Book Review: Can’t Dance Cameron

Can't Dance Cameron by Emily Dodd

There is nothing that DorkySon loves more than coming home from school to find a parcel waiting for him on the table, and especially so when it contains a new book. We have been so grateful since we moved for the kindness of friends and family who have sent so many fabulous little parcels across the oceans.

The most recent arrival was a new children’s book written by my friend Emily Dodd, who is a blogger, freelance writer, science communicator and all round bon oeuf. (One of Emily’s gigs is writing scripts for Nina and the Neurons, and we always get very excited when we see her name in the credits!) Continue reading

Real Nappies: I didn’t but you should!

I have a big confession to make, which will completely obliterate all my hippy credentials. Never again will I be allowed to work for an environmental NGO, stand as a Green Party candidate, or feature in the list of Scotland’s Top 50 Green people.

I’ll whisper it…

I don’t use real nappies. I don’t even use disposable Nature nappies. It is Huggies and Pampers all the way in this house. I am a bad, bad person.

In the hope of restoring some kind of green karmic balance, and redeeming myself slightly, here is a wonderful post and podcast about real nappies and why you should use them. It was originally featured on the Greener Leith website, and was written and recorded by the marvellous Emily Dodd

Real nappies are funky, fun and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. With eight million disposable nappies going to landfill every day in the UK it’s worth finding out a bit more about an alternative that’s covered in zoo animals and is not going to splatter you with runny poo when your babies bottom explodes.

I visited a Changeworks Nappuccino (that’s a Real Nappy coffee morning) in Leith to find out more about using real nappies. I also had the chance to get some real questions answered like is it really better for the environment to use real nappies when you’re using a washing machine and is it just too much of a faff to try and wash them? Listen to our latest podcast to find out more (Click that link to take you to the Audioboo, or just click the play button to listen to it below.)

Research shows you save around £500 by using real nappies.  It’s also better for the environment and you can wash them in a washing machine at 60 degrees. To find out more visit the Changeworks Real Nappy Project or the Zero Waste Scotland website.

For the latest research on real nappies compared to disposable nappies download a PDF of Life Cycle Assessment of Disposable and Reusable Nappies in the UK (Environment Agency for England and Wales, DEFRA and WRAP report).

If you have iTunes installed on your computer you can subscribe to our audio as a podcast by clicking here.

Thanks to Zero Waste Podcast funders City of Edinburgh Council Waste Action GrantsVegware and ChangeworksThe Zero Waste Podcast theme tune was brought to by Waste Action Grant funded project, Trash Arts.

Beautiful, blind, poetic bananas. Or something.

DorkyDad and I went on a date night!

We started off with some edible awesomeness at Fishers in Leith, before taking in the full spectrum of the Edinburgh poetry scene in just two events.

First up was the launch of Emily Dodd’s book, which took place on the fab Leith Agency boat on The Shore. Banana Me Beautiful, published by Chipmunka Press, is a collection of artwork, photography and poetry from three different stages of Emily’s life – Innocent (Age 9-11), Lost and Found (Age 15-17), Alive (Age 25-28) – it’s a very personal collection, which is both moving and funny, and although Emily’s extensive experience of working with children was in evidence during her readings (lots of audience participation!), the appeal of the book is by no means limited to kiddy readers.

The boat seemed to be crammed with half of Edinburgh’s blogging and Twitter community (highly appropriate given Emily’s work as an EdinBuzz Social Media surgeon), along with representatives from the Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh City of Literature, Edinburgh Spotlight and the Edinburgh Evening News. It was great to finally put some faces to familiar names.

Sara Sheridan and Juliet Wilson (Crafty Green Poet) both read some of Emily’s poems, as did DorkyDad, (who really got into the spirit of things with his starling impersonation… ahem). Drew Murphy provided music, and the excellent Rachel Everitt had some of her illustrations on display. Thanks to Emily for a really fun evening, and to her parents for providing the wine! I hope the book does really well.

We had to scoot off before the Q&A and signing in order to get to poetry event no 2 – Blind Poetics – where unfortunately we’d missed Jenny Lindsay’s set (boo hiss), but were still in time to see Annie Phetamine, Harlequinade, Fiona Lindsay (who, disappointingly, was not barefoot) and Matthew Macdonald. I’d heard a lot of good things about Annie, and she totally blew me away; Edinburgh could do with a few more feisty, pink haired, pregnant poets. It was also my first time seeing Harlequinade read solo rather than with the Chemical Poets, and I really enjoyed his performance. I can’t wait for the festival to start, when Blind Poetics will be taking place weekly.

It’s awesome that Edinburgh can accommodate two great poetry events on one night – one on a boat where people sit and eat banana cake, and one in a pub where folk sit and drink pints – and doubly awesome that DorkyDad and I could go to them both. Thanks for babysitting, DorkyGranny… bring on the next date night.

If you want to read some other perspectives on the Banana Me Beautiful launch, it has been covered today by 12 Books in 12 Months, Helen Caldwell, Crafty Green Poet, and Emily herself.