There’s gonna be a jail break!

Jail Break 2010, Charity Fundraiser Weston Hospice CareDon’t panic, it’s all for charity!

You know, a good downshifter loves to practice their ‘blagging skills’…

To that end, I thought you might like to hear about Jail Break 2010 from my good friend, Olly Joseph.

What does £10 buy? A cinema ticket, a CD, a couple gallons of fuel maybe? Or on 27 & 28th February 2010 your £10 (entry fee) could take you all over the world!

We’re looking for people/teams to compete in our charity Jail Break. It’s fresh, it’s new and it is guaranteed to be the highlight of your new year.

Continue reading “There’s gonna be a jail break!”

From the lovely John Naish on The Landfill Prize!

Enough, breaking free, John Naish

Golf club-shaped urinal, anyone? Motorised ice-cream cone holder?

In the depths of the global crunch, why would anyone want to waste precious money on pointless junk that ends up in the trashcan after a couple of uses?

But sales of consumer nonsense are still rocketing – stuff such as wand-shaped TV remote controls, desk-top hoovers, and electric toothbrushes costing hundreds of pounds. Even a hollow plastic golf-club you can wee into while playing a round (don’t show it to Tiger Woods, please). We’re still madly addicted to consumption.

Continue reading “From the lovely John Naish on The Landfill Prize!”

The Conclusion of My Great North Swim

Tracey Smith, author of The Book of Rubbish Ideas in The British Gas Great North Swim at Lake Windermere
A bit of a clingy number, I grant you

Not the most fetching of outfits I know, but here’s me in my neoprene wetsuit, getting ready to depart for Lake Windermere to take part in the second Great North Swim.

It was the inaugural GNS at Windermere that took place last September that first hooked me in.

In 2008, around 2,000 competitors swam a mile around the edge of the stunning lake, many raising money for charity and others simply doing it for personal achievement.

Continue reading “The Conclusion of My Great North Swim”

Oh, There’s So Much To Catch Up On!

Tracey Smith, author of The Book of Rubbish Ideas
Catching a cuddle in the back of a van...all to be explained soon...

And only one lifetime to do it – eek!

Hi all – delighted to be back blogging again on The Book of Rubbish Ideas.

After a rock and roll of a summer (well, as much as being an author can ‘be’ rock and roll of course) doing literary festivals around the country, evaluating and playing with new eco-goodies about to hit the market and penning planning notes for my next book, I decided I needed a bit of well earned time out…so I took it…by the horns in fact, hence last entry August…ehem…

I thought I’d pen a quick series of catch up blog posts so you can see what’s been going on and so that you don’t feel left out – I’d hate you to feel left out…particularly as it’s all been so exciting.

Rubbishly yours,

TS x

What on Earth’s an Earthship?

Building with the earth very much in mind
Building with the earth very much in mind

I love hearing from people who are doing amazing things to protect and care for our present and future environments for the generations yet to come.

I genuinely feel very excited to be one of many optimistic green activists, at a pivotal point in earth’s history; we are the generation that will make incredible positive changes.

Gillian Trott dropped me a line recently with information on her Earthships; do read on, I think you’ll find they could be right up your street… Continue reading “What on Earth’s an Earthship?”

Author Tackles Great North Swim for Children of Alcoholics

Would You Like To Sponsor My Wetsuit? (that'll be an attractive little number...)
Would You Like To Sponsor My Wetsuit? (that'll be an attractive little number...)

Morning all!

Just a shortie to bring you a pressing news item from my local paper.

Please find the following article by Joanna Davis printed in today’s Dorset Echo.

A DAUGHTER of an alcoholic will be taking the plunge into Lake Windermere to help the children of addicts.

Busy mum-of-three, author and broadcaster Tracey Smith will swim a mile at the beauty spot on September 12 as part of the Great North Swim.

She plans to raise £18,000 for the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA) to mark the charity’s 18,000 phone calls it has fielded from troubled children of alcoholics.

Thorncombe resident Tracey, 43, wishes the charity was around while she was growing up.

Tracey said she has only felt ready to talk about her mum’s alcoholism since she died three and a half years ago.

She said: “People seem to hide it under the carpet and don’t talk about it.

“I wish I had NACOA when I was a young thing.

“I couldn’t see an end to my darkness and I took an overdose at the age of 11.

“I remember waking up the morning after in a white bed in a white walled hospital room feeling so relieved and thinking I was in heaven.

Continue reading “Author Tackles Great North Swim for Children of Alcoholics”

I’ve Got Rubbish ‘Ways With Words’

Dartington Hall, Totnes
Dartington Hall, Totnes

Of all the Literary Festivals I’ve appeared at this year, Ways With Words at the beautiful Dartington Hall in Totnes is the one that has given me the biggest squidgy feeling in the pit of my stomach.

The annual festival takes place from July 10-19 at Dartington Hall in South Devon and my slot is carved into the schedule on Monday 13th at 2pm. 

“Few people who visit Dartington Hall are untouched by its magic,” explains Festival Director, Kay Dunbar. “The combination of the medieval courtyard, the majestic Great Hall and the extensive gardens and woodlands creates a captivating setting for a literature festival,” she adds.

Continue reading “I’ve Got Rubbish ‘Ways With Words’”

Earthwise Girls Rule!

Be an earthwise girl
Be an earthwise girl

Meet mum of 4 and ‘mumpreneur’ Christine McRitchie.

She somehow manages to fit in running 3 flourishing internet eco-businesses, alongside the demands of family life.

Plush Pants Cloth Nappies was her first venture: “I took on Plush Pants when my youngest baby, Victoria, was just under a year old. It’s been a labour of love and there was a lot to do as the business had been run down, so I’m very proud of how big it’s become in the last five years and in particular the popular Nappy Trial Scheme, which I’m a huge fan of, as it’s how I came to use washable nappies myself.”

Continue reading “Earthwise Girls Rule!”

Sustainable Garden Pleasures: The Firewinder

The Firewinder on Glastonbury Tor
Tom, Joe and the Firewinders on Glastonbury Tor

Recently, I had the pleasure of driving with Joe Wadsworth in the Brighton to London Eco-Rally.   Aside from being a great co-driver, he’s also partly responsible for waving the flag for the ingenious Firewinder.

Here, Joe shares his views on renewable and sustainable energy, as well as letting us into the secrets behind one of the hottest eco-products to hit the market this year. 

Q – What is the Firewinder, who invented it and tell us more about them?

A Firewinder is a wind powered lantern – the Original Windlight. It was conceived by the founder of the Firewinder Company, Tom Lawton, and resembles a three foot high pasta twist with LEDs on the edges that light up when it spins in the wind. Firewinder breathes with the wind, the greater the windspeed the brighter the lights.

Continue reading “Sustainable Garden Pleasures: The Firewinder”

I’m Ready for the ‘Ultimate’ in Recycling

Consider joining The Wall of Life
Consider joining The Wall of Life

I’ve had my mortality pricked. 

A dear friend recently lost her father and his living wish was for his body left to medical science, but unfortunately, because all the necessary paperwork hadn’t been completed, it wasn’t able to happen.

Consequently, I’ve found myself in a somewhat pensive state, questioning life, the universe and everything, with particular reference to what ‘I’ would like to happen in the untimely event of my early demise…not that I’m planning on going anywhere, anytime soon; I’ve far too much work to do on Mother Earth.

But clearly, our most intimate wishes for post-mortal coil need to be communicated with the ones we love, all relevant authorities, they need to be witnessed, documented, signed,  sealed and delivered.

I started carrying an organ donor card many years ago.  It’s kicking around in my bag somewhere…I’m sure it is…at least I think it is.

Continue reading “I’m Ready for the ‘Ultimate’ in Recycling”