Tuesday, 23 March 2010

My kinda town!

So, we're off! Transition Town Wirksworth here we come! A packed meeting full of enthusiastic, upbeat people who want to make our town into a green utopia. Sounds good to me! My favourite bit was the idea that we should have lots of fun events that helps the community to come together. So, veg swaps, skills swaps, tool swaps..all those sort of pooling of resources sounds like an ideal way to start us off. But I also liked the idea that we could find out what one thing people go to supermarkets for and then see if the shops in town can supply them. We have a fabulous array of independent shops but there is an odd thing you can't get here so if we tell them what those things are, then maybe they can supply them. But it was a really upbeat, inspiring meeting, so I'll keep you in touch.

Monday, 22 March 2010

gardening help for jam

We've got our first major Transition Towns meeting tonight and I'm talking about the economy. I'm hoping that people will come up with loads of ideas but I'm starting off with the Letts Scheme which I heard about years ago, where you swap skills, knowledge and help. It is such a brilliant idea. It's breathtakingly simple..you just offer what you're good at or what you like doing and then use other people to fill the gaps to help with what you hate or aren't good at and there's no money involved.

That might mean I can get help and advice with my veg patch, but I can help people write a difficult letter. It means that Grannies can help teenagers with advice on how to deal with difficult parents (!); older people can find out that young people in hoodies can actually help you set up a conversation with your grandchildren in Australia without mugging you and stealing your pension; gardening help can be swapped for car maintenance; ironing can be swapped for babysitting..the possibilities are endless and not a penny changes hands. It brings the community together, makes them all feel valued and we all get those irritating jobs done! Perfect.

I also want to stress how lucky we are in Wirksworth that we have such a brilliant range of independent shops. I save a fortune by shopping in town which is against everyone's perception of local shops. By only buying what I need I save masses of money. I think we need to start to value that and pledge to support our local services more and maybe have a loyalty scheme.

It's all really exciting and I hope people will be inspired. I'll let you know.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Transition Town here we come!

Wirksworth is going to be a Transition Town! How exciting is that? We are going to look at ways to be sustainable in transport, food, renewable energy, housing developments, improving the natural environment, reducing/re-using and recycling,local enconomy. But the one that made me woop with delight was the developing community/having fun one.


Isn't this what it's all about?

As we all tucked into cake and slurped our tea, we all bonded as members of a vibrant community. We planned, we wrote lists, we got inspired.

It's fun to be green, no really, Mr Daily Mail reader who worries about microchips in bins, it is. It gets you together with your neighbours, it saves you money and it opens up all sorts of opportunities..what's not to like?

So, I'll keep you in touch with how we get on. First, we have to inspire the rest of the town in a meeting to show them the vision of what we can become. Then we have to do it.

That's it then. Sorted.

Oh, and I meant to let you know what my floppy leeks were like..well, they tasted fine in a soup, but I'm not sure whether they would have graced a dinner table. But maybe some help in growing my veg is something we ought to put on our list for Transition Towns.

Maxim for the day: I've had a fabulous life, I just wish I'd realised it earlier: Colette.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Is London recreating Logan's Run world?

Just been to London for the weekend and there are two words to describe it--both beginning with ex---exhausting and expensive! Still, it gives a hick towner like me a kick up the backside occasionally to go and see how the other half live and the National Gallery and Portrait Gallery were fab..and free. How lucky are we to have that free facility?

But what did interest me was the trendy world my sister and I infiltrated on Saturday night following in the wake of 20 something offspring. The crowds almost parted like the Red Sea as these two women of a "certain age" came in. We could have been from another planet.

I looked round and realised that most of London after 9pm on a Saturday night is between the ages of 20 and 30. There are no old people. On Saturday afternoon, we'd been to the Albert Hall and there had been children there! My daughter realised she never sees children..that they're squirrelled away somewhere most of the time.

The last time I went, my daughter and I found an elderly lady holding onto a wall. She'd felt dizzy as she tried to cross the road. We insisted on escorting her to the pub she wanted to go to, and one she obviously went to on a regular basis to have a Guinness but when we got there, it was a trendy bar with no room for a little old lady who just wanted to see something else apart from the four walls of her flat on a Saturday night.

I worried all night about her. London is not for the infirm, the little or the incapable. It is like the film Logan's Run, where they got rid of anyone who was over 30, if I remember rightly.

All the way home, I found myself quietly singing "Streets of London". It is too close to the truth.

How can people care about the planet when they don't even see the people less able than they are?