A welcome Gift?


In North Shropshire we have had the same MP since 1997 and we are looking on with interest as it is ‘all change’. In the last few weeks leaflets have been over-spilling our letterbox, sometimes they were copies of the ones we had last week, sometimes they were duplicates, one to Mr T and one to me. It seems a waste, but I am old enough to remember when letters came to the ‘Head of the Household’ which was always assumed to be the man. At least we are politically correct, but our recycling box is bulging.

I am wondering if people voted by post rather than go to the polling station especially in this time of high infection risk. I have done a postal vote for several years now and I wish I had done this before, especially when I was working and had to dash off at night to vote.

I sent my ballot paper in early so that I could concentrate on Christmas. On a seemingly more mundane level, should we have a real tree or an artificial one? Which is more caring for the environment? It seems obvious that we should not be using plastic, but on reflection it is not as clear cut at all.

If I buy a plastic tree presumably, I will be using it for several years and the environmental damage is spread out over those years. If we buy a ‘real’ tree it may have been cut (with a chain saw using carbon dioxide emitting petrol and oil) and then it will have to be disposed of responsibly. If it has roots these may have been cut drastically to make it fit the pot and it will not survive afterwards. Also, even with good roots, we have found it is not easy to grow on if it has been indoors for a week or so.

We have opted out and brought in hazel branches, from the woodland, that were blown down in the recent storms. It isn’t quite the same as a Christmas tree but perhaps the least damaging, and anyway these days nothing is the same.

Now for the Christmas presents. If I know exactly what I want I go directly to buy in the shop. But I have bought most presents online. Now I am thinking of stocking fillers, perhaps something I have made? Making things is not my strong point but we have got the luffas which have grown all summer in the poly tunnel. They have dried out and have been peeled. Will friends want them for bath-time, or will they go the way of our leaflets for recycling?

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)


Home grown luffas hanging up to dry in our kitchen


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