Archive for January, 2008

Too much to read… only just got around to my January issue of National Geographic this weekend and the February issue has already landed on the mat. Whilst a little ‘US centric’ at times (understandable considering that’s their core commercial target market) this wonderfully informative magazine never ceases to amaze me by bringing real global issues to public attention.

I recall hearing in 2006 about a gas drilling expedition in East Java which had gone horribly wrong. They seem to have screwed up by drilling directly into a mudstone strata without a steel casing. They then hit an underground aquifer which allowed high pressure hot water to fracture the unprotected rock. I’m no geologist, but the essentials are easy to find online and surprise surprise, the drilling company is blaming a natural earthquake for causing the devastation. “The politics surrounding the disaster are as muddy as the landscape”.

Until I saw the pictures in NG of the quantity of mud this hole in the earth continues to pour out (600,000 barrels every day) – shown with a graphical aerial photo comparison between 2005 and 2007, I had no idea this old ‘news story’ hadn’t gone away. “So far, the mud has engulfed 12 villages and displaced 10,000 families – it’s still surging today and engineers can’t seem to stem the flow”.

Here’s a link I found online to some satelite images for those who haven’t seen the NG article. The scale of the devastation we impose on this beautiful planet – mostly through sheer greed – is genuinely scary and I sometimes feel very small when pondering how to make a difference.

That doesn’t stop me trying though and it shouldn’t stop you either…


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There is so much drivel on the internet, but it’s dangerous when people start writing stuff as if they were authorities on a particular subject and in so doing influence other vulnerable people who might not have the time to do their own research. My irritation today is driven by some mums (however well meaning) who post on mothering and baby forums advising other mums on what babies can and cannot be given to eat and drink; specifically mineral water, considering my vested interest (declared in a spirit of complete transparency).

It’s potentially dangerous to offer advice when your own knowledge base might derive from some advertising campaign you’ve seen somewhere. I’ve prepared <“mineral water and infants – facts!“>a one page summary of the ‘WHO’ – world health organisation guidelines on nitrates in mineral water (the real reason why parents shouldn’t give mineral water to babies) and links to other independent sources on acceptable sodium levels for babies who might not be breastfed.

The <“mineral water and infants – facts!“>paper also includes a statement at the bottom of the (single) page, declaring our corporate position in supporting / advocating breastfeeding wherever practical, lest this good intention is misinterpreted. We could base our entire marketing proposition on Aquapax being one of the very few naturally pure mineral waters’ that are actually suitable for babies, but I’d rather encourage parents to think for themselves where possible and hopefully secure a bit of honest trust in the process.

Rather than slander the best selling brands in the market directly, I also encourage the reading of all bottled water labels in conjunction with the attached WHO research.

For those who can’t help themselves offering home spun advice to parents seeking answers – please forward them this paper and try not to be too ‘naive’ with your recommendations.

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Well, I said I was going to watch the programme again and this (along with countless breathtaking images) is what leapt out at me from Satish Kumar’s wonderful words of wisdom… along with the interpretation I’ve put on his deep philosophy.

“Water is the matrix of life – it is precious and sacred – the way we use water is a measure of us – we abuse water at our peril.”

WOW – how that resonates when I think of my motivation to package ‘a pure thirst for the environment‘ after years of exposure to the real world of water – I’m talking the state of our aquifers, rather than the bottled stuff I’m trying to tempt you away from. We really have abused our water courses for so long, and with such alarming thoughtlessness; it is amazing that we can still find pure resources anywhere. – please no Coke / Nestle / Danone etc. sponsored links to one of their many brands that claim to have the perfect source. Read his words again – and think about them for yourself!

“The tree is the true sustaining force of the earth – the earth is borrowed from our children. One of the fundamental failures of our time is a disconnection from nature. Appreciate the earth for what it gives – not for what we can take.”

Once again, take the time to read that again – I get goosebumps. My selfish interpretation is that we’re on the right course with our more sustainable paper based mineral water package; it does after all come mainly from sustainable tree sources, rather than the alternative oil based plastic water bottles that few (statistically speaking) care to bother even trying to recycle. I said I was being selfish, but it’s your own interpretation of wise people’s words that makes them wise for you.
Love & Bright Blessings (a greeting borrowed from Trisha – an inspirational friend)

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There was a wonderful programme on BBC2 over the weekend with the above title. It featured the real life guru ‘Satish Kumar’ as he wandered about on Dartmoor speaking with an eloquence few can compare with.  I’m not sure how long the BBC keep their programmes available, but I’ve put a link through to it on my ‘blogroll’ on the right.

Much of what this gentleman says resonates with me sooo deeply and I plan to watch it again and share a few gems – just in case the link is taken down and his teachings become tricky to recall in the future.

Have a wonderful week and remember to pick up your plastic waste!

N 🙂

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Well my transformation from a suit wearing corporate guy is certainly taking me down some interesting roads and I embrace the opportunity to keep on learning.

I’m still learning about the whole macrobiotic food area, following a gentle teasing by Craig Sams when he kindly met with me before Christmas. It seems the more I explore, the more sense this makes and the more it also seems we should be talking to the macrobiotic community about our Aquapax.

This appears to be a niche sector of society where  people actually do their own research and take the time to think before they consume. Based on my limited exposure to people living macrobiotic lifestyles, it also seems to be populated with gentle and genuinely nice folk, who still take the time of day to give you a smile and a moment of their time when you ask. It also seems they are interested in the bottled water phenomenon and the quality debate we’re raising the stakes on. They aren’t that naive when it comes to the big player’s marketing tactics either…

Cool. 🙂

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Caught the tail part of a tv programme last night on channel 4 about ‘raw food’. From what I could gather these people are very aware of their immediate environment and won’t cook their food for fear of reducing the enzyme content – they don’t eat meat as a matter of course. Was interesting to see how concerned this nice lady was about pollutants, yet she bought a plastic bottle of water and opened it without glancing at the contents… Just goes to show that even folk who care passionately about their food don’t seem to be aware of nitrates in mineral water – read before you swallow!

Raw food is an interesting concept though and one which I subscibe to at an intellectual level; at least until my tastebuds drag me screaming back to a world of indulgence. We have managed to forego pre-prepared food 90% of the time, but sometimes we have to look at the big picture and accept that almost anything in moderation is ok.

The sadest part of the bit I saw, was the little boy (son of the nice lady) who with his siblings seems to be educated at home. He described it as ok, but not many friends. He referred to a vegetarian boy he knew once and that really drove home how lonely he was.


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Hello world!

I’ve filled in my ‘about’ page and now getting paranoid about whether it’s all going to work – so this is a test post. Also going to try uploading some images to see how that works. Boring but true!


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