Hello,

 

First of all, a big thank you to The Patternistas for the wonderful image which tops today’s post.  It’s been appearing on billboards and poster sites locally to cheer us up.

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Does life feel ‘familiar, yet strangely new’ where you are? It was how Ian Skelly, who presents on Radio 3 in the UK, described being back in the studio after months of broadcasting from home, and it sums up the adjustment we’re making to the odd times we’re living through.

Beatrix Potter (who was born in July in 1866) has some encouragement for us as we all start to venture out –

“We cannot stay at home all our lives, we must present ourselves to the world and we must look upon it as an adventure.”

 

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First edition of Peter Rabbit, published 1902. Image with thanks to Wikipedia

 

Something to do

–  Now is a good time to remember to reduce and reuse before we recycle: there are problems with the processing of plastics and other waste at the moment, and backlogs have built up during the early weeks of the lockdown.  There are lots of ideas online here for ways to reuse containers, from saving glass jars to store leftovers in the fridge to using plastic fruit punnets to keep small items tidy and sorted in drawers and cupboards.

–  If the lockdown has meant you’ve been brewing more coffee at home, there are also lots of uses for the leftover grounds: garden plants will appreciate them as fertiliser and they also help deter squirrels, deer and slugs (apparently they don’t like too much caffeine!). You can also use them up around the house, for scouring sinks or even as a hand or body scrub – find out more here.

 

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How to make a difference

Become a Citizen Scientist or Historian: you can contribute to wildlife surveys and report sightings of birds, insects and flowers by downloading apps like Seek which collect data for research projects, or take part in the annual Big Butterfly Count which runs in the UK from 17 July to 9 August. There are also projects like Collecting Covid organised by the National Museum of Wales, which are gathering accounts of what life has been like to archive so future generations can learn about our experiences in 2020. In the US you can find all sorts of ways to contribute to scientific research at sites like Scistarter, Zooniverse and iNaturalist.

Red admiral butterfly on lilac plant
A Red Admiral butterfly

Reasons to be cheerful

– We have some creative and kind young people: Sophie Mae Kelly, age 11 has been using her time at home from school to make beautiful greetings cards to sell in aid of a different charity every month, beginning with the Bumblee Conservation Trust. See the story here.

– Speaking of bees, if you are a regular reader of the blog you may remember that back in May our bee hotel saw its first arrival. Lately, there’s been a lot of activity and we’ve discovered that our guest is a Leafcutter bee and she’s been busy lining the bamboo tube she’s chosen as her nest with the leaves she’s collected. Here she is in action:

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As life is beginning to get busier for us again, this is the last of our longer monthly miscellanies.  We’ll be back soon with regular, shorter posts full of little ideas for living life well.  In the meanwhile, thank you very much for reading, stay safe and we hope you can enjoy the summer where you are.

Claire and Sam

 

 

 

 

 

 

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