In a pickle with Le Parfait



If you are overloaded with seasonal fruits,  then take advantage of Le Parfait‘s current offer of an extra 15% off all 6 packs Super Preserve Jars, and pickle or preserve your bounty.  Abel and Cole, the organic vegetable box company, have recipes for pickled pears, roast apple sauce or aubergine chutney if you are looking for inspiration.

The jars are eye-catching storage for pasta, rice, and other groceries when buying in bulk to save pennies and packaging.  The filled jars look great displayed on shelves and keep things close to hand for cooking.


We protect what we love – exhibition opening

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The exhibition, “We protect what we love”, opens tonight at the Tabernacle, 35 Powis Square, W11 2AY  in West London.  The artist and campaigner Celia Gregory will present her latest body of work.  The exhibition includes mosaics, a selection of photography and video art from the Marine Foundation,  ‘Living sculptures in the sea’ and a series of light box installations,  artworks and artefacts made from natural items collected from beaches around the world.

Celia is an accomplished mosaic artist and sculptor, who founded the Marine Foundation not long after seeing, and feeling, the effects of dynamite fishing while diving in Bali.  Combining her artistic and creative talents with a powerful conservation message, and collaborating with a team of marine experts, is the Marine Foundation.

Supported by the Roddick Foundation, the Marine Foundation uses art as a catalyst for marine conservation, sustainable resource management and social change.  Working with their clients, the Marine Foundation combines art, marine management and artificial reef science to create underwater art installations that support and regenerate their surrounding marine ecosystem.

Celia’s work is inspired by nature, and inspires in the viewer a connection with nature.  Two of her works from last year’s exhibition are pictured below.  The exhibition is only until Saturday 5th October.

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And to echo my last entry with this, I offer a Maori Meditation, called ‘Finding God’ from Celia’s on the Marine Foundation website:

Sermons say read the bible To know god

Kneel and pray To know god

Obey the commandments To know god

But yesterday I saw a butterfly

Land on a withered leaf Just before sunset

And at that moment

I knew god…


Gems from Jared Diamond

9780141024486Jared Diamond, polymath, Professor of Geography, ornithologist, author of books about human societies, and director of World Wildlife Fund and Conservation International was ‘In Conversation’ last night at the School of Life to discuss his most recent book, “The World Until Yesterday”.  The premise of the book is simple, for most of human history, we have lived in traditional societies without metal tool, writing, central government or modern medicine, until yesterday in evolutionary terms.  In light of the recent Western economic, technological and political predominance, Diamond asks whether we have lessons we can learn from traditional societies.

Diamond cautions against romanticizing the past, and obviously we are better off having tamed infectious diseases, reduced infant mortality and many environmental risks, and no longer perceiving every stranger as a threat.  However, Diamond asks whether reflecting on traditional societies may give us renewed appreciation for some of the advantages of our own society.  In summary, Diamond distills the lessons into a mix of individual and societal decisions: healthy lifestyle habits of exercise, eating slowly and sociably and selecting healthy foods without salt and sugar; multilingual children that are free to explore; caring for and including the elderly; and realistically reassessing our attitude to danger.  Statistics show that cars, alcohol and slipping in the shower are the modern mortal hazards.  This sounds prescriptive, but in conversation, Diamond was not judgemental, rather he reminds us that traditional societies show there are alternative ways for human beings to order themselves in social, ecological and spiritual spaces.  As we are compelled to readdress the way we engage with one another and our wider environment, Diamond reminds us that inspiration springs from diversity, and the simple pleasures.

When questioned about sustainable economy, Diamond remarked that individuals need to feel the environmental consequences of their excesses.  Referring to his earlier book, Collapse, Diamond noted that in those societies that have collapsed, the leaders were insulated from the impact of their actions until it was too late to remedy them.  Diamond was more sanguine on our ability to learn (noting obesity), perhaps telling in the week the IPCC reported global warming is “unequivocal”, that scientists are 95% certain that humans are the “dominant cause”, and Thomas Stocker, IPCC co-chair cautions climate change “threatens our planet, our only home”.


On a smaller, lighter note, these words of caution remind me of the foreword to a childhood nature book, I have.  “In these days of quick and easy transport the countryside is no longer the sanctuary it was for nature, and unless we are careful, those who come after us may justly accuse us of betraying the trust we hold for them.  Such a book as this… one of the best safeguards that can be provided, since it leaves no grounds for a plea of ignorance”.  

And by way of butterflies, if you are looking for ways to restore their sanctuary, garden columnist Robin Lane Fox reveals his strategy to attract more butterflies to his garden, “For the love of painted ladies”  in the weekend, Financial Times.  Some of the top plants he notes are: purple heliotrope; scabious; buddleias; late-flowering ivy; old Lady’s smock; pale-coloured sedums and clivorum.