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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.
I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps. See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Philosophy & odd socks

Nicola, Pete, Lola and Nell want to travel the world with a difference. We hope to get a taste of many countries without adding to climate change (with needless emissions from aeroplanes) or having to waste hours of holiday time in airport terminals. We hope our adventures inspire you to take a Grand Tour of your neighbourhood whatever the weather. This post is from Nicola (pic is of Nell who has become something of a butterfly magnet with a Red Admiral and other admirers)

To help me share a bit of seaside info with the girls we went to a lecture run by the Aune Conservation Association http://www.aca.aveton-gifford.co.uk/ at Thurlestone – which would be nearby if there wasn’t the tidal river. You’d think The Ecology of Bigbury Bay might be a bit dry, but there were more than 60 people crowding the smart village hall, and Lola and Nell (the only kids) were riveted by the presentation. To be honest this amazed me – I keep thinking if they enjoyed it so much why were there no other children at the talk?

The talk was given by the retired head of Modbury School, Gordon Waterhouse using his friend Brian Ashby’s slides. Using a great deal of humour Gordon talked us down river from the salt marsh and the tidal road to the cowrie shells (delightfully named trivia) and on to the cormorants’ razor sharp nesting place on the cliffs of Burgh Island. We also learnt about Albert – a man who must have recently died who made his home in a combination of three wrecked boats, kept his spare change in a sock (now that is a good idea) and clearly led an alternative lifestyle that made a lot of the locals very suspicious of him. Gordon called him a recycler and a gentleman – praise indeed.

I especially liked the calm philosophy he introduced inbetween his bigging up of a local conservationist celeb, George Montagu, read more about him at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Montagu (he found and named the daytime flying Tiger Moth and also the Trivia cowrie shell). By the time we left (at half time) it would be hard to have missed that there are no ends that can’t be called beginnings; and that none of us are indispensible – even if we think we are.

Put another way every odd sock has a use. Lola and Nell’s suggestions include using as a purse (of course), make puppets, make oat balls for the bath, add to a scarecrow, arrange in colour and size and pin to the wall, etc, etc

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