Where am I? Coo-ee!

This post is a general catch-up on what’s happening in my life at the moment and where I see it going in the short term.  I’ll start with me and work out as usual.

I’ve reduced down to one day fasting from two, because I’ve managed to motivate myself to start jogging again.  With that and the cycling I was edging towards 10 stone, which is a little too low.  I’ve also been reading Sophie’s World, to get a very basic grounding in philosophy – more about that in a later post or two.  I’m intending on grounding my next activities on my insights from this work.

The family are well, with Tall and Small back at school again.  Small is particularly pleased about her new school shoes – it took all of our parenting skills to coax her into taking them off before going to bed.  They made up a fantastic competition last night that involved everyone winning.  Tall had to take as few hops as she could to get from one end of our short landing to the other, and had to do fewer than Small.  Small on the other hand had to try and hop as many times on the same route, and had to hop more times than Tall.  So they both always won.  Genius.  Bubs was happy as well, as he just walked around while everyone counted – great fun.

There has seemingly been a very encouraging response to my pre-requisites for taking on the Transition Town Berkhamsted leadership role for a third year.  For once I was unable to attend our monthly Green Drinks social event at HERE, where they had some very fruitful discussions. As a result, I am very pleased to be able to say that if I’m wanted, I will accept the nomination to be leader again this coming year.  I’m looking forward to the 15th so we can get started – this year will be big.

Then we get to the UK and international level, where we are closing in on the 3/4 May for Power Shift UK, part of the Global Power Shift.  Emily and Lindsay in particular, plus Claire and Susan, have put in a humungous amount of effort in organising every last detail.  The list of speakers and workshops is very exciting, and the aims of the conference to plan the connection of the diverse UK climate movement look very attainable as a result.  It has been a huge strain on those who have put in such a lot of time and energy, and the outcomes will be all the better for it.

If you haven’t already done so, please do register to attend the event.  It’s free.

John Bell

Ordinary Bloke

Me, my family and out from there

Where am I?  This post is an update on all the various projects I am trying to keep afloat.  I have a little too much on.

Some deep thinking over the Christmas period, while North Wales was battered with 100 mph gusts, has lead me to conclude that I need to prioritise from the inside out.

What does that mean?  It means I first need to make sure I am taking care of my inner self, then my health, then family, friends, home.  After that I can start to look at my local area, town and then further afield to the rest of the UK and abroad.  Unless I take that approach, anything I do that reaches too far from myself will be built on shaky and uncertain foundations.

So, what I should be doing is training myself to be in the moment, with a grounded understanding of where I am pointing.  Then making sure I get enough sleep, a decent diet and exercise.  I’ll give myself a 5 out of 10 for that – too many late nights, not enough exercise and ending up ahead of myself all too often.

Family life is fun and fulfilling at the moment.  Rowan and I are in a very good place, and the children are a laugh a minute, while still growing fast in all regards.  Little James is enjoying standing, not yet walking.  I’d like to spend more time with them.  8 out of 10 for family.

Rowan and I are trying to sort the house out, with a major, if slow, de-cluttering exercise underway.  An aversion to waste has lead us to hoard leads, toys, magazines, off-cuts, you name it.  So we are trying to be ruthless in clearing it all out.

In Berkhamsted, there is the B-Hive project as well as the Transition Town.  The B-Hive is the community initiative to give a voice to the people of the town to have their say about how it develops, and is now becoming the vehicle to help deliver those needs.  After a town consultation and a 96-page report, we’re now lobbying local government and building up the capacity of the team.

On 22 January, Transition Town Berkhamsted (TTB) are hosting the second Ashlyns Lecture, with the incredible Polly Higgins coming to the local secondary school.  Polly is one of the top 10 most visionary people in the world according to the Ecologist, and I am looking forward to her visit.  We’ve been out at the market raising awareness and selling tickets.  Book your place now!

Next steps for TTB are to identify a big project or two to rally the troops around.  My preference would be either community energy or Transition Streets.  I’ll give myself a 7 out of 10 for the local town.

Beyond that, I’m organising two conferences.  The first is for the dozen or so Transition Towns in the area, so we can share our stories and ideas.  The second is the UK Power Shift, part of the Global Power Shift, which links strategically in with the UK climate movement.  The aim of the latter is to link the climate change activity in the UK with each other and to the rest of the world, so we can all feel part of a major movement towards a more responsible future.  I’ll give myself a 7 from 10 for UK and abroad, but this could slip if we don’t get more support.

Oh, and there is the ongoing idea of creating an online platform to allow people to challenge the misleading climate change articles that appear all-too-often in the press.

In general, I’m wanting to build up the number of people involved in the projects in the local town, UK and abroad.  I don’t want to see any of the initiatives collapse, and so I’m trying to make sure there are enough people behind each before I can start to take a back seat and concentrate on one or two priorities.

John Bell,

Ordinary bloke