Saturday, 17 March 2012

A busy Saturday

Hi all, what you been doin today? It's been dry here and quite warm. As you know I spent the morning making the bag, then after a late lunch of spud in the microwave with grated cheese on top, I took Rocky dog for a walk.

We went past the woods, high up on the hills overlooking the river, and sat down in the grass to enjoy the scenery. It's great to be able to walk half a mile and have such fantastic views. Our usual routine is that I get him out of his garden, he drags me back to my house where I give him a dish of tinned meaty chunks, then we go off for a walk. I have trained him now to jump up onto a bench every time we pass one, and he gets a treat. I have to stop him from jumping onto every bench outside the bottom pub though, there are about a dozen of them, ha ha.

When we got back I put him back into his garden because his owner had returned. Some times I keep him longer if she is not there, yesterday I had him for four hours as she didn't get back till after 7pm.

Next I decided to go into the woods and do some more litter picking, as I hadn't managed to get it all last time. My two bags were bulging with bottles and cans, and there is still a lot more to pick up. The kids have left parts of the wood in a disgusting state, I sometimes wonder whether it is worth bothering about, but something tells me that if no one cares it will end up an even bigger eyesore.

It was starting to get dark as I got back to the church to empty the bags into the big bin next to the Lych Gate. There was the usual gang of youths hanging around the back gate, so I went over to talk to them, to appeal to their better nature and ask them not to throw litter down. It's like talking to a brick wall though, in one ear and out the other. I'm hoping I get through to them eventually, but I won't hold my breath. Threatening doesn't work, it only makes them more determined to mess the place up if you give them a rollicking. They had already thrown litter around so I just picked it up around their feet. It's a good job the church is flood lit so I could see what I was doing.

On the way home I walked over the village green picking litter as I went, then I remembered there were some empty lemonade bottles lying in the grass next to the health centre, so I picked those up as well. The church clock struck seven, flippin heck, I thought, I had better go home and get my dinner.

Couldn't be bothered to cook so it was scrambled eggs, and half a tin of spaghetti, on toast. Sod it I thought, I deserve a can of cider for that. So here I am, at the computer, supping cider. I've just watched a programme about Mary Portas who wants to open a knicker factory and bring back manufacturing to the UK. I love that woman, she has so much passion. My goodness it brought tears to my eyes, she had eight machinists jobs to offer, and got over 300 applicants. Some of them were so desperate to get a job. The young man whose parents had never worked, he had a baby of his own and wanted to break the mould and provide for his family. It turned out that he was pretty good with a sewing machine, I hope it works out for him. I can't wait for next week when we see how they are all getting on, I think it's going to be an interesting series. Toodle pip.   


  1. I bet Rocky loves his Aunty Ilona, you must make his little life much brighter.

  2. Oh, Ilona, what has happened? We were taught to put it in a bin or take it home. In the spring..tourists appear here...along with their coffee cups and empty beer bottles..why do they think that I want it or that wildlife wants to choke on it?
    Jane x
    PS You deserve that cider.

  3. You are good to that pup!

  4. My GED (alternative high school degree) students were throwing trash around, even on private property. I went out and surveyed the scene. There was no trash barrel! I asked the principal if we could have one. I explained that everyone complained about my students, so I wanted my students to have a better reputation and be like. He had a barrel placed there the next day. Ta Da...most of the trash went into the barrrel! I picked up the rest and appealed to my students, talking to their better side, their mannerly side. One day, my hands were full of books as I walked to my car, students all over the place. I saw a dropped piece and asked a student near me if he would pick it up. He said, "It's not mine."

    I told him, "It's not mine either, but I don't want people thinking my students are pigs. I will get it after I put these in the car." He went back and picked it up and threw it in the trash barrel. I thanked him. Attitudes changed.

    Maybe they need a trash barrel in the woods. A few holes in the bottom, lashed to a tree, and maybe your problem is somewhat solved. It will never be perfectly solved!

  5. What a lovely day you gave Rocky Dog - I'm sure he loved it.
    You do an amazing job of litter picking in your village, but is no one else sufficiently interested/proud enough to help you ? I expect it's a case of 'why should we if someone else is willing to do it;
    There is a very small plot outside my house, I live on a corner plot, and there are a few trees that the local kids love to go and build dens in - then they get called in for their tea and all the rubbish gets left, bits of plastic, wood, old jackets, thelot, so I have to go and clear it up, it is outside my house after all, but there would be absolutely no chance of anyone helping, even though it is considered an 'upmarket' area.
    I don't know what has happened to peoples brains thse days. I wonder if their homes are full of litter ?
    PP - I think if a rubbish bin was provided, especially with holes in the bottom, they would see it as an incinerator and just set fire to it - then probably destroy the tree and the woods as well - these types just have no grey matter at all.
    very sad .....

  6. Our litter problem in the woods used to be awful and I always took a bag with me but it hasn't been there for ages, I think they are too lazy to walk up the hill when they can sit at home watching the TV!

    Good luck to the sewing factory, we used to have 120 machinists and now have only 6 and are still struggling to get enough work - who will pay for UK made when you can get an imported garment for less than we pay for the fabric? :(

  7. I used to be the bookkeeper in a sewing factory years ago and the women/men who worked there made a good wage. They had a good strong union to back them up and it was a good job for anyone who could learn fast and handle a sewing machine. All of those buildings are now empty and there are no sewing factories anywhere around here where I live (N.E. NJ - USA). College is not for everyone no matter what people say. Sometimes even vocational schools are hard for some people. We need some jobs here that don't require such higher education and I don't mean that people are dumb who don't go on to college, but just that they are not suited for that. There are alot of people who are very talented in other ways. I have a friend whose son was not interested in college but could build anything. He became a carpenter but sadly cannot now find a job with these hard economic times.
    That's so nice of you to take that dog for a walk and also pick up litter while you're out there. Not many people would do that (as you well know!). Thanks for your great blog. I enjoy it very much.

    1. It's not just the picking up of litter, you are also helping pick up litter in other places! You've inspired me to contact my local council, get a litter picker upper and pick up the odd bit of rubbish while I walk my old dog. Our litter problem is not as big as yours but it seems that once it's on the ground, it stays on the ground so more chronic than acute. So you are spreading the word (I also read on one of your linked to blogs that at least one other person has been inspired by you too:D).

  8. It's amazing how much litter people leave. It's always worse close by a Morrisons or housing. I pick litter up for Sustrans on the Transpennine Trail. It's awkward getting on and off the bike but you need the bike to get the distances, then get home again. I carry a few carrier bags, then dump them in a litter bin then start again, then the last two put them in Morrisons waste bin, after all most of their stuff is in them too.

    I've not seen that Mary Portas programme, what is it called? I'd be interested in watching that one.

  9. Is a pitty that tey didnt through rubbish around whena PCSO was there it would be a fifty pound fine. Whichn I would make the parents pay if they couldnt. The parents would soon be on there case then about them dropping litter.
    Marty Porta is doing a good thing and creating jobs back in Britain. But she is going to charge £10.00 for a pair of those knickers. We are supposed to be in a resesion. So I personally think £10.00 is a bit steep,the price will put alot of people off.
    There should be more people like you who care about their comunity, there is no respect these days.

  10. Sorry about awful grammer and spelling on comment above. I forgot to check it over first.

    1. Sorry I don't get the option to add a comment, just reply to somebody elses!

      Three cheers for Mary Portas here too! Even is she manages to keep a few of those kids in employment for a while it's a success. I wouldn't normally spend £10 on one pair of knickers but it certainly makes you think so, yes, I would buy a pair for a Christmas Pressie if they start doing them in larger sizes than the ones they've been selling.

      You're right about the kids, hoity toity is red rag to a bull! It's kind of getting on their level without lowering your own standards which is the way forward .......... sometimes - good luck!

  11. You certainly deserve a green badge for dog walking and litter picking!!!

  12. I was stuck in a traffic jam, the car infront emptied their ashtray out of the front window and someone threw a nappy out of the back window. Disgusting.
    No respect for anything.

  13. I watched the Mary Portas programme too, and was most impressed with Andrew, the lad whose parents had never worked and he wanted to create a better example for his son. Mary asked him about his suit, how smart he looked but he wasn't working. Andrew, God love him, told her that he had borrowed the suit from a friend. When they tried him out on the sewing machine, he has a natural born gift for stitching. I live near Middleton, and believe me, it truly is Grim Up North. But, by heck, with lads like him around, I hope David Cameron and Nick Clegg appreciate how hard people will work to make a success of themselves.

    For too long, England has let manufacturing slip, focusing on so called service industries (think McDonalds, supermarkets and banks) and letting our factories go. In Rossendale where I live, the weaving sheds closed down due to cheap cotton imports, then the factories were taken over by shoe manufacturers. Cheap Italian imports ran our traders out of town and now most people with a job in the Valley go out to other areas to work. My home town where it used to take me an hour to get to the shops because I bumped into so many friends, is now a place where I recognise very few people. It's sad.

    Anyway, Ilona, have a look at Civic Pride, Rawtenstall, this is what you can do with a good network behind you. Rawtenstall is currently bidding to become one of 10 Mary Portas towns, watch this space!

  14. Ilona, I so admire you for the service you give the village. They must surely admire you and be thankful that you do all your litter picking. I also watched the Mary Portas programme and thought that the lad called Andrew was wonderful. He deserves to succeed in life and I wish him all the best.

  15. I live in Alabama, USA. The city just last year put out pretty litter barrels all downtown, at every corner.

    Fires! ACK! I did not think about that. I see litter barrels in the woods in our town and have never heard of a fire. Now, I probably will.

    Some of my students with highIQs wanted to go to trade school. WE need the brillian in trade school, also. I don't want a dense mechanic working on my car or making life-and death decisions for me.

    This town and county had many garment industries--lingeie factory, factory that sewed on contract for Spiegel, industry that cut fabric, industries that wove fabric. I could buy scraps--some as long as five yards!

  16. I think the lout mentality is everywhere now, as somebody said, do they drop litter in their houses?

    They beleive it makes them appear cool and clever, and saying anything to them has the reverse affect.

    I agree, a fine by "Litter Wardens". To be paid, if it's a juvenile, by the parents. It works for the Traffic Wardens, they generate lots of money for the Councils.

  17. I think you're doing a fantastic job Ilona with your litter picking. I especially admire you for picking up the litter around the gang of youths feet, I could never do that (but I am shy round groups of people).

  18. Hi Ilona - not not sure I could resist the lure of Rocky full-time - he doesn't seem to have any attention at home, and he has such a fantastic time with you.
    I haven't seen the Mary Portas programme, but I'll have a look for it and catch up online.
    I must admit to not commenting on your blog all that often, though I do read all of your posts. Just recently I have a nagging Meanqueen voice at the back of my mind when I shop... do I REALLY need that..? Am I going to use that or will it ferment in the back of the fridge, if it does that, it's not really a bargain, even though it's 50% off... and so on.
    I've been in the supermarket today, shopping carefully, and was quite surprised to get to the till with enough to feed us until Friday for £33.
    When I got home I added up how much I'd spent on food since January - I could weep! I can't believe I spend that much money! But, I do have a question for you. I care about what I eat, and I like to know that at least some of my money is going to decent producers and farmers, not into a supermarket's pockets because they squeeze their suppliers to within an inch of their profit margins. How much would you expect to spend in the course of a week on healthy food that helps British food producers? How can I get my food bill down without compromising my wish for good quality food at fair prices for the people who take the time and trouble to grow it? Any ideas for me please?


Comments are welcome from anyone with a Google account. I have had to change the settings due to the amount of troll comments coming through. My apologies to genuine readers who have been with me for a long time.