Thursday, April 26, 2007

Fire on the Tube

Early finish to my working day and I was down to get the tube home and meet friends for dinner...After 10mins on the tube, standing near the door reading my magazine and listening to music, I smelt smoke.

Not ciggie smoke, but proper something serious on fire type of smoke. As I looked up and took out my ear buds, out, more people started looking around with abit of alarm in their eyes.

Most though stood blankly, ignoring the reality that something was on fire in the tunnel, and that something did smell like the train. The train stopped in the tunnel and the driver was talking over the speakers to a woman who had pulled the alarm, calming her down. I was getting worried.

On arrival at Canada Water I was one of the first out of the train, me about about 20% of the other passenger, smoke continuing to waft around. I had been in London during the bombings and I was pretty keen not to be attacked by some terrorist plot to blow something up.

Everyone else meanwhile stayed on the train - MADNESS.

Soon enough the platform guards told us to evacuate the platform, the loud station alarms and notices started being announced. The rush to the buses was on and I was savvy enough this time to get myself on a Liverpool St bound bus.

Crazy place. Can't wait to get away from this pathetic state of affairs in the UK.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sunny Amsterdam

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Picnic in the Sun (Regents Park, London)

Lillian, Stefan, Mus, Keith, Joe sleeping, Jean (Clara, Mogfa and Olga sun worshiping)

We had a lovely picnic on a very warm summery Sunday in London.

Great company, great food, lovely Sydney-esk weather!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

London Eye

Friday night, after work London Photo friends and I go for some more night photography.

Its the first time I have tried taking photos of the London Eye. Its nothing so special, but I am glad we took the time to take these photos, it was fun!

The second photo is a High Dynamic Range merge of 4 photos at different exposures.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter in Wales

Easter saw me out on a Welsh Farm with a group of friends from Sydney!

We were out near Abersoch, some 8hrs drive from London. It was just magic - perfect antidote to the city life of London. The beaches, the glorious weather, the amazing scenery, the countryside, the sound of bleating new born spring lambs. The fresh sea good for the soul.

Thanks to Clara and Joe for inviting me along!

New born Lambs and Mum

Sydneysiders in Wales, on the beach.

The view from the kitchen sink

Clara and Mogfa picnic in the front yard of the Cottage

Still in the front yard, and loving it

The beach

The Cottage, ah the serenity


The jigsaw race

Ponies on the walk back from the Beach to the Cottage

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Recycling...or not?

For the last 2 years in UK, I have been actively recycling my cardboard, paper and all recyclable waste. Putting them into the special bins ans special bags - for the love of the planet.

BUT, I have been hearing some news about where UK's recycling goes - and its mainly China.

Today there is an thought provoking article on what happens to that waste...So is it really that good to recycle here? What is being responsible? I'm trying to say no to bags and excess packaging but its so hard

The Guardian has news...,,2047050,00.html

Jonathan Watts in Mai
Saturday March 31, 2007
The Guardian

British high street waste is fouling streams and ditches in China despite promises of an environmental crackdown by both governments.

Mai village in Guangdong province, southern China, suffers from a Made-in-Britain eyesore:
Tesco and Argos plastic bags choke the waterways, snag on tree branches and contribute to a rotting stench during floods and hot weather. There is even a green and white Help The Aged carrier bag printed with a slogan proclaiming the charity's fight against "poverty, isolation and neglect".

It is a side-effect of globalisation. Many of these products were manufactured in China, shipped to the UK for use and sent 5,000 miles back for disposal.

China exported £12.6bn worth of manufactured goods to the UK last year and received an estimated 1.9m tonnes of rubbish in return. Under EU regulations member countries are not allowed to dump garbage overseas, but are permitted to send sorted waste for recycling.

Environmentalists say this is irresponsible because much of the recycling is carried out in poorly-regulated communities, where health risks and pollution worries are a low priority.
Guangdong is scattered with scavenging centres. In Guiyu and Qingyuan small family-run businesses chop up and melt down toxic plastics and metals from discarded computers, printers and mobile phones. In Nanhai and Shunde factories deal with mounds of plastic bags and bottles. About 20% of the waste comes from overseas according to local sources.

A series of exposés in the domestic and foreign media prompted the government to crackdown on the business earlier this year. Guangdong's provincial government banned unlicensed businesses and individuals from importing plastic waste and suspended operations at factories that failed to meet environmental standards.

Last month factories in the most notorious district, the Lianjiao area of Nanhai, were shut down. But most firms simply relocated.

Two hours drive away a new recycling centre is under construction in Shijing village, which is now littered with scrapheaps. The dealers said they would no longer touch foreign waste.
In nearby Shenzhen and Shunde businessmen were still reprocessing carrier bags and other UK waste from the UK. "It can be done as long as the plastic is well enough packaged to get through customs," said the owner of one factory.

At "plastic street" in Mai village, dozens of small plastic recycling firms line the road. Most of the work is done by migrant workers who are paid about £50 a month.
Thousands of plastic carrier bags were being blown into ditches and waterways, creating an eyesore and a bad smell. Students at the local school said the stench came into their classrooms and got worse when the fetid stream floods.

The sanitary department of Shunde township said it was unaware of the mess in Mai village.
"We have a project to clean up villages in this area but we haven't got round to Mai yet," said a spokesman. The provincial government declined to comment.

Britain supports the recycling business. "It allows for a more sustainable use of world resources, but it should be carried out under strict environmental controls," said the UK consulate in Guangzhou. When told of the impact on Mai village it said individual companies should take more responsibility.

Greenpeace believes that wealthier countries should deal with their waste problems at home, rather than exporting them to developing countries, which have to pay the environmental costs.
"If we can stop the waste trade I am sure it will lead to more sustainable development around the world," said Kevin May, toxics campaign manager at Greenpeace's office in Beijing.
page hit counter