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Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day. The aim of this is for all bloggers to draw attention to the plight of the environment.

For a few weeks now, I have been reading the blog of No Impact Man, whose family have been living in as environmentally friendly way as possible in New York. This is what he says in the introduction:

For one year, my wife, my 2-year-old daughter, my dog and I, while living in the middle of New York City, are attempting to live without making any net impact on the environment. In other words, no trash, no carbon emissions, no toxins in the water, no elevators, no subway, no products in packaging, no plastics, no air conditioning, no TV, no toilets…

It makes interesting reading.

Avon Valley Country Park

A few weeks ago I went with the kids on a church outing to Avon Valley Country Park. They had great fun down these scary slides:

red scary slide

while I sat in the cafe and chatted and drank tea.

There are a lot of animals there, including Jacob and Soay sheep and angora goats. After a hairy boat ride where DS1 and DS2 rowed me around (an adult was required otherwise I would have foregone the pleasure), I went and regained my calm by having a walk around to look at the animals. The kids meanwhile hared off to the go-karts…

Jacob sheep:

black/brown and white Jacob sheep

Soay sheep (had to crop this photo because they wouldn’t come any closer!):

soay sheep

Angora goats – this little one was very obliging…

angora goat standing under tree trunk

There was a tiny little kid there as well:

angora kid

Caerleon Sculpture Festival

I’m afraid blogging is going to be sporadic for the next couple of months… the summer holidays are nearly upon us.  I have been busy going to end of year school concerts and meetings and assemblies… DS3 is going to high school in September so he has all sorts of farewell-to-old and welcome-to-new school events.  DS1 is sunning himself in Sorrento on a geography field trip – Vesuvius, Pompeii, Amalfi… in text messages, ‘awesome’ and ‘wicked’ crop up a lot!  Here in the UK it must be the wettest July for at least a couple of years and I am ready for a bit of sun and relaxation.  Some hope with the kids at home!  Anyway, DS3 went to a party yesterday and DH to an airshow so DS2 and I went to Caerleon for lunch and to visit the annual Sculpture Festival.

Caerleon high street

Caerleon is a village just outside Newport which used to house a substantial Roman legionary force. 

mural of Roman street

This is a mural painted in a little arts centre called The Fwrrwm.  There are lots of little arty shops and a nice cafe there where we had lunch.  There are also lots of quirky and diverse sculptures in the grounds.

sculpture of knights fighing

wooden sculpture of creature's head

I love this one carved from a tree trunk:

sculpture in tree trunk

And there is a gorgeous tree hanging over it all:

old, knarled tree and sculptures

The field of the sculpture festival was very muddy – not surprising since it had poured down nonstop the day before…. 

sculpture festival field

 and they had somehow got a crane in to lift one of the sculptures…

crane holding sculpture up

I didn’t note down the names of the sculptors but they were from all over the world – Bulgaria, Turkey, the Czech Republic, the USA – and all the way from England too!

I loved these chairs…

high backed, sculptural chairs

And this strange hand caught my eye…

hand sticking up out of lump of wood

At the end of the day we got the bus home and reorganised DS2’s bedroom so he could actually get into it!  A day well spent…  and I finished reading The Memory Keeper’s Daughter.

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