Monday, 15 October 2007

Breaking free

Well, She Who is Constantly Chained To Her Desk is breaking free at last. Hooray.

I’m off to Scotland for a few days to stay with lovely artist friend Rachel, and hoping to fit in a whole day in Edinburgh (art galleries, shops, gardens, architecture . . . bliss) and another exploring the wonderful coastline north of Eyemouth. I absolutely can’t wait - and indeed won’t have to for very much longer.

However, this Slightly Big Adventure comes at a price: it’s being paid for in advance with a frantic day’s work - tying up loose ends and getting all my publishing projects into to a state where they can chug along elsewhere for a while in my absence. This is one of the many ‘joys’ [pause for manic laughter] of self-employment. One can’t down tools at 5 pm and say to a colleague, ‘I’m on holiday now, so please take care of everything while I’m away’. Because nobody will. And a couple of my clients have responded fairly peevishly: time off? without asking me? in the middle of a production schedule? what can you be thinking of? how will this impact on our publication date?

Yes, I know, I’m so very irresponsible – taking [unpaid] time out for a [four-day] break when my last proper holiday was . . . um . . . . let me see . . . oh yes! Two years ago! You can see their point, can’t you? I really push my luck sometimes.

Thankfully, the majority have been accommodating and kind, and their good wishes will help to speed me on my way.

As my contribution to Blog Action Day for the Environment, I had been meaning to put together a post about the Rising Sea Levels and Their Projected Impact on Estuarine Saltmarshes, with particular reference to those on the Muddy Island. The Blackwater estuary, in which the island sits, is one of the top ten estuaries in Western Europe as a wildlife habitat, and a large proportion of it has SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) status. The Mersea saltmarshes form part of the Eastern Atlantic Flyway, which is a migration route for millions of seabirds, stretching from Siberia to South Africa, among them the Brent Geese which have prompted several of my previous posts in the last few weeks. As always, the very best place to read about – and see wonderful photos of - the wildlife and landscapes of Mersea is Dougal’s blog, which I can't recommend highly enough if you want to get a feel for the less populated eastern end of the Muddy Island.

I feel really bad about this, but I just haven’t had time to knit all my Blog Action Day for the Environment notes into publishable form. Luckily, some of my favourite bloggers have not been so remiss. You can read Blog Action Day posts on 60goingon16; RandomDistractions; and Shedworking; and you can see here a complete list of the 15,861 blogs which signed up to join in – reaching an estimated combined readership of 12,697,713 people across the globe.

Blogger has posted this list of particularly environmentally friendly blogs:

Cleantech Blog - Commentary on technologies, news, and issues relating to next generation energy and the environment.
The Conscious Earth - Earth-centered news for the health of air, water, habitat and the fight against global warming.
Earth Meanders - Earth essays placing environmental sustainability within the context of other contemporary issues.
Environmental Action Blog - Current environmental issues and green energy news.
The Future is Green - Thoughts on the coming of a society that is in balance with nature.
The Green Skeptic - Devoted to challenging assumptions about how we live on the earth and protect our environment.
Haute*Nature - Ecologically based creative ideas, art & green products for your children, home and lifestyle, blending style with sustainability.
The Lazy Environmentalist - Sustainable living made easy.
Lights Out America - A grassroots community group organizing nationwide energy savings events.
The Nature Writers of Texas - The best nature writing from the newspaper, magazine, blog and book authors of the Lone Star State.
Rachel Carson Centennial Book Club - Considering the legacy of Rachel Carson's literary and scientific contributions with a different book each month.
Sustainablog - News, information and personal meanderings related to environmental and economic sustainability, green and sustainable business, and environmental politics.
These Come From Trees - An experiment in environmentalism, viral marketing, and user interface design with the goal of reducing consumer waste paper.

And these aren't blogs but here are two of my very favourite environmentally friendly products, which I'm always bleating about but I'll do it again today, with no apologies:

Sheep Poo Paper (and coming soon, for Christmas, Reindeer Poo Paper).

And Coconoil. Founded by a former disaster emergency expert who took part in the relief effort in Sri Lanka after the Tsunami, Coconoil has encouraged sustainable coconut farming on the west coast of Sri Lanka, using traditional methods and absolutely no pesticides. Based on the passionate belief that commerce and compassion can work hand in hand on a global basis, Coconoil provides stable employment and fairly traded export revenues and brings us a wonderful multi-purpose product, with health benefits both a food and externally applied for hair and skin. Without a doubt one of Mother Nature's miracle cure-all substances. As recommended quite noisily by myself, and also in the excellent Imperfectly Natural Woman .

"If you’d like to feel good about yourself and save the planet – read this book". Zac Goldsmith. The Ecologist


monix said...

If this is what you produce when you have no time to publish a post, I can't imagine what you might have achieved! Thanks for the product links, I'll be investigating them.

I hope you have a good break. I envy you your day in Edinburgh - one of my favourite cities. I look forward to lots of photos on your return.

Juliet said...

Thanks. This didn't require any coherent thinking, whereas what I'd been planning to write did! I will post that gingerbread recipe when I get back - I'm even inspired to make some myself. If it turns out well I'll take a pic!

60GoingOn16 said...

I can only echo Monix's comments, Juliet, too early for any original thinking on my part! Thank you so much for this post, Juliet, and for the invaluable links.

Give my love to Edinburgh, which is where my beautiful, black rehomed Labrador hails from. His deep, soft bark - heard only rarely - is distinctly Celtic, or so he reminds me from time to time.

Anonymous said...

Juliet, I agree with Monix that was some post - mine was just a couple of photos of the harlequin ladybird invader I found in the garden here. Hope you have a really good trip and I liked your friend's beautiful artwork.