Friday, August 17, 2007

There is no away ...

Catchy phrase, eh? Or does it puzzle you? Here is the full sentence:




I still had to think about it a bit, though. It was the headline to a magazine advertisement by Shell, offering "real energy solutions for the real world". It went on: "If only we had a magic bin and could throw stuff in and make it disappear for ever. What we can do is find creative ways to recycle." It then specified two ways in which Shell is doing this, but I didn't have time to copy them down - (I was in the hairdresser). Here is its website though

Since reading that ad I have found the phrase "there is no away" echoing in my head, and making me feel ever more conscious of the rubbish that goes into my general household waste, destined only for landfill. One way of being creative is through FREECYCLE.

This is an international recycling group on the internet hosted by Yahoo. I expect many of you have come across it. I think it started in America, but there are local groups in many areas in the UK now. If you have something you no longer need, you offer it to the group by email, and anyone interested gets in touch with you. You then pick one person and arrange for them to collect from you. You can equally post a 'wanted' email for something you need, though the idea is to give more than you ask for. You should be able to get in touch with branches all over the world by clicking here.

Don't be disappointed though if you are still left with some of your junkiest rubbish on your hands to be taken to the local dump. Which makes me think of an interesting experiment: how about offering something really rubbishy on Freecycle, and also for sale on Ebay. What do you think the chances are that a buyer would be found on Ebay, but no takers on Freecycle?

Afterthought :: Back in the 1970s, when I used to read a lot of science fiction, I imagined the worst waste scenario that I could: that for want of any further room on earth, mankind would start firing its rubbish into space, leaving it to circle the globe endlessly, reducing sunlight to the merest glimmer, so that we gradually became a race of pallid, peering, stunted creatures .......... urghh! I don't think I want to imagine any further ..... er, are we nearly there yet?

Is this a first?

In the last eight days I have had two Outpatient appointments at hospital clinics: one for an ultrasound scan of my carotid arteries (looks OK the technician says but a consultant has to interpret it), and one to see a dermatologist.

With both of these I was into the consulting room, seen to, and out again before the clock had quite reached the time of my appointment. Sometimes things go better than you expect!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Climbing trees again

Quite an exciting day today. Stitchwort left me a comment on my last post, in which she told me about the website (free births, marriages and deaths). As she said, they have got most of the General Register Office index transcribed and searchable without charge, and if you click on a "pair of spectacles" symbol you can see the scan of the original GRO page, and enlarge it enough to read the entry.

The entries are all post 1837, so they are a bit late for some of the enquiries I am making, but I was able to find the month and year of birth of my husband's father, which we hadn't known before, and it was quite a moving moment to bring up a photograph of the actual index page with the entry on it. Now I have to decide whether I want to pay for a copy of the birth certificate - probably not!

I found one or two other birth dates as well, but it is much easier where the person has an unusual name. My husband's father was Harry Fisher Taylor, and his brother Herbert Gate Taylor, so there was only one entry for each of them in the right place at the right time. I was not so lucky with the other two siblings, Frederick and Mary Isabel, as there were a number of entries to choose from for each. There's a peck of frustration for only a pinch of success in this game!