Cat dragon

Why can’t a dragon be a bit like a cat? Add some wings and a longer tail for balance. I’m going to write a story for college and the main character is some style of dragon. I want it to be friendly and beautiful. I think I would add scales. Maybe this will be the final idea. I will have to think about it.

Use transparent PET!

PET is the type of plastic that is used for plastic bottles! The clear, transparent stuff can be broken down and used again. The trouble is when plastic is coloured, it can’t be recycled. It adds more to the massive waste of plastic that is causing pollution in the world. So…. Don’t buy white or coloured plastic drink bottles! If you have to buy them, buy transparent only. X

Moss on a wall

Moss klinging to the church wall. That wall is blackened by years of coal smoke pollution that was burnt on house hearths and to fire up the bottle ovens that fired the pottery made in old factories. In those days I doubt that moss would have grown on the church wall even in Penkhull village which stands on a hill above most of the city. The city has transformed over the years and is now much cleaner.

You can see photos of the hundreds f bottle ovens that crowded the city. The smoke belched out of them. Look up the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery and Gladstone Pottery Museum on the net for more information.

Water bottle

An up close photo of a plastic water bottle three years ago… I loved the bubbles in it. I don’t buy them very often because they cause pollution and damage the environment.

It might not sound like much, but billions of tons of plastic are getting into out seas, into landfill, being burnt, turning into rubbish that sea creatures eat by mistaking it for jellyfish. Micro plastic is getting into the good chain.

So. I will buy less plastic. Will you?

Silver Birch?

When I was young silver Birch trees were greyish silver. I remember seeing some in our local park. Even when I came to live in this city they were silver grey…..

But now… Each time I see one its white?! Is that right, are they the same species? I think they are…. I think it indicates how much less industrial smoke is in the air? And are trees growing faster now? They seem to shoot up. If they were cut down would their tree rings be wider, fatter, more growth in a year than before the pollution started to reduce… Memories of a changing world.

The end of the World as we know it?

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A spiky plant in our garden, a bit like the shape of a virus.

This virus though? I was just thinking this is like a zombie apocalypse movie- except there are no zombies (and no apocalypse)! I didn’t think the survivalists were right, and I still don’t. This is not the end of ‘Independence day’, or ‘Deep Impact’, or even ‘The Day after Tomorrow’ No president ‘hero’ is going to save the day. No bulldog like prime minister will defeat the army of viruses, its just not like that,

Blame them, if you need to, for that old cliche, of shutting the door after the horse has bolted. All of us, the whole world, is affected by this. But there are no zombie dead walking the streets, but a mass of our loved ones, gone before their time.

I hope I don’t sound flippant. I don’t want to. I DO NOT think this is the end of the world, although some people will be wishing it is. There are too many things that  can destroy this world, with bombs and bullets, starvation and lack of clean water. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think mans damage of the Earth is going away, we have had a brief respite, but that does not solve climate change.

So there you are, that is what I think the real problem is, mans inhumanity to man and our planet. Scientists are calling this era the ‘Anthropocene’ where the impact of billions of humans on the Earth is visibly changing things. Remember the hole in the ozone layer? The massive oil spills over the last century, glaciers and Ice floes melting. Oceans full of plastic, the air so polluted in some places that their populations have been in their own lock-downs to survive them.

Mankind fights wars over so many things, religion, resources, rights to water and food. There is no ‘sharing’ with the other people on the other side of the mountain. Mankind ( and womankind) would rather be selfish and keep everything for themselves. Survival of the fittest? or greediest? Maybe we can’t work together?

But we can TRY. When people say we are all in this together, they need to realise we actually are.

When I was a child, there were probably about four billion people on the Earth, I learnt a fact that if you took every person alive they would fit on the Isle of Wight. (Look it up, its a small island off the south coast of Britain, separated from the mainland by the Solent). Even now you could probably fit most of them on the island when the tide is out….

I often think that the Earth is the host and we ( the human race) are the virus or bacteria attacking it, making its glaciers run, clogging up its pores with plastic, making it cough with pollution and greenhouse gases. Its time for us all to be the good, health giving bacteria, the pro and prebiotics that add health to the world, not something that is trying to kill it off.

No doubt that when this is over there will be calls to push ahead with growth, to make up for lost time. But can we in all conscience accept that? Maybe we should choose our leaders wisely, give them the task of sorting it out? But I think it is in our own hands. We have to say something, not accept the status quo.

 

Poppy

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A poppy painting I did a while ago.

This recent warm sunshine is bringing all the poppies out into flower. We walked into town, and where the pathways have not been sprayed with weed killer, all sorts of plants, including oriental poppies, are springing up. Mother nature is taking over.

But… In places where people have been allowed to meet up, the beaches, and parks, the main growth is in litter. People do not take their rubbish home with them. Why are humans such a filthy, messy, species. I thought we were giving the earth breathing space. But people’s ethos seems to be having what they want, and ignoring the damage they create.

I don’t think humans deserve this wonderful world. Really.

Moon up

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Yet when they looked back, the gods saw the world was beautiful.

They flew on into space, leaving the blue planet, its fascinating surface, watery and dry, cold and hot.

They had seeded it with bacteria and viruses. They had given it a satellite, called Selene. So the water flowed back and forth, and would eventually encourage life to flow onto the land.

They knew billions of years would pass and agreed to return when, and if, a major species grew up and made efforts to fly beyond the world.

They called the planet Earith, home, Gaia, and waited to see if their seed bed grew.

In May 2020 they returned.

They saw the oceans polluted, the mountains denuded of snow. They saw the glaciers melting and the oceans rising. They could see all the problems.

But they were gods, they could will things to change, eradicate the major species, allow the wilderness to return.

They agreed that this was not possible. Man must learn from its mistakes. Let us return in two millenia and see what has happened they said.

They left, wondering what they would find on their return.

X

Oil and water

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A thin film

Rainbow bright

Smeared on tarmac,

Immiscable,

Like oil and water

They cannot be mixed.

A molecule thick

Sliver of light.

Oil floated on water

Dropped and dripped.

A subtle play of shimmers

A gleam of glimmers,

A ray of sunlight,

Surface spread out like a pancake.

Pollution is washed away

Down drains, into soil.

The colour of oil…..

Forgotten?

Sandstone is a beautiful stone, soft and porous, it can be carved into fine shapes. But as this gravestone shows it also dissolves, especially in out acid rain environment. In this case the stone has turned black, probably from pollution, as Stoke-on-Trent was a very smoky place, due to the coal fired potteries. And yet the church is clean. I don’t know if it has been cleaned but it has had some restoration.

The lettering on the headstone is almost lost. Its almost as if a layer has peeled off. Gone but not forgotten? It depends on whether the family still exists, and whether they still live in the area.

Other stones in the graveyard are in worse or better condition. Some have been turned into steps, gradually wearing away under foot.