildlife it seems people toss them down the toilet and they then end up in the sea - I was reminded of the walk I did along Chesil Beach after last winter's storms and how shocked I was at the amount of plastic in particular the number of disposable plastic lighters there were strewn along the beach.

Having read this post  on Leanne's blog Tales of Simple Days   I also noticed this little video in her side bar and was drawn to watch it and left almost in tears.  I urge you to take a look.

All of the above made me wonder - are there any answers to the dreadful problems which beset our beautiful world?  It's not only the environment,  there's the sweatshops where cheap clothing for the Western world is produced to be worn a few times and then disposed of, the wars which take place round the world and the mindless destruction of innocent people as in the Malaysian air disaster and.........  Does anything I can do make any difference?  I remember as a child being taught that we must always strive to do the right thing but that doing the right thing might not be easy.  I think the more difficult thing is knowing what is the right thing.  I think we must believe that if enough of us do what we feel to be right things will one day improve - if it's not too late.

Now on a totally different topic: Books

Here is my current non-fiction selection from the library.  I have enjoyed the Amazing Spaces book and wonder if it is something innate in most of us to want to make a den or small place in which to live or spend time.  I'd sometimes love to run away to a small place where I could live the simple life ... or would I?  The Slice of Britain is a novel idea in which the author takes a tour round Britain sampling the various regional cakes and biscuits and idea she had when she noticed that she could have any number of foreign delicacies with her daily coffee from the local coffee shop but where were the traditional British cakes?  I haven't read it yet but it looks promising.  You will see I have got hold of a book about the Elmhirsts of Dartington as I was so fascinated with the whole place when I visited Dartington Hall and I now know what the tapestries in the Great Hall were inspired by - you might remember my photos had light reflections obscuring the information I wanted.  I am loving the bottom book in the pile which is Angie Lewins Plants and Places  I adore her illustrations and feel inspired to translate some of her designs into textiles, embroidery or patchwork or something.  All those umbellifers call to me!  I haven't yet returned the Slow Devon book as I am still wondering about making a September BBB trip!

Better stop waffling on now hope I haven't bored you too much?  Thank you for all your comments on my previous posts.


  1. Those are proper marigolds! The French ones are fine in the greenhouse but are so stiff compared to the 'real' ones!
    We also watched the programme on consumerism and felt almost as though we didn't know this world.

  2. Thank you for such a thought-provoking post. I think we all have to believe in our individual powers to make the world a better place, no matter how impossible the task may seem.

  3. We have just watched episode 1 of the Peretti programme [episode 2 recorded but as yet unwatched] and there was much ranting from the sofa! Two days ago, my daughter lost her phone - when she realised, she retraced her steps, and someone had kindly handed it in at the bookshop where she'd dropped it. "But Mum, it made me realise that my phone is 'old' technology, as nobody felt it was worth stealing" she said. I said perhaps they thought it belonged to a little old Luddite lady and felt sorry for her!! I REFUSE to buy into this consumerism. I love your marigolds - summer sunshine in a jar! blessings xx

  4. I love 'proper' marigolds, mine are from seeds taken from my friend's garden pooh, 20 years ago and they come up each year and self seed all over the place!
    Yes, I can never see the point of all this queueing to be first, and the land-fill must be horrendous. I totally agree with Angela, above. Be a Luddite! Fight consumerism! xx

  5. I had to smile, my mobile was bought for work, about 8 years ago, from Tesco, costing £10. It texts, it phones people. The kids call it "the brick" LOL

  6. The need to have the latest thing goes deeper than most realise. It is replacing unmet needs from childhood. You cannot buy your way out of it. Whatever time is spent with our children it should be good quality and can never be replaced with objects. That is my opinion anyway.

    A thought provoking post, thank you :)

  7. The video is heartbreaking. What are we doing to our planet? I can't tell you how much I loathe the packaging and plastic rubbish that is produced constantly. When will the lessons be learned? Maybe when it's too late I think.

  8. Isn't it strange that the little marigolds have the same meaning as anxiety and worry, they look such happy little flowers.
    Having just watched the news one does wonder what could be done that would make any difference but I suppose every little helps.

  9. Oh that the world's cares and worries could disappear as quickly as the marigolds fade. This world is indeed a sad place. How poorly humans treat each other and how little we value each other and the earth.

  10. I believe in the power of the people, if we all did just one thing everyday and powered our anger into energy of belief that we can and will save the Earth.
    Love the 'real' marigolds, they are such a happy,sunshiny plant of many hues and are so beneficial to bees,pollinators, animals and humans alike. Every garden should grow one plant, left to it's own devices, self-seeding/cross-pollinating and doing a great job!
    I'll have to see if our library has that book of Angela Lewins in, looks like a good read and inspiring too.

  11. The plight of the albatross has long been one of my red flags Jane. I've posted about a few times and still collect used stamps from everyone I can badger into giving them to me for the RSPB appeal. I've also started to be a caller to the council about the amount of litter that seems to be accumulating on the roads, just thrown from cars as if it was perfectly alright to do so. What sort of generation are we nurturing here? Great to see the marigolds and be reminded of Angie Lewin's book. I have it and shall take it off the shelf for a re-read and a cheer up! That film was horrendous and make me incredibly sad.

  12. Not patting myself on the back, but I know I have not littered for over 50 years---so irresponsible to throw items out a car window or just drop from your hands onto the street. Many opinions could be expressed, but one is that it starts with personal responsibility. I detest plastic bags, but I do use them. There are many things we can do on a personal level and with our personal choices. I've noticed with some products, and excessive amount of packaging--write the company and share your concern.

  13. Ummm, I understand how you're feeling. I spent over twenty years in a marketing career, but the older and cynical I became the more I saw through the advertising speak and questioned the industry I was involved in. Now I think the problem is overwhelmingly widespread and totally interlinked, globalisation has netted so many issues tightly together. For what it's worth, I've decided to take the star-fish approach - you know the story about saving one star-fish and how you can't save them all, but you can make a difference to one - and try to live by my values.

  14. i have considered myself a friend of the earth since i became first aware of the problems when i was a teenager - i have recycled since then as much as i can - it always upsets me to throw something away that may be of use to someone else - i agree with what everyone seems to be saying - the situation is out of control but you have to do the best you can to limit the waste that you produce yourself to a minimum in the hope that if others do this as well a difference will be made!!


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