Feed the Birds: Part 1

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Green Lizard's Blog

The weather is changing. Although it’s still warm we’ve noticed that the mild spring has brought many of our crops at the allotment on early.

So that has meant that some foods aren’t available now as they’ve already finished fruiting.

It made me think about the wild birds. There’s some varying view points about feeding wild birds. My viewpoint is simple. The presence of people in large numbers has impacted on bird populations. This means that human habitats have wiped out bird habitats which reduces food availability.

There’s also huge amounts of domestic cats preying on wild bird populations. While cats can catch birds the significant numbers of cats in our neighborhood do make the odds for the wild birds pretty unfair.

Song bird populations in Western Europe are also declining. The changes to temperature have affected the life cycles of the caterpillars they rely on to feed their young…

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Festival of Thrift Interviews-John Orchard


My Make Do and Mend Year

Well, I promised you interviews with the people behind the Festival of Thrift, so here goes….

Today, my Jeremy Paxman style questions are being directed to John Orchard-owner of the Festival venue Lingfield Point, and co-curator of the Festival:

John Orchard Photo credit: The Festival of Thrift John Orchard
Photo credit: The Festival of Thrift

1) Can you tell us a little bit about you, and your involvement with the Festival of Thrift?
I’m a Director of Marchday, the company who have upcycled the wool factory buildings at Lingfield Point Darlington into these cool workspaces. I met Wayne and Gerardine (Hemingway) a few years ago, they loved the place and the Festival of Thrift was born!

2) The Festival of Thrift seems to have really caught people’s imaginations and last year’s inaugural event was hugely successful. Why do you think it has such appeal?
I think Thrift is relevant to everyone, whether out of necessity or lifestyle choice…

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Holding out for a pea!



A day like this feels like we are all doomed! A day like this feels like we are all doomed!

I am watching rain going across the hills in the distance sideways and now it is so heavy I can’t see the hills at all.  Seriously, when is all this going to stop!  There is water everywhere.  The ground is sodden and I don’t think it can take much more.  In the last three days we have had over 40mm of rain, but not that solid steady rain that the ground can absorb drop by drop.  We have been getting 15 minute periods of what feels like someone pouring water from a large bucket.  Then the wind moves the clouds on and the sun comes out and you think – ‘oh well that was that’.  So I pop on my gumboots and head out into the garden to inspect the depth of waterlogging, only to get caught in the next…

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Local cinema / library

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Green Lizard's Blog

I’ve written a few posts about live entertainment and theatre and the joy of experience over shopping and buying things.

I’d forgotten to mention another great contributor to experience over ownership.

The Library

It’s a place to borrow books, films and other media so that one copy can then be enjoyed by many people. Brilliant recycling!

Our library has some key additional features. IMG_7732.JPG
notice that Romans means Novels in Dutch.


Behind these women drinking a nice glass of wine (in the library, in the evening!) there’s a little door.


You can just make out from my blurred handiwork the sign on the door. It says Filmzaal. Yes, there’s a cinema in our library.

It specialises in smaller budget films and interesting topics. It has two screenings a week and a healthy attendance.

The room is small but has a great screen and real cinema style seating. It’s a…

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A jar full

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Green Lizard's Blog

I posted a while ago about using jam jars for drinking glasses.

I’ve now got a new colleague who has another really good jar idea.


A simple, yet brilliant, idea.

She carries this as a drinking water ‘bottle’. The wide opening allows the addition of refreshing fruits and leaves.

No fancy plastic water bottles, no cost, recycling and a great healthy option.

Look what I’ve got. A big soup jar.

I think I’ll be putting lemon and mint in mine!

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Negotiating with Cookies #22 – A Walk with Fleegle

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Gnawing the Bone

While on a walk, Fleegle trotting along at my side, we pass a man walking his dog. The dog pulls against a too short of a leash while the man stares at his phone with his head down and ear buds plugged into his ears.

“Why does that man have a dog?” Fleegle asks. “Is he walking his dog or his phone? Why doesn’t he put his television in a shopping cart and take it for a walk?”

“I hate to tell you this Fleegle, but he’s watching television on his phone.”

“No kidding? You can do that? Can you do that on your phone?”

“I’ve got an old phone,” I say.

“Well if you get a new one you’re going to wish you kept your old one.”


But Fleegle ignores my question as he sniffs at the base of a fire hydrant.

Continuing our walk, we pass a…

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Waste Less Live More Week

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My Make Do and Mend Year

Hurray ,it’s back!
It doesn’t seem like a whole year since last year’s Waste Less Live More Week, but it is!

WLLM wk logo
Last year was all about Better Food for All, and if you missed it, and have a burning desire to read them, you can see my posts here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here!

This year, the theme is Be Resourceful, which sounds a teeny bit like it might be right up my street!

On the Waste Less, Live More site, it says that “Being resourceful is about finding new, creative and inventive ways to live better, within our means.”
I couldn’t agree more!

Waste Less Live More Week 2014 runs from the 22nd-28th September, and each day there is a Challenge-as with last year, I’m planning to blog everyday about the challenges, and my take on them.

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