A-Z activities

A-Z countries

What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog begun in 2012 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.

Around 2018 I tried a new way of writing my family's and my own UK travel adventures. Britain is a brilliant place for a staycation, mini-break and day trips. It's also a fantastic place to explore so I've begun to write up reports of places that are easy to reach by public transport. And when they are not that easy to reach I'll offer some tips on how to get there.

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.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Any old shoes?

Nicola & Pete plus daughters Lola, now 9 and Nell, now 7, spent last year exploring Britain in a carbon-light manner. Our spring 2008 challenge is to give up waste from 24 March to 24 April. Most posts are by Nicola (as it was her silly idea). This is how it’s going:

The A-Z no waste challenge has led to some frantic sorting during February and March. Not everything has found a home and there’s been mistakes. I thought my trainers (bought so I could walk a midnight half marathon across London in aid of breast cancer) were so destroyed at the heels that I needed a new pair. Tried various shoes on, hated them, so splashed out on an amazing pair of Worn Again trainers. The outside is made from old army camoflage jackets and military T shirts. The inside is from jeans and gingham off-cuts. The base is recycled rubber. In all they are 90 reused materials which is pretty impressive. My suggestion to the makers is they should provide without the shoe laces because I have plenty of these at home and the bright blue new look rather ruins the re-use ethos.

However Worn Agains don’t come in half sizes so I had to buy some extra heel grips to get them to fit. And at the cobblers (that sounds old-fashioned, let’s call them shoe repairers/key cutters) I discovered they mend trainers – so long as they aren’t to destroyed. My old Moonwalk friends were suitable for some careful repair with cork, glue, patching and more glue. They smelt strongly of evil glues when I picked them up but perhaps this is a justifiable use of VOC-laced products as since the old trainers have come home repaired (see pic above) the new ones haven’t had the outings they might expect.

Verdict: too quick to replace those old shoes, but a neat discovery, a good spend of a tenner for repairs and a very indulgent, eco-friendly addition to my Imelda Marcos collection.

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