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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, 8 May 2009

Local news

Pete, Nicola, Lola (seen here publicising a plasticbagfreehighburybarn film show event) and Nell love travelling but like to do it in a way that keeps their carbon footprint low. So that's no planes, occasional trains, car club cars and enthusiastic biking when we cannot walk. This post is from Nicola

Just had a weekend staying or meeting up with friends who've left London. I wish they'd stayed put, but it was fun chatting as we rowed from the Bath Boating Station down the Avon. One week later the blisters are patching themselves up. The south west, it's a dangerous place...

Back home we have been busy in our street encouraging neighbours to plant up their tree pits with poppies, camomile and other native wild flower seeds. Lola, Nell and I clear up the pit - retching slightly as we flush dog poo down our loo, put the tossed cola cans into the recycling bins, dig up the current plants for green waste recycling and plop cigarette butts into the dustbin for landfill. I wanted to grow carrots but the dog poo really puts me off. This is a tame version of guerrila gardening, but I like the idea that my kids are already so used to community cheerleading. And it led to some interesting chat about the sunflowers and sweet corn I've seen growing on roundabouts in Nairobi, Honiara and here in London near Blackfriars Bridge.

So far nine of our street's trees are planted up by their nearest neighbours and adorned with a green ribbon to show there's big tree love out there.

Next project is to get clothes swapping going in our school. The plan is to get parents and carers to bring unwanted clothes for 0-11 year olds to the school one Friday. They can just give them, or take other items or give and take. It's a good idea but definitely a trial.

The swishes held for mums have been very successful but if we are ever to crack fast fashion then swapping clothes is a no brainer. The problem is that if parents have never been tempted by secondhand clothing, then they often feel ashamed to kit their children out in it. At least that's how my Somali, Bengali and Turkish friends put it. How different life is for Lola and Nell - really I'm surprised I didn't get pre-loved children given my enthusiasm for all things secondhand/vintage/freecycled etc.