Monday, 15 October 2007

Blog Action Day - 15 October 2007

This post is part of Blog Action Day : thousands of blogs talking about the environment on 15 October.

I am trying to do my little bit to make a difference. Every year on World Environment Day I struggle to find a new pledge to agree to as I do everything I can to reduce, reduce, recycle, etc. We have facilities locally to recycle paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, metals, wood, textiles. I compost vegetable and garden waste, I cycle to work and have replaced light bulbs with energy savings bulbs. I try to dispose of unwanted items to charity shops or through Freecycle rather than sending them to landfill.

But having read so many amazing blogs by people who are really making big changes in their lives, I realise that I have a long way to go. I so admire those who spin and weave, keep chickens and have allotments, growing a wide range of fruit and vegetables. I can't do all of these things (at least not while I have to work full time to keep up the mortgage payments), but I am going to keep on trying to do more.

Let's hope that Blog Action Day increases awareness of environmental concerns.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

What did I just say????

Exactly this (only not quite so eloquently perhaps).

The Lovely World of Blogging

Or not so lovely it seems...

I read a broad range of (what I think are) very interesting blogs - my favourites are crafty and creative like Julie and Simmy or "green" and frugal living like Rhonda Jean, Meredith and Willow. I'm not religious, but I do read a lot of Christian blogs (because they have interesting things to say or are just very nice people) such as Marie and Jess. I like knitters, weavers and spinners, people who make bags and embroider, people who bake from scratch (is there any other way?) and I love to read foodie blogs such as Tea and get lots of ideas and recipes from so many different places. I like to hear about the ups and downs of people's lives and family situations, marvel at their creativity and learn so very many useful things. I even recently discovered Google Reader and saved myself hours (I know, I'm a bit slow on the uptake...), and I'm adding new feeds every day.
BUT, I feel so sad that people feel they have the right to criticise other bloggers. I have seen some very hurt feelings being expressed following some nasty comments and sadly some wonderful people have stopped blogging altogether (Natalie at Isabella in the 21st Century for one - and missed so very much).

I've seen some unbelievably evil comments made to people who've expressed horror at the war in Iraq (by Americans who presumably believe it is patriotic to send young men and women away to die for a conflict none of us should be involved in). If people want to "home-school" or be a stay at home mum, or make jam or conserve energy or buy exclusively from charity shops and boot sales (and blog about it) they should be allowed to do so.

It isn't the criticism itself that is the issue, but the sheer unpleasantness. I have been lucky and not received any negative comments (maybe because I don't say much and hardly anyone reads my little blog!) - but some people out there are making extremely hurtful comments, and causing a great deal of unhappiness. All I want to say to them is IF YOU DON'T AGREE WITH IT, DON'T READ IT. Just as you can turn off your television or radio if you don't like what you hear or see, you can also turn off your computer (or do something else like play online games or shop on EBay).

On the positive side of blogging, it warmed my heart to see how much support
Jane received from her readers after the vitriolic article in the Telegraph, and the enormous outpouring of sympathy when Alicia's dog died (and the hundreds of welcome comments when her new puppy arrived) was truly amazing and the unbelievable generosity towards Rachael when her cat Digit came back from the dead!

So it's not all bad...

If people do feel motivated to make critical comments, they should first consider what damage they might be inflicting. Here is an interesting item about how to give kind criticism - I also love all the useful tips I can pick up here about how to declutter and simplify my life (though I don't know if I can manage this , only 100 personal possessions? - I could manage to get down to 1,000 maybe!).

On a happy note - it was my birthday on Monday and these are just some of the lovely presents I received from my two wonderful, generous and amazing children:

But best of all was a lovely day out with my daughter - we went to the RSPB reserve on the Stour Estuary near Wrabness, followed by a lovely pub lunch. I love autumn, and crunching through the leaves underfoot was just heavenly.