Oil, are you fracking kidding me

Sustainability and the real challenges facing planet earth – as the Martians would say, “planet earth is doomed it has a terminal infestation of of humanity”

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Our garden haven

We have now lived at our present house for well over a decade.

I am a lazy gardener, my wife is a green fingered wonder.

We seem to be in a rare minority these days, everyone else is chopping their trees down, we look after all self planting newcomers. Newly accumulated self planted are 3 lilacs, a goat willow, a pear and an apple tree all in the rear garden. In the front we have a Hawthorn and a small cherry.

For about 5 years we have gradually increased our bird feeders, nuts, seed, sunflower and a few others. We now have about 20 different birds visiting the garden, many of which I’m sure have survived the winter only because we chose to supply food. Our garden is such a flutter with birds with now have a regular sparrowhawk that visits to feed.

In a world where most people are increasingly impatient and unhelpful to other humans, I wonder how many people make similar choices or simply think that material things are more important?

We have just decided to install solar panels on our roof, it is a decision that if considered over a 10 year period is just plainly good sense. Until the end of June the tariff is higher and the 25 year income is tax-free. Surprisingly the costs have declined dramatically, about 40% since we had a quote a year ago. It is another decision my good lady and I are delighted to have made.

As Dad used to say “if you get it for nought, it is usually a good deal” and with electricity rising each year the benefits will be amazing in the long-term.

Our small pond which was created from our sons sand pit, now has newts, frogs and pond skaters and always provides a good bathing place for the birds. Our original apple tree is gradually dying but is loved by woodpeckers, tree creepers and robins for all the bugs burying into the dead wood.

Life is very special, and watching our wildlife thrive in out little haven makes my life much better, but how many still appreciate these free gems of nature? Life in the fast lane quite often leads to crashes, so I gladly live my life in the slow lane. I’m often asked what I do, but I’m never asked what I add to the world. When we pass through life perhaps it is time to decide what truly matters to us. Most people when asked simply blurt out money, cars, or things, but if they received all those things tomorrow would they be any happier? As a baby boomer I was lucky enough to realise I derive my pleasure from people, relationships and those things for which I have passion.

If you have a passion for your garden please add your thoughts.

As ever, Simon

House Prices and Feeding the birds

I’m passionate about birds, in a quiet way. I feed them in our garden and watch them with the binoculars whilst on holiday. With the increasingly “couch potatoe” society I wonder how many kids do not realise the power of watching life in all its spleandour. I feel even our kids wonder why are so excited by the frenzy of activity on our bird feeders. As Cheryl makes our breakfast I get a report on which birds have appeared that morning. When we peaked at 14 Goldfinches (one of my wife’s favourites) last year, we knew we were at least attracting birds. 12 feeding simultaneously is now common place.

We’ve lived here for nearly two decades, and during that time we have watched the trees and bushes, the shrubs and plants relentlessly be removed and slaughtered in the majority of our neighbour’s houses. The question in my mind is “What is more attractive a house with a paved front and a lawned rear, or a house with  two gardens. One of our neighbours has just decided to move. Before putting the house up for sale, all trees in the front, and all shrubs have been removed, leaving the picture on the agents sales site looking almost as if the house is fronted by the pavement. For my part, seeing that picture, I would simply move on to the next offering, but is reality different, are buyers after a simple life rather than an idyllic life?

I’ll update you on the sale as and when it goes through.

Should you be in the UK and needing bird seed, here’s another supplier that delivers bird food, bird seed and accessories for feeding wild birds.