Tunes of the Earth

Plain White Ts – Hey There Delilah

The guitar tune I aim to conquer before the New Year. Wish me luck!


I am a great believer in synchronicity, when two things happen at the same time with a strong connection. Some people call this coincidence, I call it spooky.
Maybe I am more open to this phenomenon, but I experience this all the time.

One such incident happened last Thursday. I picked up a book of poetry from the library, The Tree House by Kathleen Jamie. That evening I received the latest newsletter of The Ochil Mountaineering Club, a club I have been a member of for fifteen years. I was delighted to read of one member’s canoe trip to the islands of Loch Maree, Wester Ross. In the article the writer describes a tree on one island that has coins hammered into its trunk. Something triggered in my memory, something I had heard about Jamie’s poems. I grabbed the book and was astounded to find the first poem The Wishing Tree, describing the very tree on Loch Maree.

What is Inconvenient about the truth?

Last night I watched the DVD The Inconvenient Truth, the film by Al Gore. Most of the points made in the film were not new to me, but it was clear that the efforts of the rest of the world were pretty paltry compared to the difference the US could make if only they would take this matter seriously. The one thing that may make them sit up is the failings of their car industry. I personally traded my guzzling 25mpg Chrysler for a nippy 46mpg Suzuki. It was one of the best moves I have ever made.

This film also made me think of the other positive steps I have made to improve my own carbon footprint.

Two weeks ago I began ordering from a vegetable box scheme at This seems like a good idea until I manage to work my garden into providing my own fresh produce. The only problems is that the company do tend to heap on the root vegetables at this time of year and despite finding a great website, I am struggling to use up all the potatoes and turnips delivered.

It is difficult to come up with different Christmas Pressies for friends and family and still try to be earth friendly. But this year I think I have hit a winner. I live within staggering distance of Glengoyne whisky distillery and their gift shop is a full of locally produced gifts. One piece of their moreish fudge probably has more calories than I need in a year, but is so yummy it is easy to forgo the healthy options. The best product is their range of organic soaps handmade by Purdie’s. I bought the Whisky Ginger & Barley for my own use and have fallen in love with the evocative rich spice perfume. The packaging is simple and the price is not deadly. In future I will spread my soap purchases between the distillery and my other favourite soap shop, Arran Aromatics, from where I stock up during my annual visit to the island.

This year I also switched to Lush deodorant. Lush produce an organic deodorant sliced from a block like a lump of cheese. 100 gram purchase can be divided into small pieces and kept in paper bag. It lasts for ages. No need for the heavy plastic packaging used by most deodorant suppliers. My one concern with Lush is I don’t know how far the products travel before they reach the stores, but I can’t find a local supplier of deodorant.

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