Thursday, 25 November 2010

Sanitary stuff

I really should write on here but life is mad and mental!

I have recently purchased a Mooncup and some washable sanitary towels. Yes, yuck but think of the planet. All that sanitary stuff lost at sea or piled high in landfill. Not good. I like my Mooncup and washable pads. I shall write more on this soon.

You have been warned.

xxx

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Please have a little read of my article - I promise it will be painless and fairly fun http://ow.ly/2VWKr

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Lots of things for sale inc an Odyssey guitar, classic music mags, music vids and bits of jewelry - http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/1974haze

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Connected


I love the image above. I love it because you know that this mother and child are sharing a smile. Although the child's face cannot be seen, you know he is smiling back towards his mum. You can see the connection between them. I love this image because it reminds of a picture of my sister and her son taken when he was a similar age to the child in the image above. I love this image because it reminds me that despite the many sociological aspects to motherhood, there are some things that transcend learned behaviours, some things that are innate. I love this image because it reminds me that in each and every part of the world, the smile is a universal symbol of happiness and joy. I love this image because it reminds me that love exists and if you look, you will see it everyday.

Google has a lovely mini cartoon to commemorate John Lennon's 70th birthday. Just click on the Google logo http://www.google.co.uk/

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Guitar for sale or auction via Ebay. It's a lovely blue one. Go to http://ow.ly/2PhaY to have a little look. Tell everyone you don't know.

Web window shopping

I love the Amnesty International shop http://amnestyshop.org.uk yet sadly it isn't the cheapest ever. Lovely though. I have been web window shopping on their site today. Dreaming of things I'd like but can't afford.

However, on the plus side, we do plan to utilise their site as part of our eco-wedding wedding gift list. So perhaps we will get some nice, eco, human-kind, Amnesty helping goodies next year!

Love and sunshine,

Me
xx

Sellings

We are selling a Korg Digital 8 track. It's rather nice, if you like and need that sort of thing. To me, it's just a black box with buttons but to Mark it has been vital piece of music recording and mixing equipment. He does his recording via the PC now but he has loved his Digital 8 track. In fact he is reluctant to wave bye bye to it but needs must. The needs are mostly financial but also space saving. Ideally, Mark would love to fill the house with guitars, keyboards, recording equipment and amps but fortunately he can't afford to. Otherwise we have amps instead of seats and guitars instead of wall art. Musical but not very pretty or practical.

Back to point, if you would like a Korg Digital 8 track, at, what I'm reliably told is a very reasonable price, then check out our ad on Gumtree or get in touch for more details. We are selling it along with its little instruction booklet for a tiny £150 or nearest offer.

Oh yes and it will soon be auctioned / sold via Ebay so get in there first.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

I know its wrong, completely, horrendously wrong but I keep thinking of Big Macs. A cardinal sin for an eco-pescetarian!
Haze and Mark's Eco-wedding: if you can spare 5 or even 2, have a little read of our blog - http://leese-dixon-eco.blogspot.com/

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Join Race Online to make the UK the first nation where everyone is able to use the web. Take part at http://raceonline2012.org/

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Bit of a plug

I hate to advertise on my blog but we only get new customers by advertising so..........we offer websites from only £25 per month or £50 per month for e-commerce sites. From just £25 per month we can create your bespoke website and regularly update it for you. We will also provide you with one free design per month of business cards, leaflets or posters. We can further provide Facebook page set up and regular updates within this offer.

Your website will be fully optimised for high ranking on Google.

There is no sign-up and you can pull out anytime.

Examples of our additional services include:
PC fix
IT support
DVD production
Copywriting
Stock photography websites
Chatrooms
Online music players

Prices for the above services are available on request.

Please visit our website (http://www.solarchidesigns.com) to see examples of our work. Our list of existing customers can be found at the bottom of our website.

Contact us for more information.
mark@solarchidesigns.com or hazel@solarchidesigns.com

:-)

Monday, 6 September 2010

http://manchester.gumtree.com/manchester/23/64858723.html
The Korg D8 Digital Recording Studio is an eight-track recording, editing and mixing system in a single compact (15.2" W x 9.8"D x 3.3"H), portable (5.7 lbs.) unit. The D8 provides fully digital, uncompressed processing (24-bit internal, 16-bit recording and playback @ 44.1 kHz) onto eight tracks (2-tracks simultaneous recording, 8-tracks simultaneous playback) and includes a built-in 1.4GB hard disk with SCSI interface.

The integral 12-channel, 4-bus digital mixer section has functions such as Auto Punch-In and Auto-Save to facilitate recording and editing. Fader, EQ and Pan settings can be memorized as "scenes" with up to 20 scenes remembered for each song. Audio Trigger Record enables the D8 to begin recording automatically in response to an input signal. The D8's Scrub function makes it possible to listen to the recorded data on each track and accurately find the beginning of a phrase. The D8 provides the musician with a selection of 65 preset digital effect programs featuring 50 different types of effects. The entire recording and mixdown process can be performed on the D8 with effects applied to any source at mix time and/or during the recording process.

Sound sources such as mics, synth line sources and guitars can be connected directly with optical, 1/4-inch phone jacks. The SCSI port, S/PDIF, AUX IN jacks are all standard. The SCSI port can be used to connect up to seven drives such as hard disks for recording, playback or backup. The S/PDIF connector enables digital recording from an external digital audio device such as a CD or DAT player. Users can create a tempo map to synchronize recording to an external song loaded in from another recording or Compact Disc. The D8 sends MIDI clock synchronization data, can send and receive MTC and responds to MMC messages from compatible drum machines and sequencers

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Is your computer slow, clogged up with files you don't want or keeps getting infected with viruses? Perhaps you want to buy a new PC or lap-top but would rather not spend the money. Maybe you just want advice on how to work smarter online. Solar Chi Designs can help with all of these issues and more. We can fix most software problems at a fair price. We can also resolve many hardware problems.

For most IT services we only charge £10 per hour and we will always strive to get the job done quickly.

Contact us for more information.

Kindest regards,
Hazel and Mark

Solar Chi Designs
01270 873323

07989 325349
hazel@solarchidesigns.com
mark@solarchidesigns.com
http://www.solarchidesigns.com

Monday, 30 August 2010

Create an eco-wedding

I've written an article on organasing an eco-wedding which has been purchased and published by Earth Times. You can see the article by the following the link below:





Saturday, 28 August 2010

Did you know?

Did you know that there websites that are entirely dedicated to eco-touring, hotels, campsites etc? You can be an eco-tourist. The eco-honeymoon will happen in a big way. So far I really want to stay somewhere called The Green House Hotel in Bournemouth. It looks fab and has a really sound ethical framework. They really seem to take green hotelling seriously - solar panels, organic, sustainable, low energy tv's, low energy lighting etc. I was impressed. It's expensive though so if we are lucky enough to go then we will just stay a few days before heading on somewhere else. Currently some kind of train orientated tour through nearby parts of Europe. Self-catering will be the mainstay for the honeymoon remainder. France have quite a few ethical self-catering places to stay. I fancy Italy but haven't spotted anywhere eco-wise yet. Mark keeps talking about Greece but it's a bit far away without a plane I think.


The planet will laugh with us

I never seem to have time to write my blog these days. I should invest more time in it and as such, here I am, tapping away.

Life has busy of late. Busy and at times, very difficult.

I'm writing an essay at the moment well not exactly this very moment but I've written about 100 words so far today and procrastinated for about 2 hours. It's hard to write an essay when your head isn't in the right place but it has to be done. The Degree end point is in sight and as the years have skipped past, I've already got various other qualifications (HNC, certificate thingy, Diploma) to show for the long, painful effort that is higher eduction. I'm already allowed to put letters after my name but I don't bother with them. Nobody ever knows what they mean anyway and I find them a bit pompous. I don't bother with graduation ceremonies either (although I have done one). I don't look good in a large black gown and square hat. If I ever do a phd, I will probably bother with the Dr. Not to be pompous but I think if you have managed to come out the other side of a phd and still be sane then you deserve to use the Dr bit. I might just use Dr at the end and change my first name to 'the'.

On a different note, Mark and I are planning our wedding. Well, hmmm, I'm planning it and he is going along with it. He inputs with agreement and conversation mainly. We are planning a eco-wedding. This means having the wedding party at home (oh I hope the landlady agrees). It also means posting on freecycle and checking in every day to see whether anyone is giving away anything weddingy. We have been very lucky so far. Some fantastic people have already given us lots of great items for our wedding - white material, gold organza, tea lights, flowers, ribbon and a carpet! We plan to decorate our garage sort of marquee style. We also plan to have gazabos in the garden. Decorate practically everywhere with solar powered fairy lights. In my head the house looks like a fab venue. I've already started prowling the Internet for eco-honeymoons. I'm getting ahead of myself though, the wedding isn't sorted yet and no, we haven't set a date but it's likely to be late Spring or perhaps very early Summer. The weather has a will of its own so we may as well just ignore it and carry on regardless. It's a pity gas heaters are not eco-friendly. Oh I should say that Mark has collected Freecycle items so he has inputted more than I gave credit for in the early part of this paragraph. He also been very supportive of my eco-ideas. He is green but a fair amount of his greeness comes from being skint and a bit tight with money. It's all good though. Our wedding won't cost the earth either money-wise or literally cost the earth. We will have fun and the planet will laugh with us.

If any nice people happen upon my blog and would like to help us achieve our eco-wedding, please comment on my blog page. If you have old white sheets, throws, tablecloths, solar fairy lights, gold material, white silk flowers, tressle or decorating tables, fabric paint, old patio chairs / tables, erm a gazebo, some kind of sheeting we can use keep people dry with, old but unpatterned carpet / other flooring, wedding album / book that people can sign, biodegradable cups, plates, bowls, knives, forks, spoons, glasses you don't want (especially wine or champagne flutes), picnic rugs, cool bags / those things you put in cool bags and erm anything else that loosely relates to having a wedding at home - don't be shy, get in touch. We are not being uber cheeky. We will be actually spending some money. Anything that isnt something someone else no longer wants / needs will be come from charity shops or (as secondary option) second hand from ebay etc. The honeymoon will be eco. We will travel by train, bus and on foot. There will be no planes. We will only stay in places that are eco-green. We will be undertaking some hardcore guerilla gardening to sort of offset any carbon nasties associated with our wedding. I don't really agree with offsetting as offsetting but I think planting trees, plants and making everywhere greener is a good thing. It does have positive carbon effects but the effect is not immediate so in that sense, offsetting doesn't really work. You catch a plane and then plant ten trees - the plane has still pushed masses of nasty carbon into the fragile atmosphere and the trees are not yet big and scary enough to gobble all the C02 up. Not sure what the tree / plane ratio is but imagine that we need a hell of a lot of trees to remove all the carbon associated with plane travel. Offsetting is good but it doesn't do what it says on the tin so to speak.

Anyway I've rambled enough for now. Essay calls. Sigh.

xx


Tuesday, 10 August 2010

We are arranging our wedding - please read my blog: http://1974haze.blogspot.com/2010/08/eco-wedding.html

Eco-wedding

Hi

We have just moved to Cheshire and recently got engaged. We are currently in the early stages of arranging our wedding. We would really like to hold the reception at our home and want to make the arrangements as ethical and eco-friendly as we possibly can.

As such, if anyone can help us by giving us the following items, that would be really fab:

White tablecloths / sheets / material - any type of white material really so that we can cover the ceiling in our garage with hanging material. Any type is fine but velvet or cotton would be really great. We will also use material as makeshift table cloths.

Carpet - we want to put a carpet down on our garage floor for the wedding celebration but will continue to use the carpet in there after the big day. In general we are not fussy about the type but ideally plain carpet rather than patterned. Doesn't matter too much about the condition because we will clean it and place chairs in strategic places but obviously it's for our wedding day so we don't anything too stained and tired.

Patio furniture - if you have been lucky enough to replace your old patio furniture with new items then we would love to have your old stuff. If you have white patio furniture that would even better but we really don't mind.

Biodegradable confetti - a big ask perahaps and we have bought some of this already but if you have any rice paper, dried rose petals or any other type of biodegradable confetti that would be really fab.

Old ribbon - ideally in blue or white but any colour considered - we will plan our colour scheme around what people are able to give us

Citronella candles - if you have some that you don't need then we would be happy to give them a new home

Gazebo - this is rather a big ask really but if anyone had a white gazebo or erm 3 that would be really great. Alternatively any colour and we will decorate accordingly.

White or blue silk flowers - We are thinking of decorating the house with white / blue silk flowers. They don't actually have to be silk but I think that's what they are known as. Basically flowers made of material. Ideally white or blue but again we will plan our colour scheme around what people are able to give us.

Beads - if you have any beads, old necklaces or other beaded jewellrey that you don't want we would love to have them. We will make wedding decorations with them.

Fold up or old decorating tables - if you have any, that would be reallty great. We will cover them with material for our wedding. We will use them for storage in the garage afterwards.

Solar lights - again rather a big ask but if anyone has decorative solar light that are working but not needed, we would give them a good home. Either the little fairy light type or individual lamps which can be placed in a garden.
Recycled printing paper - if anyone has a surplus stock of recycled paper that they can spare, that would be fab. We intend to put up notices and messages around the house and want to print these on recycled paper.

Plastic wine / champagne glasses - if you have any of those plastic glasses that are shaped like wine glasses or other drinks glasses made from plastic, we would love to have them. We don't want to use glass because of breakages but don't really want to use plastic beakers either. We will keep them and reuse after the wedding day. If we are fortunate to end up with lots then we will give them away on Freecycle after the wedding.

Any other items that you no longer need and that you feel will help us, we will gratefully consider. We are open to ideas and suggestions.

We really want our wedding to be an enjoyable day that leaves a very small carbon footprint. If we could have a day that was carbon neutral that would be even better.

Hope you can help.

Obviously for ethical reasons, if you live many miles away from Cheshire then we would not be able to collect offered items. If you live nearby and can help, then please get in touch with me or Mark.

hazel@metronet.co.uk or markanthonydixon@hotmail.com.

Thanks for reading,

Hazel and Mark
xxxx

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Stuff

I blog very little these days. I seem to have less available time. Whenever I get the urge to write something, more often than not, I send my writing over to Powder Room Graffiti. An
online magazine for women. This way, I get to do something I love and get paid for the privilege.

I do miss my blog though. It was my first step into the world of writing (unless you count school, Uni and essays).

If anyone passes by this way and gets an uncontrollable desire to read something I've written, head over to The Powder Room, search for 1974haze and read on.

The links below, take you to some of the more reason stuff:

http://www.powderroomgraffiti.com/shout-it/chipmunk-appreciation-society.html


Friday, 23 July 2010

If you like to read interesting things and lets face it, who doesn't. Do pop over to the Powder Room and read my article http://ow.ly/2fPx2

Monday, 28 June 2010

Post-sex indifference syndrome

Does your man suffer from Post-sex indifference syndrome? The well-known period just after orgasm where the male of the species has the urge to:

Wander off
Use his computer
Fart
Ignore you
Fall asleep

If you suffer the effects of I-have-come-therefore-you-are-no-longer-very-interesting then take action now!

Try the following:

Wander off and do something straight after sex before he has the energy to get up
Clasp him in a over-powering embrace until Post-sex indifference syndrome turns into Pre-sex excitement (this could take a while, depending on the male in question)
Take your bi-curious tendencies and make them more gay than straight (women do not suffer from Post-sex indifference syndrome)
Become celibate
Avoid love and focus on casual no strings entanglements
Accept that most men don't really want to cuddle and chat after sex so get your cuddling and chatting in beforehand.

Thank you and goodnight.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

The face of pure evil

The character below is the face of pure evil. A character that scared the shit of me when I was a child. Venger from kids television programme Dungeons and Dragons. I wasnt even that young when I watched it. Seriously though, look at this guy, he is a bucket full of horror. Mind you I was also scared of:

Daleks
Doctor Who (Tom Baker era)
The Incredible Hulk
The dark
Motorbikes
Loud noises
Girls world heads

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Big Brother on with the sound down

I have Big Brother on with the sound down. What's that all about? I have it on = silly idea. The sound is down = probably for the best but why don't I just change the channel. Apparently, it's as compelling as it is awful. Compelling enough to prevent me for channel changing. Even though I can't hear what they are saying. I think I may be Uni work avoiding. No change there then.


Friday, 25 June 2010

I almost furkled in what I thought was the reduced items trolley today before I discovered that it belonged to a shopper. In my defense she did have a trolley full of reduced items.

My parent's interpretation of the iPad

I arrived at my parent's house one afternoon to discover much hilarity. Apparently they'd heard an advert on the radio for the new iPad. My dad, relaxing in a rare afternoon off work, decided to produce his own version. You can see his creation below, demonstrated by both my parents:



Personally, I think this version is much better.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Can I get away with a cricket Manchester lad style white hat? Sun stroke worry says I can.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Too much

You know you're too busy when you are trying to take a relaxing break by watching CSI but on every advert break you nip off to do some housework! Not major housework obviously but housework none-the-less.


Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Glam Wrexham - Glam DJ Jordan James at Area 51, Manchester - this Friday - http://www.glam-wrexham.co.uk/glam_DJ_jordan_james_area51.html

Impulse

When a man you've never met before suddenly gives you flowers. Use pepper spray. They are probably a stalker.


The above post is meant for humorous purposes only. I do not advocate the use of pepper spray on flower giving men. Please do not take this post literally.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Mozart

Every time I listen to Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major by Mozart I feel like I'm surrounded by majestic angels. It truly is the most beautiful piece of music. Everything about it is musically perfect.

Whether the Mozart effect is false or real, I don't know but I do know that his music has a tremendously wonderful effect on me.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Website coming soon - http://www.preston-dance.co.uk - designed by http://www.solarchidesigns.com
Website coming soon - http://www.beauxboutique.com - designed by http://www.solarchidesigns.com
Website coming soon - http://www.itka-karate-greatbritain.com - designed by http://www.solarchidesigns.com
Brite Futures - http://www.britefutures.co.uk
Blackburn Therapy - Therapy in Blackburn - http://www.blackburn-therapy.co.uk
Blackburn Therapist - Therapist in Blackburn - http://www.blackburn-therapist.co.uk
Blackburn Counselling - Counselling in Blackburn - http://www.blackburn-counselling.com
Blackburn Counsellor - Counsellor in Blackburn - http://www.blackburn-counsellor.co.uk
Preston Therapy - Therapy in Preston - http://www.preston-therapy.co.uk
Preston Therapist - Therapist in Preston - http://www.preston-therapist.co.uk
Preston Counselling - Counselling in Preston - http://www.preston-counselling.co.uk
Preston Counsellor - Counsellor in Preston - http://www.preston-counsellor.co.uk

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Vote for The Tetleys to win XFM competition by commenting at http://www.xfm.co.uk/onair/shows/manchester/xfms-england-house-band-wednedays-selection

Get wise, use a bucket!

Saving water is a key method to preserve the environment, it's also vital to save money on your water bill if you have a water meter. One way to do this is to flush the toilet using waste water collected in a bucket. This can be rain water, left of water after washing dishes and any other method of gathering water that would otherwise go down the drain. According to Waterwise toilet flushing uses a massive 30% of total water in a household. Even modern toilets on half or reduced flush uses 4 litres of water in flush. Full flush uses 6 litres. Old style toilets use 13 litres of water per flush!

You can buy cistern displacement devices (go to Waterwise for more on this) but really why bother, just use a bucket full of waste water to flush. You also don't really need to flush every time you go for a wee (sorry for mentioning toilet-use words) but obviously you really do need to flush if any other toilet activity occurs (inc when ladies wee at that special time of the month, red water isnt nice to see). During these time flush-vital times, use a bucket to flush your loo, it works well.

If visitors come round, you can save the automatic flushes for them!

Save water, save the environment, save on your water bill.


The video below shows me, a bucket and some manual flushing of our loo. Mark is the man operating the camera phone. We do have fun in our house. :-)

video
Eminem Parody - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMyl3ikNFi4

Essay perception

Essay - only a few short weeks since the last essay and I have another. That Im blogging is prob an indication of the impending deadline. I do have a talent to get really into blogging when I have an essay to write.

Perception - some weeks seem short and others seem endless. Time measurement is fixed but time perception is fluid. When an essay is due, time rushes past me and when I'm sat in the office the minute hand appears to move around the clock at a snails pace. Sad but true.

Food

Try a cheese sandwich with mayo and pesto - it's really rather lovely. Healthy too, well no but it is very tasty.
Westhoughton Karate - http://www.westhoughtonkarate.co.uk - Karate in Westhoughton

Grrrrr!!!

Studying is annoying me today. Universities can be very restrictive sometimes. Don’t they realise that I have a life beyond my Degree? I’m not 20 year that needs structure in my life, I have plenty of structure already. I think I’m going to stop being a proper grown-up henceforth. I have a urge to go and sit on a hill somewhere, perhaps take some loud music with me and blast it out into the atmosphere. I have an urge to eat a very large chocolate bar (actually I always have that urge).


Monday, 31 May 2010

Supernatural

In the picture below - some see light and a tree, some see light, a tree and a figure leaning against the tree and some see light, a tree and a wood elf leaning against the tree. I fall into the last group of people. You need to click on the image to see it clearly. If you're imagination allows you to, you will see a face, eyes, nose, mouth, horns and quite possibly breasts.


Loud bars

I've reached an age where loud bars bother me. This is in part due to the large variety of shite music on display in the loud bar. Music that consists of: people that won celebrity pop idol superstar Britain's got talent, mass produced dance music, golden oldies that have either been remixed (badly) or overplayed to such an extent that I know every word without wanting to.

I went to my cousin's 30th birthday party in Poulton on Saturday and probably heard 3 songs that I quite liked (quite is the operative word here). The rest of the music (or musicish as it will now be called) was utter shite. None-the-less, I did dance, convinced to do so by gin, tonic, my mum and my sister.

By the end of the night my head was banging. There was a time that I saw the small hours arrive one after the other and I laughed in the face of 4am. Bam, 2am, bam, 3am - they all passed without so much as a whimper from me. I was always wide awake. These days, as 1am approaches, my body clock groans ''go to sleep''. I never thought this day would come.

Wedding bells

Apparently it's very hard to find a wedding venue that is both cheap and ethical. Why do some venues apply a minimum spend? A minimum spend! Outrageous. I've contacted all licensed venues in Cheshire and not one seems to be suitable. Maybe we should just head down the reg office, get married and then grab some chips on the way home. Mark would def be up for that. Cheap is his middle name. If you know of an attractive, ethical and inexpensive venue for weddings somewhere near to Lancashire or Cheshire, please let me know.......
Bolton Therapist - Therapist in Bolton - http://www.bolton-therapist.co.uk

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

http://www.solarchi.com/jukebox/audioplayer%203.swf?mysongname=Bird%20Of%20Prey%20For%20Sure
http://www.solarchi.com/jukebox/audioplayer%203.swf?mysongname=Waves
http://ping.fm/Ke0Lk
http://ping.fm/43mwm
http://ping.fm/7bWz1
http://ping.fm/6D2Qt
Preston Counselling - Counselling in Preston - http://ping.fm/UC3O7
Chocolate and Slavery - http://ping.fm/QILJL
Mr Benji - 4 new tracks - http://ping.fm/EWI47
Mr Benji - 4 new tracks - http://ping.fm/m0CFp
children love chocolate - maybe not in West Africa - Chocolate Slavery - don't ignore it, buy fairtrade - http://ping.fm/PE9Vy
Mr Benji - 4 new tracks - http://ping.fm/wBH8t
Mr Benji - 4 new tracks - http://ping.fm/O6CHn
Preston Karate - Areas of Preston - http://ping.fm/RzSMp
Preston Therapy - http://ping.fm/eNCzW - Therapy in Preston
Preston Therapy - www.preston-therapy.co.uk - Therapy in Preston
Mr Benji - new tracks - http://ping.fm/wsVaI

Monday, 24 May 2010

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Fair trade chocolate

Chocoholics beware - the chocolate that you enjoy could be produced by children who have been forced to work and kidnapped from their homes. This actually happens. Children are taken from their homes and forced to work on chocolate plantations. Basically the only way to avoid this is either avoid chocolate like the plague or eat Fair Trade chocolate. The Fair Trade foundation ensure that producers do not use child or forced labour. Although it it fair to say that westerncentric values should not be forced onto other cultures, it is also fair to say that forced labour whether it forced on children or adults is morally wrong regardless of cultural experience. It is a breach of human rights. For my part, I can understand that in some countries child labour does take place and where this is the case, these children should be treated with a greater level of kindness that an adult should expect. None-the-less, children should not and cannot be forced to work. It has to stop. We have to stop it.

Buy Fair Trade chocolate. Write to chocolate manufacturers and demand that they become Fair Trade approved.

I'm currently trying to establish whether The Rainforrest Alliance approved chocolate (such as Galaxy) is suitable in terms of forced labour. At present, it's unclear. So Fair Trade is the only option.

Cadburys dairy milk is Fair Trade. The Co-op supermarket sell many Fair Trade products including their own brand chocolate. Divine is a Fair Trade chocolate manufacturer. Wherever you see the Fair Trade symbol you can be sure that it is Fair Trade.



Mooncup

I have just bought a mooncup. This is very exciting. I've been planning on buying one for such a long time. Don't know why I waited really. Male readers, if I have any, turn away now, the mooncup, for those that don't know, is an ethical alternative tampons. Tampons and any other type of disposable sanitary items contribute massively to landfill and rather worryingly may even end up in the sea. The mooncup is designed to last and is re-usable. It is reputed to be healthier for the vagina than tampons too. According to many reviews there are no links between the mooncup and TSS, they are more comfortable than tampons and don't leak! Yay.

Friends of the earth list the mooncup as a way to cut down on waste. See
FOE the good list. The mooncup is item 53 on the list.

You can buy the mooncup at:

I shall blog more on this matter when my friendly mooncup arrives. Mooncup, what a fab name.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Animal testing

Following some recent research on the Internet Mark and I have discovered that many more companies than we realised still test on animals or use suppliers that test on animals. We were aware of quite a few and as a result were wholeheartedly avoiding the companies in question. The Body Shop is one of these. Once a celebrated organisation that championed beauty without animal cruelty, now owned by the cosmetic giant L'oreal. L'oreal do test on animals so The Body Shop who is owned by L'oreal is guilty because of its parent company.

Sadly, even companies that I believed were founded on sound ethical principles need to be avoided and Ecover is one of these. Many companies operate a 5 year rolling rule which means they exclude ingredients that have been animal tested within the last 5 years because this is not a fixed date, they can exclude an animal tested ingredient one year but include them the next year. The only way a commitment has been made is by operating a fixed cut off date i.e. a company will not buy anything that has been tested on animals after 1994 for example or by stating that the company will not buy, test or be involved in any capacity in animal testing ever (which is basically what Lush does).

There is a large list of companies to avoid. Some of which I have recently written positive reviews on, without realising that they were either involved or linked to animal testing. Unfortunately the reviews I've written can't be removed but I can encourage people not to use companies that animal test. Why should our vanity and lifestyles create suffering and death in animals? It is massively cruel for an animal to experience pain or death just so I can wear some make-up. Cruel and completely unnecessary.

These are some good companies: Lush, Aldi, Argos, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's, Nisa Today, Co-op. Many of these still sell products from companies that are associated with animal testing but their own brand cosmetics and / or cleaning products are not linked to animal testing. http://www.uncaged.co.uk/crueltyfree.htm provides more important information on this.

These are some good cosmetics brands: Barry m, Urban decay, Jason Natural Cosmetics, Weleda, BWC (Beauty without cruelty), Green people. Again http://www.uncaged.co.uk/crueltyfree.htm provides more important information on this.

Boycott, avoid at all costs, tell everyone to do the same for:
Avon, Jeyes, Miners, L'oreal, Nestle, The Body Shop, Ecover, Givenchy, Revlon, Christian Dior, Chanel, Lancome, Virgin vie, Yves saint laurent. There are many others so please confirm at: http://www.uncaged.co.uk/crueltyfree.htm

This is an important issue. The more people that boycott bad companies and put pressure on the same to stop cruelty, the better chance that cruelty will actually stop.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Finding money

Sometimes a lack of cash-flow means you'll try to increase your wealth even in the smallest of ways. My empty purse and diminishing funds has lead me to scan the streets for lost or discarded money. It's surprising how often people will throw away small change and even more surprising how picking small change up really adds up to an increase in wealth. Since I've been scouring the pavements for money, I have found in excess of £2. You're thinking, that's not worthwhile, £2 is nothing. Yet it is worth it. I only started looking about 4 weeks ago so I think £2 is pretty impressive. Based on my rate of finding, it would be possible to find £26 in a year! Now surely that's an effort worth making.

My fiancee has been carrying out this activity for much longer than me but if his rate was the same as mine, then that's £52 per year. A pound for every week of the year!

Oh and it's surprising how searching for money makes you appreciate every single penny.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Subliminal Kutz

http://shotokandisco.blogspot.com/2010/03/sub-kutz-logos.html

Mark has produced some cool looking logos for Subliminal Kutz, a techno, house and breaks night in Wrexham.

Their Facebook page Subliminal Kutz

March snow

It's snowing. Doesn't Mother Nature realise that British Summer Time has begun? The clocks went forward an hour on Sunday last, surely this means that snow is banned until Autumn? Obviously our construction of time has very little to do with the elements but even so I don't consider the end of March in England to be a snowy time. There was severe hail yesterday too. For about 5 minutes the air was full of golf ball sized hail. I exaggerate only slightly. It was the kind of hail that looked painful. It encouraged Mark to grab his phone and capture the moment. By the time he'd located his phone, the moment had nearly ended but he did catch about 5 seconds of angry looking hail.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Listening

We are listening to some of Mark's tunes even though we really should be tucked up in the land of sleepville. Mark just said, and I quote "this ones called Skip to the end" and then said "I'm not sure if I've finished it". I laughed and asked him whether the song was a contradiction in terms!

Monday, 29 March 2010

Relax?

There is so little time these days to relax. Time passes so quickly. Blink and you'll miss it. Of late, I've found that I sit down to do some work, then a short time later, look at the clock and hours have passed. Hours that have felt like minutes. There are 24 hours in a day and for about 8 of these, I prefer to be asleep. If I sleep for less than 8 hours a day, I become very grumpy. This leaves 16 hours to do everything I need to. Apparently this isn't long enough. I know this because if I crack off a ton of Uni work, the housework slips. If the house looks spotless I get behind with Uni work. Spending all day working with my beloved on web design means that I have no time to do any writing. Something has to give, I do hope it won't be me!

xxx

Sunday, 21 March 2010

It's all happening at Glam

Have you been to Glam in Wrexham? If you haven't, you should, it's damn good. I speak from experience here. Check them out at www.glam-wrexham.co.uk/

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Absorbing form and colour

A quote by Baudelaire, the French poet and social commentator. He wrote the quote below in 1863. His quote was written as a description of art and of capturing modern life. However, his words could be related to any type of creative pursuit:

"The child sees everything in a state of newness; he is always
drunk. Nothing more resembles what we call inspiration than the
delight with which a child absorbs form and colour ... Genius is
nothing more nor less than childhood recovered at will – a
childhood now equipped for self-expression with manhood’s
capacities and a power of analysis which enables it to order the
mass of raw material which it has involuntarily accumulated."

Taken from Baudelaire, 1863, in Harrison et al., 1998 in Moohan, 2008.

My only criticism is that he centres his focus around the exploits of man. Indeed, the woman is only present by way of her total absence. Other than that, this quote, to use a modern phrase, is awesome!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

SEO

SEO has to be achieved effectively to get your website higher up (or at the top of) search engines. It's vital. The life-force of your website, if you will. There is little point in having a fabulous website if nobody can find you. Fortunately, I happen to know people that can do this for you. Solar Chi Designs. Yes, that's right, Mark Dixon and my good-self can achieve this for you. Don't take my word for it though, try us out and you will see. http://www.solarchidesigns.com.

Search for Bolton Plasterers on Google and you will find that our client, Bolton Plasterers are at the top of Google. SEO, if it didnt sound rather daft, it would be our middle name. Solar SEO Chi Designs.

:-))

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

A little story

Once upon time there was a beautiful fairy princess called Glitter Fairy. She lived in a large oak tree, deep in the Emerald Forrest. As you might expect, Glitter Fairy’s oak tree home was magical. Her tree was quite large from the outside but once the magic door was opened, the inside of her tree was gigantic. Glitter Fairy’s winding staircase lead to 10 large rooms, all beautifully festooned with ethical glitz and glamour. Glitter Fairy loved her home and she loved the Emerald Forest.

Each day Glitter Fairy would go out into the forest and weave her ethical magic. She would heal wounded flowers, offer a friendly ear to unhappy animals and spread love wherever she went. Life was wonderful for Glitter Fairy but she longed for someone to share her days with. She wished she would meet a partner that would share he love of the Emerald Forrest. Glitter Fairy could weave all kinds of magic to help others but she could not bring romantic love to her.

One day, as Glitter Fairy was out on one of her afternoon strolls, she saw a young, handsome pixie. She had never seen him before but he somehow felt familiar. He was tall, dark and had penetrating brown eyes. As she passed him, their eyes met and they shared a smile but they did not speak to each other. Many weeks passed and from time to time, Glitter Fairy would see this pixie. Each time they would smile at each other but still no conversation took place. Glitter Fairy started to think about him every day. Each time that she went into the Forrest, she hoped she would see him and when she didn’t, she was very disappointed.

Glitter Fairy decided that she must speak to this pixie, even though she was shy and very worried that he wouldn’t like her, she decided to take the plunge. She dressed in her best sparkley outfit, waved her magic wand over hair, wore her best fairy makeup and went out into the Forrest to speak to him. Fortunately he was there, planting vegetables. Glitter Fairy bravely walked towards him. He looked up and smiled, she smiled back and said “hi, I was wondering if you would like to come for tea at my home?”. He said “that sounds perfect, I’ve wanting to speak to you for a while but couldn’t build up the courage, my name is Pixie Willow, what’s yours?”. She said “it’s Glitter Fairy”. He smiled, put his tools into his toolbox and held out his hand towards her, she took it and they walked together towards her home. After only a few weeks of taking tea together and walking in the Emerald Forrest, they fell in love. Glitter Fairy had found her pixie prince! He was everything she hoped he would be – kind, loving, passionate, romantic and environmentally aware. Glitter Fairy and Pixie Willow were married and went to live together in his Cloud Castle. They gave Glitter Fairy’s Oak Tree to the creatures of the Emerald Forrest.

Again as you might expect, Glitter Fairy and Pixie Willow lived happily ever after.

http://www.solarchidesigns.com/

Have a look at our website and buy a website from us!

http://www.solarchidesigns.com/

Music war

I've commented previously that hearing teenagers playing their music in public places, without the use of their headsets is rather annoying. More often that not, their music choice makes it even more unpleasant. So recently I decided to take action. Just a small but most enjoyable moment of anarchy.

I was awaiting a bus, a long delayed bus and I shared the bus stop with four teenagers. One guy and three girls. They laughed and screamed their way through the wait. I sighed and grumped my way through the wait. After a while, they decided to share their music with me and by that I don't mean that they wandered over and said "excuse me older person but would you care to listen to some of my music collection". No, sadly, they just cranked up the volume on their mobile phone / ipod / whatever music playing device. I felt like saying "do you have a headset, they usually come as standard with these devices". I didn't say it, just thought it. I internally sighed and willed the bus to arrive instead. At one stage, the male teenage type exclaimed (after he had selected a new track) "this one is moderately more upbeat". Moderately more upbeat? Impressive use of language for a youngster. Anyway, I digress, back to the anarchy..... I reached a point where I thought, sod this, I really can't be bothered with their crappy music choices. I retrieved my mobile phone from my handbag, selected a track by the soon to be rock legends Sucioperro, turned up the volume and pressed play. Did I use my headset, I did not. Did I play the track on loudspeaker to the contents of the bus stop, I did. The male version of a teenager looked at me in surprise. I could imagine his thoughts "who is this strange old person and what is that delightful tune she is playing". Shortly after my outburst the bus arrived. I switched the track off and boarded.

WE HAVE TO STRIKE BACK AGAINST THESE PEOPLE (just as long as we strike back without upsetting other more polite members of the population).

xxx

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Not much blog action

My blogs have been few of late. University has begun again (but I've done very little study so I can't blame that). The key reason for lack of blog is that we have just moved house, in fact yesterday was our first day in our new house and there is barely enough room for us with all the boxes. These boxes, mainly, contain stuff that belongs to Mark. With the exception of shoes, I have a lot of boxes filled with shoes mmmmm shoes. So in the name of box freedom, we have decided to de-clutter, this is a hefty undertaking but a necessary one. Indeed, it's already started - Mark began the de-cluttering process early this morning (whilst I snored into my pillow). I was impressed, I'm still impressed.

To help us with our process of clutter removal, check out our bookshop! Yes bookshop, all second-hand (obviously) but some are nearly new (whatever that means):

http://www.solarchidesigns.com/shotokandiscobookshop/

xx

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

A world of white

Yet again the world outside my window is covered in a picture card painting of white. It really looks quite beautiful. I noticed whilst on a recent journey to the local shop that the footprints outside my door were rather more like leg holes. This should give you an idea of how deep the snow fall was. There is still depth to it but some melting has occurred, sadly some freezing has occurred too. The kitchen window now looks as though its made from frosted glass, the kind you get in bathrooms to prevent prying eyes from peering in. Again very beautiful but I've a feeling that any subsequent journeys beyond my doorstep will be severely hampered by that frosty under foot feeling. I tend to be very clumsy - even in warm, dry, brightly lit conditions I lose my balance. My arse seems to be inherently drawn to heading over tit so when the weather outside is all frosty snow, falling arse over tit will undoubtedly occur. I'm not a pessimist, I just know my limits. I know that my skills in snow traverse sit somewhere around the shittest side of shit. Indeed, upon a recent escapade to a nearby park with my boyfriend and his family. My snow traverse skills were put to the test - we came upon ditch which had to be climbed through or jumped over in order to commence our journey. My boyfriend suggested that I jump over the ditch and exclaimed that he would CATCH ME ON THE OTHER SIDE. Catch...me...on...the...other...side!!! What?! Now, with my knowledge and experience of poor snow traverse, you would assume that I would refuse such an offer and suggestion. You would assume incorrectly because I did as he suggested. After some hesitation, I leapt up, gravity did what gravity does, then a long held tradition of snowy slip-ups grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and I, as you would expect, landed face down in the snow. Much hilarity ensued, though I was resolutely unamused. So, as I say, there is much beauty in snow but I find that it's glittery sparkle is best enjoyed as you would enjoy that picture card painting I mentioned, in a safe, non-interactive manner.

xxx

Solar Chi Designs Playlist on MySpace

Click here to listen to Solar Chi Designs current playlist on Myspace

Solar Chi Designs offers a professional service that can meet your design and computing needs. We offer a range of services including website design, software design, graphic design, electronic design, sound design, computer services and IT support.

Please contact us on 07736 450359 to talk more about the services we can offer you or email mark@solarchidesigns.com or hazel@solarchidesigns.com

Visit the Solar Chi Designs website

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Akmal Shaikh

Akmal Shaikh has been executed by the Chinese government (Amnesty International, BBC news). This is extremely sad news and will be tremendously difficult for his family and friends to bare. The greatest sympathy to Akmal Shaikh's family, friends and all that knew him.

Unfortunately, Mr Shaikh's execution is another example of the Chinese government's disregard for human rights.

To try to prevent further breaches of human rights in China and throughout the world, please support the work of Amnesty International and like-minded human rights organisations.

Highlighted post

Wild notes

~~~ Twisted strings, blood red We were opposite and one Behind these lines, mirrored We’re wild notes lost in song Travel me back...

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