To avoid adding to the confusion, I want to make clear that, while the theme for this week’s mailing is ‘community connections’ this DOESN’T mean you rush out and hug your neighbour. But it does mean thinking about creating, renewing, building and sustaining contact with people around you, in safe ways, not just for now but also for after the pandemic is contained.
I do feel that lockdown is an opportunity/ excuse to do things we would never have considered even three months ago. For me, this is watching the natural world at close quarters online via live webcams around the world (even the universe) and sharing recipes.
Talking of confusion, I’m sure we’ll all going to get confused about whether we should wear face coverings and if so, what kind. Luckily those fine folk at the Institute of Making have come up with some answers to ‘frequently asked questions’ about face masks here https://www.instituteofmaking.org.uk/blog/2020/05/face-coverings-faqs.
The Institute have calculated that if mask wearing was enforced for a year in the UK and everyone wore one disposable mask a day, that would create 66,000 tonnes of contaminated plastic waste. A good reason to make your own and, if you decide to give that a go, you may remember I sent two instructional tutorials in my 27.4.20 mailing (and here’s a link to one that doesn’t involve sewing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MaorozC4Tk)
We’re all in this together, but we’re not all in the same boat… which means giving and taking according to our needs. This is a link to an article with 10 ways to help others https://www.positive.news/society/10-ways-to-help-others-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak You’ll see the suggestions are for both on and offline connections.
This is about staying safe – by making the most of legitimate sources of support and avoiding the multitude of online scams doing the rounds.
For local support to meet more general needs, don’t forget the NextDoor neighbourhood hub https://nextdoor.co.uk. It’s an online social platform – so not everyone can get access – but if you have IT you can register for free and it’s quite straightforward.
Sharing: get or give free items in your community (I can’t remember the last time I bought a TV) by signing up online for free with a local Freegle Group. https://www.ilovefreegle.org – there will be a Freegle group near you. Note: you’ll be expected to pick up an item if you’re receiving it – so you may need transport and do observe safe distancing on the doorstep.
12oz / 350g sultanas or currants (or a mix of both) 8oz / 225g light brown sugar ½ pint / 300ml strong hot black tea 10oz / 275g self-raising flour 1 egg (beaten)
Measure the fruit and sugar into a bowl. Pour over the hot tea, cover and leave overnight. Stir in the flour and egg into the fruit mixture and mix thoroughly. Turn into a lined tin and level the surface. Bake in a pre-heated oven gas 2/ 150C for approx 1 ½ hours or until well-risen and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out and leave to cool on a wire rack [you are allowed to enjoy a slice or two while it’s still warm…]
If you want to use video calls for free, many people are now using Zoom and WhatsApp. See page 20 in the Shoulder to Shoulder magazine here https://menssheds.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/April-Newsletter-Small-.pdf for more on this.
Connecting with nature, living sustainably
Lots of lovely things you can do here https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/actions to keep in touch with the nature on your doorstep.
You can enjoy presentations and discussions from a free online festival to help you live more sustainably https://www.asustainablelife.co.uk/the-sustainableish-online-festival It was organised by my friend Jen Gale – her website is a brilliant sources of simple things you can do to help tackle the climate crisis.
Communities of interest
People talk not just about ‘physical communities’ but also communities of interest… Technology means we can link with people anywhere (the younger generation have been playing online games with people on the other side of the world for years…) to pursue our interests and passions.
As you may know, one of my passions is books – reading and sharing (through my Little Library and reviews on my blogsite) … I came across this piece about how to set up an online book group and thought I’d share it with you. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4d2tfP38MXzZ8bgM7KZ4Wyb/novel-connections-how-to-set-up-your-own-online-book-group
See other posts in this “Happy at home” series here https://enterpriseessentials.wordpress.com/category/happy-at-home