Can we flunk it? Yes we can!
No, not Obama this time, but Bob the Builder. I took my 2.75 yr old to the live show in Newcastle on Saturday (not my idea, honest, no really). The show was pretty well put on (although the young Muck fans behind me were to be disappointed), but it featured such a heavy-handed green theme it made me cringe. Bob and his team were set the task of building an eco-centre, featuring wind turbines, recycling facilities and the slogan "it's only rubbish if you can't recycle it!" repeated ad-nauseum. Pity they couldn't have provided any recycling bins in the auditorium - and don't get me started on the decidedly unrecyclable tat they were selling in bucket loads to the pre-schoolers as merchandise. Just a little more thought would have made it appear a lot less cynical. The Millennium Dome got slaughtered for this kind of not practising what they preach gaffe, you'd think people would learn...
Today (Sunday) we went for a greener trip - the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust at Washington. Unfortunately we got off to a bad start getting lost due to a road closure and some terrible signposting and, with the moans of hungry people in the car ringing in my ears, we ended up pulling into a garden centre with a coffee shop. We opened the door to my personal room 101 - a seemingly infinite array of gaudy Christmas tat extending as far as the eye could see, with Do They Know It's Christmas blaring over the top - Nooooooooooooooooaaaaaah!!!! Make it stooooop!
Anyway we got to the WWT with time to go around the inner walk - little Jimmy getting breast fed as we went (it really is a very mild autumn, denialists, isn't it?). Great place with loads of interesting birds and hides and some good interpretation panels (I'm a sucker for a good fact). Best one this time - 40% of all species which live on dead wood are under threat of extinction. This made me a bit smug as all the round wood that we can't burn at home I lay between the base of one of our hedges and an old stone retaining wall as a wilderness pile. I originally thought of this to provide somewhere for beasties to hibernate, but I didn't realise I was providing a habitat too. A great day out - despite Harry falling out with a goose - and a lot cheaper than BtB - we will definitely be back for a full day visit.