Thursday 31 March 2011
Wednesday 30 March 2011
Monday 28 March 2011
Sunday 27 March 2011
Friday 25 March 2011
Thursday 24 March 2011
Whilst on a fleeting visit to the UK a couple of weekends ago, I noticed that The Co-operative has started a new advertising campaign. I like the Co-op; it's testament to the principle that a good idea can stand the test of time and succeed. In fact, the original co-operative was formed by The Rochdale Pioneers in 1844. I doubt that back then they had any idea their concept would still be working over 150 years later.
The ad campaign I mentioned features some modern-day successors of the Pioneers ideals. I particularly like the first community owned wind farm; set up in a Cumbrian village, Baywind Energy Co-operative has been running now since 1996 and typically generates enough electricity to power 30,000 homes each year. Not bad for a project that was initially set up using a loan from The Co-operative.
Co-operative ventures don't always work, obviously (the vast farms set up in Stalin's time in Russa are testament to that, sadly), but it can be a very successful business model. The Austrian village that the Potski family went skiing in this year is an example of that; the entire mountain is owned by the occupants of the village, all of whom take home a share of the profits at the end of each tourist season. Not only does this mean that improvements and investments are joint decisions - and hence implemented more efficiently than they might otherwise be - it also means that every person living in the village has a stake in ensuring that visitors enjoy their trip and hopefully return in future years. In short, everyone wins.
Which is, essentially, what The Co-operative is all about.
Partage propulse par ebuzzing
Wednesday 23 March 2011
Monday 21 March 2011
Sunday 20 March 2011
Nowadays, Mother’s Day consists of a card, and possibly being let off the washing-up (which you just know you are going to have do again later to get rid of the grease spots on the glasses). And if you're very lucky you might even avoid the grease spots hazard altogether with a family lunch out, assuming the credit card isn’t being crunched too hard…
1 Dutiful Daughterhood
Waking up secure in the knowledge that I have not — as has been known — forgotten to send my mother a card. (Clearly, this one comes under ‘note to self’ category). This will then remove the need for that traditional last-minute panicked phone call to my sister (who handily lives in the same town as our parents), to beg her on bended knee to buy some flowers to drop in to Mum on my behalf.
2 Glorious Gifts
Being presented with suitably relevant and low-key gifts by my husband and sons (family please note: egg timers, a boxed set of ‘Best of Top Gear’ DVDs, and a road atlas of Europe are not amongst the presents deemed acceptable on this occasion).
3 Bathroom Monopoly
Being able to take as long as I like in the bathroom. To spell it out clearly; there will be no interruptions by husbands looking for spare loo rolls or small boys flying Playmobil airplanes and/or needing their bottoms wiping.
Ignoring a healthy breakfast in favour of a large box of Rococco chocolates. And not having to share them.
5 No chores
The general absence of cooking and tidying up duties. Not that those things shouldn’t get done, you understand. Just not by me. Not on Mothering Sunday.
6 The Big One
The big one. The Holy Grail for all mothers everywhere, if my straw poll on the matter is anything to go by. Please, no humdrum decisions. I would like one day of the year when I don’t have to decide what the children wear. One day when I don’t have to plan (or cook) dinner, or decide whether today’s is going to be a dark or a light wash. I still want these things done, mind you, and I want them done properly. Just — again — not by me.
7 But bigger still...
I’ve just worked out what the ingredient would be that would really make My Perfect Mother’s Day. My Mum. Here. With me. In spite of the fact that of course if she were I would need to be doing all those things in Point 6 (washing, laundry, humdrum decisions, cooking) for her rather than having them done for me. Which rather negates the whole thing, now I come to think of it... Still. I think I could live with that.