Travels in Eco-land: Naked Larder

November 18, 2019 § Leave a comment

Saturday was my third trip to Naked Larder. I try to make it an adventure for my young daughter. At Herne Hill station we go through the ‘underground tunnel’ and then the ‘secret passage’ (under Academic House) before turning to head up the hill, then left on Kestrel Avenue (what a great name for a road) and ‘look for the glove on the gate’. And before we even get to the shed there’s the mystery of the ‘treehouse’ with no tree and no ladder, always prompting the question “how do we get up?”


My wife discovered Naked Larder, not me. I got sent there on the first trip with our daughter, a print-out of our order (made by my wife), and a selection of tupperware and some pillow cases. Gazed round in wonder at all the boxes, and quickly realised that filling up our containers could be easily turned into a game.
I could explain what Naked Larder is, but their website does it better than I could: “We buy dry goods and eco-friendly cleaning products in bulk to minimise packaging and reduce cost. Our customers collect their orders using their own reusable containers. Join us in our quest to create a brighter future for our planet.” Do I feel virtuous as I leave with my coffee beans, bread flour, oats, rice and sugar? Of course I do. I also feel hopeful.

Margaret Glaspy Tiny Desk

November 6, 2019 § Leave a comment

Margaret Glaspy’s Tiny Desk Concert made my afternoon. Especially the riff in the third song (“You and I”), which was jaunty, understated, fresh and tasty.

Altin Gün – Full Performance (Live on KEXP)

October 6, 2019 § Leave a comment

Turkish folk meets Black Sabbath. Refreshingly different.

Future of work: a reading list

October 3, 2019 § Leave a comment

Ours to hack and to own (available for download here)

Gig 3: Hope and Anchor, 27/9/19

September 29, 2019 § Leave a comment

hopeandanchorMy band Sea Noise played its third gig on Friday at the Hope and Anchor in Islington, courtesy of Dead Or Alive promoters. Some of the other bands on the bill for the night were really fantastic, my favourite being Sanchez Vs. Fighter Pilot, who played before us and brought a huge amount of energy into the room. Also loved the Patti Smith-PJ Harvey-esque vocals in the grunge band who played after us, but didn’t catch their name.

And finally, for what it’s worth, hats off to whoever was in charge of the playlist in the bar on the ground floor of the pub. After our set, and after a few more beers, this genius knocked us over by playing several tracks by IDLES and then launching into cheesy 80s synth pop. Visionary.

Charles Eisenstein “Climate: A New Story”

September 8, 2019 § Leave a comment

Some quotes:

“we need to ask, What are the circumstances that give birth to the choices that are harming the world? Engaging other people, we have to ask the question that defines compassion: What is it like to be you? The more we understand, the more we live in reality and the less we inhabit a fantasy world populated by our projections. You can go ahead and see your opponents as dastardly villains, but if that is not the truth of who they are, then you are living in a delusion.” (p16)

“Burnout seems the downfall of activists, but as the story of the man lost in a maze implies, it can be a necessary initiation into a wholly different mode of engagement.” (p19)

“Let me put my thesis starkly:

If the standard narrative of AGW [anthropogenic global warming] is true, then the most urgent priority is to protect and restore soil, water, and ecosystems worldwide.

If the standard narrative of AGW is false, then the most urgent priority is to protect and restore soil, water, and ecosystems worldwide.” (p80)


Judgmental Dad Reviews: woke books for 3-4 year olds

September 8, 2019 § Leave a comment

Yangsook Choi The Name Jar – tackles the experience of immigrant children and the complexity of identity by focusing on the desire to “fit in.” Bonus points for not having a white male hero, and for having a supportive white male ally character

Andy Blackford and Mike Byrne The Green Machines – environmentalism and social justice. Slightly ambiguous ending (do Digger, Dumper and Dozer set up commune in the forest for counter-cultural machines?)

Steve Antony I’ll Wait, Mr Panda – a gentle critique of “I want it now”

Catherine Barr and Francesca Chessa Elliott’s Arctic Surprise – powerful environmentalist message framed in a way that makes sense for children who grow up in countries where Father Christmas/Santa Claus is a major figure

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