In the last year alone, there were 66,659 reported accidental fires in the home in Great Britain alone, with 12,362 of those cases due to faulty appliances and leads and a further 5,102 due to careless handling of fire or hot substances. With so many cases occurring throughout the UK in one year alone, it is no wonder that smoke alarms and fire alarms are becoming more and more necessary in today’s homes. Continue reading “The Importance of Fire Alarms – Checking Your System”
It’s quite difficult to interpret just how much damage humans have done to forest worldwide as a result of deforestation and the production of wood-based materials. The figures are overwhelming, so much so that we would be forgiven for thinking that there’s little we can do as individuals. Continue reading “Top Tips for Contributing to Forest Preservation”
As you can all tell from the title of our blog, we’re big advocates of a greener lifestyle. But what if you aren’t? Why should you invest your time and money in pursuit of something that you don’t believe in? We could argue with you all day on that one, but our trump card is: it saves you money.
Today, we’re going to look at several ways you can save your money – and the planet. And, with the added bonus of a healthier lifestyle thrown in for good measure. Ready to get started?
Grow your own
There are plenty of advantages to growing your own fruit and veg. Not only will it save you money on your supermarket or grocery bills, but it will also get you out in the fresh air. It’s a healthy pastime, then, without even eating your produce! And that’s before we’ve even mentioned the vast amount of pesticides and chemicals that you will miss out on.
Want to get started in the garden? If so, we recommend something easy first. Start out with a tomato bag, and maybe something weather-hardy like potatoes. Onions are also a good shout for beginners. Once you get going, you can use your new expertise to grow whatever you like. Carrots, beets, marrows, radishes and anything else you might want to see on your dinner plate. Eat them straight from the garden, and you will taste vegetables exactly how they should taste.
Cut back on energy spending
Next, we’re going to look at slashing your energy bills. The typical family spends around £140 just for lighting and heating, which is an incredible amount of money. Now, with a little bit of dedication, we reckon you can easily take a third off that. How? Well, start by being more careful whenever you leave a room. Turn off the lights, close the doors to keep the heat in, and get into the habit of doing it all of the time.
The next step is to make some investments. Solar panels are an obvious starting point, although not every family will be able to afford them straight away. So, look at how efficient your current heating, air-con, and electrical goods are and change them slowly over time. Duel fuel radiators and a well maintained central heating system are good starts. Also, consider draft proofing. Wherever you feel cold air, you know you are, effectively, seeing money burn up in the atmosphere. So get sealing!
DIY cleaning products
Your last step is to look at all of your cleaning products. Most of them aren’t great for the environment, or your wallet. The thing is, it’s so easy to make your own cleaning products that don’t include nasty chemicals. It just seems pointless adding tens of pounds to your monthly shopping when you don’t have to.
This is an especially relevant point if you have kids. Those harsh products are dangerous for the atmosphere, and to your children. If you don’t have any in the home, it will automatically reduce your risk. Check our green cleaning guide for more details.
So, let us know: have we managed to change your mind?
Going green has finally hit the trending wave, as most people are now considering the benefits of trying to play nicely with mother nature. It probably has more to do with the fact that the overall atmosphere of the planet has become quite alarming, than the majority of the population having a sudden epiphany.
You’ve got a warehouse that, from the right viewpoint, appears to stretch out beyond the horizon. Row after row of shelves are piled to the rafters, while the gentle hum of your employees ambling through their day job plays a calming tune to your ears.
The plight of the environment and rising concerns about climate change feature increasingly in the public conscience today. On first consideration, it may seem there is little any individual can do to affect change for the better. In truth, everyone can make a difference. By actively considering the eco-friendly credentials of products in and around the home, it is possible to effectively contribute to the future wellbeing of the environment, reducing air and water pollution and reversing the damage done by greenhouse gasses. Eco-friendly home choices often lead to improved health and a lower proportion of the household budget being spent on fuel. There are some simple ways to start living a greener lifestyle outlined below.
Bamboo is increasingly being used to fashion all sorts of products, from furniture and flooring to kitchen implements. Bamboo has far greater sustainability than most materials, either synthetic or natural. Wood from bamboo plants can be harvested every three to five years, and patches of bamboo produce 35% more oxygen than the same area of trees. Bamboo is also typically grown without the use of fertilisers or pesticides.
Using electricity produced from solar energy sources will help avert an energy crisis and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Contrary to what many believe – solar technology is effective even given the UK’s notoriously disastrous summers. All that is required to generate power is ordinary daylight, though much more power is produced on sunny days.
A good idea is a solar oven. These devices are for outside use and they use the sun’s direct energy to cook or heat up food and drink. Heat settings can be adjusted so food cooks quickly or so that the solar oven operates as a slow cooker. It is possible to purchase myriad shelves and attachments enabling roasting, stewing, grilling or frying of food. Using these in the UK will be confined to the summer months.
Home-grown food is bursting with freshness and health giving properties. For storage, Abeego wrap is a superb eco alternative to cling-film or Tupperware. Made from natural products known for their preservative properties, Abeego wrap allows food to be kept incredibly fresh. Made from hemp, jojoba oil, organic cotton and covered with a beeswax coating – Abeego is both fluid and air resistant. The wrap is reusable – easily washed with cool soapy water – and can be composted when it is no longer effective.
Rainwater harvesting is the collection of rainwater in large butts, which can then be utilised for exterior or non-drinking purposes. With an approved water filtration system, harmful bacteria and chemicals can be removed making rainwater safe to drink.
Chemical cleaning products can be extremely harmful both to human health and the environment. Natural products are the best way to ensure safety when using cleaning products. White vinegar, lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda can be used to clean a multitude of substances or stains from surfaces and materials. If the convenience and extra power of commercial cleaners is essential – products made from natural plant based ingredients that carry no toxic or corrosive markings are the best to use.
When furnishing a home, reclaimed wood and bamboo are stunning natural materials with fantastic eco credentials. An eco range of contemporary furniture is available, giving a charming rustic-chic feel to any room. For those with a creative bent – upcycling seems a fad that is set to stay. Wooden pallets can be used to form bases for beds or sofas, and old crates or barrels make fantastic coffee tables. Sheets and clothing can be turned into furniture covers. With a little creativity – so many disused items can be turned to beautiful or practical new uses.
This article features a small sample of eco-friendly ideas for the home. Preserving the environment is everyone’s responsibility and taking action to do so can also improve health and be good for the family budget.
Since 1970, energy used to heat Britain’s homes has increased by 20%. While the switch to central heating has brought great improvements in the carbon efficiency, and new buildings regulations has meant more homes now have full insulation and more energy efficient fixtures, this has not accounted for the new dependence on electrical appliances that govern modern life. One of the easiest ways you can improve the efficiency of your home is to invest in energy efficient windows.
We are often bombarded with instructions on contributing to a cleaner global environment, yet it’s often difficult to pinpoint the exact cause for concern with so much happening in the background and very little being done on the frontline.
Have you ever felt like you want to live your life in a more eco-conscious way, but aren’t exactly sure where to start? Well what you’ll be pleased to hear is there are easy ways you can adapt your lifestyle at home to help protect our planet.
So, from your gardens to your decor and energy consumption, read on to find out some eco-living methods you can try. When you do, you’ll soon see it’s easy being green.
In recent years, the birth and growth of online shopping has transformed commerce into a truly global phenomenon. Today, it is as easy to purchase an item from another continent as it is to walk down to your local corner shop and buy a pint of milk. This has created a greatly increased customer base for business owners to tap into, and as a result shipping has become the lifeblood of the modern economy. Continue reading “Three Top Tips for Eco-Friendly Shipping”
Going green doesn’t have to be an expensive nightmare. Very few people are opposed to cleaner energy sources. What they’re opposed to is the cost and time it takes to make the conversion. But if they knew that eco-friendly home improvements could save them money in the long term, they might not be so quick to rule out the idea. We all know that it’s up to us to reduce our individual carbon footprint by as much as possible nowadays. The green issue is only going to get more pressing, so why not try out some of our tips below?
Update Your Old Appliances
Living without a washing machine or a fridge-freezer isn’t an attractive prospect for most people. But, luckily for you, there are ways to cut down on your energy usage without living like a luddite. If you’re using an old appliance, it’s likely that it’s not very energy efficient. If it’s time to throw it away and get a new one, make sure it’s replacement is an energy efficient one. If you get one with an A+++ rating, rather than just an A+, you’ll save up to £200 on your energy bills.
Make Your Bathroom Low-Flow
By switching to low-flow showers, taps and toilets, you can save both water and money. The amount of money each of us wastes on water is quite shocking. The money it would cost to replace your current fixtures with low-flow ones would be easily earned back before the year’s over in water bill savings. After a few years, you’ll be saving money like never before.
Embrace Solar Energy
Britain is not the sunniest of countries but don’t let that fool you; solar panels are still a worthwhile investment. Last summer the UK broke a record by having 7.8% of the nation’s energy provided by solar panels. And as the interest in them continues to increase that figure will only go up and up. Some companies will even install them onto your house for free depending on where you live. The energy you don’t use will be taken up by them.
Repurpose and Recycle
There are hundreds of possibilities for recycling and repurposing products and would-be junk. If your sofa is starting to creak a little and it feels like it may collapse at any minute, why not strip it down and restore its component parts to create something new. You could get hold of an old shopping trolley and upcycle it into a trendy armchair. Or maybe you could use old buckets and baskets as flower boxes. If you make your own furniture, you’ll be saving on the manufacture and transportation costs (and emissions) of buying new items.
- Replace all your old out-dated light fittings with new energy saving light bulbs.
- Cover your roof with plants and greenery which will soak up moisture.
- Use low energy radiators and heating systems.
- If you own a big house with land or a business, consider installing a wind turbine.
- Double glaze your windows to keep heat in.
Many companies are now using paper bags as they recognise their benefits. They are stronger, more environmentally friendly and often cheaper than using plastic carrier bags. There are many different types of businesses that use paper bags for their customers to carry their wares home. Continue reading “5 Companies That Are Proud To Use Paper Bags”
There was a time when owning an eco-friendly vehicle meant that the owner had to compromise on speed, size and driving range. These ‘green’ vehicles were noticeably smaller, owing to their smaller, fuel-efficient engines. These days however, the trend is subtly changing with big car manufacturers such as BMW, Tesla and Prius rolling out hybrid vehicles that are equally eco-friendly.
What many may not know is that these carmakers drew inspiration and borrowed from their Formula One (F1) counterparts. A few years ago, no one would have imagined that the Motorsport industry would be mentioned in the same breath as environmentally friendly technology, but that is in fact now happening.
In recent years, Motorsport has seen the introduction of a raft of regulations aimed at improving the efficiency of their super cars. This has already had a positive impact on the development of new road car technologies as innovations from the F1 world trickle down to regular cars.
New Formula One regulations
The new F1 regulations introduced to the sport in 2014 saw changes in the way the supercars’ engines were made. The traditional 2.4 litre V8 and V10 fuel-guzzling engines were abandoned in favour of downsized, turbocharged 1.6 litre V6 ones with more hybrid power. The hybrid power units, known as Energy Recovery Systems (ERS), were good for adding more horsepower to the engines, increasing their speed.
The ERS is a truly innovative piece of technology. It works by harnessing the energy released when a racing car brakes. Normally, this energy would be lost as heat and friction. However, the ERS is able to harness and store this energy, allowing it to be released at the push of a button when the driver needs more speed, e.g. when overtaking.
While this might seem insignificant on the surface, it really is a big deal. These new engines fitted with ERS units enable the F1 cars to burn no more than 100 kilos (about 140 litres) of fuel in a race. This makes them 35% more efficient than their 2013 predecessors. Breaking it down further, this means that the cars’ thermal efficiency is improved. Previously, racing cars used about 25-30% of the total energy released when they consumed or burnt gasoline, meaning that 70-75% got lost as heat energy. Now with the new engines, they are approaching up to 40% more efficiency, and companies are working to increase this even further.
These innovations have been possible thanks to the efforts of Max Mosley, who was the head of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) in 2006, when he called for the Motorsport industry to develop a greener outlook. He pioneered the idea of the ERS and had a vision that the innovations developed in the industry would eventually find their way to regular road cars. Those interested in Mosley and his work in Motorsport can find out more on this blog.
As previously mentioned, some of the technology developed by the Motorsport industry has been adopted in the making of regular cars. This is very welcome, since it means more fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly cars will soon be on the roads, resulting in less carbon emissions and a cleaner planet for everyone.
Admittedly, cars aren’t really my thing; as long as they get me from A to B safely and cheaply, and they’re a nice colour (I’m not a fan of white cars – sorry owners of white cars), I’m not that concerned with their make and model, how quickly they can reach 60mph and whether they have the latest gadgets, buttons and switches that thrill quite a lot of people.
We live in a decidedly throwaway culture. When household products are damaged or break, our first instinct is often the toss them out with the trash and find replacement versions. However, this approach is bad news for the environment and it can dent your finances too.
Next time one of your possessions breaks or if you notice that certain items around your home are starting to show signs of wear and tear, try taking a different stance. Rather than getting rid of the items, have a go at getting them fixed. Specialist buildings and contents repair companies like Hometech-UK offer fast and effective services that can restore items to their former selves in no time.
Like lots of people, you might not put much thought into what happens to your rubbish when it is taken away on lorries. However, every item that you chuck out has to end up somewhere. Most rubbish ends up in landfill. Indeed, each year the UK disposes of around 57 million tonnes of waste into landfill. It should come as no surprise then that Britain has been dubbed the ‘dustbin of Europe’.
Of course, it’s not only the problem of landfill that has to be considered. Usually when people throw out household products, these items have to be replaced. In turn, this means using more of the planet’s natural resources. As the global population rises and consumer expectations increase, more and more of the Earth’s finite resources are being used up.
By restoring household items instead of replacing them, you can help to lower pressures on these resources.
Lowering global warming
By lowering demand for new household goods, you can also help to do your bit to reduce global warming. It usually takes far less energy to repair items than it does to replace them. In turn, this helps to drive down emissions of greenhouse gases like CO2 that are contributing to an increase in global temperatures.
Boost your budget
As well as having a clean conscience about the environment, repairing household products rather than replacing them can boost your finances. It is cheaper to fix worktops, floors, bathroom suites and other items than it is to buy brand new versions.
With the New Year fast approaching, we will start getting geared up for a host of people saying “New Year, New Me” and saying a lot of things they are going to give up in hope of a healthier lifestyle.
Usually, we would condone this from our social media timelines, but this year there is one product that could make us join in – the electric bike. Seen everywhere in London, electric bikes are the future of transport and can cut down huge amounts on emissions.
Not only are electric bikes great for staying fit, but they will save you a fortune on fuel costs to and from work too – some of the bikes even have a range of up to 50 miles. Saving money and doing your bit for the environment in the process is a no-brainer really.
What’s more is electric bikes can be enjoyed all year round too, so during the summer, you can enjoy seeing new things you wouldn’t necessary appreciate stuck in traffic and during the wintery months you can mess around in the mud – if you opt for the electric mountain bike of course.
A couple of years ago, when electric bikes started making their way into the mainstream, they looked hideous. Now, they look like any other bike you can buy on the market. In fact, some are even smarter than a lot of the bikes on the market.
So, if there was one thing that you should give up for the New Year, it should be using your car for the daily commute. Of course, if you live miles and miles away from your work and don’t fancy being Bradley Wiggins during the Tour De France each day, then you could opt for an electric car, but if you live up to 50 miles all-round away, give an electric bike a chance.
While everyone turns the discussion to making sacrifices for the sake of the planet, some bells and whistles can actually help save it.
Don’t put the five-iron down, and relax. By supporting your local golf course, you might actually be helping reverse global warming –or in the least, you may not be making it worse.
The green-conscious eco-movement isn’t only a cause fought for by Birkenstock wearing, tree-hugging hippies. Golf-enthusiasts can fight the cause, too; from the turf.
So don’t re-book that Friday afternoon business meeting. The only earth-friendly decision you may need to make today is which golf course to spend your money on.
Not every golf course is a mecca for eco-friendliness, so it’s important to know what to look for. Here are a few tips on how golf courses are going green.
- Pass the Grass
Not all golf course turf is created equal. If you’re going to spend time on a course, and the environment your playing golf on is of conscientious consequence for you; be sure to select a golf course that uses turf composed of grass that relies on less water consumption.
Some strains of grass that consume water differently are Buchloe dactyloides, Cynodon dactylon, and Paspalum vaginatum.
Buchloe dactyloides has been bred by the University of Nebraska, and it is a special grass turf that can use up to 50% less water than typical turf grass.
Cynodon dactylon was developed by the Oklahoma State University for colder climates, and conserves 30% – 50% water savings.
The University of Georgia’s Paspalum vaginatum is inherently salt-water tolerant, so water can be irrigated directly from the ocean without further tampering or filtration.
- Irrigation Practices
Golf courses that cycle irrigation as opposed to using fresh water all day long, day in, day out, are high on the list of eco-friendly golf course practices –however more attention can be paid to other facets of modern golf course practices such as limiting traffic to paths which minimize turf wear and tear, or root-pruning trees near critical turf areas to conserve water consumption.
Employing mulches that reduce water evaporation will also maximise water use, and ensure that no drop is wasted.
- Creative Water Sources
Ponds that line your turf should provide more utility than looking good cosmetically; they can serve as water reservoirs to feed the green above and beyond municipal reserves.
As mentioned earlier, University of Georgia’s Paspalum vaginatum is salt-water tolerant, and allows for the use of ocean water to feed the green. Not only is it the right thing to do ecologically, it saves money, too.
Even a desalinization plant on-site will allow for the use of ocean salt water, without burdening local infrastructure and provide an unlimited source of grass turf hydration.
- Landscaping and “Earth Shaping”
Drainage isn’t just about preventing flooding on the gold course, it’s also about water catchment for the recycling of available water.
Capping golf courses with a 6-inch layer of sand allow for the free-flowing of water which will prevent stale water and rot, while allowing water to flow back into a water catchment system for redistribution.
- Aerification and Cultivation
Healthy grass ensures proper use of water resources. Using effective nutrient levels will ensure grass remains healthy, while absorbing water that might otherwise evaporate and get wasted.
Further to this, golf courses that facilitate effective spiking, slicing, and core aerification practices improve water infiltration, and minimize water runoff.
In closing, you can either take this checklist to every single golf course in town, or you can take our word on it; Murray Downs Resort has what you’re looking for.
I had ideals when I was pregnant about the type of mum I wanted to be, and about the type of kids I wanted to raise. Well-mannered, well-rounded, academic individuals. Now, my biggest hope for Phoebe is that she’ll be happy in whatever she wants to do. Cheesy, but true!
Now I just want us to spend as much time as possible doing things as a family, which is why I have written this article; it features the best places in the UK Steve and I have visited with Phoebe so far!
Monkey Forest, Staffordshire
Great for getting up-close to monkeys as they roam freely round their spacious enclosure! Phoebe was fascinated watching the baby monkeys play fighting, jumping all over each other, climbing trees at lightning speed and irritating the hell out of their elders!
It’s a fairly cheap day out too, compared to other places. An adult ticket is £7.50 and a child is £5.50 (from ages 3-14), which was good for us because Phoebe went for free, but being so small she couldn’t really take advantage of the great play area there.
Longleat Adventure Park
If you live in Wiltshire, then this multi million pound attraction is meant for you. Whether you are a family or a group of friends, you can take the advantage and spend some quality time and experience the wild nature Wiltshire has to offer.
From the Jungle full of animals, including the cheeky monkeys, the wolves, the rhinos and even big cats. Longleat Adventure Park offer numerous beautiful sceneries that will leave you wanting for more.
Come and experience the amazing Sea lion escort and Gorilla Colony
For only: £31. 50 for adults aged 15-59 years
£22.50 for children aged 3-14 years
£24.50 for seniors aged 60+ years.
Roundhay Tropical World, Leeds West Yorkshire
If you love nature, Roundhay is definitely the place to be if you live in West Yorkshire. You and your family will always receive a warm welcome here. Tropical World hosts large number of animals including; bats, butterflies, crocodiles, gorgeous meerkat and snakes. The Tropical World also hosts numerous rare bird species.
Free Entry for children under 5 years.
£2.30 for children aged 5-15 years
£3.40 for adults
Twycross Zoo, Burton Road Atherstone Warwickshire
Set in more than 80 acres, the Twycross Zoo hosts more than 600 animals from more than 150 species. With a wide variety of primates, the Zoo prides itself as a primates’ specialist.
From the snow leopard cubs to the Asian elephants every species will definitely make a lasting impression that will make you long for more.
Enjoy our daily outdoor play areas, indoor plays and the amazing gardens.
£16.95 for adults
£11.95 for Children aged 3-16 years
Free Entry for Children under 3 years
£14.50 for Concession (Senior Citizens and Students with NUS card)
Sea Life London Aquarium, Westminster Bridge Road South Bank Greater London
Are a diehard fan of sea life and live in the Greater London? The Sea Life London Aquarium is the place to be. Come and experience the home of one of the European’s largest collections of global marine life situated in the heart of London.
Admission prices to the amazing Sea Life Aquarium are:
£19.60 for Adults
£15.90 for Kids
£75 for Family
This article was provided by World Wide Wales Team.
It seems these days we have a bin of every colour of the rainbow for various recyclable goods. Perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration, but it seems we could be heading for a Red for Monday, Orange for Tuesday, Yellow for Wednesday etc situation. It doesn’t surprise me, then, that so many people are put off recycling because it actually does take a bit of effort to get your head around it all. Hopefully, and I am fully aware of how much I’m blowing my own trumpet here, this article may help…
HELP! What Can I Actually Recycle These Days?
So we are all aware that numerous products that we own are recyclable. From the can of your favourite soda to your usual paper napkins, these products can easily be recycled by reprocessing them. Take for instance the can of soda; the rubbish collectors usually sort the trash according to the type from polythene, organic paper to metals. These products are then taken to recycling factories where they are re-processed and then reused.
Almost everything we own, from the wearable to electronic gadgets, all these products are indeed recyclable. How is that possible?
Well, here are some of the most obvious things that you own that are actually recyclable:
a) Batteries– indeed batteries can be recycled. Whether it’s the rechargeable or single-use ones, once the power juice is at a very low level, these items are usually shipped to the manufacturer or your local recycling firm who will re-use every component of the batteries. So don’t let your good old car battery lie around your garage doing nothing.
b) Cardboard boxes– have you recently moved to a new home and you still have the cardboard boxes? Well, unless you are planning to move to a new home very soon, and soon I mean by end month, you can donate them to the local shelter homes or a religious centre that takes care the homeless. These cardboard boxes would be of great help to those who are homeless.
c) Clothes– we all have those favourite outfits that we don’t want to let go. It’s time to move on my friend, donate those items to the homeless through your local community program or religious initiative. These outfits would go a long way in helping those who lack essential basic clothing to wear.
d) Old mobile phones and tablets– you might be having one or several in your bedroom drawers or closets. Most of these gadgets are fully functional and can be made useful. The only defect that these mobile phones and other electronic gadgets are guilty of is a worn out housing. For just less than a pound, you can buy a new housing for the mobile phone. With a few DIY tips on YouTube, you can safely change the old housing and fix the new one. I can guarantee that the phone will look brand new just as you bought it. With the refabricated phone, you can opt to use it as an alternative for another mobile service provider or sell it on eBay and earn some quick cash.
Other, lesser-known items which you can recycle include:
e) Oil/grease – if you have lots of it and not in use, you can opt to sell or donate to a construction company especially those who use timber. Oil or grease is a good repellent of termites and prevents mould from growing.
f) Shoes – we are guilty as charged when it comes to owning a pair or pairs of shoes which we no longer use. If you have outgrown them, you can opt to donate them to the local shelter programs, if they have some value you can trade them at your local thrift shop or flea market for an item in exchange.
g) Ink toner/ cartridges
h) DVDs/ CDs
i) Foam packs
j) your old Tooth brush!
Being stared at by an edgy lioness is similar to one of those dreams in which you suddenly find yourself naked’
I’ve been there too. More than once. Being stared at by an edgy lioness is like one of those dreams in which you suddenly find yourself naked. And she’s looking at you like that for two very good reasons, one of which is distressing, the other of which is life-changing.
The first is that you are human and a threat: humans have for centuries been at war with lions and have had the upper hand for the past 150 years or so. The second is that your humanity is not the whole picture. The lion also sees you as protein.
To feel like prey: it’s perhaps the most extraordinary sensation that the 21st-century Earth can offer you. Man-eaters are not unnatural: lions have been eating humans since we first started walking upright on the savannahs five million years ago. If you walk in lion-country and come across them, your soul is actually the last thing they’re interested in — and that’s why the experience goes so deep.
This is an encounter in Brian’s new book, a selection of experiences of the great continent. He says that a day never passes without him thinking about Africa: and it’s the same for me. I had an Africa dream last night, as it happens: not one of my regular lion-nightmares (which mostly stem from one rather close call) but still a disturbing one concerning some serious elephants.
But it’s the cats that get to Brian at the deepest level, the lions deepest of all. I feel much the same myself. I have so far managed to escape getting eaten by lions, but I am nonetheless consumed by them. And it’s always the eyes that gets to you: not the vertical slit of Mog and Prudence Kitten and Tabitha Twitchit but a round pupil like your own. You can see something of yourself in a lion.
Lions are intensely social but not in the organised, coherent way of wild dogs (featured in this space a few weeks back) or wolves or hyenas. Also rather like us, lions seem to be making up their social customs as they go along, at some times piling on top of each other in a glorious furry huddle that every watching human longs to join, at others going off inexplicably on their own or rowing with great unsheathed paws the size of frying-pans.
Brian’s book is a delight for all those who have been bitten by lions or would like to be. It is full of the great spaces of Africa which, as he says, are much bigger when you’re on foot. It’s lions that are vulnerable now, having declined 30 per cent in the past 20 years or three lion generations. They occupy just 22 per cent of their historic range. But walk with lions and for once, and for a while, it’s you that feels vulnerable. And it feels strangely right that this should be so.
This article is provided by Fitness Socialist Blog.