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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.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

It's time to party

Pete, Nicola, Lola, 11, and Nell, 8, spent three happy months during summer 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.

In the run up to the Copenhagen meeting next week there seems to be a sense of great sadness. See here at the Guardian. We did all this to the world. We made October the hottest, November the wettest, Sydney the dustiest, etc. And at night I am conscious that my bedtime reading, Notes from Walnut Farm - a collection of Roger Deakin's writing during the six years before he died - is imbued with sadness. Even the frothy spring cow parsley is berated for replacing rarer, and arguably more lovely, violets. See the cover here.

Which is why it is lovely to sometime crash a party and cheer the hell up. December is the best time to do this, but last month the highlight near home was when Algeria qualified for the World Cup. The guys in Little Algeria (an area around Finsbury Park) were able to celebrate qualifying for the first time in 21 years. They bounced up and down, they drove around the block hooting horns. They marched back and forth the zebra crossing. And they waved flags, smiled and gathered together (yes,blocking the buses) conscious of just how far their team had come in order to make the slot for South Africa in July 2010.

It was like a flashmob, but less contrived. You could smell the happiness.

Having fun doesn't make me forget climate change, but it does remind me how important it is to avoid the tendency for humans to look on the dark side. Yes the world is in a bad, bad place. But without hope it really is hard to summon creativity. And creativity is what we all need, and especially the journalists writing up the story and those world leaders whose job it is to get a deal.

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