Tuesday, 29 December 2015

A Holiday Vegetarian Festive Dinner

Just because we are vegetarian and vegan doesn't mean we can't have some tasty treats.

I enjoyed playing with some new software called Skitch (download on App Store) that makes it easy to add fun text to photos. It was a snap I took of Sunday dinner last weekend, but we did have something similar on Christmas Day, with a different kind of nut roast.

Wood Fungus on Tree Stump, Nun's Moor

The weather conditions in Late December have been more like an early wet autumn, and the mushrooms are out in force, here are some I noticed growing on a tree stump near the footpath beside Nun's Moor (Moorside South end).

Monday, 28 December 2015

Leazes Park Lake responds to heavy rain

These male mallard ducks seem quite happy that there is a lot more water in the lake. It looks really clean, so perhaps that pleases them.

The Leazes Lake holds water which has run off the Castle Leazes Little Moor, possibly also Skinner Burn, Lort Burn and soggy Fenland (Fenham). I saw water bursting up through walls and telecoms plates in the ground on Barrack Road!
The lake does discharge and flow down into Tyne, marked by the special stones which have been placed to mark the path of the Lort Burn and it can be heard rushing down there very clearly at the moment. As far as I have observed the source of the Lort Burn is in a boggy part of Castle Leazes Little Moor, not, as some have claimed, in Leazes Park itself. This is probably due to a misunderstanding about the area of Castle Leazes Little Moor (marked on some maps as Leazes Park) and Leazes Park as most people in the local area use it as a Park.

Floods in our regions

What a strange winter we have been having so far!
In November I had a short stay of a few days at Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey. There was a very heavy snowfall overnight and the thick snow and freezing temperatures were very worrying for me as I needed to get home for a hospital appointment later that week!
Not long after I got home, having survived the brief snowfall, we went into the strange winter- not- winter which which has consisted of chilly days and mild nights, too much wind and severe gusts, which have been enough to keep me indoors.

In December we have been having many days in the mid to high teens, for example 17 celcius.
So when firstly Cumbria, (Storm Desmond) parts of Northumberland (Storm Eva) and the North West got flooded ad then Yorkshire, I was not surprised.
Global warming is destabilising the climate.
El Nino weather pattern is causing weird weather.
Many local man made problems such as intensively building over flood plains, squashing watercourses into concrete culverts and concrete riverbanks, allowing rivers to become blocked with all manner of detritus, unsustainable farming practices, overpopulation leading to greater demand for housing. More people want second homes nowadays and also to live in low density housing suburbs where they can have a detached house and space to park a car. In the past (between the time of the Industrial Revolution and later 20th Century) most people in the UK lived in city tenements or terraces, which were in some ways more environmentally sustainable, despite the serious pollution from cities in those times.

York looks almost unrecognisable

Also this area is not normally at all underwater.

So, at this time of year I have talked about our habit of overspending on Christmas, because most people want to please their family and friends by buying the perfect present, and having the perfect party, and the perfect Christmas dinner.

Meanwhile actual skips are provided by landlords to take the overspill from the "waste" generated from unwanted food and unwanted packaging and unwanted gifts. People do also throw away old items if they have received new ones.

So, it is the time of year when companies which produce consumer goods often "go into the black" which means they sell enough products to make a decent profit. But this is bad news for the environment, as mass production uses mass fossil fuels, mining, fracking, pollution,with mass raw materials, then requires mass goods transportation, to get to us, the customers, all this is heating up our planet and degrading the environment.
Say No to Mass Production, say No to Christmas Waste, take time out to Do Nothing, Take time out to Buy Nothing!

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Jesmond Dene

A few photos of Jesmond Dene and the Derelict Former Fisherman's Lodge, from our recent visit.

The Ouseburn in full spate

Some mosses on rock

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Fire Guts building in Newcastle City Centre

Last night I received a message that there was a huge fire in Newcastle City Centre (Cross Street, near the junction of Clayton Street and Westgate Road) which had been reported on the local news

I did hear a lot of emergency vehicles going past on the road outside last night and I was worried that the situation had escalated, but it now looks as if the situation is under control, possibly one person at risk, hopefully everyone involved will recover from this unfortunate event. It is thanks to those who raised the alarm early enough for the emergency services to be able to respond quickly, that more damage was not done. This area is more businesses and shops than housing, but lots of people do live nearby in Chinatown and various low rise housing schemes around the Inner West area and also many people do live
"above the shop" in Newcastle City Centre .
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