Plastic and Oceans don’t Mix.

Saturday 1251  –  06.08.2016

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There has been much I could have written about, over the past few months since my last post, as the world seems to have turned upon its head but I have not had the willingness but here I am again. 

I’ve just come back from a week in Northumberland and breaking with tradition. I am going to write about what I did last Saturday, 30th July, during next week! I’ll explain why then  ( It’s not just laziness, honest!) 

Northumberland is a gorgeous part of the UK with some outstanding beaches and it was while I was walking on one that I noticed all the plastic  and tin you see below, in a very small area, and I spent just 5 minutes picking it up and putting it in, yes you guessed it, a plastic bag that I had in my car !   There was half an aluminium drinks can with very sharp edges, lots of fishing line, plastic rope, the top of an aerosol, a small sauce container ( you can see the recyclable sign! ) a black plastic ring of unknown use, a piece of white plastic sealant and a plastic tube for inserting a tampon!   I took it all off to be recycled.

As I was editing my photos from the holiday, or more accurately my photography expedition, this photograph made me  want to scream WHAT ARE WE DOING TO OUR WONDERFUL PLANET! 

We are surely destroying it and not even slowly… 

Here’s something about the damage fishing line can do to birds   – How Fishing Line Hurts Birds 

and this a report on the BBC World service  90% of SeaBirds have Plastic in their Stomachs

Many of us had no idea that we are now eating plastic because the ocean is full of plastic microbeads which are eaten by plankton – plankton are eaten by fish – humans eat fish.

Did you know that possibly thousands of personal care products contain microbeads? From toothpaste to makeup. They are now banned in America but not yet in the UK, although the Government said in June that they would support a ban I haven’t found evidence they have actually passed legislation, but happy to stand corrected if anyone else can.

There’s an organisation called Beat the Microbead and you can download a list of products, in 22 different countries , that contain microbeads. You can even download an App, if you a have smart phone, scan a products barcode and it will tell you if it contains microbeads. 

Details can be found on their website; links here:-

Product List 

Smartphone App

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I was Born into a World

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I was born into a world

Before recycling was a thing,

Before oil wars,

When the biggest world

Threat was nuclear.

The only extinct thing

Was the Dodo,

We consumed and junked.

Then we were told about

Droughts, and disappearing

Rainforests.

About melting ice caps,

And we fought Iraq

For a second time,

Like father like son,

We needed our oil

Because we didn’t want

Those electric cars.

At one time there were

Huge monsters that

Walked where we walk,

Nature swallowed them easy.

Or maybe you believe

It all started with Adam and Eve,

But they too were kicked

From the garden

As are we,

With our poison beaches

Run down towns

And our atmosphere

That kills.

I write a poem

And preach to the converted.

We send out loud messages

To ourselves,

That our world is dying:

1984, Blade Runner,

Armageddon, The Road.

I’ve yet to read a book,

Or watch a film about a future

I’d like to live in.

Fortunately for me,

I’ll die before the earth,

But I’d like a place for my

Computer chip self

To click and beep

In bright, clean happiness.

                                           

By James Franco

 

Finally next time you go to the beach bring a bag with you and pick up as much plastic as you can and bring home to be recycled.  Nature will love you for it. Be inspired by this little film.

Ren Kyst- Got a spare afternoon

Your thoughts are very welcome as ever. 

Saturday Girl signing off.. 

Take a look at my photography blog Photomania 

Happy Birthday to my Dear Old Mum

Saturday 1430 – 2nd March 2013

Glasses of Champagne It’s my mothers 87th Birthday today. She won’t be reading this as she can barely see now but she would probably say  “why have you got glasses of champagne when I don’t drink?”. Good point mum but I kinda liked the photo so there ya go. 

It has a celebratory feel to it, even though it’s from a wedding, and birthday’s should be celebrated shouldn’t they?? Well shouldn’t they?

I visited mum last week. She’s recently moved into a residential home, which is attached to the sheltered housing flats where she lived for over 20 years. It has not been as traumatic a move as it often is when an elderly person moves into a home, as my mum knows all the staff there.  If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know that I’m a social worker, working with older people but what you may not know is that I worked in a residential home, mostly in a specialist dementia unit, for over 10 years so I know what I’m talking about here.

I have written about my mum before back in december 2011 when she was merely 85!  The post was called Portrait of my Mother and you can read it here .  Take a look as it’s highly relevant to what I’m going to write now.

Okay back to the birthday. When I visited last week ( a lovely long visit where we reminisced a lot ) and again when I talked to my mum on the phone today, she told me that when she was young she had never expected to live to be this age because people didn’t “back in those days”.  True enough. My dad died when I was 17 and he was 68 (42 years ago.) and I don’t remember anyone saying how young he was, whereas now that would be considered to be very young indeed.  My mum had to work hard all her life, especially as my dad died when she was only 44 and she has known the grief of burying one of her children, my brother Geoff, when he was 53. It has not been easy for her.

Mum told me she didn’t know if it was a good idea or not to live to be such an age, now that she can’t see and is hardly able to walk. I don’t think she likes having to rely on others to attend to all her needs, as she has always been very independent. She said it is strange to know she is now very near the end of her life.

(The photo below was taken about 18 months ago, just before I got my new camera.)

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Mum says what she misses most is not being able to paint at all now as this was always such a great love of hers. It causes her both deep sadness and frustration.  I imagine, if I get to her age and lose my sight, that I may well  feel exactly the same with my love of art and photography? 

Quality of life over quantity?  Food for thought indeed… ?

My mum went quietly into old age but I think the poem below describes how I might approach it being of quite a different nature 😀

Warning

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.      

Jenny Joseph.

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Saturday Girl signing off now.  See you next week.

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You can find my photography blog Photomania here and I hope you’ll pop over and take a look if you haven’t already.. photos of Mallorca , continuing London People and a new minimalism series also in the pipeline to say nothing of a portrait of an allotment to come eventually!

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