Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Keep Calm and Carry On

As previously mentioned one of my current concerns is the amout of Palm Oil being surreptitiously added to many hundreds of products that we buy. Often purchased unwittingly unless we use a magnifying glass in order to scan the ingredients on the back. Another concern is trying to purchase products without a covering of plastic.  When I was young everything was put in paper bags, and milk came in glass bottles, so why don't they come back? Both of these can be reused/recycled, and will not contaminate our oceans.
However, all of this has suddenly been overshadowed by the current goings on in the medieval city of Salisbury, an ancient place of pilgrimage, and just a few miles away from Stonehenge. Salisbury is not a place you expect to visit and suddenly find that you are confronted with Novichok, a nerve chemical more toxic than sarin, which is now contaminating the town. I wonder how many of the diners in Salisbury on that fateful Sunday, out for an enjoyable lunch or meeting friends are feeling now. I also worry in case this is just the start of something more sinister to come.

38 comments:

  1. Hello Rosemary, I have just been reading about the horrifying attack in Salisbury, which is so much worse than the murder of the two victims. We see the dread specter of this type of attack becoming more common. I do find it odd that Russia would use this complicated method of assassination which would put so many people on the alert instead of quietly getting rid of their enemy--but of course, that is a large part of the intended effect of terrorism.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - it is a very frightening senario - the act of bringing such a dangerous substance into our country could have resulted in a great many more lives being put at risk too. The policeman, who helped the Russian couple, is still in intensive care.

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  2. I read that there is a mass of floating garbage in the ocean the size of France. That is just criminal. How will it ever be cleaned up? I assume it is made up of things like plastic.
    I remember milk coming in glass bottles too. Not gallon size ones though. I suppose small bottles were fine at the time because the milk man came every day. He also collected the empty bottles. 
    It is horrifying to think someone was able to bring Novichok into your country and then carried out the use of it in a public place.

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    1. My husband was the UN's environmental expert on maritime issues and he brought the matter of the dangers of pollution in our oceans to the attention of world leaders in 1992 at the very first Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
      I imagine that this audacious act of bringing Novichok into our country still has a long winding journey ahead of it.

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  3. It is frightening to think of such a powerful weapon entering the UK. Our world is broken in so many ways.
    I purchase milk in waxed cartons and avoid the plastic ones. I remember when paper bags were used for garbage disposal, as well. We would line the bottoms with newspapers for a little extra strength. Yes, they sometimes broke, but if care was taken, those events were rare, and easily cleaned up. We composted most of our food waste and it went back into the garden. Our city now has a composting system in which we separate our food waste, and I think that plastic garbage bags could be avoided now.
    Our city is also debating the ban on single use plastic shopping bags. Many retailers have already switched to paper, or bring your own. When we boat in the summer, I hate seeing plastic in the ocean. Much of what we see on the shores washes up from across the Pacific.

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    1. Hello Lorrie - it is good of you to comment, I recall that you must be a very busy girl packing for your trip.
      Everyone over here uses their own bags in all of the shops - by law shops now have to charge for single use bags. Once you get used to taking your own bags it is easy.

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  4. Dear Rosemary, How absolutely terrifying. I am speechless. Had no idea that this poison was being used on innocent people.
    Some time ago I was told that milk was placed in cartons and kept in the dark to preserve vitamins.

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    1. Dear Gina - the nerve agent was used surreptitiously on a Russian and his daughter living over here, so it is easy to guess where it came from. The policeman was British and was helping them when they fell seriously ill in the street - it is so toxic that being near them is all it needed to make him critally ill and now he is in intensive care at the local hospital.
      I buy my milk in cartons, but I had not heard about keeping them in the dark

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  5. Dear Rosemary, that gave us all a terrible shock about Salisbury (I remember Stonehenge from the old days - where we were allowed to go around with no yellow ribbons around it, and the Salisbury I saw two years ago).
    As to the plastic: they really cover almost everything with it - I have a real aversion. In Berlin they opened two years ago a shop who uses no plastic or bags or anything (but it is too far away for me) - and if I rip off the plastic in a normal shop, it doesn't help, because it is already there.

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    1. Ah - and since two years people have to pay for plastic carrier bags in Germany - it really, really "educates" - if they have to pay, suddenly they are willing to bring their own string bags or whatsoever.

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    2. Nobody thinks about going shopping without a bag here Britta - it just means changing your habits, and as you mention, charging educates.

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  6. The Salisbury case isn't surprising, given the recent history of the vile little thug running things in Moscow.

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    1. It is a frightening scenario; We will just have to wait and see what happens.

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  7. Nice card. Another complication with international affairs these days is that we've been lied to and spun sideways by various politicians in all parties over decades to get their own way... i.e. they have/have not WMD... We will be better/ worse off leaving EU... save X amount of cash... lose X amount of cash etc.. etc.
    So much so that I'm completely cynical now and don't believe a word any political party comes up with as years later after the event a wide range of statements have been proved false time and time again. Having said that I'm not a fan of Putin either.

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    1. That is precisely why Putin perceives us as a weak country.

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    2. That may well be correct but it could also be that the UK may soon be alone and isolated without the EU and that Russian billionaires, many with very close links to President Putin have been allowed to buy up large chunks of London for years, have very close ties to the upper levels of British society, not to mention investments, and have donated large sums of money to the Conservative Party. Something pointed out on Newsnight tonight and in the past. I'd imagine that has more to do with it as a perceived weakness but I may be wrong :o)

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    3. Whatever is going on it is a frightening scenario - I am pleased that NATO, the UN and the EU have now come in and given us their support. I was a 'remainer' - I do wonder whether those who voted us 'out' are now questioning their choice.

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  8. Interesting to read Rosemary.
    We have recycling down here in Tasmania. We don't have plastic bags, the ones we have breakdown and put in the recycling bin. When doing our groceries we have recycled bags which we purchase, these are reusable and so on. Other States in Australia are following Tasmania's footsteps.

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    1. I think that it could be too late for our oceans Margaret - plastic in the seas never breaks down.

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  9. Interesting post Rosemary...well, what to say about all crazy thing´s that happens all the time. It´s really scary...
    Take care!
    Titti

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    1. The world is definitely a much different place to the one that I knew as a child.

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  10. The events in Salisbury are very disturbing, and we have been following the story from Australia. One does wonder about the future, and if there will be more such toxic events spreading contamination. When I am in our city centre, I am always aware of my surroundings, and take extra care. Our state is phasing out plastic bags for shopping from July this year. Many shops are already offering purchased cloth bags and are discouraging the use of the plastic ones. It will be interesting to see how it all works out during the transition.

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    1. When people are charged for bags it is amazing how quickly they start using their own in the shops - soon it becomes second nature to take them. We have all been spoilt too much in the past.

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  11. I can imagine your concerns. It is hard to believe that someone can be poisoned at a very open public place. It sounds more as a detective story, but helas this is all really happening.

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    1. It is true - it does sound more like a made up detective story.

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  12. I too wish they would put milk back in glass bottles. It is scary what we are doing to our world. I do recycle and always take my on cloth bags to the market.

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    1. I recycle too - our council give us different coloured bins for the various products. It doesn't take anytime to get used to doing it.

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  13. The events in Salisbury are so frightening, it is not what you would expect to happen anywhere putting so many people at risk.
    I had so many comments about the milk bottles I recently photographed on my doorstep! I am concerned about the biodegradable cornstarch containers that are being promoted to businesses and are sold as a solution to the plastic problem. Sarah x

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    1. Perhaps, if you have time, you could do a post about the biodegradable cornstarch Sarah, I am not familiar with it.

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  14. Interesting post Rosemary and a little disturbing. I try not to dwell on all the bad things because I would become very depressed. I don't know where all that plastic in the ocean has come from. On a brighter note, I like your beautiful picture, how did you do that?

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    1. You are right Polly - better not to dwell on these things.
      The illustration is a 3D Mothering Sunday card that I received from one of my sons and photographed - so nothing very clever on my part.

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    2. Thank you Rosemary, it's lovely.

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  15. Some are poisoned deliberately, and we are losing ourselves. Nature can not cope alone if we do not help it. Plastic destroys us on our own request. Regards and I am sorry that the translator did not write down for me. Regards.

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    1. I managed to get the translator to work in the end Giga and you showed some lovely images.

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  16. Hello Rosemary, We have a recycling system here too. However, recently, in a couple of municipalities, the recycled plastics, tins, paper etc. has not been collected. The collection companies have said that they cannot afford to continue to dispose of these items.
    I have read/heard that China is refusing to take any more recyclable waste.
    I've been thinking of ways to minimise the use of plastics etc. in my own home. Cooking/baking everything from scratch, tearing up/shredding paper and cardboard to compost, getting used to not using the plastic containers I have for heating/cooking in the microwave and storing food in the refrigerator. Instead, utilising small crockery containers and casserole dishes to cook and to store leftovers in the refrigerator. Making use of the plastic containers I already have to store inert items e.g. cottons, buttons, stationery items etc.
    I'm sure there are many other ways to cut down on using these products.
    It means more work and some inconvenience, but hopefully, I'll get used to these changes soon.
    Sad and shocking events in Salisbury. We have been following news items here.
    Apologies for the ramble.
    Betty

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    1. I am very impressed Betty - Bravo to you♡ We like to think that everything new is the best way forward, but in so many respects the old way of doing things was much better.
      The Salisbury case has opened up a very frightening can of worms, not just for our country, but for everyone as a whole.

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  17. I too wondered what ordinary people who happened to be in the vicinity were thinking. I hope that they can now relax and feel as if they are out of danger.
    I've wondered about palm oil, and looked it up too - but wasn't able to find anything damning; so many people seemed to feel it was good for you. Now, I've heard that the "Iceland" foods chain is banning palm oil from all its products. I find "Iceland" a quirky place - but the food you buy there can be surprisingly interesting and is always cheap and good quality. The palm oil ban is yet another reason to buy from there, I've now decided!

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