Hi bloggers hope you're not too cold.  It's been non stop rain in the U.K. There are many areas affected by flood water.  Definitely need your umbrella here.  Fortunately I read an article that was quite amazing, how recycled mattresses can be recycled to be the basis for growing plants.

Old and discarded mattresses are being used to replace soil in order to grow herbs and vegetables for refugees in desert environments.

A team of experts in hydroponics from the University of Sheffield have been working with refugees in Jordan to create 'desert gardens' using foam from mattresses.

At the Zaatari refugee camp the research team, led by Professor Tony Ryan, have worked with residents to grow peppers, tomatoes, aubergines and mint.

The mattress foam is used to hold the roots of a plant in place as it grows in in a nutrient rich water solution.  Seeds are placed in the foam and they grow through it. 

The team have used mattresses destined for landfill that were left behind by aid workers after they leave the refugee camps.  Researchers worked with the refugees at the camp as many of them were experienced farmers.  The team say they learnt from each other. 

'The refugees we have worked with have taken our training and made the project their own, growing things we never thought would be possible in the desert environment using recycled materials,' said Professor Ryan.  They have created a 'desert garden' at the camp in Jordan but want to make the project more sustainable and roll it out worldwide.

They hope to raise £250,000 to supply seeds, nutrients and training for another 3,000 refugees.  Nearly 1,000 have been taught so far.

It would give families displaced by war the opportunity to have an unlimited supply of fresh produce - in some of the harshest places on the planet.  This project gives people with hope for the future and the opportunity to provide families with fresh food.

To encourage awareness about recycling in Warsaw Poland, a light installation has been created.  Coloured plastic bags that can be recycled have been used to make an innovative work of art.  It is hoped that it will focus attention on the need to recycle.  It is an important issue and using art to inspire people is a wonderful idea.

Bloggers have a good week over and out London.

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posted by MateoES at 17:44| diary



Hi bloggers hope all is well with you all. Hope that you are managing to keep warm. England had a big storm last weekend and it appears that another one, storm Dennis is on the way. The poor flowers are really taking a hammering, there's a lot of flooding and it seems it's always the same areas that are affected. It is at difficult times that building a community is important. In England it is said that, January and February, are often the months when people experience the most severe bouts of loneliness. Our government has in fact appointed a minister to look into loneliness. However governments propose grand schemes, but its groups of volunteers who usually get things off the ground.
The Chatty Café Scheme has been set up to reduce loneliness and to get people talking. Many people experience loneliness but don't talk about it as It's a stigmatised subject. The chatty cafe society is trying to influence UK café culture by encouraging venues to designate a Chatter and Natter table, which is where customers can sit if they are happy to talk to other customers. This offers a way for people to get to know each other, have a chat without any pressure.
People are said to experience more loneliness when they live in a big city.

London is Lonely is an exhibition composed of 10 photographs and audio stories of loneliness in London, all of which represent people who live, work or spend time in the capital. London is Lonely highlights the magnitude of loneliness while demonstrating that this is a shared issue, and therefore we can all be part of the solutions. The exhibition invites visitors to think about their role and how we can all help build a more connected world. I think that these ideas are really inspiring.

Bloggers wishing you a safe week hoping that you stay warm and well. Over and out London.

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posted by MateoES at 21:11| diary



Hi bloggers, hope you are surviving the cold of winter.  I know that you've had a really really freezing spell I do hope that changes and it gets warmer for you.  In England we're waiting for a storm news flashes etc but I just tell people it's nothing compared to last Octobers typhoon in Japan.  As all the news is doom and gloom currently I've been focusing on looking at flowers.  They bring so much pleasure, there are little bursts of crocuses sprouting, daffodils and even early blossom.  I came upon an article about a mother who commentates her daughters' death by placing a bunch of flowers, where she was knocked down, every year on the anniversary.
Since 1996 a mother leaves a floral tribute to her daughter who was run over and died.   For years Perter Fernley had driven past the floral display, he wrote a poem in 2018 and put it on line hoping that the person placing the flowers would hear it.  This year, he attached a laminated card of his verse to the railings he always felt very touched by the flowers.  Ms Green found his work and she was really pleased that someone had gone to so much effort to write a song.  They were put in touch through social media.

 This is part of the poem.

"I've seen this act of sweet remembrance for over twenty years

Flowers on the railings full of tenderness and tears

All the colours of the rainbow wrapped up in a pretty bow

The flowers on the railings for a love that won't let go"

It got me thinking about the national flowers of different countries.

The national flower of England is the rose.  The Tudor rose was adopted by Henry VII as England’s emblem of peace at the end of the War of the Roses – the civil wars of 1455-1485 between the royal house of Lancashire, whose emblem was a red rose, and the royal house of York, whose emblem was a white rose.  The Tudor rose came to symbolise peace between the houses because it was a mix of both.

From China, the chrysanthemum made its way over to Japan by Buddhist monks in AD 400.  Soon after its introduction, the Japanese were so enamored by this beautiful flower that it was soon adopted as the emperor’s crest and official seal.  “Kiku” is the Japanese name for chrysanthemum and every year there is a National Chrysanthemum Day which is also referred to as the Festival of Happiness.    I read that the cherry blossom is also considered to be the national flower of Japan. However both are beautiful.

Bloggers I really wish you a healthy peaceful week over and out London.

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posted by MateoES at 19:41| diary