Life getting in the way

I have to admit that I am struggling to keep all of my plates spinning.  The business is being much more successful than I could have hoped, which means that to keep the Transition Town, UK Power Shift, allotment and family nourished of my time requires me working early and late, burning the candle at both ends.

My allotment.  The shed is in the neighbouring plot.

My allotment. The shed is in the neighbouring plot.


It is a crucial time of the year for the allotment, with all manner of life enjoying a little more warmth and trying to sprout up.  It is my job to try to make sure that the life that makes the best fist of it is edible.  Last year was my first year with an allotment, and I did a great line in slugs.  This year the plot is surrounded by a wall of garlic, with slug pubs and organic pellets ready to keep out those that make it through.  Slug pubs are glass jars buried in the ground, with a little roof overhead, with a little beer in the bottom – the terrestrial gastropod molluscs can’t resist a tipple.

The weekend just gone saw an all-day open meeting at the local Hospice to discuss community building in Berkhamsted.  The focus was on an interim and then long-term solution for a community centre in the town, which it lacks at the moment.  The centre of the town is also being developed in the upcoming years, with the location of the old Police Station, Library and Civic Centre up for grabs.  We want to organise what is known as a “charrette” (intense design meeting) involving as many of the townspeople as we can muster to make sure that the space meets our needs and not just want the council think it needs.

The other major initiative discussed on the day is called “My Compassionate Street”.  There is recognition that in 20 years’ time there will be as many people who are great grandparents as there are that are children, parents and grandparents combined.  I’ll try to grab the source and graphics on this for a future post.  So who is going to care for them?  My Compassionate Street will help us form those close neighbourly communities where we can help each other rather than rely on assistance from outside.  This will also enable collaborative consumption – where a street might buy a ladder and a power drill, rather than each household forking out and storing said items themselves.

I’ll stop there – I need to get on with some business work.

John Bell,

Ordinary bloke

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