Families, Life & Style, Whole Family

What We’re Watching

the repair shop
Image: Jolly Roger Accordions

How are you doing? No, how are you really doing?

We are hanging in there. Tempers get frayed and there is a lot of asking for snacks. We try to video call family everyday, and most of all, there is a lot of TV watching, which I have accepted as par for the course.

Here are a few things that we are watching – for grownups and for kids – when I’m not watching some of my favourites (I may be one of the few still really enjoying Homeland). These all have a nod to sustainability, so are basically educational, right?

The Repair Shop

If you haven’t seen The Repair Shop before then you are in for a treat. I flipping love this show. Described as an antidote to throwaway culture, The Repair Shop brings together a team of Britain’s most skilled and caring craftspeople, who lovingly and painstakingly rescue and resurrect items their owners thought were beyond saving. Together they transform priceless pieces of family history and bring loved, but broken treasures, and the memories they hold back to life.  I would say they work actual magic.

Find it: BBC iPlayer

Blue Planet II

This stunning nature documentary narrated by David Attenborough is a treat for the eyes. Exquisitely filmed, it’s an amazing look into our fragile marine environments and the wildlife who reside here.

The final episode focuses on the environmental impact of plastic waste, and really is a must-watch. This episode, in particular, takes an unflinching look at the impact of human activity on marine life, with David Attenborough delivering a powerful rallying call to do more to protect the environment.

Find it: BBC iPlayer

Junk Rescue

If you have kids, then Junk Rescue is a great one to get their creative juices flowing. Combining traditional crafts and creative child-led makes, Junk Rescue makes sustainability fun, showing how the things we throw away can be turned into something useful. I love how it helps kids (and grownups!) to see the value in repurposing and repairing disposable items, and you and your kids might get some ideas for some fun makes!

Find it: BBC iPlayer

Molly & Mack

Molly & Mack isn’t explicitly about sustainability, but it is clearly there in the background. I personally love that it isn’t shouting about sustainability but just quietly trying to normalise it.

Molly and Mack tells the story of eight-year-old Molly and her 18-year-old brother Mack, who runs a vintage toy and record stall in The Big Hub – an indoor community market. The series follows Molly’s fun adventures with Mack, her friends and the eccentric but loving group of people who run the various secondhand stalls and community facilities.

Championing recycling and reuse, Molly and Mack really highlights the efforts of a small community can take to improve their lives by hard work and through the love of others.

Find it: BBC iPlayer

What are you watching right now?


Ten Things Is On A Break

I have tried to write this post about a hundred times over. Trying to find a hundred clever ways to simply say that Ten Things is taking a break. Its return was fleeting, but with coronavirus ravaging our communities, all news is quite rightly so focused on this immediate threat.

The environmental news that is coming out at the moment – celebrating reduced air pollution levels, cleaner water, and so forth because of coronavirus – makes me feel sick to my stomach. This isn’t the environmentalism I have committed my life to. Celebrating short-term environmental ‘wins’ at the expense of loss of human life across the globe should never be something we rejoice in, and not something I want to share here in this space. Before you share a ‘good news’ post about how clear the water in Venice is, please watch this for some perspective on this.

Whilst Ten Things is on a break, I do plan on trying to carry on the rest of the blog as normal the best I possibly can without being too tone-deaf. Like so many others, my day job is looking precarious. If you are in this situation or have already lost your job then my thoughts are very much with you.

I also don’t know about you, but to me, some normalcy in these tumultuous times feels welcome. Many (far too many) members of my family fall into the high-risk coronavirus category through a matter of age, or underlying health conditions, or both. We’re staying well away from them all, which is painful in itself, so some diversion from having to think about this helps, as does the wonder of video calls.

Blog posting will be light. Like all parents of school-aged children, my two children are at home from both school and nursery indefinitely, and so my partner and I are attempting some, shall we say loose, form of home-schooling with them whilst we both try and work our day jobs. I have no tips for this at the moment other than our expectations are low! I can write more about this in the coming weeks – what’s working for us and what’s not – if it’s of interest?

In the meantime please take care of yourselves, your loved ones and your communities, and please please stay home if you can to help stop the virus from spreading. For our super-hero NHS staff, and other key workers and front-line employees who can’t stay at home – thank you for all that you do to keep the rest of us healthy, safe, and fed. Staying at home is the very least that we can do to help you.

Sending much love,