Sunday, 15 August 2010

Can fish smile?

17kgs of pumpkin. There is a reason for my nakedness. Nice prize for anyone who can guess!!

Finally home from a 7100 km Odyssey.

Funny sometimes that it takes sitting on the motorway for a few days until your mind can wonder to the more important things in life.
Rolling through Southern Spain, you can not avoid looking at the rubbish on both sides of the road. Bottles, bags, plastic, paper.. they really must assume it all comes free and disappears the same way. Dirty dirty buggers. Slovenia, Switzerland, Austria, germany - not a grain of litter. Italy a little, France a little, then hit Spain; you may as well save a years worth then release it bit by bit every 50 metres , especially when you are 20 feet from the beach.
In "Five Acres and Independence" (M G Cains, published by Dover), published in 1940 comments " The average smallholder has no need of a rubbish bin since he produces no waste."
Crumbs. Guilty as charged. So what do I do?

1. Food waste.

Any waste, which is little (ever read about the English that throw away 30% of their food?? Hang 'em!!) Anything we do not eat goes for tomorrows lunch, chickens or compost. Zero waste

2. Paper waste.

All our waste paper goes into the bread oven, but unless we cook bread a little more regularly, it really just goes up in smoke and leaves a big pile of ash... could do better. Ironically, any plastic that burns without a coloured gas is safe to burn as well, Owl's brother Hugh told me which ones were which but I had a little drink about a while ago and need to re check which is whicch.. watch this space!

3. Glass waste.

Up to now, we have managed to fill and smash our (sometime to be finished) BBQ / Bread oven / Rocket stove station. We have to do another glass smash then it is full. Then I intend to collect the bottles to make a Moroccan sauna (Hamman) but it is a worry, a perpetual stream of non returnable bottles - any ideas anyone? I can take used wine bottles and buy dodgy red draught wine, Holly makes lemonade but every beer, decent white wine etc creates a stockpile of glass..

4. Plastic waste.

Now we have installed a three stage water filter (Leroy Merlin) we refill any plastic water bottles and more importantly don't buy any new ones. But every bin within 100 miles of here is overflowing with plastic bags and bottles. Recycling is ok but we need to stop the initial phase of packing and bottling. I can buy all my vegetables at Sao Bras market on a saturday morning without a trace of plastic but followed by a trip to Lidl, the car is awash with oil based products.

I will improve, I will reduce my footprint. Buy loose beans and soak them rather than the endless tins. Do not wash tins or plastic for recycling.. water is our prime source, save it. Look at every product you buy and imagine how you can replace it when there is no oil, no transport, no packaging. All I have to do now is figure out how to repay 7000kms of carbon emissions from our recent travels.
About time I got back to work,

Stu and Owl xx

Monday, 9 August 2010

the Oldest Inbetweener

Somewhere in Southern Spain

Sunrise on the East coast of Spain

I don't know if any of my readers have ever watched "The Inbetweeners" - a sitcom consisting of cringingly embarrassing 15year old school boys trying to get a girlfriend.One of them wears a tie and specs and spectacularly can't stop putting his foot in it whilst chatting up girls. That's me, except it never ended at 15 and is continuing into my 50s... A complete inabiltiy to link brain to mouth at those vital morning.
One of those moments was this morning. A police woman was trying to explain that we - could - not - park - or - camp on the beach, even though i had passed out under the stars the previous night after a typical Spanish dinner of Biryani and Beer.
"I love you" I mouthed. "Move sherbert brains" she answered. I took this as a come on and tried to kiss her just as she tazered me with my own Sunday Times.
I moved on, what is 500 metre compared to the 6100 kms we have driven so far this holiday. we have so far driven to Spain, France,Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, France and we are now back in Spain, in Mojocar just above Almeria. Old Smokey, the camper is going well, not using water but still smoking in the morning especially over angry but attractive Angie Dickinsons..
Lots of countries in lots of days, here's the view from the top;;

1. Slovenia

Beautiful, clean, scenic, cheap -and that's just the women!! Well worth a visit

2. Spain

Good old Spain, you drive 6000kms just to discover its tanned topless beauty with great beer

3. France

Great scenery, spent more on tolls than diesel (or women). Expensive but so picturesque.

Hire boat proved too weak to handle The Merelie Family Summer Tour

4. Austria

Great drivers, tall ugly athletic women. Innsbruk was fantastic. Whole place is full of tunnels. No tolls!!!

5. Switzerland

Now officially renamed rip-off-aland. Don't visit ever ever ever. Pretty though

6. Italy

See above but 20% cheaper. Lake Garda and Sirmione were nice

And there you go, saved you 6000km. Slovenia was so nice so I will return and take in Hungry and Croatia at the same time
We are back in a few days
Only one boat was destroyed in the making of this blog
All references to women except for Angie Dickinson are fictional