A nice article about scientific experiments in sustainable living from the 1970s.

They fizzled out unfortunately, like a lot of sustainability activity during the 80s and 90s, but might be ripe for revisiting.

One line stuck out, describing the lifestyle: ‘it almost looks like a parody’. Funny how happy, healthy living has become that…

www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/ng-interactive/2019/sep/29/the-new-alchemists-could-the-past-hold-the-key-to-sustainable-living

I just spent a few days away in the Lake District.  It’s a beautiful part of England, and a great place to get away to relax and slow your pace down a bit.  Living in London at present, I notice that it takes a couple of days for me to properly unwind and appreciate the peace and quiet and nature on offer when coming to the Lakes.  Day 1 my head is usually wrapped up in something and I don’t fully appreciate my surroundings.  By day 3 or so I can happily just stare at a tree for 30 minutes or so (well maybe 15 minutes).  Usually at the moment however I also come back after three or four days.  It’d be good to spend a full week or two there and see what happens, or even go full Walden and spend a year there.

This time I did one big walk, hiking from Skelwith up to Swirl How in the Coniston set of fells.  It’s 2630 feet high, just 3 feet shorter than the Old Man of Coniston.  The walk there and back took about 7 hours.

The view from Swirl How down into the Greenburn valley. Wetherlam in the foreground to the right.

One of my favourite views that I’ve come across in the Lakes is en route to Little Langdale, looking through the Blea Tarn pass towards the Langdale Pikes.  This is a set of peaks rising from the Langdale Valley.  They have great names like Pike O’Blisco, Harrison Stickle, Sergeant Man, Pavey Ark, etc.

(Question: If you cross a stream near Harrison Stickle, is it a Harrison Ford?  Answer: yes. yes it is.)

Looking over towards the Langdale Pikes

We did a couple of shorter walks too.  One up the excellently named Iron Keld, leading towards Black Crag.  The signpost on the way is great – you have a choice of paths leading to either “Sunny Brow”, or “Iron Keld” and “Black Crag”.  It feels a  bit like choosing between Hobbiton and Mordor.  But for reference, Iron Keld is much more fun than Sunny Brow – it’s an old pine plantation.

The other short walk was up Loughrigg Fell, which joins Skelwith Bridge and Ambleside.   It’s a low fell but a beauty.  When you get near the top it is has lots of gentle undulations, lots of little paths to explore, and some great panoramic views – down towards Ambleside, over to Windermere, great views of Grasmere and Rydal Water.  This time of year it is covered in ferns and looks a little bit like Tellytubby Land in my opinion.

Top o’ Loughrigg

Loughrigg Tarn is a total beauty spot.  An idyllic smallish tarn on the south side of Loughrigg.  A good spot for taking a dog for a swim and looking over towards the Langdale Pikes from a different angle.  You get a good view down to it from the top of Loughrigg.

Loughrigg Tarn below

I can highly recommend a trip to the Lakes.

Read We Can’t Do It Ourselves by Kris De Decker (LOW←TECH MAGAZINE)

How to live a more sustainable life? By placing responsibility squarely on the individual, attention is deflected away from the many institutions involved in structuring possible courses of action.

This is a very nice analysis of the shortcomings of behaviour change at the level of the individual.  Better to focus on systemic failings than guilt-tripping people for making a wrong choice, when it very often isn’t really a choice at all.

When the focus is on practices, the so-called “value-action gap” can no longer be interpreted as evidence of individual ethical shortcomings or individual inertia. Rather, the gap between people’s attitudes and their “behaviour” is due to systemic issues: individuals live in a society that makes many pro-environmental arrangements rather unlikely.