Thursday, July 20, 2006

Cool...and Green

Word Count: 113,222

Hoorah! This morning it feels distinctly cooler, though still a lovely summer's day by UK standards. Yesterday was a record-breaker not far from me, over in Surrey, and I'm not surprised. VERY difficult to work, although I did finish the 'story' part of Scaredy. Not out of the woods yet at all, though. Next I have to gather all my statistics (a couple of people have suggested making them up, and I responded in exactly the way you'd expect an ex-BBC journalist to respond. But it isn't half tempting...). Then send to my editor. Then wait...

And then do the third draft. But, you know, I am still really enjoying this book, which I hope is a good sign. Somehow the craft side of writing also becomes more curious, too, the more experienced I get. Sentence by sentence, writing is easy. But structure and alchemy and creativity and craft and draft work together to produce either something that works or something that doesn' just have to keep going until the former happens.

Today I am thinking a lot about global warming and all the choices we make. My consumption of stuff from the organic goody box yesterday was limited to:

Breakfast: organic strawberries with Total Greek yoghurt and a sprinkling of Dorset cereals muesli on top.

Lunch: the only organic bit was the lettuce, served with lemon & coriander hummus (from Tesco), Sweetfire Chilli Beetroot (from Waitrose), sunflower seeds (dunno, but I toasted them in a pan with some pestle-and-mortared coriander and cumin, yummy) and a Dr Karg pumpkin seed and cheese cracker. Oh and some Anchor butter on the cracker (from NZ).

Dinner: more organic lettuce, hummus, beetroot, Italian Balsamic Vinegar, and some fried Halloumi cheese from Cyprus.

Snack: (oh dear) fresh cream chocolate swiss roll from Marks and Spencer, but I swear I didn't buy it.

So there we are. Not one of my healthiest days, I must confess. And on a food miles front, probably very very naughty, though at least all my overseas bits came from Europe, except the butter. The reason I've gone into detail, though, is that I think it demonstrates all the dilemmas quite well. Should I be making my own hummus - and if so, am I ethically allowed to do with tinned chick peas from goodness knows where (naughty Waitrose don't say, on the rusty tin in my cupboard) or should I buy a dusty packet that may have been sitting on the shelf of a health food shop for years, and use scarce energy supplies to boil them in my own kitchen?

Is it better to buy organic strawberries delivered as part of the box scheme by a man in a van who only comes to my bit of London once a week, to cut down the food miles? Or better to use shanks' pony (ie walk) to M&S Simply Food over the road and buy the non-organic ones there? Complication: the organic ones have begun to go BLACK within two days, so that's a bit wasteful. Yet my supermarket ones NEVER go black, they just go mushy, and is that a sign of how toxic supermarket ones are, so pesticided that they can't even decay properly? And, while not accusing any one supermarket, I know that deals struck with suppliers by Goliaths of the retailing industry can be pretty hard on farmers.


And that's just food. Don't get me started on transport. What do you do about all this stuff?

Lovely Link of the Day:
Go on, make yourself feel virtuous or devilish, and calculate your Carbon Footprint. I'll tell you mine tomorrow.


Blogger MuseinMeltdown said...

I am sorry to say that when trying to fill in my carbon footprint, I didn't even know what I have used in the last year. thanks for bringing this to my attention, and I will go off to find out...

Good to see you are writing so well, I have just bought a copy of Brown Owl and have promised myself a moment to read it soon.

1:30 pm  
Anonymous Keris said...

Re the strawberry problem, I only started to notice that when I got an organic box. Organic fruit goes off a lot quicker. Then I noticed that bread doesn't go stale anymore, jam takes months to go mouldy, etc. So, yes, I think it means that the supermarket strawbs are on the way to being radioactive.

I read a great thing recently along the lines of if you can only do one thing, e.g. organic or local, which should it be. The answer to that was local, but there was other good stuff in there too. If only I could remember where I read it. Hang on, it might've been Easy Living. I'll check the recycling bag.

1:52 pm  
Blogger City Slicker said...

Really happy to have found your blog.
Although now feeling lsightly guity about my carbon footprint as I am a closet non recycler. I knwo it's bad, lazy horrid but now the secret is out, I feel better.
Will check back

9:57 am  

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