Thursday, 19 July 2018

Raspberry Picking

Sweetness glows red in thorny undergrowth.

Arms scratched and nettled,
we fill bags with fruit,
juice on our hands like blood.

I snack on berries and chocolate
and dream of the jars of jam that will shine
warmly red on our shelves

seeing us through the winter.

Previously published on Misty Mountain Review.  

Meanwhile I've posted my poem The Secret of Chocolate over on my Shapeshifting Green blog. You can read it here

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Customising Clothing

One of the aspects of my current job with Granton Goes Greener is to manage the clothing swap shop in the church hall. People can bring in clothing that no longer fits or that they're bored of and swap it for something different. We aim to only have good quality clothing in the shop and some items don't quite make the grade. This t-shirt had a stubborn and unsightly stain on it, but it fits me and though I would never wear anything this colour combination out and about I would wear it around the house. So I cut a patch from a piece of black fabric from a worn out t-shirt and here's the result

I'm not pretending this is either a fashion statement or anything special but it's just a basic idea. Some people do wonderfully imaginative things by patching clothing to hide stains or tears or just to give an old item a fresh look.

Monday, 16 July 2018

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan

 The Gracekeepers

The world is flooded and society has become divided between the landlocked who live on land and the damplings who live on boats and travel endlessly around the globe.

Callanish lives by herself in the middle of the ocean, carrying out Restings for those who die and tending their graves and the graces (birds) that mark people's deaths.

North lives on a coracle with her beloved bear as part of a floating circus. She faces an arranged marriage and a forced move onto land when all she wants is her bear.

A chance meeting between the two women changes the course of their lives.

This is a beautifully imagined story from a world changed by climate change. The dynamics of the circus community and the prejudices they face from the land dwellers and the military are very well drawn. The relationship between North and her bear is very touching and sweet.

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan published by Vintage (2015)

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Edinburgh Marched Against Trump Yesterday

Yesterday around 10 thousand people gathered outside the Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh to protest against Donald Trump visiting the UK.

There were some excellent banners and posters

But in some ways the most pertinent for us in the UK was this one (Brexit = Trump. Stop Brexit).

When the UK leaves the European Union we'll need to find new trading agreements and our government is looking towards Trump's America for at least some of these agreements. But whereas the European Union has stringent guidelines and laws on environmental protection and health and welfare, many other potential trading partners (including the USA) have less stringent guidelines and laws. In addition, if the UK trades within the EU it means less long distance transport for our food and other goods, which means fewer carbon emissions, which is better for the environment.

The march finally arrived at the Carnival of Resistance in the Meadows where the Baby Trump blimp was waiting for us

and where there were speakers and bands including Devils in Skirts

Friday, 13 July 2018

SHRUB Co-operative Reuse and Recycle Centre

On Wednesday (as part of my job) I visited SHRUB Co-operative a Swap and Re-use Hub in the centre of Edinburgh.
They are currently preparing to expand into new premises. The building above, which is their current home which currently houses the Wee Spoke Hub is going to become entirely dedicated to this purpose.. The Wee Spoke Hub is where people can learn how to fix their bikes.

SHRUB also run an inspiring range of workshops on up-cycling and sustainable living. A couple of years ago I went to one of their jewellery making workshops which was great fun! (You can read more about it here).

SHRUB also have wonderful examples of upcycling all throughout their premises, including these two 'chandeliers'

SHRUB also have a swap shop (which is currently closed while they organise their move). You can either turn up with something to swap on the day or your can become a member and donate items to build up swap credits which you can then use to take things at a later date.

SHRUB are on a mission to make Edinburgh a Zero Waste city!

SHRUB will be launching in their new locations over the summer and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how they develop!

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Cygnets and Summer Flowers at Musselburgh

It's humid and cloudy out there, we really need some rain....

Lovely to see several bees (though not as many as you would have expected even a few years ago) flying round in the red clover and tall mellilot along the John Muir Walkway

The bees were camera shy unlike this lovely burnet moth

Along the River Esk the red poppies look lovely

while the swans have got five cygnets

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

What can you make with a old sock?

I recently realised my old camera case (made from scrap fabric) was falling apart so I made this one to replace it. Basically it's the top end of an old sock (I cut off the worn foot) with a button from my stash and a ready made buttonhole.