Friday, February 29, 2008

Old Bag

The first time I encountered Margaret Thatcher was in her guise as the Grocer's minister for education, 35 years ago. She snatched my school milk and it's been the longest period of sustained hatred for any individual I've ever undertaken. In fact, I don't actually hate anyone else. There are people I don't care to meet anymore and sometimes I have short periods of displeasure with others but it's not out and out hate. I would willingly take a hatchet to the tyres of most 4 x 4s but I'd let them off if that woman was walking past at the time. I don't believe I'm alone.

Even though she's not been PM far longer than she ever was, it seems that despite earthy denials to the contrary by any politician wielding any form of power whatsoever, her legacy still has functioning organs. The latest evidence for this comes from that slack-jawed, ineffectual and hopeless excuse for a premier currently occupying No 10 (and folk have the temerity to deride John Major. At least you could laugh at him and he liked warm beer). Unable to actually take the lead in anything and despite virtually every other government on the planet undertaking some form of sanction against the blessed things, our glorious leader has said he'll stamp his foot noisily and whine unless shops do something about it themselves. Cue them making it into some kind of competition then.

Personally, I'm just as on the fence as usual. Tesco uses thin biodegradable ones that fall apart in your car boot after 6 months meaning you either have to throw them away or plug in the vacuum cleaner to clean the mess up. Recently we found a 29 year old Tesco one here in the loft (its contents gave its age away), as good as the day it was made. Crap in a landfill and great for strangling wildlife in the woods with despite having impeccable re-use credentials. Paper bags are shite and cost more, energy wise, to produce and transport in bulk than plastic ones. Besides, they're made from trees which just means somebody will flatten the Congo in order to grow the right kind. I've constantly asked at the library for their macrobiotic jute ones but they've never got any in and I've driven all over the place just looking for suitable alternatives. I don't know what to do. It's because we're incapable of making these difficult lifestyle choices ourselves that we need guidance and strong leadership, Gordon. It's what we didn't elect you for.



Mike Smith
1943 - 2008

Keyboards and Voice of the Dave Clark 5.

Probably not Glad All Over

13 Vegetable peelings:

Blogger Vicus Scurra said...

these bags are good, despite being sold by fascists

1:14 pm  
Blogger Murph said...

Not so much "I'm feelin Glad all over" as "I'm in pieces, bits and pieces".

Mind you all don't get too well lined up with the 17 page campaign in yesterday's Daily Mail.

1:22 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Vicus, apparently, according to Sainsbury, jute is a "course" fibre.

Murph, I had a little bet with myself and I won! I didn't use that one because I thought you would. I'll line 'em up, you hit 'em.

1:52 pm  
Blogger Murph said...

I can never walk past a post without cocking a leg, Richard...

2:07 pm  
Blogger Tennessee Jed said...

History will look back on these bags as decadence at its peek.

Nice to visit you Richard!

1:16 am  
Blogger Sharon J said...

If you didn't leave them in your car in the first place, they wouldn't make a mess of it, would they? Personally I'd rather that than have wildlife die a slow death because of our selfishness.

I'm not sure what you mean by "a suitable alternative" but if you're looking for a shopping bag, there are tons of fabric ones available. Or you could try making one yourself. There's a pattern for a really easy one here

11:40 am  
Blogger Malc said...

I'm totally with you on Thatcher. I'm keeping my dancing shoes well polished for the glorious day.

We use a couple of foldable fabric bags for shopping and the blue Ikea bags for mucking out the animals.

6:53 pm  
Blogger Dyna Girl said...

29 years, my God, I can't imagine. How cool. I think my soul is roughly 29 years old. It hasn't fallen apart either. Yet.

6:46 pm  
Blogger tom909 said...

Richard - I'm beginning to get a bit cynical about all these trendy worthwhile causes. What happened to acid rain? And now they are telling us bottled water is an environmental disaster.
If they can make money out of anything they will - and I guess bags are the next thing on the list.

10:26 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Tom, I think acid rain is one trendy cause that actually worked. I don't think we've been killing off half as many fish in Swedish lakes as we used to. The one positive result of the mad witch's fight with Scargill, I suppose. Can't speak for the Chinese.

I don't drink bottled water if I can help it. I've never understood the logic of transporting bottles of water by lorry to a shop which I then have to travel to fetch when I can open a tap and have a perfectly decent glass whenever I want. So it's got fluoride in - doesn't bother me and some of those bottled waters have all kinds of crap in.

11:47 pm  
Blogger Sharon J said...

Sweden? Norway has more lakes and far more fish were being killed during the 80s. You wouldn't believe the times we went fishing only to find that the lake had been shut off because dead fish were floating in it! Things gradually improved though and now the lakes are more or less back to their former glory, thanks to the hard work that local fishing clubs etc put into cleaning them up. Acid rain was, most definitely, a reality.

I'm with you on bottled water, too. Have given it up here. Too much carbon being spewed into the air through bottle production and transport.

10:16 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Of course, all of Scandinavia was badly affected but Sweden has far more far north freshwater than Norway and it was that that used to make the headlines in the 80s and sticks in the memory. Then Chernobyl made a mess of the lot so acid rain didn't exist anymore

10:35 am  
Blogger happyhippychick said...

I never forgave that old bag for taking my milk away either!


12:08 pm  

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