Hello! I took a wee break last week – it was my partner’s birthday, so we roped in grandparents and went on a break, just the two of us for our first child free holiday in over 7 years!
We headed west to beautiful Argyll and spent a long weekend relaxing in a beautiful and remote cottage. I was secretly hoping for terrible weather, so we wouldn’t have to leave the cottage (three words: copper clawfoot bathtub), but the rain stayed away, so we fitted in some archaeological adventures.
I’m so glad we did manage to venture out. My partner is big on his Neolithic history, so we explored the stone circles, cairns and other Neolithic and Bronze Age finds in the stunning Kilmartin Glen, where I took the photo above. It’s a truly fascinating place – there are over 800 ancient monuments within a 6-mile radius – and well worth a visit if you’re ever in the area.
In my youth I used to think that a holiday was only a holiday if you went abroad but really, there are some truly stunning places here in the UK – no flying required.
This week’s links:
1. MPs are investigating the impact of fast-fashion, and have been asking big-name retailers, such as Primark, to justify how they can sell £2 t-shirts.
2. The shops and the internet are full of “reindeer food” right now – usually, a mix of oats and glitter that you sprinkle on your lawn. If that’s a tradition you take part in on Christmas Eve, then the RSPCA are warning that this is dangerous to wildlife owing to the glitter. Try making your own this year for those hungry hardworking reindeer!
3. With Earth beset by conflict, climate change, pollution, and other ills, Anne Lamott asks: what better time to be hopeful?
“In the face of increased climate-related catastrophes—after I pass through the conviction that we are doomed, that these are End Times—I remember what Mister Rogers’s mother said: In times of disaster we look to the helpers. Look to the volunteers and aid organizations clearing away the rubble, giving children vaccines; to planes and trains and ships bringing food to the starving. Look at Desmond Tutu and Malala Yousafzai, Bill Gates and the student activists of Parkland, Florida; anyone committed to public health, teachers, and all those aging-hippie folk singer types who galvanized the early work of decontaminating the Hudson River”.
Anne Lamott has written a whole book on this: I can only find it in the UK here on Amazon*.
5. Britain’s first supermarket with a sizeable plastic-free zone has opened in London. Hopefully, it can become the norm, rather than the exception.
6. Trump’s administration finally acknowledged climate change but tried to bury it by releasing the report the day after Thanksgiving.
8. Germany has big plans, including taxing producers on their packaging. Products packed in less environmentally friendly packaging will incur larger fees. One can only hope this idea will make it’s way to the UK, where there is currently no penalty for manufacturers.
10. Finally, this is what community means.
Have a great Sunday! I’m going to do some Christmas shopping for my kids. Speaking of gifts, I’m running a fantastic fairtrade giveaway with Oxfam over on Instagram, where you can win a wonderful hamper packed full of fairtrade goodies that would make a lovely gift for a friend (or a gift to yourself!). Hurry, it closes today at 5pm!
PS: catch up on my last Ten Things post, from 18th November, here.