Friday, December 2, 2011

A day at my desk

With the window shut my room smells strangely of cat. With the window open, sitting next to it at my desk, the cold breeze sneaking in makes me gaze out on the wider world. In the house Classic FM is playing, but outside is the gentle but constant rustle of the wind combing through the leaves still hanging on. A hidden crow coughs out it's croaking call. Seeing as it's only 1 o'clock maybe calling this a day at my desk is a bit much. However when the morning has been spent trying to fill out job application forms, I feel ready to call it a day. I might go for a wander and sit under the tree I've been looking out on every few minutes. Seeing as I want to work for an NGO geared towards saving the environment, it would be good practice to go out and appreciate the environment, wouldn't it?

Ah, the job hunt

After graduating I spent three years travelling and teaching English. I even have a Cambridge qualification to help me along with it. Unfortunately, I'm a little tired of living abroad, not knowing the language or understanding the culture. So it's been back to the UK for me. However it kind of means back to square 1 for me, like being a recent graduate all over again, except now I'm 24. During an era of record high unemployment I decided it would be a good idea to start looking for jobs in a sector I have no direct experience in. Ha ha, I'm a friggin' genius.
However, I'm still hopeful that I'll find someone in the environmental sector willing to pay me to help save the planet. My time spent travelling opened my eyes to a variety of environmental issues. Living in Iraq helped to internalise the externalities of using cheap fossil fuels to provide the energy we use. Our street was provided power by a generator that stepped in during the frequent power cuts. The generator was constantly surrounded by oil drums and emitted a thick oily smoke. Having such a clear demonstration of the costs of my energy usage certainly encouraged me to try and limit my electricity needs. Even though I am no longer living in the exhaust of my power source I clearly understand the needs to cut unnecessary energy use.  While volunteering in Costa Rica I was made aware of the need to conserve water. Despite the deluges of the rainy season, the dry season was beset with water shortages. Not knowing whether or not water will emerge when you turned on the tap made me acutely aware of the uses I was putting the available water to. At Lower Upcott Farm in Devon I am learnt the techniques of farming using traditional, sustainable methods. Understanding first hand the effort required to produce our food in a sustainable and responsible manner has opened my eyes to the benefits of sourcing ones food from local and dependable sources. These experience have shaped my values, creating within me a desire to live lightly and to limit the impact I have on the planet. 
I'll let you know how it goes. 


Overdue Update

So I arrived back in the UK in July after 6 months in Iraq. Safe to say I don't think I'll be returning there in a hurry. Lovely people, the Kurds, but the school I taught in was a little rubbish. Anywho, after returning to the UK I've spent most of my time down in Devon, volunteering at Lower Upcott Farm. I had a great time there; building, farming, cutting down oak, corralling pigs, getting stepped on by shire horses, picking apples and generally having a good time. Here are a few pics from my time there.

Shire horses

Ben using the shires to turn hay.

Jack the Russell

More hay turning

Taja, the peahen.

Chickens running for breakfast.

Ducks also believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Almost corny this one.

Shire mare

Doogle, the water spaniel.

Taja with Dill, an Oxford and Sandy pig.

Some Oxford and Sandy piglets.

Red Ruby Devon cow.

Young male Red deer

Maybe some sort of milk cap, not sure.