D&D, cargo bike, summer, and gardens

The kids played Dungeons & Dragons at Geek Retreat in Aberdeen yesterday. This was their second time playing and they love it. They went with friends this time which would have made it even better.

On Saturday afternoons you can book in for a beginner’s session and learn how to play. Their first game was a couple of weeks ago and now they’re hooked.

Today we all cycled to the allotment to pick some blueberries and raspberries. It’s been a long time since I’ve had passengers in Hoss but we had lots of kids over and they decided a trip to the allotment would be tolerable if they got to ride in Hoss so off we went. Daniel rode his Segway Ninebot which he’s proficient at manoeuvring. There are lots of way to get around that don’t require an internal combustion engine.

It has been hot these past few days and I’m longing for the rain which will hopefully come this week. In parts of England they have a hosepipe ban which I’ve never heard of happening here. There’s even a village in Oxfordshire that’s been without running water. That just seems inconceivable for dreary, rainy Britain but this is the new norm. In a way it’s a good thing that power prices have skyrocketed as the obvious answer is investment in renewables. Every home should have solar panels, double-glazing and insulation.

We’re quite lucky because very fortuitously I signed us up for a 24 month contract with our energy provider late last year so our tariffs are fixed until late summer next year. I had no idea Russia would invade Ukraine so it was just pure luck. We did however turn our heating down and we’ll endeavour to keep it down when it gets cold again. Everyone needs to do their bit to reduce demand. Of course right now consumption is very low as it’s still light until late and too hot for heating. Since the fire I’ve also started turning off devices at the wall before bed. We used to turn the TV off at the switch on the remote but all these devices use quite a bit of power even when they’re switched off. Turning the power off at the wall helps to reduce consumption. All our light bulbs are LED and this makes a noticeable difference to consumption but I imagine most people have already changed their bulbs to LED by now.

I haven’t seen the hedgehogs in the garden for a few weeks. I’m assuming they’re all fine and have just tottered off to explore and are doing well. I haven’t found any bodies at least which is a good sign. I learnt recently that private gardens in this country cover an area of over 10 million acres which is larger than all the nature reserves combined. This illustrates how important our gardens are as habitats for wildlife.

I know some people like to rip out every tree and shrub and lay turf and tiles, or – heaven forbid – that ghastly plastic grass, but consider how much you could get by sitting in the cool shade of a tree listening to chirping birds and humming bees! They really do enrich our lives so while it may seem like a burden to consider wildlife habitat when we plan our gardens I think we get just as much out of if not more than the animals do. After all, we need insects more than they need us. Without insects humans would die out. Without humans insects would thrive.

2 responses to “D&D, cargo bike, summer, and gardens”

  1. I looked into rainwater harvesting but I have no ground space to store it 😦 Do you know of any water systems that can be used on a roof terrace? It seems a waste when you think of how much falls on the roof during the winter.

    1. Can you just get a water butt? These are inexpensive and can collect water runoff from the roof when it rains. I have one at my allotment that collects water from the shed roof so you don’t need a big roof.

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