London: Icecream Van in Southwark Park, a ‘Pollution Hazard’

The engine of the icecream van in Southwark Park, in Bermondsey, has been belching out toxic fumes all throughout the summer.

The van has been emitting fumes for hours on end, very close to an outdoor café, which is popular with young children and families and is right by a children’s playground.

The air is so thick that some café users complained to me of headaches, breathing problems and a ‘bitter taste’ in the mouth. Experts say that toxic black carbon is particularly bad for babies (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4503306/Britain-s-ageing-ice-cream-vans-belching-pollution.html).

The Park is owned by Southwark Council, which is Labour-run. Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, is keen to reduce fumes in London.

Southwark Park, is a lovely park, but it is such a shame that the air round part of area is so bad.

The icecream van should be moved to a more suitable location.

Watch this space for Updates on the situation.

Advertisements

Kitchen Porter News: Food Waste: ‘Eat up your Greens’

An experienced kitchen porter who has been working in smart restaurants around the South East England said today that he has to clear up a lot of vegetables from the plates of restaurant-goers in this country. This is creating a lot of food waste. He currently works in a gastro pub.

He comes from a family whose parents had to eat grass to survive during WW2 when Hong Kong was under the Japanese Invasion.

He said that restaurant-goers ‘are paying a lot of money for their meals’ but they do not eat everything so every day the kitchen has to waste a lot of good food and the gastro pub does not give any food to the homeless. Sometimes restaurant-goers don’t even touch the vegetables at all, very occasionally there is leftover meat.

When I went to a café recently in West Kent, I also noticed people leaving their salads in posh ‘hipster’ cafes despite the salads being very good. You do wonder about their nutrition and whether they are wasting a lot of vegetables at home too.

It’s very sad that people here don’t appreciate their food. Perhaps more people should eat ‘children’s meals’ to cut down on waste.

My Frugal Birthday Experience Idea

People are spending far too much money on gifts, and so much time hunting for them. Also birthday gifts can create even more ‘clutter’ in your house.

We are in the era of families not meeting ‘properly’ and ‘talking’. People can be very isolated now. I find when people meet at birthday dinners people don’t ‘really talk’, and some of them, don’t find birthday dinners fun, perhaps they hate mingling. Some of us feel ‘forced to go’ if relatives are more distant. Also, there is not much to do, and introverts like me, find them uncomfortable. Birthday meals can be very pricey for everyone.

I thought that instead of having a ‘proper’ birthday gift or dinner. I would have an experience, and I am not just talking about an experience that is just for me, ie those Red Letter Days type of experience, which also can be expensive but something everyone will generally enjoy.

I wanted a more frugal and Scandinavian ‘hygge’ experience. So what I thought was for me and a few of my friends and relatives to visit a wildlife rescue centre – that way it would be interesting and educational and it would make a difference to the animals there. It maybe a bit ‘sad’, but I think the fact that all of us will being doing something to help, will really make a ‘mark’ on everyone.

They could make a donation too, and even a small donation, can make a big difference with several people going. There maybe a ‘shop’ there or they could bring in food and bedding for the animals. People with children can also go along, so it would be good for them too. They will also see how much damage cars can cause with our wildlife, that will be an eye opener too. You never know, the trip may mean that the charity will get more donations in the long run, and even new volunteers. The trip could inspire people to do good things. Birthdays can also be ‘serious too’ but I think it is important to have some light bits in it, to balance things out.

Afterwards, we would have an informal picnic somewhere, and people would bring their own things to share. People will be able to talk more ‘normally’ than in a formal, restaurant setting. I am a huge fan of picnics. They remind me of my childhood and I don’t see why we can’t have more ‘picnic birthdays’. My birthday is in July so I’m quite lucky in having reasonably good weather, though we will need a ‘back up’ if it rains, of course!

I was lucky to discover that there is a good dog show nearby as well, and suggested we go there afterwards, if they wanted to. That would give them a bit of flexibility too so they didn’t have to stay if the couldn’t. Most people in my family are animal lovers and I think animals and birthdays are a ‘great frugal mix’. There is something to do too, not just talk.

I already I have had people saying they want to ‘swipe my idea’ which is great. I am not celebrating it until in two week’s time, but if you want to have a ‘frugal birthday’, and one where you can ‘make a difference’, you don’t have to celebrate it on your day, as there may be things that are fun that are around on a different day, perhaps in your own area. My experience can be great for ‘keeping things local’ and reducing air miles, if your friends and relatives are local.

I really like this the animal charity birthday idea as this will make a difference to the animals too, and I hope my relatives and relatives will talking about this ‘birthday experience’ for years to come. Maybe they will do something similar too?

Just for your info, I will be going to Folly Wildlife Rescue, in Tunbridge Wells http://www.follywildliferescue.org.uk/ and keep you posted.

I visited the Dog Show in Victoria Park, London

Hundreds of dogs turned up for the All Dogs Matter dog show in Victoria Park in Hackney on 11 September.

All Dogs Matter is a London based Dog Rescue Charity and rescues dogs from London and surrounding areas. At the moment they have 32 dogs looking for homes, including little Posy  as seen here http://alldogsmatter.co.uk/

Sunday was a baking hot day. The venue at Victoria Park was excellent as there was plenty of shade for the dogs. In the Competition area, it was not shaded  all but staff  and volunteers from All Dogs Matter made sure they all had plenty of water.

Some rescue dogs took part in events and one of them, a blue staffie, had been found dumped only last week on a D6 bus. Although the dog was microchipped, the owner did not want to have it back.

Over 200 dogs have been rescued in Tower Hamlets in one year by

All Dogs Matter.

The London Port Authority told me a few days  ago that they have been finding several dogs being dumped in the River Thames, including those that have been microchipped and that there is a big underground dog fighting problem in Central London. London is reknowned for its history, but it is becoming reknowned for its animal cruelty.

The show had lots of things for dogs to do such as playing in a den of chocolate coloured balls and having a cool bath though of course some smaller dogs got a bit sniffy about these and refused to try them out much to the annoyance of their owners.

It really good to see these rescue dogs having a bit of fun meeting other dogs  at the show.  I  really hope that several dogs were given a  forever home soon after the event.

image

Photo: Chihwahuas taking part in the Dogs with the Waggiest Tail contest (Sorry about the finger in the photo!). The winner would get a ‘Golden Bone’ award and a rosette.

image

image

“There are  no wabbits here, get me out!”

image

Lourdes Estate Agents who look part in the Dog Fair brought along lots of nonenvironmentally friendly balloons that would be eaten by marine life and other animals. Here is one of several that will be on its way to ruin our environment.