Category Archives: General

After Grenfell, local authorities must break the link between fire and inequality

This is an article I wrote for The Conversation. You can read the original article here.

The tragedy at Grenfell Tower has brought the inequalities that exist in British society into sharp relief. The number of dead or missing and presumed dead has risen to 79 people in one of the Britain’s wealthiest areas, due to what London Mayor Sadiq Khan called a “preventable accident” caused by years of “mistakes and neglect” by government officials. Meanwhile, there have been accusations that the local council and building management organisation failed to listen to residents’ warnings about the risk of fire.

My ongoing research indicates that these points may all be linked. It’s a well-established fact that fire has always affected poorer communities more. To prevent fires, there must be effective engagement between communities and public services. But my findings suggest that the way these services operate does little to encourage disadvantaged and marginalised communities to work with them.

Searching for answers

In my own analysis of house fires in the West Midlands, I found striking inequalities in the way that fires are distributed. Areas with high rates of fire also tended to be areas where residents’ income was lower, unemployment more widespread, or a higher proportion of the residents came from black and minority ethnic groups. One earlier study found that children whose parents were long-term unemployed were a staggering 26 times more likely to die of fire related injuries than children whose parents were in higher managerial and professional occupations.

Surprisingly, though, there is little solid evidence explaining why this is so. It is easy to think of some possible reasons: poor quality housing; the inability to afford modern, safer electrical equipment; higher rates of smoking (smoking is a major cause of fire deaths). But the truth is that we just don’t know. It may be, though, that the communities affected by high rates of fire have some ideas. This is one reason why it’s crucial that those charged with improving fire safety learn to listen.

Deep fried plantain

Deep fried plantain – delicious, but risky.. Fimb/Flickr, CC BY

I spent time talking to people in a diverse, disadvantaged part of the West Midlands. Among those I spoke to was Peter, a Tanzanian man. I had already established that areas with high African populations tended to have high rates of fire. Peter had no doubt as to why this was. His community, he told me, are not used to cooking on gas and do a lot of deep frying. Information like this is of great value to those interested in improving fire safety. But it is information that will be lost to fire safety officers and local councils alike, if they don’t engage with the diverse communities that they serve.

Working together

It’s important to recognise that fire prevention is not something which can be done to a community. The community must join in and take part – it is a joint effort. In the disadvantaged area where I worked, people were very wary of dealing with public services any more than necessary. This meant that they were unlikely to engage with the local fire service, or with other groups attempting to promote such things as fire safety or healthier eating. And many of the reasons I heard for this were far less likely to affect more affluent, middle-class residents.

For one thing, the people I spoke with were fed up with nothing ever changing. They felt that they weren’t being listened to, and no matter what they said or did their lives stayed the same – so they had given up trying to engage with services. They also worried that having contact with one service would lead to unwanted contact with other services, with social services being a particular fear, as others have noted. And they felt judged – judged for needing help, judged for where they lived.

What’s more, fire was just not a priority. It seemed an unlikely possibility, set against all the other pressing problems they had to worry about, such as the bus service being withdrawn or the landlord not carrying out repairs. And for many, the prospect of engaging with local services to make their homes safer felt daunting. The language used by public sector workers was confusing. The way in which meetings were run was unfamiliar. Organisations dominated by middle-class, white employees tended to approach engagement in ways which make sense to middle-class white people. This created services which felt uncomfortable and unfamiliar to many of those who I spoke to.

If tragedies like Grenfell Tower are to be avoided in the future, public services need to get much better at engaging with the communities that they serve. And because those communities are diverse, the approaches taken to engage must also be diverse. Examples of valuable efforts I came across included hanging out in hairdressers frequented by African women, and working in partnership with an organisation with existing links to sex workers, to try to reach them.

Creating environments in which people from many backgrounds feel safe and comfortable engaging is a huge challenge for many in the public sector. It will push organisations out of their comfort zone. It will require time, investment and new skills. But these challenges can no longer be deferred, if we want to build a society which is fairer and safer for everyone.

Chris Hastie, PhD candidate, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Barriers to engagement

Today my findings had their first big public outing when I presented at the Institute of Fire Engineers annual Fire Related Research and Development Conference. Here’s my presentation. Because it was the conference’s twentieth anniversary it begins with a brief look at the state of play for community fire safety 20 years ago, before running though the research I’ve been doing with communities in north east Coventry.

Or you can view it on prezi.com.

The presentation finishes with a couple of quite provocative questions. First, I ask whether the focus on very intensive Home Fire Safety Checks is the best strategy for ensuring a wide reach for community fire safety. And secondly, I ask whether Fire and Rescue Services are necessarily the best organisation to deliver community fire safety. I will return to these questions in more detail in future posts.

 

Factors associated with rates of fire

I’ve recently had an article published in the Fire Safety Journal[1] which summarizes some of statistical research I carried out early in the project. This is my first academic paper to be accepted, so I’m quite chuffed to have managed to get through the peer review process. The article, bearing the not very snappy title of “Socio-economic and demographic predictors of accidental dwelling fire rates”, was co-authored with Professor Rosalind Searle and explores the way in which fires in the home are distributed through society.  Here’s a presentation that covers some of the main points…

If you have trouble viewing the presentation you can also try watching it on Vimeo

The published version of the paper can be found at doi:10.1016/j.firesaf.2016.07.002. Alternatively, you can read the accepted manuscript.

  1. Hastie, C. and Searle, R. (2016) ‘Socio-Economic and Demographic Predictors of Accidental Dwelling Fire Rates’. Fire Safety Journal 84, 50–56 DOI:10.1016/j.firesaf.2016.07.002 []

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

I’ve rather let posts to this blog slip whilst I’ve been out talking to people and collecting data, not to mention listening back to all those conversations, reading field notes and trying to make sense of it all. But now, as the fog is just starting to clear, is perhaps a good time to return to it and start sharing some of things I’m finding.

Amongst the themes that are emerging is the fact that people really don’t think fire is all that important. A woman who has lived for sixteen years in an area with a particularly high rate of fires in the home told me that she had only ever seen one house fire. Against the perception that fire is a rare event that happens to others, people feel they have much more important things to worry about.

Another important theme centres around the failure of public services of all types to really get to grips with engaging effectively with some sections of a diverse community. For a whole range of reasons many people just aren’t interested in engaging with services, or hearing or acting on the messages they try to get across.

But what has all this got to do with the only bit of French I can remember—Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (the more it changes, the more it stays the same)? Well, I’ve been putting together a proposal for a conference paper recently, and the particular conference I’m hoping to present at celebrates its twentieth year this year. To mark this, the organisers are asking presenters to review the state of the field twenty years ago and relate their presentation to this. Community fire safety as a concept was in its infancy twenty years ago and the Home Secretary, who was responsible for Fire Services in those days, put together a task force to look at it. They published their report, Safe as Houses[1], in 1997, and I dug it out to have a look at the other day.

And what do you know, they said pretty much the same things back then. On the perception of fire risk the report notes

The public in general feel remote from the dangers of fire. Only 4% of the public consider they are likely to have a fire in the home while the respective figures for burglary and
road accidents are 44% and 35%. Because of this, it is not ‘top of mind’

Elsewhere the report observes

Existing techniques and approaches have clearly not made sufficient impact on changing the attitudes and behaviour of those in greatest danger of having a fire in the home. Fire safety messages have not been heard or do not appear to have been acted upon by those most at risk

The authors suggest that the term “hard to reach” is inaccurate, arguing, in essence, that the groups they need to reach are reached easily because they watch a lot of TV. But they are hard to influence—they haven’t responded to the message. I think this distinction is somewhat artificial. If they haven’t responded you can’t really claim to have reached them. It remains the case 20 years on, though, that efforts to reduce the incidence of fire have been markedly more successful amongst some communities than amongst others. The message still isn’t being heard in some quarters. My job now is to work out why that is, and what can be done to change it.

  1. Community Fire Safety Task Force (1997) Safe as Houses: The Report of the Community Fire Safety Task Force [online] London: DCLG. available from <http://goo.gl/uu49e0> []

Anatomy of a bend—the dangers of dehydration

Ask most divers what causes the bends, or decompression illness (DCI), and the chances are that the response will be along the lines of rapid ascent, or perhaps staying too long at depth. A factor that seems rather under appreciated, though, is just how much of a role dehydration can play in the development of a bend. I was told recently by a hyperbaric doctor that after rapid ascent, dehydration is the second most common cause of DCI. This is the story of how I came to be having that conversation with a hyperbaric doctor, just before I stepped into a recompression chamber to be treated for a bend. It’s also the story of another danger, denial. These two things, Dehydration and Denial, I’ve come to know as the dangerous Ds.

Feelin’ hot hot hot

Back in July Sophie and I set off to Stoney Cove for a day of fun diving. Armed with our shiny new drysuits we wanted to practice the skills we’d recently learnt in the PADI drysuit course. It was a gorgeous day, bright and sunny, 24°C in the shade, doubtless a lot more out in the sun. We planned to dive the Staingarth, a wreck at about 21m, and knew it would be a lot colder down there. About 11°C as it turned out. So I put on a full Thinsulate™ ‘teddy bear suit’ under my drysuit. I’d not used this undergarment before, having used a much thinner fleece suit during training. I knew it would be more buoyant than the fleece, so put on a bit of extra weight and planned a buoyancy check as soon as we got in the water.

It was hot in that suit in the bright sun. Really hot. We walked down to the water with our SCUBA, put on our gloves, hoods and fins and jumped. Quite why, having decided to do a buoyancy check, we didn’t take any spare weight with us to the water’s edge will forever remain a mystery, but that’s how it went. And you can probably guess what’s coming. I was under weighted. So I had to get out of the water and walk back to the car, in my already baking drysuit, with SCUBA and weights on, in the warm July sun, and fetch some more lead. By the time I got back in the water and had my weight trimmed I was absolutely roasted. Rarely have I been so relieved to jump into a cold quarry. We set off on the surface swim to the Staingarth buoy and began our dive.

Sophie at the Staingarth

Sophie in the Staingarth’s wheel house

It was a good dive and we enjoyed exploring the Staingarth. On the face of it the profile was pretty unremarkable from a DCI point of view. We descended quite slowly down the shot line and after exploring the Staingarth headed off along the bottom in search of the Wessex (which we missed). It was a fair stay at 21m, but should have been fine. The ascent was good and slow, taking nearly 3 minutes to get from 21m to 6m for a 3 minute safety stop before surfacing.

Back at the surface I took off my drysuit to find the undersuit absolutely drenched. My first thought was that the drysuit had leaked, but I then realised that the moisture was too evenly distributed, not concentrated around one point where a leak had been. It was sweat.

After lunch and a 112 minute surface interval we went for a second dive. This time I went for thinner undergarments, not least because the Thinsulate™ suit was still drenched. At the water’s edge I got a burst of cramp in one hand as I was trying to get my gloves on. Cramp is strongly linked to dehydration and I really should have heeded the warning sign. But I didn’t. We dived.

Another unremarkable profile. We dropped to 21m briefly to explore the Wessex, before coming back up to the ledge at about 6m and following that for the next 30 minutes or so—plenty of time to off-gas. But there’s more to a dive than the profile, and this one was full of problems. For me, all of them related to cramp. I had some of worse calf cramps I have ever experienced, at one point screaming in agony into my regulator whilst trying to massage them away. Perhaps the one good thing to come out this whole incident is discovering that I can have an experience like that underwater without panicking. It seems I perform well under pressure (credit to Dr Mike Gonevski for that cheesy pun!).

The first hit

I can’t really remember when the pains started, but over the next few days I began to notice deep, dull ’flu like aches in several joints—wrists, elbows, ankles and, oddly, the arch of one foot. They seemed to fade in and out, easing up in one place then coming on somewhere else. I was suspicious. I Googled DCI and read up on the symptoms. I looked at some of the dive forums. But I also really didn’t want to think it had happened to me. A combination of a seeming late onset, benign profiles, and the fact the pains kept moving helped me to convince myself that I didn’t have a bend. I left the pains untreated. After a week, maybe a bit more, they cleared up. I’ve since learnt that far from not suggesting a bend, pain migrating is actually a classic symptom of DCI.

Coming back for more

Fast forward six weeks and we headed back to Stoney again for my first dive since. This time a single dive, reaching 22m and then coming back up to 6m for the last 20 minutes. It wasn’t exactly a triumph of a dive—our communication was poor and my navigation even worse—but it was safe and sensible, with both our computers suggesting we had plenty of time left at 22m when we began our ascent. In the days to follow, however, the dull pains returned, this time focused in my wrists and thumbs. This was too much of a coincidence and when the pain worsened enough to wake me on Sunday night (the dive was on Friday) I guess I really knew what was going on. But by Monday morning it had eased off. It seemed such a trivial thing now that I couldn’t bring myself to disturb somebody’s bank holiday by making the call. My denial continued until late afternoon, when, pushed on by Sophie’s very sensible nagging, I called the Midland Diving Chamber.

Getting treated

I went through my symptoms and history on the phone with Dr Mike Gonevski, who quickly formed the view that I had had a dehydration related DCI back in July. Because it went untreated my redundancy had been diminished, so a fairly ordinary dive had brought about a recurrence. We arranged for me to go to the chamber on Tuesday for a full assessment and treatment.

Mug and book

The chamber goodie bag

The initial treatment followed Royal Navy table 66—a nearly six hour long session in the chamber starting off at 18m and then moving to 9m, breathing 100% O2 for most of the time. Yes, that’s right, a PO2 of 2.8bar. Sounds a bit scary when you’re used to thinking of 1.4bar as being the limit if you want to avoid oxygen toxicity, but as Spike, the tender who was in the pot with me, pointed out, there’s no risk of drowning in a chamber.

Whilst I can’t say my ride in the ‘big white bus’ was the most thrilling six hours I’ve ever spent it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. All the staff at the chamber were fantastic—welcoming, friendly and reassuring. And I got to watch a Mock the Week video and eat a Thai takeaway, not to mention leaving with a souvenir mug and very amusingly written book on dive medicine. It’s certainly not something to worry about—far better to do it than not, as I’m discovering.

Had I gone there straight away in July there’s a good chance that first session would have sorted everything. But because I left things it’s become a lot more stubborn. I’ve been back for shorter (1h45) treatments three times[1] since, and although I felt pretty pain free this morning I can feel it edging back as I type this. Denying what was going on was certainly not the smartest move I’ve ever made. But it is on its way out now, and I have to say a big thank you to Spike, Dave, Robbie and Dr. Mike for getting me there.

What have I learnt?

Beware the dangerous Ds!

  • Dehydration: do not underestimate the danger of dehydration and the role that it can play in the development of a bend. Keep hydrated. Learn to spot the signs of dehydration and call the dive if you suspect you, or your buddy, are affected. If you’re dehydrated a perfectly innocent looking profile can take you to the chamber.
  • Denial: do not deny that you have a bend. If you develop a pain shortly after a dive it needs checking out. Call the chamber. They don’t bite. Quite the contrary, they’re all really nice. And you may even get a takeaway out of it! At best, leaving things makes it worse and more difficult to resolve. At worst, it could kill you.
  1. Update 1 Sep 2014: now four times []

What’s that on your lip?

It’s a moustache. I’ve decided to take part in Movember, an annual campaign to raise awareness of, and cash for, men’s cancers by growing a ‘tache.

Regular readers of this blog will know that in May I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Actually I suspect regular readers of this blog would have known that even if I hadn’t mentioned it here, since pretty much all regular readers are my mum. In September I had a radical prostatectomy—my prostate was removed—and last Thursday the consultant told me that the histology looked very good. All the signs are that the cancer has been removed from my body. There are more tests to come before I can be certain, but for now, let’s assume that I’m cured.

My mo

7th Movember

It’s been a rocky road getting here. To start with, there was the coming to terms with the idea that I have cancer. And then some difficult decisions.

Option A is reputed to have the highest chance of no recurrence, but only by a tiny margin. Besides, the problem with studies into recurrence rates at 15 years is that they necessarily study treatment techniques in use at least 15 years ago, so the reality is that you’re going in blind in terms of long term success rates. Option A also causes urinary incontinence—usually short term—and carries a high risk of permanent loss of erections.

Option B has a slightly lower risk of not getting it up again, but a significantly higher risk of bowel damage resulting in faecal incontinence.[1]

Tough choices. And not just for men, but for their partners too. Consider it women, what would you prefer? A total change to your sex life, or never accepting another dinner party invitation for fear your bloke will poo his pants half way through the evening?

So, that’s my motivation then? I’m growing a mo so that men in future will never be faced with these horrible choices because they were vaccinated in their teens and prostate cancer has been eradicated?

No. Get real. That’s not going to happen any time soon.

OK, so that men will not be faced with these choices because the Urologist will just hand them a prescription and say “take one of these three times a day for a fortnight and you’ll be right as rain. I’m afraid there’s a risk that your erections will be an inch or two bigger, but we can probably treat that if it’s a problem to you”?

Nice fantasy, but no, not that one either.

I’m decorating my face and spending a month looking a complete pillock so that men will be faced with these difficult choices in the future. Because around 10,000 men each year in the UK don’t have a choice of treatment[2]. They discover they have prostate cancer too late. It kills them.

It feels a very strange thing to say after being diagnosed with prostate cancer at 47, having had my fitness, my self esteem and my love life shattered by the treatment, but I was lucky. I caught it early and I’ve probably been cured. And it’s the catching it early that’s the key. Caught early it can be cured. But let it spread and things look a lot worse. Prostate cancer has a strong preference for spreading into the bones, and once it’s there, it kills.

So I’m growing a mo this month to give me a chance to say “Guys, don’t ignore this”. Problems with your boy bits are scary, and it’s all too tempting to bury your head in the sand and pretend nothing’s happening. Don’t. Find out about the symptoms. Talk to your GP about check ups. Never ignore strange changes—it may be nothing, but get it checked out.

The choices I’ve faced were shitty, but a shed load better than dying.

Of course, a little bit of extra money for research into better treatments wouldn’t go amiss either, so do visit my Movember page and sponsor me.

  1. Of course, these options are a gross simplification. If you’re faced with these choices, don’t rely on anything on this page—talk to your specialist []
  2. Source: http://www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk/prostate/statistics.html []

The Doggy Paddle

I’ve had a cracking day today. I did the Doggy Paddle—a 19 mile kayak trip from Leamington Spa to Stratford upon Avon. It’s a gorgeous journey through Warwickshire countryside, with some of the finest views you can get of Warwick Castle and Charlcotte Park. And it’s a trip you can only do on one day each year.

Sophie kayaks past Warwick CastleLike so many of the rivers of England, much of this stretch of the Avon is privately owned. There’s no right to kayak along it. Unlike Scotland, in England we’re denied the right to enjoy our countryside and our heritage by quietly floating along the river. My journey today was made possible because the local canoe club negotiate with land owners to allow this annual fund raising event to take place.

It was wonderful to be able to put all the bits of river together. Some of it I have kayaked before, much of the rest I have seen on walks, or on visits to the Castle or Charlcote Park. Some of it was new to me altogether—I discovered a bridge I didn’t know existed. Highlights of the day include seeing the 16th century Charlcotte House emerging from behind the trees, and shooting my first weir. And I didn’t fall in! Check out Sophie’s photos of the day.

So why is it called the Doggy Paddle? Because the event raises money for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. Guide Dogs are a charity I’m very happy to support because I have seen what a difference they can make to someone’s life. When he was about 8 (I’m sure my mum will phone and correct me about that) my brother was diagnosed with Retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that causes tunnel vision, night blindness and eventually blindness.

Now in his forties, he still has some sight but it is extremely limited. A few years ago he decided to apply for a guide dog. The GDBA eventually matched him with a beautiful black Labrador named Yarran. It’s hard to describe what a difference Yarran has made to my brother’s quality of life. Loosing your sight takes away basic freedoms which we all take for granted. Walking down the road becomes a daunting ordeal. A guide dog can never give someone their sight back, but it can restore some of those freedoms. It brings independence, it brings the ability to get around, to go to the pub on a Friday evening or go for a walk on Sunday afternoon. Guide dogs make a huge difference to people with limited sight in a very basic way.

Training and looking after a guide dog costs around £50,000 through its life. The GDBA is funded entirely by charitable donations so fund raising events like the Doggy Paddle are vital to them. If you’d like to help them continue to provide this amazing, life changing service I’m still collecting sponsorship for my day’s adventure—just click the button below…

Sponsor me on Virgin Money Giving

Mush!

Or rather, since the dogs we were working with only spoke Finnish, Menan!

Yes, we’ve been mushing again. This time I managed to avoid getting ill as soon as I got home, which means I don’t have the time for a repeat of the Gone Mushing blog which chronicled our trip two years ago. There are plenty of photos to browse through though, and such an adventure needs a few words at least.

Arctic winterI’m in love with the Arctic winter, its harsh beauty, its quiet, its challenge. And I doubt there can be a better way to experience the wildness of the North than by gliding across the snow hauled by a team of enthusiastic dogs. After that first trip in 2008 I knew I had to return.

This trip was very different, but every bit as magical. We couldn’t get in at the place we went to before, so ended up going to Finn-Jann. Unlike Harriniva, Finn-Jann is a tiny, family run kennels catering for only one or two groups at a time. It’s a very friendly place offering fantastic hospitality, and a great sauna and outside hot tub. We spent two nights out at wilderness cabins, but the rest of the time was based at Finn-Jann. One of the consequences of this (rather than the five nights out trip we did before) was that I felt I didn’t get to see such a change in the landscape as we covered ground.

There were advantages too, though. Our guide, Jussi, was able to adjust the dog teams as we became more confident. One day when we were only out for the afternoon an extra dog was added to each team—youngsters yet to learn the secret of going all day, but giving their all for a few hours. We really moved that day! We took teams of six dogs out on our final day too, but with the extra dog being a more experienced dog with the stamina for an all day run.

The sledding was altogether more challenging. The trails are used less anyway, which did mean that Jussi had to go ahead in a snow mobile to open them. And added to that the beginning of the week was remarkably mild and snowing heavily. The going on the soft snow was very hard, and there’s a nasty twist to heavy snow…

Last time, I wrote about Wobbly Wednesday, saying

In any long process there always seems to be a point in the middle where things go wrong. And for some reason it always seems to happen on a Wednesday

Well true to form, Wednesday did not go according to plan. We’d spent the night out at a lakeside wilderness cabin, and the day’s sledding began by heading out across the frozen lake. It wasn’t long before we hit a patch where there was a lot of water on top of the ice, between the ice and the snow. Quite reasonably really, huskies are not that keen on getting their feet wet. Dog sleddingThere was a bit of hesitation, a bit of progress, and then as my two lead dogs decided to turn round and run back into the team, complete chaos; a tangled mess of lines and a lot of very cold water. For a while I managed to keep my feet on top of snow, but inevitably as I and the young woman on work experience helping Jussi out thrashed around trying to bring some order to the chaos we both discovered that calf height water proof boots are no defence against knee deep freezing water. I had discovered something I have in common with huskies—I’m not keen on getting my feet wet either.

Even when we’d sorted the lines out and managed to get moving again, the going was really tough. The snow was very soft and several times crossing the lake Jussi’s snowmobile got stuck. The first few kilometres of that Wednesday took two hours; we were way behind schedule. It was a relief to get off the lake and change my soaking socks. Even more so to get to a kota for lunch and dry my boot liners by the fire.

In case you’re wondering what this has to do with heavy snow, the snow is the reason there was water on the lake. The weight of a fresh fall of snow pushes the ice down into the water below and the water comes up any way it can—often through holes made by fishermen.

All in all, although it was milder and the landscape perhaps not as wild, this year’s trip was certainly not short of challenge. I feel I built more of a relationship with my dogs and that we really did work together as a team and look after each other. Gliding through an Arctic forest on a sled is an experience that is hard to describe—you really should give it a try.

Links

Avatar—more than just a spectacle?

Let’s start off by saying I really enjoyed Avatar—so much so that I trekked into Birmingham to see it a second time on the enormous screen at the Imax—as high as a five storey building. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen the same film twice at a cinema, so it clearly did something for me.

The landscape the film creates is extraordinary and stunning and the special effects just awesome. It was well worth the effort of going into Birmingham to see it on a really big screen. But beyond the beautiful computer generated imagery, is it a good film? Continue reading

Welcome…

…to my new blog. But why a new blog? I already have a blog about my garden, an old blog about my husky safari in Lapland, and an entire website about trees and I hardly ever get around to updating any of them. So what’s the point of another?

Well just occasionally a thought pops into my head that doesn’t fit into the other blogs. Perhaps something I need to make a note of, something that others might be interested too. Like yesterday I made marmalade to a recipe I’ve developed over the years and have written on several scraps of paper. And that, really, is what inspired yet another blog. So the first, well second after this, post will probably be a recipe for marmalade.