Saturday, April 15, 2006

Partners in GRIME!

Brew of the day:
Ginger and Lemongrass Tea
Lovely childhood memory ~ my gorgeous mother grew lemongrass in our garden when I was a child. She used to send me outside with a pair of scissors to collect a batch for brewing so we could share a cuppa together. It is such an exotic, warming scent and tastes just wonderful. And anything that reminds me of my mum can only be a good thing. Love that wombyn to bits!

Yesterday morning Paul turned the local radio on for the weather forecast and we caught a very brief news item about global warming and how the three degree rise in temperature will mean billions of humans along coastal areas being displaced (some more gloomier forecasts later that day suggested dying rather than mere displacement).

My girls, Bethany (10) and Eliza (8), wanted more information despite already being wised up on environmental issues. I explained that coastal or low lying cities would go under water when the ice caps melt. Bethany was distraught and wanted to immediately phone her best friend Chloe who lives in London. Paul and I both said that her parents already knew about global warming and would make choices to get them out of there before it happens. “ But I HAVE to talk to her!!”

Clearly inheriting the loose cannon gene from me [the one which wants to ‘save the world’ and shout at everyone through a mega amplifier to get their shit together; stop being so careless, selfish and irresponsible] - the girls immediately got dressed and, without breakfast, headed off up the village to ‘save the world’ from the effects of global warming. Oh dear.

Part of their campaign plan included wanting to put up a poster in the school bus shelter telling everyone to come to a talk they were giving on saving the world and how we must all work together. Ah the passion!

Cue: mother filled with equal combinations of absolute admiration (and pride) and cringe factor #10…their plan was clearly NOT the path of How to Win Friends and Influence People. Last summer was rather horrendous and depressing as the girls had been ousted by all the village kids (bar the young 5 year old twins) because they were different (which no doubt included being home educated; dietary choices; lack of awareness of certain music idols, etc.). Each night Bethany would go to sleep crying. I feel ill remembering it.

As they headed away from the house all I could think was that I wanted to protect my daughters from other people’s ignorance. Paul pointed out that it was inevitable that they’d be so proactive and passionate and vocal. Born to a mum who finds it physically impossible to keep her gob shut; sends off letters here, there and every where; walks the talk of ‘we each make a difference’ by even the tiniest action ~ well, clearly, they don’t stand a chance!
Paul said “I don’t care if people think I’m weird. I don’t care if people think my wife’s weird” (Kicked his shin at this point!) “But I do care if people think my kids are weird.”

Well, the kids let go of the sign and lecture idea on their own, but instead collected litter from all around the bus shelter area. There is a large rubbish bin right next to the shelter but obviously the local kids can’t be arsed to put their rubbish into the bin which is closer, but would rather fling their rubbish into the adjacent wooded area.

Despite the cold and bitter wind, Bethany and Eliza dragged a full council bag of rubbish back home so we could recycle it. They stood at the back door, filthy & covered in grime. Bless ‘em. I felt so, so proud of the girls. Fortunately most of the contents are recyclable, however, had it not been picked up none of it would have decomposed in the ground.

I thought I’d got the state of today’s children off my chest with last week’s blog and yet this week it has still been top of my day to day thoughts. Frustration, anger, impotence, sadness… at one level, why should I care what the hell other people do to their kids? None of my business. But I do care! And I fear that will be my downfall.

Apparently kids in the UK watch up to 53 hours a week of television. 53 hours. More than two days a week! Given most of these kids will be in school 5 days a week, WHEN and how are they interacting with their parents, siblings, wider family, friends and community? Another report I read this week talked about the incredible percentage (sorry, can’t remember the exact number, but it was shocking) of under two year olds (in the USA, but it is also reflective of other ‘modern’ countries) with a television of their own in their bedroom. I had to read that information twice. Surely they got it wrong? Why the hell does ANY child need a tv in their bedroom, let alone a toddler without language skills?

On the radio yesterday was a report about the ritual killing of children still happening (in other countries and by some ethic groups in the UK). When we hear this or indeed look at religions and cultures of the past who partook in such sacrifices and killings, it (rightly so) fills us with horror.

Here’s the kicker: our culture is making child sacrifices and killings (albeit very, very, very slowly) every day and all the time on the altar of modern life, with the widespread use of poisons on crops; antibiotics and hormones in meat and dairy; processed foods; lack of sunlight and exercise; fluoridated water; parental neglect; mass vaccination programmes; televisions/computers and computer games; mobile phones, etc.

It’s cruel, SHOULD be criminal and is downright selfish on the part of those who condone it or practise it ~ be they government officials, schools or parents.

We took the girls to the cinema the other day and I was horrified by the adverts shown ~ nothing like the ones I see at the chick flicks. For *****’s sake, one ad for coco pops suggesting kids need it to form part of their balanced diet. Since when did processed chocolate and sugar become ‘healthy’ or indeed necessary? Have I missed something here? And then there was an advert with talking cows and who told kids how important cows’ milk was for their growing bodies. Brainwashing of the sickest sort. And we as parents let this happen?

Also in the news this week was the fact that teachers in schools are being bullied by children as young as three. Sorry folks, I don’t care who you are, how rich you are, how *important* your career is, NO CHILD OF THREE YEARS OF AGE SHOULD EVEN BE IN SCHOOL. They should be at home with their mother! That aside, one broadcaster on Radio 5 Live suggested that perhaps the teachers were being a bit ‘soft’ by not being able to cope with these children. Loved to have seen her try it for a day at a rate of pay probably less than half what she gets for sitting in a studio saying such stupid things!

As a home educating mother with only two children to teach, there are moments that can be challenging when they’re both wanting attention, wanting questions answered at the same time, etc. How the heck can you meet the needs of 30 children at once? The short answer is, you can’t.

What I don’t understand, because it seems so darn obvious to me, is why the media were thinking it was the fault of the teachers? These are kids that are clearly suffering Attention Deficit Disorder. Not that the kids have ADD as such, but that they are screaming out for attention because they’re clearly not getting any….either at school OR at home. The deficit is not their ability to give attention but that their parents are not giving them adequate attention. “Better to be wanted by the police than not wanted at all”, my late friend Jeannine Parvati Baker used to say.

Some kids are apparently winding their teachers up so much that the teacher ‘loses the plot’ and gets angry…same kids then video this aggro on their mobile phones and use it as evidence of ‘abuse’. What do they need mobile phones in a classroom for anyway? I have no hesitation in saying that this complete lack of respects mirrors what is happening in their own home. Don’t blame the teachers…get parents to take responsibility for what’s happening!

Bottom line is it isn’t remotely natural to have thirty kids in an environment with one adult for the purpose of education (which means to ‘draw out’). How can you draw out or inspire each child in a situation like that? You can’t ~ or at least very rarely and for a very short moment of time. How ironic I pay taxes to educate other people’s children but get no tax relief for educating my own children at home.

Had a luxurious hour in a cafĂ© with a friend this week. During our chat she said her new boyfriend had picked up the latest copy of The Mother magazine and read my editorial where I wrote about my mother-in-law dying as a result of the flu vaccine earlier this year. I went on to cover childhood vaccination and wrote “Injecting poison into the body of an infant, child or an elderly person to protect them from disease is the greatest global terrorism we will ever face.”

“SHE CAN’T SAY THAT!!” he said, outraged. Oooh I’d loved to have been there, but alas, she’s too scared to introduce us now.

Er, sorry. I did say that. And I’ll say it over and over again. Vaccinations are deadly. It’s an insidious way of changing the human DNA. We’re killing our children slowly (though in some cases quickly) but surely. And we’re knocking off our pensioners, too. Vaccine damage happens in many, many ways. Some obvious, some not so obvious and certainly not openly visible in the short term. Kids’ immune systems are being compromised, their brain and body poisoned. Global terrorism for sure. Kids sacrificed on the altar of the Holy Cow of modern, blinkered thinking…vaccination is a viewpoint which doesn’t see the whole picture.

And what are the types of reactions which happen? Here’s a few: epilepsy, convulsions, Alzheimer’s Disease (long term), allergies, optic neuritis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, SIDS, diabetes, asthma, eczema, brain damage, leukaemia, ADD, hyperactivity, brain, lung and bone cancers, autism, death. Let’s be honest here, if terrorists sprinkled powders in public areas or infiltrated our water supplies with products which caused any of the above things to happen, we’d be outraged, frightened, calling for justice. We’d be ‘TERRORfied’. But not so with vaccines? How odd.

Sorry folks, this is the truth. HEALTH COMES FROM WITHIN.

The mainstream media has a lot to answer for in its ability to spread fear across the globe like wildfire. Have a look at what they’re currently feeding us about bird flu. Just last week they were reporting that about 100,000 UK school children would die from it. Why not use column inches to educate rather than scare? Why not show parents how to truly nourish their kids?

Health ~ this is far more important than giving our offspring a good education. There is no price we can put on health. It covers so many aspects and can’t be achieved through a vaccine or vitamin capsule.

Food ~ alive, vibrant, fresh and organic. Sugar is NOT a food nor are soft drinks, processed foods, e numbers or any additives, colourings, preservatives.

Love ~ kids NEED to feel loved, welcomed, appreciated and to live in a harmonious environment which includes not feeling constantly ‘rushed’. Kids equate parental love with their parents being ‘present’. Actions speak louder than words.

Exercise ~ daily and enjoyable use of all body parts even in winter. We’ve done a fingers up to the British climate and have a rebounder (mini trampoline) so even on the worst of days we can still ‘move’.

Rest and sleep ~ kids need plenty of sleep in a room with fresh air circulating. They also need rest and to be able to have ‘daydream’ time whatever their age.

Fresh air ~ taking exercise allows us to inhale more. Oxygen is needed throughout our body and to ‘think’ clearly. We don’t get fresh air when stuck in cars or buildings.

Sunshine ~ Even with Vitamin D supplementation we still need to get out into the sunshine. Even on a cloudy day we still absorb vitamin d and need to get outside. Basic stuff, really. Sunglasses stop our eyes telling our skin when we’ve had enough sunlight. If we followed common sense then we’d know when we’d sunned ourselves adequately. Don’t even get me started on sunscreens and the damage they do!

There is absolutely NO proof that vaccination protects against disease. I come across study after study showing disease outbreaks even in communities with a 100% vaccine uptake. Go figure? And as for the ignorant people (doncha just wanna shake ‘em?) who state that unvaxed kids put their vaccinated kids at risk…it’s not rocket science, you know? Either a vaccine protects a child or it doesn’t. Why fear the unvaccinated children?

And before you start on about herd immunity (which is bullshit) there is only ONE reason for the pushing of a high percentage of people vaccinating. It has nothing to do with health. It’s called money. Pharmaceutical companies, government ministers who invest with them, doctors and nurses who administer the injections and the sales representatives who sell them to the surgeries, don’t make money from people who don’t vaccinate.

My children have been protected from vaccination. I wouldn’t vaccinate for all the money in the world. Not now. Not ever. Millions and millions of children haven’t been so lucky. Those mindless people who suggest that the benefits of vaccination (the only benefit is the money which lines the pockets of the above professions) far outweigh the risks, clearly haven’t LOST a child or had them brain damaged from a vaccine reaction. It always strikes me as the most insensitive and stupid thing anyone could say on this subject. Would you sacrifice YOUR child to protect hundreds of others?

Some children react to vaccines immediately. Some are hit a few days later, some weeks and others, years. If anyone thinks for one minute their child hasn’t been affected, they ought to think again. At the very least vaccination causes calcium to be leached from their children’s bones.

You simply can’t put poisons like this in a human body and expect it to stay healthy in the short or long term. There are loads of books to fill in the gaps for those who care enough to research this further.

Vaccination Roulette and The Vaccination Bible, to name just two.

Joanna, an expert on vaccines, is joining The Mother magazine as a columnist from our summer issue. Yaheeeeeeeeeeeeeee! She is the director of the Vaccination Awareness Network, a mother and an author (Vaccination: Everything you should know about your child’s jabs and more’)

Televisions and computers are killing the brain cells of our children. Changes like this aren’t necessarily visible to the human eye. Went to see a friend the other day so the girls could play with her seven year old. Her little girl, however, had recently been given a computer game so didn’t *need or want* to play with humans. So very sad. This seems to be infiltrating even the more natural living families too.

The radio waves from mobile phones have been shown to cause cancerous cells in the brain, but even this doesn’t seem to matter to most parents. Obviously couldn’t happen to their child.

Last week’s blog covered Coca Cola. This is just one thing consumed readily by today’s kids. Sugar, the poor man’s cocaine, is in just about everything that’s processed. Even some brands of organic peanut butter have sugar in!! Unbelievable.

So we drug our kids with sugar, pack ‘em up with e numbers and give them repetitive diets (wheat, dairy etc, three times a day). The diets of today’s children lack variety. There isn’t enough vibrant and living food on their plates or on their palates. Some parents give their kids multivitamin tablets. All this does is produce expensive yellow pee. Supplements should come in the form of organically grown superfoods like algae, spirilina, chorella, etc., (living food, NOT laboratory talcum filled-tablets) and ideally taken in liquid form for assimilation. Kids don’t drink enough (if any) water. Soft drinks and juices don’t count.

I love that the You are what you eat TV programme has brought natural and living foods into the mainstream, but the truth is that the popularity of the show really doesn’t hinge on these foods but on the overweight people they’ve chosen. Instead the viewers want to see the crap food they’d eat in a week laid on the table. They want to know how the host, Gillian McKeith, rates their poos. Sad but true.

I did laugh when I asked the owner of my local health store what impact the show had had on her business. She said that now people come in and ask her if she’s heard of ‘sunflower seeds’. OMG! Can you imagine? Someone only discovering sunflower seeds because they watched that show? What a sad state of affairs.

A friend recently wrote in her online journal about supplementing kids with Vitamin D because we live in a temperate climate and are tropical creatures by design. I don’t suppose anyone stops to think what happens to kids locked in centrally heated schools all winter with little exposure to natural daylight?

Collectively, we don’t deserve this rich and glorious planet. And it’s enough to break my heart. I rejoice with each blade of grass beneath my toes; a radiant sunset; natural springs for collecting my family’s water supply and the lovely hills around me.

I’m looking at my own place in the scheme of things. I endeavour to eat low on the food chain, partaking of fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and grains. And yet, some of the non fruit and vegetable additions to my diet (quinoa, rice, lentils) are imported. Fair trade or not, my consumption also contributes to global warming. I’m aiming for the 100 mile food challenge where my family and I only eat what has grown within 100 miles of where we live. Trouble is, here in Cumbria, unless you want to live off meat and cheese (which I don’t) there is very little else. I grow what I can in my garden but the growing season here is very short. I can live entirely off what we produce but that is only for 3-4 months a year (not including storing apples, pears, pumpkins etc)

I’m constantly questioning where I want to be living when global warming really takes hold and the oil wells run dry… when the trucks can no longer deliver foodstuffs to us on tap.

Currently I live in a country of 60 million people which can’t even feed itself. It imports potatoes and carrots for goodness’ sake! There is no excuse for this. I despair when I look at this beautiful land around me. Field after field given to the raising of sheep and cattle. Why? This is so environmentally unfriendly (won’t even go into the ethics) and such a ridiculous use of land. What the hell is our government playing at? Why are they not investing in correct land use?

Something will bust inside me soon. I can’t remain dormant on the issues which dominate my mind.

At tea time last night, Bethany said to me that if it is going to be hard to feed millions of people because of droughts etc, then humans will have to cut back on having children. Er, yeah. I’ve not yet told her it is the number one reason I’ve chosen not to have more children. Eliza asked me the other day “why do people always think about what they want, rather than what they have?” This from an eight year old?

It sums up everything really. Want house. Want car, want dress want partner, want holiday. Want this, want that.

We’ve got everything we need at our finger tips but collectively we’re too blind to see it. We just want moooore! We have the money and resources to feed and house every human being on this planet. The US alone currently spends the equivalent on the military as would feed our global brothers and sisters. That’s just one country’s spending. What does it say about us as human beings that we allow this sort of thing to happen? That we let charities raise money to drip feed resources and food rations when money is so readily available through the taxes we pay?

Needless to say my current take on what’s happening to the majority of the world’s modern kids doesn’t fill me with great joy. That, combined with my increasing exasperation at the lack of real action taken by those wielding the most power on environmental issues, has brought me to the point where I can only trust my allegiance with Mother Earth and that she’ll tell us all to “GET OFF MY BACK!” And that she’ll roar loud and boot the lot of us off with volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones, drought. And then, we’ll be more than orphaned. But ultimately, in a climate of such apathy, maybe it is the best answer?

Hi to both the Emmas..thanks for your comments. Anita ~ the audition was this. They’d take 40 girls at a time into the room (without their parents) and get them to say their name and age. That was it!!


HugoMummy said...

Fantastic again! I really love reading your blog Veronika. I hope you do not mind me mentioning it on my blog- I am sure my friends would be interested to read what you have to say.

Your daughters sound wonderful- I wish them lots of love and support.
Emma xx

Veronika said...

hi Emma...of course you can mention my blog :-)
Nice to see you here again!

Carla said...

Hi Veronika,

You mentioned Mother Earth's booting us all off... Have you heard of James Lovelock's Gaia Hypothesis? (I'm sure you have.) Anyway, Lovelock has said that through us (i.e. human beings), Gaia has seen herself from space, and that is an extraordinary thing. Perhaps we will be kicked off the planet by natural forces in the near future (and climate change is, to me, one of the most pressing and frightening of these Earthly mechanisms), but I don't agree that it is the 'best answer' for us all to be eliminated. You yourself have had two children, and therefore must believe enough in life (and must have enough hope) to see that we do deserve to be alive. We have treated the planet and each other absolutely abominably, and can be seen as a failed evolutionary 'experiment' from that point of view, but I think it's a dangerous position to say that it might be better if we were all erased from the globe. I share many of your views, about mothering and food and health and low-impact living, but this view I do not share. I believe in us, I think that maybe, somewhere along the line, we will pull it together. We'll probably take some serious ecological knocks before then, but we are humans - we have consciousness, both a great curse and a great blessing, and therefore we can learn from our mistakes.

(And by the way, my position does not spring from ignorance of human history... indeed, I am an environmental historian. I face these devastating issues on a daily basis, and yet I still believe in the future of human society... much-downsized, of course, humbled but still here.)

In hopefulness,

Veronika said...

hi Carla ~ thanks for your comments. I posted my last thought on the earth as a question rather than an absolute...of course I'd rather the world was around for me to experience with my children and what point though does that change? How far can man go trashing the Earth before none of us want to live here?
I've not read Lovelock's book but I agree that Earth is could she not be? Ditto any other living thing in the cosmos...:-)
Have a lovely week ~ Veronika

Askinstoo said...
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