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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.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Climate refugees on wobbly bridge

Pete, Nicola, Lola, 11, and Nell, 8, spent three happy months during summer 2007 travelling around Britain. Now we're home but the travel bug is still there. Join us for the occasional sightseeing plus tips on how to shrink your carbon footprint.

Friends arrive during half term for city sightseeing so we take them on London's best visitor route, the number 4 bus down to St Paul's Cathedral. Nearby the wobbly bridge over the Thames has sprouted mini tents. It's an idea by the German artist Hermann Josef Hack for Oxfam's Here & Now campaign timed to coincide with two-day EU heads of state and . The art installation is in seven cities including Amsterdam and Brussels.

Lola, Nell and Xander (now 10 and born in land-locked Zimbabwe) stretch out amongst the tents and get snapped while I calculate that the tents are 20cm high - just about the height the sea's already risen since 1900. You can find out more about what sea level rise means in the excellent new book for kids Gaia Warriors, by Nicola Davies which is published by Walker Books, £9.99, buy from Amazon.

20cm doesn't look much, but for countries like Tuvalu, or the Maldives where land is barely 1m above sea level this is serious stuff. No surprise that the big London march timed for the Copenhagen COP on Saturday December 5 is to be called The Wave. Find out more here.

Not everyone is impressed by story campaigns. I overhear an irritated woman on the bridge complaining that someone will break their ankle on the cardboard tents. She doesn't lack imagination, but is clearly having trouble with empathy. Does she know that The Maldives has a dynamo head of state, who has already conducted a cabinet meeting underwater to alert the world to his country's sinking future (lots more about the Maldives plight here). To date Tuvalu is less good at climate change PR but the funniest book I've ever read, Tales of the Tikongs, is by Epeli Hau'ofa from Tuvalu so clearly there are skilled wits on the islands who could if they wanted to do so.


What a loss it will be to have either of these countries turned Atlantis.

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