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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.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

China crisis

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:

This picture is of a very old plate, the pattern is Indian tree, and my mum says her family used this sort before the Second World War in Ireland. My mum’s memories are of playing with pieces of this crockery which she now realizes were broken during the washing up; chucked over the Ferry Quarter sea wall into Strangford Lough (that’s how all the families dealt with rubbish in the 1940s. In fact I visited as a little child in the 1970s and still remember with some shock seeing my step grandmother tipping the contents of her kitchen bin into the sea). The tide then took the china around the corner where it beached ready for the neighbourhood children to pick up and play swaps and shops with.

In contrast Pete’s mum’s family, who lived in Stoke on Trent and worked in the potteries, clearly treated china in a more respectful way. As a result this broken plate has been stapled and glued together (see pic). It’s quite amazing, especially as you can’t see the staples on the top side.

I haven’t dared use this plate for everyday meals (though I'm sure it would be fine) but I love to look at the skilful way it was mended.

Verdict: in sad contrast my broken china usually ends up as pot crocks if it can't be glued back into use. Maybe I need to be a bit cleverer about breakages? Some artistic friends have created wonderful mosaics around raised herb beds, which allows them to enjoy those precious pieces in a very different setting.

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