helenic: (on rooftops: hair)

Inspired by the success of [livejournal.com profile] roz_mcclure and the helpful resources she linked to, I decided a while ago to give this [livejournal.com profile] no_poo thing a try. (For all the usual reasons: expense, toxicity and general low green credentials of commercial shampoos; wanting to reduce dependency on commercial products; vague handwavy "returning to the earth" aesthetic principle, etc.) So off I trundled to the shops, [personal profile] denny in tow, with the following shopping list:

- baking soda / bicarb
- apple cider vinegar
- vanilla essence
- cinnamon sticks

I ended up going to Tesco, because it seemed the best place to get all of the above at once. "I find it deeply amusing that your hippy hair remedy involves things you can only buy from Tesco," quipped Denny. Yeah yeah. The local shops don't stock the first three items, and anyway, it's not like I ever buy shampoo from them, so it's not money I'm taking away from local businesses.

I came home with mulled wine spice, not being able to find cinnamon sticks, but I've since noticed them in the window of one of the local Caribbean groceries, so TAKE THAT, Evil Corporations.

Anyway, then they sat on the shelf for like six weeks because I am a chronic procrastinator, and also kind of a wuss, but yesterday my hair was really greasy, I had no plans for the evening, and I therefore decided that It Was Time. Cue me scrabbling around the flat for half an hour looking for two appropriate squeezy bottles to mix stuff in, because I'd totally forgotten to buy those. I ended up using one old shower gel bottle (well rinsed) and one non-squeezy water bottle, which was non-ideal as far as application went, but that can be fixed later.

So the method I used was: mix 1 part bicarbonate of soda to 3 parts water in the empty water bottle, then stand in front of the sink, pour some into my cupped hand and scrub it onto my dry scalp. I ended up using several handfuls to get full coverage, which I suspect was too much, but the dry scrubbing doesn't feel right when you're used to sudsy washing. Leave the bicarb on your hair for 3 minutes; I used this time to mix the next solution, which was 1 part apple cider vinegar (any white vinegar also works) to 4 parts water. I added some mulled wine spice (mm, gritty) and cloves for spicy fragrant goodness.

Then I hopped in the shower and rinsed the bicarb out (mmmm, scalp massage). My hair felt silky and pretty awesome even at this point. Then I did another scrub with the vinegar solution, which smelt strongly enough of vinegar that I realised I'd forgotten to add the vanilla essence. Rinsed out the vinegar, finished my shower, added some vanilla essence to the bottle and popped it back in the bathroom.

results! )


Sep. 1st, 2009 02:16 pm
helenic: (Default)

Thanks to [personal profile] denny for pointing me at 10:10, a scheme through which individuals and businesses pledge to reduce their emissions by 10% in 2010:

Everyone's looking for something to do about climate change. What’s needed is something straightforward, immediate and meaningful. I think I've found it.

Today I joined thousands of individuals and organisations from across the country to unite behind one simple idea: that by working together we can achieve a 10% cut in carbon emissions during 2010. It’s called 10:10, and everyone can be a part of it.

Cutting 10% in one year is a bold target, but for most of us it’s an achievable one, and is in line with what scientists say we need right now. By signing up to 10:10 we’re not just promising to reduce our own emissions – we’re becoming part of a national drive to hit this ambitious goal country-wide. In our homes, in our workplaces, our schools and our hospitals, our galleries and football clubs and universities, we’ll be backing each other up as we take the first steps on the road to becoming a low-carbon society.

To find out more and sign up go to www.1010uk.org
To read coverage of the campaign from the Guardian go to www.guardian.co.uk/10-10

I just signed up; it's all stuff I'm trying to do anyway, and if enough people join the scheme, it will help put much-needed pressure on politicians to start meeting targets. The UK started the industrial revolution, we should be the first to visibly start reducing the problems its caused. A lot of political will and an enormous shift in the public consciousness is going to be necessary, but I think it's achievable. And the more countries commit to reducing carbon emissions, the greater a chance we have of persuading the big multinationals to follow suit.

helenic: (windowsill; cafe; people-watching)

Climate Camp:


Feminism links, via various people, but most of them from [personal profile] gavagai. Sorry if I've posted any of these before; between IRC, facebook, twitter and here it's sometimes hard to keep track what goes where.


Random stuff:

helenic: (Default)

Last August, thousands of people camped out at Kingsnorth power station to protest against the continued use of coal power in the UK. Despite eye-witness reports and video evidence that police abused stop and search powers, removed their badge numbers, employed sleep deprivation tactics, harassed journalists, arrested any protesters who tried to demand their legal rights, and engaged in unprovoked violence against peaceful protesters and their private property, the police were not meaningfully challenged by anyone with the authority to do so. In fact, it wasn't until after events were repeated at the G20 protests in April 2009 that official questions were asked about the policing of dissent in the UK.

Early this year, cyber-liberties activist Cory Doctorow wrote an article for the Guardian about the Kingsnorth camp.

We've known about all this since last August - seven months and more. It was on national news. It was on the web. Anyone who cared about the issue knew everything they needed to know about it. And everyone had the opportunity to find out about it: remember, it was included in national news broadcasts, covered in the major papers - it was everywhere.

And yet ... nothing much has happened in the intervening eight months. Simply knowing that the police misbehaved does nothing to bring them to account.
Transparency means nothing unless it is accompanied by the rule of law. It means nothing unless it is set in a system of good and responsible government, of oversight of authority that expeditiously and effectively handles citizen complaints. Transparency means nothing without justice.

Ironically, the article was delayed due to an administrative error, resulting in its publication shortly after the G20 protests. It was already true, even before the same mistakes were made all over again: and in April, it could just as easily have been talking about the events earlier that month. The Met have lied, again and again, about events on the day and the strategies that led to them. The Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner have placed blame solely on 'rogue' individual officers, denying all knowledge of deliberate and systematic use of violence. Hundreds if not thousands of officers were pictured engaging in unprovoked and disproportionate violence, but almost none have lost their stripes or their jobs. The senior officers in charge of the operation have got away scot-free. No officer who illegally detained or criminally assaulted a member of the public has been arrested or charged.

Next week, the Camp for Climate Action is returning to London for a week-long gathering of sustainable living and activism training. The campers are braced for the worst; Legal Observers, MPs and journalists will be present, and you can bet that if the police engage in unprovoked violence, YouTube and Flickr will instantly be flooded with evidence. But will that transparency lead to justice?
For a host of reasons - the death of Ian Tomlinson certainly, changing media attitudes towards police seen to have 'got away' with shooting Jean Charles de Menezes perhaps, or even that battering articulate middle-class liberals rather than working-class black teenagers is always a more high risk strategy - whatever they may have been, the political landscape had clearly changed.

The events of the G20 were a turning point in public opinion. The press has largely abandoned its original campaign of misinformation, and the Evening Standard, which published some of the worst of the pro-police propaganda, has officially changed its colours, and recently ran a ssympathetic story about a woman whose complaint was upheld by the IPCC.

Although the various committees (such as the new Civil Liberties panel formed by the MPA, which seems to be more interested in future policy than justice for past wrongs), investigative bodies and reports commissioned since April have not resulted in any substantive consequences for the Met or TSG, the former does seem to realise that all eyes are on them this time.

The police's new, all-smiles approach to the August camp, conspicuously lacking any apology or admission of previous guilt, has been called a "charm offensive" by journalists. The Metropolitan Police's PR campaign includes a twitter account (presumably in response to the Campers' successful use of live social media to co-ordinate their event), a change in senior personnel, and meetings with Climate Camp legal advisors. A bitter pill, one suspects, to the police liaisons who tried repeatedly to engage with the Met before the April camp, and were not only rejected, but subsequently blamed for the "lack of dialogue" cited as a factor in the escalation of events.

Common sense suggests that the police are going to behave next week. The camp will probably not obstruct a major road or airport, and nor is it likely to take place in the heart of the City. Of course, similar circumstances didn't help the Kingsnorth protesters, but the Met are doing their best to convince the activists - and the world - that "the policing will be reasonable if the Camp is reasonable". But if it isn't, nothing we've seen so far suggests that those responsible will be brought to account.

If the Met's PR campaign extends to not engaging in mindless violence, as well as just saying they won't, then the August camp could be seen by some as an anticlimax. But the primary narrative for activists is not one of a street war between protesters and police, but one of raising awareness about the issues of climate change and sustainable energy. When the media isn't pretending that nothing happened, coverage of protests gone wrong generates more discussion about policing than it does of these issues. The police have proved themselves keen in the past to silence inconvenient dissent; next week's activists can only hope that the greater public scrutiny focussed on the Met will enable their voices to be heard.

(originally posted on Police State UK)


I'll be joining the Climate Camp swoop next Wednesday with a few friends. I'm not camping (work, boo), but we'll aim to stay until the camp is established, and defend the location if necessary. I'm going half as an eco-activist, half as an amateur journalist/observer. Click here for details of how to be involved on the day, and sign up for text alerts.

helenic: (Default)

I've had "Write dw post about Glastonbury/OG/EVERYTHING" on my to do list for two weeks now, and I need to do work in the remaining computer hours of today rather than write one, and those of you who are on Twitter and FB know the gist anyway. But I've just written a catch-up email to a friend, which I thought I may as well copy and paste bits here as a placeholder sort of thing:


Glastonbury: I was there! It was awesome! Pendulum rocked my little world. Although I came home with no phone, which I don't really mind except when I need to make calls. The only thing I'm really gutted about is that all my Glastonbury photos were on it, including all the ones I carefully took of our art installation because I forgot to take decent pics of it last year, and really regretted not having them for my website. So that's a bit shit. Waiting to hear back from the lost property people before I declare it properly lost, but I have insurance, so I should be able to sort out a replacement as soon as I decide it's worth doing.

I am indeed well: I discovered on Monday that my long-term design contract with OG is still ongoing, despite my premonitions of doom, and they didn't try and lower my rate or anything, I just got a bit of a telling off for putting them bottom of the priority list during the last few hectic months. Which was perfectly fair, and now they're my only contract hopefully the next few months will be less hectic? Although given Denny is relying on me to go into business with him, and expects me to do a reasonable proportion of the work, when I already have a zillion careers and he's relying on this for his sole income, I suspect that hope is a vain one.... still, going into business with Denny! I have been trying to talk him into teaming up with me for web development awesomeness for ages, so yay for that. Now I just need to make the website, which I am in fact meant to be doing right this second.

Speaking of boyfriends though, Glastonbury was AWESOME for me and Chris, we just sort of walked around in a dazed whirl of me going "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU ARE HERE" and him going "I'M SO GLAD YOU BROUGHT ME" ,and he had a whale of a time making benches out of split log with his BARE HANDS (v manly, esp considering a week's growth of festival beard), and we spent ages in the green crafts field learning to turn wood with pedal-powered lathes and make paints out of earth and similar hippyish pursuits, and mostly we were just looking at everything going "we can do that! in fact, we will!" and working out when is the soonest we can afford to move out of London and build an eco-home. It was awesome.

And then I got back to London and, rather than last year when I had total culture-shock and got really depressed at how my life is totally unlike Glastonbury and I just wanted to live there forever, this year I came home to my blooming shady garden and good career prospects and Denny being sweet to me, and my mum gave me homebrewed elderflower champagne and John Seymour's book on self-sufficient farming and homemaking for my birthday, and reading that totally eased re-entry. So, I am feeling actually kind of well-adjusted and like my life is going in the right direction, which is brilliant.


Now, I should get cracking with that website. There's lots more to say about Glastonbury, but I don't actually know if anyone's interested, so if you're desperate to know more let me know, and I will try to find the time and energy to write something. Perhaps even before next year's festival. Miracles might happen.

April 2016

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