After enjoying some travels in the last few months, we have happily settled into day to day life in our adopted city.
We are really enjoying Bournemouth which is beautiful, affordable and safe. In an effort to assimilate ourselves into British culture Garry has begun a volunteer commitment with OXFAM, and I have accepted a part time retail job with a British owned kitchen store called Steamer Trading Cook Shop.
I am not entirely comfortable with British currency so Garry will be playing “store” with me a few times before my start date of November 2nd. I am also boning up on British cooking terms. I am really looking forward to being part of the Christmas buzz here, while serving and interacting with the British public.
Brexit, Brexit, Brexit – what a challenge and a mess. 2019 looms as the date by which the UK must reach an agreement with the EU – and it may not happen. The government here is looking increasingly weak and in a minority position. In the coming months it is probable that another election will be forced. Our experience so far is that wages here are lower, poverty is significant and the class system is alive and well. We’d be smug Canadians but for the child poverty rate in Canada which is a staggering 19.8% in B.C. and 18.5% in Canada. So we do not intend to deliver any lectures in the near term on how great we are.
Plastic Oceans is a film about plastics invading our oceans from every direction. Birds with gullets full of small plastics, turtles sick from mistaking plastic bags for jelly fish, to our water bottles lying motionless at the bottom of the ocean – and of course the microplastics that hide in products we consume such as beauty products and toothpaste.
On hand was one of the filmmakers to answer questions. One thing he said made sense and that is aside from other actions the single most important thing that can be done is to make plastic valuable, so that everyone is focused on picking it up and reusing it.
Our hosts are crofters and they own about thirty sheep, and a few Highland cattle. Earlier this week, Catherine warned us that the calves of three of their cows were going to market the following morning, and we would likely hear the mothers crying for a couple of days while they searched for their little ones.
I have never before heard the mournful cries of cows that have lost their calves. They stationed themselves right across the road from us, likely because it was at the top of the hill. One poor mother even crossed the road and circled our cottage twice, wailing all the way.
I doubt I will ever progress to vegetarianism, but I must say I now have a deeper understanding of why some people do. The end of day three, and one continues its cry.
If you think cows are not emotionally intelligent, think again…..I did.