Monday, 29 July 2013

The end of an era and the start of a new chapter

Well, there had to come a point when I pulled my finger out, pulled up my socks and opened my laptop to finally write a blogpost.

I know I've been utter pants over the last few months.

It's not as though I've had no news to share. I've probably had too much and I never even blogged about the impromptu moment I asked the legendary Michael Parkinson about his rubbish.

But now that the school holidays are upon us, this is the first occasion I've had to properly slow down since September last year and stay at home instead of gallivanting around the country.

And this holiday feels like a period of transition in more ways than one.

On a personal level, our youngest has just left primary school and is getting ready to start middle school in September.  Yes, that little man who was only 3 when I started this blog has just turned 9 and is growing up.  To watch him confidently leave one school and be ready to embark on the next stage of his life feels like a real milestone.

Elsewhere, I've spent the last 8 months coming to terms with my mother's unexpected death in December.  Nothing can prepare you for losing a parent and I'm very aware that the constant flow of activities and deadlines this year have kept me very distracted, so much so that when we completed the sale of her house last week, it kicked me so hard that it felt like she'd died all over again.  My mother taught me lots about what's important in life and much of that teaching was in her death.  One day, I hope to share her wisdom - not yet but soon - the wisdom of an average woman who would never have expected to have been considered remarkable but in many ways truly was.  I really wish she was still here to see what's around the corner.  I know she'd be one of the first to laugh at my misadventures and then, without me knowing, quietly share her pride.

For things are changing on The Rubbish Diet front and at a rate of knots too.  Remember that Nesta competition I entered last year in partnership with Cwm Harry and Rachelle Strauss from My Zero Waste?  We're still right in the middle of the challenge and following the success of running the Rubbish Diet in Suffolk and Shropshire (which even saw 22 households in one street taking part in Shrewsbury), the novel bin slimming action is spreading to Ludlow and very soon Powys, the latter of which will be launched during this year's National Zero Waste Week, 2-8 September.   If you haven't checked out Zero Waste Week yet, go and have a peek at its new website and do get involved, especially if you need to get tough with your food waste.

But there's lots happening between now and then.  Don't miss 'yours truly' helping a family slim their bin as part of the Throwaway Britain Tonight documentary, which is being broadcast this Thursday 1st August (9pm, ITV1).  Without giving away the final reveal, I can't wait for you to see how Sandra and her family tackled their waste. 

And to give you even further inspiration to reduce waste, I've been pulling together the first UK tour of the Clean Bin Project documentary, which will see my old Canadian blogging friend Jen and her partner Grant travelling around the UK, to attend screenings of their movie in Brighton, Suffolk, York, Shrewsbury (tbc) and Wiltshire.  The official dates and venues for late August will be published soon, but if you'd like to know more please email me.

But coming back to the most major thing that's happening in my life right now, although I'm taking time out to enjoy the events of the summer holidays and pause for reflection, it's also a time for significant change, especially as the success of The Rubbish Diet trials featured in the Nesta competition has led to much interest from a range of local authorities.

The Rubbish Diet has already travelled a long way from being just a random housewife with a blog.  In the last year, it has developed into a website and a team to support the Nesta Waste Reduction competition.  And now, still in conjunction with the 'Do Think' Tank Cwm Harry (the people who are also behind the People's Design Lab), we are preparing for the next stage, which will see The Rubbish Diet becoming a social enterprise, developed to help households and communities reduce their waste by 50% within as little time as eight weeks.  More info on the next stage will be available soon, as will the final results of the Nesta competition later in the year.  Meanwhile if The Rubbish Diet challenge launches in your neck of the woods, do join in and say hello.

With so much happening it really does feel like the end of an era and the beginning of an exciting and potentially nerve-wracking new chapter.

Thank you for sticking with the rubbish adventures of this Almost Mrs Average over the last five years.  I know there are lots more adventures to be had yet, but from now on it will be in a very different context.

I just hope I will still have time to blog about them.

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