Saturday, 30 November 2013

Sustainably sourced Christmas Cards


Back in 2011, BFTF went off to ASDA to buy some Christmas cards, but could not find any that were made of sustainably sourced card (such as recycled or FSC certified), so sent off this message:
Dear Asda,
It is great to see that there are a number of paper based products as ASDA are made from sustainable sourced (e.g. FSC certified) paper. So imagine my surpise when I visited my local store to buy some Christmas cards and could not find any sustainably sourced cards. And if they aren't made with sustainably sourced paper, then they are probably made with UNsustainably sourced paper, a chopped down rainforest perhaps?

So I went to Sainsburys where, to my delight, all the cards were made with FSC certified paper (and were very reasonably priced too). As is often the case, I bought some other goods at the same time.

ASDA, for the sake of gettting your cards made with cheaper card you lost out on a bunch of other high margin purchases and left me thinking that you have a character that is more like Ebenezer Scrooge than Bob Cratchit.

I would urge you to reconsider your purchasing policies in this area for next year, so that I can buy Christmas cards from ASDA with a clear conscience.

Sustainably sourced cards from Sainsburys.


Whereas UNsustainably sourced cards might be made by doing this to a natural forest

BFTF also sent an email to Sainsburys thanking them for stocking FSC certified Christmas cards and also emails to some local churches asking whether they had considered challenging retailers on this issue.

UPDATE : 20th Dec 2011:Received a very quick response from ASDA saying that:
"... I've passed your comments and observation over to our Buying Team, here at Asda House for them to be aware and to consider stocking sustainably sourced Christmas cards across our stores. They'll bear this in mind and for their future consideration for next year... "

It't worth noting that previous guests on the BFTF radio shown have commented that it can take as little as half a dozen letters to make a company change its policies.

UPDATE : 09 DEC 2012:Tried to get local churches interested in this again this year but only one Church replied and the dialogue kinda fizzled. The Christian-Muslim Forum suggested that it might be worth contacting denominations, rather than churches...

Update : Dec 2012: The Quakers promptly replied and said that :
"It is not an issue we are working on, nor one we probably have the capacity to work on the future, though I do agree it would be a great little campaign! And potentially quite winnable I would think. You may be interested in the work of ECCR (the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility): www.eccr.org.uk [who]are focused on holding companies to account, so may chime with your interests more broadly..."
Update Apr 2013: Following emails in Dec12, Jan13, Feb13, Mar 13, Mar13(again) the Methodist Church finally got back to BFTF saying that they had sent an email to ASDA and received a response similar to that of BFTF, but including comments appreciative of the query coming well in advance of Christmas in order that there is time for the suggestion to be implemented.

Sustainable Christmas Cards 2013
In terms of the sustainability of the card used in the own-brand Christmas card ranges being sold by the major supermarkets it is clear that some companies are doing a much better job than others:

Sainsbury's use sustainably sourced FSC certifed card. Well Done !
Sainsbury's : FSC certified card used throughout! Well Done!

M&S also from sustainable FSC certifed card. Well Done !
M&S cards made with sustainable, FSC certified, card. Well done!

Co-op also use sustainable FSC certifed card. Well Done ! 
Co-op cards made with sustainable, FSC certified card. Well done!

John Lewis also use FSC certifed card, according to the FSC. Well Done !

TescoAfter being challenged, Tesco say they use FSC stock but don't state this on the cards
Tesco do use FSC stock, it seems.

Asda DON'T seem to be using sustainably sourced card. Oh dear.
Asda : No evidence that sustainably sourced card has been used.

So it's pretty clear where to get your Christmas cards from if you want to support sustianable forestry and reduce deforestation.

Update 13th Dec: Having had no response from Asda on Twitter, decided to take it to the next level and started a Change.org petition. Would be great if you could sign!

https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/asda-ceo-andy-clarke-use-sustainable-fsc-certified-or-recycled-stock-for-the-christmas-cards-asda-will-sell-in-the-run-up-to-christmas-2014

Friday, 29 November 2013

Recipe - Easy Rice and Sardines

Just knocked up an ad-hoc dish while on the "9 Dirham Survival Challenge" and found that tasted unexpectedly delicious, so though it might be worth sharing. A real surprise to see how the warm rice and sardines contrasted with the fresh and juicy tomato. A real garlic bread moment.

Easy Rice and Sardines

Ingredients
Rice
Tin of Sardines
One firm tomato
Oil

NB: Sardines are not an overfished species, but many other species are. BFTF always looks for the MSC logo when buying Tuna, Cod, Mackeral etc. See here for a related post)

Procedure
a) Boil the rice in your preferred manner.
b) Meanwhile take the bones out of the sardines and dice the tomato
c) Once the rice is cooked, transfer to a frying pan and add a little oil, the sardines and diced tomato
d) Fry for a few minutes.

Easy Rice and Sardines

The dish rates as "EASY" on the BFTF Washing Up Index

See also the RECIPES post for other easy recipes to try, both sweet and savoury.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Why Your Community Group Needs a Blog.

Something their members can share with friends and showcase all the cool stuff you do.

A record of what the group has done.

Something the organisers can use to get others to get involved.

Something to show wider society what you are doing (esp important for sterotyped BME groups)

Something to use as a marketing tool when dealing with the council etc.

Something to shame those who should be supporting you into actually doing so (esp important for communities whose elders are wedded to the past instead of looking to the future

Something to use as a reference when sharing ideas with other groups

Something to show young people how positive an effect volunteering can have.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

What do we mean by "best"?

BFTF recently received a message on his Facebook timeline from someone asking, perfectly reasonably, if anyone knew who were the "best designers/suppliers" of a particular type of clothing.

Which left BFTF wondering what we mean by "best"?

Is the best company the one with the brightest colours? The widest range? The lowest prices? The strongest fabric and stitching?

Or is it the company that pays its workers a living wage? That uses fairtrade cotton? That ensures is literature is printed on sustainably sourced paper?

It can be hard to do the right thing, for many reasons - but it costs nothing to at least ask questions when making purchases, and it lets the supplier know that these are issues you care about.

Cotton picking in India, 2005

Image Source:Wikipedia

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Israr Raja and the "9 Dirham Survival Challenge"

BFTF recently received a message from Israr Raja, a Lancastrian with a big heart and a warm smile, who is currently working in Al Ain, UAE .

It turns out that Israr, together with his friend and neighbour Nicolas Wavrin, have decided to raise awareness of how difficult life can be for many around the world by embarking on a "9 Dirham Survival Challenge"...

The Issue
Almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day (approximately 9 dirham). There are 2.2 billion children in the world of which 1 billion are living in poverty.

The Challenge
Starting on "Universal Childrens Day" (20th November), the "9 dirham survival challenge’ is an experience to attempt to understand partly what life is like for people living in poverty in our world by living on 9 dirham a day for 30 days. It is important to remember that in reality most people are relying on this amount to cover all living costs and not just food. However, in the challenge the 9 dirham will cover food alone, no other living expenses included.

The aim is to raise awareness of issues of poverty around the world; to inspire young and old to join in this movement to become more mindful citizens and to support Dubai Cares in their work to make life easier for children in education across the world.

How you can follow
To keep up to date with how their challenge is going visit their blog :
http://www.9dirhamsurvivalchallenge.wordpress.com

How you can support
Why not try to survive for a few days on 9 Dirhams (about £1.50) per day? It would be great to hear how you get on and what your thought are. (BFTF will try to live on £1.50 a day for a week starting Monday 25th Nov).

You may wish to think about what structural problems are causing so many to live in such difficult circumstances (Trade barriers? Lack of a living wage? Government corruption? Something else?) and lobby to let those in power know how you feel.

You can donate at Israr's JustGiving page :
http://www.justgiving.com/9dirhamsurvivalchallenge
Proceeds go to Dubai Cares, a charity who work in countries as diverse as Haiti, Angola and Indonesia and run programs to improve access to primary education by focussing on four key components: School Infrastructure; School Health & Nutrition; Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) in Schools; and Quality of Education.

BFTF joins Israr for Day 6 of the Challenge
BFTF has decided to join Isar for a week of his "9 Dirham Challenge" which involves trying to survive on food that costs just 9 Dirhams (~£1.50) a day,

BFTF's food today was half a fruit loaf (~40p) nibble on during work and a plate of porridge and a little jam in the evening (~50p) Also had a few cups of tea at work, which BFTF is classing as "free" although for many people around the world, both beverages and water have a significant cost...

Porridge is something that BFTF has only very recently re-discovered, after being given a small sachet from a vegan co-worker. BFTF very quickly moved on from that to buying a packet of ASDA own brand porridge oats and is becoming an increasingly fervent fan of the food. Kids weren't impressed though....

Meanwhile, back at the 9 Dirham Challenge HQ, Israr seems to have cooked up a rather nice egg and potato curry - but will his money last out the week???

BFTF's Evening meal : Porridge with milk and a little strawberrry jam

BFTF joins Israr for Day 7 of the Challenge
BFTF has decided to join Isar for a week of his "9 Dirham Challenge" which involves trying to survive on food that costs just 9 Dirhams (~£1.50) a day,

Today, BFTF finished off the last few slices of his fruit loaf at work (~30p)...

The last slice of fruitloaf. . .

And had a tin of lentil soup (~55p) for lunch, adding some zing with a strong dash of Worcestershire Sauce, the king of condiments. Below is a picture of the tin, because lentil soup itself is not the most photogenic dish on God's earth. It was, however, very delicious...

Lentil Soup, suitable spiced up, is delicious, nutritious, low fat, and economical

And in the evening it was porridge, milk and jam again. Having run out of jam, BFTF needed to buy another jar, and wondered whether to go for the "Smart Price" jam at 29p a jar (containing 25g fruit per 100g jam) or the ordinary Asda own brand at 89p a jar (containing 35g of fruit per 100g jam). BFTF decided to go for the economy grade - which turned out to be more of a smooth paste, without any identifiable bits of fruit in it at all. Weird. Was expecting FEWER bits of fruit, but not none at all.

Smart Price at 29p or Ordinary Own Brand at 89p?

It is worth pointing out that, while BFTF has at least a fighting chance of eating on £1.50 a day, this wage often has to cover all living expenses, including those of dependents.

If BFTF had to find travel expenses, or fuel expenses, or feed a dependent, or pay rent from that £1.50 a day he would be TOAST - and that is the scary part.

Meanwhile, back at the 9 Dirham Challenge HQ, today sees Israr only having enough money for a little yogurt and little milk. But at least this is the last day of the week, so some more money coming in tomorrow.

Of course, Israr is (hopefully) in the position of being able to rely on being paid on time. Many workers aren't so lucky.

BFTF joins Israr for Day 8 of the Challenge
BFTF has decided to join Isar for a week of his "9 Dirham Challenge" which involves trying to survive on food that costs just 9 Dirhams (~£1.50) a day,

This seems to have caught the imagination of co-workers, with a number asking how the callenge is going whether BFTF has corralled the rest of the family into taking part (he hasn't) and what the "rules" are (can BFTF eat roadkill? (no), what about leftover sandwitches from meetings (no) or food from dustbins (no thanks).

Anyway, todays intake consisted of a few slices of fruitloaf during the morning (~20p), a bowl of mushroom soup and Worcestershire sauce at lunchtime (~50p) and then, in the evening, cooked a proper hot meal of new potatoes in a chunky tomato sauce (~70p).

It was a pretty hearty meal, to the extect that Mrs BFTF was surprised that it had not broken the daily budget. BFTF tried to save energy by not using energy by not spending valuable cooking gas frying some onions first. Somewhat to ones surprise, the result was still rather delicious! The issue of energy costs, and the fuel poverty of people who cannot afford the energy to cook food or heat their homes, is a serious one that BFTF hopes to talk about more in future posts

Oh, and ought to confess that BFTF also had a small piece of chocolate brownie and a quaver (not a packet of Quavers, just a single Quaver from a packet that No3 son was eating).
Mushroom Soup with a little Worcestershire Sauce
Should perhaps have done something clever
to make a nice pattern of sauce on the surface...

Meanwhile, back at the 9 Dirham Challenge HQ, Israr has shown more evidence of his good-egginess by revealing that he likes Creamed Rice Pudding and Chip Butties. He has also been featured in the Lancashire Media !

As we used to say in the 80s, Raaas!

BFTF joins Israr for Day 9 of the Challenge
BFTF has decided to join Isar for a week of his "9 Dirham Challenge" which involves trying to survive on food that costs just 9 Dirhams (~£1.50) a day,

It seems that BFTF is rather a creature of simple tastes, and was happy to go with exactly the same food as yesterday, the only difference being lentil instead of mushroom soup at lunchtime!

Somewhat to his surprise, BFTF was easily able to ignore the delicious looking meat and aubergine curry that the rest of the family was eating in the evening, and instead cook up another simple potato and tomato dish.

Potato and tomato curry - 20mins start to finish

On a related note, in 2005, Nelson Mandela addressed 22,00 people in Trafalgar Square, London as part of the "Make Poverty History" campaign. In this speech he commented that :
"Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. And overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life."

When we shop for groceries, or indeed any item, we are making choices about what we value. You can read about some of these choices in this post entitled "What do we mean by 'best'?".

And if we value justice for workers we need to make sure that message gets throught to the supplier. For example, this story looks at how BFTF tried to get Halfords to say whether they paid a living wage to the Cambodians who manufacture Halfords bikes in that country.

Why don't you, dear reader, challenge a supplier of something you have bought recently on whether they pay their workers a living wage (which can be a very different thing to the minimum wage).

Meanwhile, back at the 9 Dirham Challenge HQ, Israr has been thinking about how desperation might send a person to eating waste food and has prepared a cool chana chaat for his evening meal

BFTF joins Israr for Day 10 of the Challenge
BFTF has decided to join Isar for a week of his "9 Dirham Challenge" which involves trying to survive on food that costs just 9 Dirhams (~£1.50) a day,

While the day went routinely enough, with some fruit loaf and soup (and a handful of chips at a colleagues leaving do), the evening meal was something of a taste sensation. BFTF hijacked some of the plain boiled rice that Mrs BFTF had made, and stir fried it with a small tin of sardines and some diced tomato.

Wow! That recipe is a keeper !

Easy Rice and Sardines

Worth mentioning that one cause of poverty in coastal communities that rely on fishing is the reduction of fish stocks around the world. Sometimes this is caused by overfishing by the communities themselves (perhaps by the introduction of new techniques such as dynamite fishing) while sometimes it is due to large international trawlers hoovering up the local fish stocks, leaving nothing for the communities in the area.

When you buy fish, you are making a decision about whether you want to support fishing techniques that are sustainable, or fishing techniques that aren't. BFTF recommends that, especially when buying Tuna, Cod and Mackeral, you look for the MSC logo as this ensures that the fish is sustainable caught. Some examples here, and here.

If you are living in parts of the world where the MSC logo is rare, ask about the sustainability of the fish you are thinking of buying.

And lastly, check out this project on sustainable fishing by IFEES

Broccoli and Stilton Soup

Meanwhile, back at the 9 Dirham Challenge HQ, Israr has had a rather alliterative evening meal of Pasta in the Park with the added excitement of nearly causing a nasty head injury to a bystander. Lancastrians eh? You just can't take them anywhere can you?

BFTF joins Israr for Day 11 of the Challenge
BFTF has decided to join Isar for a week of his "9 Dirham Challenge" which involves trying to survive on food that costs just 9 Dirhams (~£1.50) a day,

Todays food began with a hearty bowl of porridge and jam and was followed later in the day by cheese toasties. Mmmmnnnn

This mornings, slightly untidy, bowl of porridge and jam

BFTF also made the "Rice and Sardines" dish for Mrs BFTF who said it was tasty but that BFTF needed to go easier on the black pepper (BFTF likes black pepper a lot).

Meanwhile, back at the 9 Dirham Challenge HQ, Israr had a vegetable curry and also linked to the article about the 9 Dirham Survival Challenge that has appeared in "The Source", a widely read UAE magazine. You can read it too, but getting all clicky here.

BFTF joins Israr for Day 12 of the Challenge
BFTF has decided to join Isar for a week of his "9 Dirham Challenge" which involves trying to survive on food that costs just 9 Dirhams (~£1.50) a day,

Today is the last of the seven that BFTF committed to undertaking in support of Israr's challenge.

It has been a fascinating journey and BFTF hopes that he can continue to stick to the £1.50 per day target, albeing perhaps not quite so evangelically.

BFTF wishes Israr all the best for the rest of his month, and hopes to keep tabs on his progress.

Israr, its been emotional!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Lessons from Facebook

This post was originally a little "note to self" about how to behave in online conversations, but since posting the "Shaykh and Bake Grenade" post have decided to make it into a suggested "code of conduct" for online discussions. This list is likely to evolve over time:

1) Leave no room for doubt in your posts

2) Be sure you understand what others are saying

3) Don't be too pushy

4) Stay on topic

5) Address the issues

6) Avoid lobbying "Shaykh and Bake" grenades into the conversation

7) Be Humble - the other person probably has a point.

8) It is not a competition to see who "wins" the argument.

9) Be respectful.

10) Please, for the love of all that is good in the world, spend a minute checking out conspiracy theory / pseudoscience / implausible facts - BEFORE you share them.

11) Appreciate that doing one thing does not preclude also doing something else - just as you can pay your gas bill and then later buy your groceries.

12) If someone is doing something practical for a cause, don't belittle it unless you can provide a better course of action THAT YOU HAVE TAKEN YOURSELF.

Original Post
Learnt some lessons from a conversation on Facebook yesterday. They are lessons that, frustratingly, BFTF seems to forget every so often.

Thought it might be worth writing them down as a "note to self" .

1) Leave no room for doubt in your posts

2) Be sure you understand what others are saying

3) Don't be too pushy

I have given my nafs(ego) a slap. I hope it has learnt its lesson

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Redheads are Ace!

BFTF is saddened to hear stories of how youngsters can be bullied, sometimes quite mercilessly, simply because they have red hair.

It is particularly bizarre as some of the worlds most talented, beautiful and athletic people are drawn from their ranks....

Redheads are Clever :
Adam Savage from Mythbusters


Redheads are handsome and athletic:
Tennis Star Boris Becker

 


Redheads are talented and beautiful :
Actress Karen Gillian


Did I mention that Redheads are clever?:
Neuroscientist Cristoph Koch


Image Sources : Karen Gillian,
Boris Becker,
Adam Savage,
Christoph Koch

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

A Challenge to Local Political Parties

Following on from a recent example of how political parties peddle misleading information, and a recent post on the PCC legislation, BFTF thought it might be a nice idea to challenge the Conservative and Labour parties in Nottingham to see if they could talk to each other and actually agree on anything.

The challenge was very simple, and sent in the email below :

Dear Labour and Conservative Parties in Nottingham

I'm sure you are aware of how the public is becoming increasingly disengaged from politics and that some of the causes of this are the way political parties peddle misleading statistics, argue simply for the sake of it and refuse to see anything good in what the other side is doing.

I'd like to give you a chance to show that you are better than this, that you can talk to each other like grown-ups and can find the common ground between you.

I'd like to give you this chance in the form of a challenge :

"Can you, Labour and Conservative, talk to each other and put together a list of five things the current government has done well and five things that the current government should have done better. They don't have to be big ticket items, small issues will do."

Hoping you can rise to the challenge.


The seat of government in the UK


Image Source : Wikipedia

Public reporting of PCC investigations

BFTF has been following reports from the "TopOfTheCops" blog, written by former Policeman Sam Chapman, with interest.

The blog looks at the Police and Crime Commissioner legislation and the performance of the new PCC's. It appears to be a pretty even handed site, and looks at issues from a number of angles.

It's kinda what BFTF would like to see politicians doing, instead of the partisan "we are right, they are wrong" that is seen from them.

Anyway, the reason for mentioning TopOfTheCops is that a recent post said some complimentary things about the way the PCC legislation means that the results of any investigations into the conduct of a PCC are put on public record. As TOTC points out:

"Thanks to one of the better parts of the PCC reform, where the IPCC accept a case involving allegations against a PCC, including all that could be criminal, the final report of the investigator becomes a public document. We do not only see the decision of the IPCC, but also some account of the investigation and why the investigator came to the conclusions they did.

What openness! There is a facility for redaction of certain matters, and for delay in publication while criminal proceedings take place, but we actually get to see the report without it having had to go to the Home Affairs Select Committee first.

Imagine for a moment what it would be like if that were the case for all criminal investigations, and not just PCCs and their Deputies. You and I, the people who pay for the investigations, and in whose name they are taken forward, could look at the results and even do a bit of “armchair auditing” to see whether there are any problems with them. Extraordinary that this happens, or perhaps more extraordinary that it doesn't!"


and later:

"There's a good chance the IPCC and possibly anyone they investigate will have spotted that the report will be made public. This changes the dynamic. There is now less of a reason for PCCs under suspicion to say “it would not be appropriate for me to comment”, as there's a good chance their most relevant comments to the investigators will become public knowledge anyway. Maybe some will see the benefits of being open and transparent right from the start, rather than have a report emerge just as the dust was settling that then prolongs any political difficulties they experience as a result of an investigation."


1970s Ford Granada.

BFTF believes strongly in giving organisations praise when they do things rights, as well as challenging them when they get things wrong - but has been finding it difficult to find anything complimentary to say to the current government (see note 1).

There was a moment when it seemed that a compliment was due to the government introducing plain cigarette packaging, a move the would help public health and was being lobbied against by tobacco companies... but it turned out to be a false alarm.

So it is great to find something that can be passed on to the local conservative party in Nottingham with the words "well done on this".

There are, no doubt, many other things the current administration has done that are a postitive step forward, but BFTF is wary of asking what they are as the response is likely to be :

a) Full of misinformation
b) Disputed on every point by the opposition

It is simply too much work to go through each claim trying to find out where the wool is being pulled over ones eyes.

So. What to do?

Firstly, sent off this email to the local Conservative Party

"I note from the TopOfTheCops blog that the PCC legislation mandates that any inveatigations into PCC conduct result in a public report at the end of the investigation. This is a GOOD THING and should be extended to other areas where public money is used to investigate wrongdoing and not fully reported to the public afterwards."


Secondly, thought it might be a good idea to issue a challenge to the local Labour and Conservative parties to draw up a list, on which they both agreed, of five things the government has done well and five things the government should have done better. Will be interesting to see what happens.......



Note 1: If any Labour acolytes out there think I have, even for a moment, forgotten what happened under the last PFI mandating and illegal war waging labour government, they are very much mistaken.

Image SourcesWikipedia

Monday, 11 November 2013

Tree Planting at High Wood Cemetery

The Invitation Magazine and The Woodland Trust recently teamed up to organise a tree planting event at the High Wood Cemetery in Nottingham.

The Invitation Team, the helpful Council groundsmen and...er.. a bloke in shades

The event involved planting some 420 saplings around the Muslim area of the cemetery, and as part of the hedgerow in the Muslim children’s graveyard area. There were a variety of small samplings to choose from, including Cherry, Rowan, Hawthorne and Ash. The event was open to all, with a donation of £10 for each tree planted helping to support the Invitation Magazine. Attendance was good and very broad, from young children to the elderly, with a balanced mix of male and female participants.

 A good cross section of people at the event

Some of the trees were planted by children representing youth groups.

A youngster plants a sapling on behalf of Karimia FC

Many were families wanted to plant a tree in the name of departed relatives (as, indeed, was the case with BFTF).

Planted Saplings, some with notes to departed relatives
in whose names they had been planted

It turned out that it is surprisingly simple to plant a sapling, you just dig the spade into the ground, lever the blade forward and then place the sapling in the gap that is created. Simples.

No3 Son waters the newly planted sapling

Children were, unsurprisingly, hugely excited to be a part of the event, as (equally unsurprisigly) many had never planted a tree before.

No3 Son and his tree-planting certificate


The Invitation Team Go Large
(but check out the photobomb in the background)

It was great to see a Muslim organisation reaching out to a charity like the Woodland Trust, this kind of initiative is an important step forward for the Muslim community, so well done to the Invitation for thinking innovatively outside of the communities "Comfort Zone". You can see a short video of the event here

Part of the Muslim section of the cemetery

BFTF hopes that, in the future, the Invitation will take the next step and organise a mass tree planting in the Christian section of the cemetery, or by a school, or in a park - any of which would provide further, and very unambiguous, evidence that Muslims can work selflessly for the benefit of wider society.

Related Content:
Introduction and Interview with the Woodland Trust
Independant Panel on Forestry Report
Some stuff on sustainability, especially printing
Sustainably sourced notebooks
Interview with the Forest Stewardsip Council (FSC)

Image Sources Some images courtesy of the Invitation, the rest BFTF's own.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Nottingham - Tiltshifted

BFTF has been entranced by the "Tiltshifted" images that have appeared in the media over recent months, and can't quite get over how they mess with your mind.

So, here a few pics of Nottingham taken by BFTF, and then tiltshifted via TiltShiftMaker so that they make Nottingham look like a dinky little model city! (All pics can be clicked to enlarge)

Motorway, not near Nottingham, 2017

Rowers, Trent, April 2017

A60 Mansfield Road


A boat moored on the River Trent


Nottingham Canal

Colwick Park

Trent Bridge

The Embankment

HMRC

British Waterways Building

 

The Ring Road

More Ring Road

Rushcliffe Country Park

Wollaton Park

More Wollaton Park

I think that's enough Wollaton Park for now...


Other Art related content
Non Sign II
Jeffer M Garib
Pictures of the Sky
Nottingham - Tiltshifted
Some Wonderful Artists
Graffiti Walls
Shonaleigh at Nottingham Storytellers
Great programme describing how some of Turners paintings covered key changes in the Industrial Revolution.
Piero Gilardi and John Newling at Nottingham Contemporary
God bless our libraries
Light Night 2013
The Chair
Himmah Eid Festival
Great Comedy on Radio 4
How art can affect you
Tour of the Theatre Royal
Fantastic Snow Art by Simon Beck (see also here)
Jean Genet at Nottingham Contemporary
Rick Davies and Michael Hansmeyer


Related Links
More Arty Stuff
The Best Thing about living in the UK

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Parents : Play Scrabble with your kids !

BFTF has been hugely chuffed to find that all three sons can now hold their own in a game of Scrabble, with No2 son being, it has to be said, really rather good!

The Scrabble board, yesterday

Sustainably sourced notebooks

Those of you who are familiar with this blog will not be surprised to hear that BFTF can usually be found with a notebook of some kind. And notebooks eventually get filled up, so buying a new one is something that happens quite frequently.

BFTF used to buy ASDA notebooks made using recycled paper (see later in post) but they stopped selling them so BFTF had to look elsewhere and was delighted to find that Sainsbury's stocked notebooks made from recycled paper. Result!

Sainsbury's notebook made from recycled paper

Original Post:

In the most recent occurance, BFTF was chuffed to find a lovely little notebook at ASDA which ticked all the boxes :

* The paper is recycled.
* The covers are made from recyclable Polypropylene.
* Reasonably priced.

Sent an email to ASDA to say "well done" for stocking this product.


Notebook at ASDA - using recycled paper