Optimistic for 2015?

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 14.32.33Despite being equally amused and depressed by Charlie Brooker’s 2014 Wipe last night (oooft, thanks a bundle Charlie), I noticed that even the angry man himself tried to look on the bright side for 2015 at the end (although the kaleidoscope of scary and tragic events already lined up did drag him back into Reasons To Be Fearful, 2014). However, I think there are a number of reasons to be cheerful for 2015; not least because of something I noticed on another of BBC2′ festive programmes, Christmas University Challenge. This episode featured Dr Helen Geake, alumni of York Uni, who annouced that she is standing for the Green Party in Bury St Edmunds in the next election. Yippee! Good news! This means that not only is voting Green/greenish an instinctive act of someone like myself (priorities: sort out the big issues of environment, health, energy, food, water access, inequality etc, rather than piddling about with marginal migrant caps in order to win votes), but also fits with the considered opinion of academic people too. So it makes sense to everyone then. Hurrah! Maybe trying to make the planet last a bit longer isn’t such a wacky and far-out idea! Maybe there are more of us than we think! Maybe voting Green is actually a realistic option after all!

So there’s that. Which is nice.  And also I’ve just put up my new wallplanner for 2015, detailing (roughly) the jobs for the year, including sowing crops, planting them out, getting the soil ready etc. Exciting times! Plus I’m now allowing myself to open up all the 2015 seed catalogues, so I can get ordering next week, ready for the first lot of seed sowing (at the end of January). I’ve decided to give up on outdoor carrots next year, and just to do early coloured carrots in the tunnel; I’m also ditching any brassicas other than kale and PSB; and doing far fewer French beans – so many more leeks instead, fennel, salds and herbs. Bring it on!


Politics, Storm Clouds & A Ray Of Sunshine

IMG_20140522_125820 copyI’m very proud to have voted Green in last week’s European election, and today I’m very happy that Dr Molly Scott Cato has been elected as the South West’s first MEP. Over the weekend it felt like a huge bank of oppressive political storm clouds were gathering as quickly as the real weather was changing, giving several rumbles of thunder on Friday and Saturday; the continued focus on UKIP made it very difficult to find out any election results that didn’t involve them and/or the thumping of the poor old Lib Dems in the local elections (by the way, Nick, if I didn’t vote Green, I’d have voted for you probably. Hope that helps).

Therefore I began to dread the results of the EU election… So I felt mahoosively relieved that as well as UKIP, Conservative and Labour MEPs, we now have a Green MEP representing us, and the interests of anyone at all interested in the climate and future (so strange that politics is so incredibly short-term now). It’s also good news that the Greens now have 3 MEPs, up from 2 last time. Turnout natiowide was only just 34% (!), and I know people who refused to vote, arguing that “that’ll show ’em” and that :”they’re all as bad as each other”. ??? How can saying nothing show anyone anything, when people don’t know what you’re saying nothing about? It’s not a one-to-one conversation; the political elite that they seem to be disgruntled with can have no idea what the issues that matter to you are if you say nothing. I’m with that advert from years ago, which said that if you don’t vote, then you can’t have an opinion on anything (economy, pub opening times, council issues, EU, immigration, food, law, wages, tax…). If you thing the system is wrong/rotten/unworkable, then change it! Start your own party, stand as an independent, campaign for a little-know existing party, revive None Of The Above from Brewsters’ Millions, whatever: otherwise you run the risk of looking lazy, ignorant and like you’re talking out of the wrong orifice.

IMG_20140523_161751 copyI also completely agree with Zoe Williams, who marvelled at the lack of media coverage of the Green in the run-up to the election, despite positive polling stats; every time I switched on a radio, TV or picked up a paper, it was all about UKIP. She suggests that this isn’t necessarily political bias; it’s simply the (mistaken?) notion that Farage = a good story. Was anyone else completely bored of this story months ago? I wonder if some people voted purple because that was the only party they’d heard of?

ANYway, congratulations again to Molly; and here’s to positive policies winning the day. Talking of positive action, we’ve been putting up the new small polytunnel that I was given last year by a kindly neighbour; the frame is up, the new door frames are in, and I’ve just finished digging the trench for the plastic skin. Meanwhile I’ve found a piece of Mypex to put down and keep the flipping couch grass away – the frames are small so I’m planning on trialling this tunnel as no-dig. Plus the last of the tomatoes and peppers are in the Marmalade tunnel, and the first lot are starting to take off a bit now, and needed a quick side-shooting on Friday. Soon that will be a fortnightly chore; but I can’t wait!

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