Marissa Laycock looks at aspects of life in a small city, focussing on St Albans.
The area, the attractions, and the people. Bought to you by Radio Verulam and The St Albans Review.
‘Getting to Zero Emissions’ will take time, technological innovation and huge investment
Bill Gates' new book, How To Avoid A Climate Disaster is not an easy read. If you read for pleasure or for escapism, I suggest you do not add this sobering book to your pile of bedtime reading. Bill Gates tells us that climate scientists have confirmed that we are already in a state of emergency but that ‘getting to zero emissions’ will take decades. In the meantime, we’ll have to deal with limited resources and extreme weather conditions.
So far, I haven’t done anything much to ‘save the planet’ apart from planting a few trees and plants in my garden and eating less meat. This book was a wake-up call for me, I'll make a start by attending the Sustainability Festival in May and seeing which area of activity I am drawn to; while remembering Jane Goodall’s words of wisdom, “every individual has a role to play” and that ‘the greatest danger to our future is apathy.”
Box-set binge-watching during lockdown
It appears that times are changing and most of us are more likely to be glued to our screens than engrossed in a book. I've been as guilty of this as anyone during lockdown! Not so long ago, I used to have quite a few chats about which books friends and family were reading. Nowadays it’s all about which box-sets we're all watching. There are countless websites like ‘for the ultimate binge’ or ‘to watch before you die’ promoting the best box-sets and encouraging us to stream more and more new dramas which are continually being released.
I’m pretty sure I watched too much TV as a child so when I came across a plain black book in my late teens with the simple title; Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, I was intrigued and utterly fascinated. The idea of life without TV had never crossed my mind. It was a revelation, giving me a completely new perspective on the effects of too much TV-watching which nobody had ever told me about.
Wandering amidst Verulamium Woodlands
There’s nothing better when you live in a city than taking a walk into a vast spacious landscape. London parks are cultivated by expert gardeners and of course, the manicured gardens are such a pleasure to explore, but to walk up hilly slopes and into a wild woodland breathing in clean country air is especially restorative; to feel part of that unspoiled space and still live in a city feels so good.
The holiday season will return eventually! For now we’ll just have to roll with it.
Around this time of the year, we start to wonder about our Summer holidays. The last few years we’ve been on a cruise or two. We’re really missing it. Last year there were no exotic cocktails or musical spectaculars, no pink sunsets glistening on the calm seas, no hour-long full body massages or dance lessons. I guess we all need to look at things differently now…accept what has happened, appreciate what we have and look forward to conquering new ground in the Summer holidays yet to be…
So glad 2021 is finally here!
Although we are now immersed in yet another lockdown, I think we all feel quite relieved that 2021 has finally dawned. Looking back on the year 2020 and the extraordinary things that happened within society as a whole has been a strange experience.
Deciding how to pitch my column during lockdown has been a challenge as many people are just bored and trying to get through each day, others are still working and others may be mourning the loss of a loved one. All I can do is share my own take on things and write a little bit about my, at times, trivial experiences like playing board games and watching old films.
December’s Farmers’ Market
Phew! I managed to catch St Albans Farmers’ Market just before another lockdown was announced. I discovered three delicious foods which will become regular additions to my pantry – chestnut honey, chilli cheese and chilli vodka.
Of course this Christmas will be different for us all, but at least we can cherish happy memories from Christmases past, carry the spirit of Christmas within our hearts and look forward to next year’s celebrations. I wish you all a Very Happy Christmas!