Tag Archives: south wales

Sheep Dyed Yellow!

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I went to Sennybridge Agricultural Show today, and among other things I saw something quite bizarre – sheep with their fleeces dyed yellow!

suffolk sheep dyed yellow

suffolk sheep dyed yellow

close up of a suffolk sheep dyed yellow

close up of a suffolk sheep dyed yellow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did ask someone what is was about – he reckoned it was just cosmetic – to catch the judges eye.

I was wondering if anyone knows whether this is done regularly at shows now – its a while since I’ve been to an Agricultural Show – AND what dye is used, is it temporary or permanent?

Or maybe, just maybe, its an ingenious way to dye the wool BEFORE its shorn, and sell it as a pre-dyed fibre???

These are some undyed Suffolks for comparison.

Suffolk Sheep 'au naturel'!

Suffolk Sheep ‘au naturel’!

I took loads of photos at the Show, and will be putting some more up soon!

To see the very charming young riders Fancy Dress Parade – click here.

The new bins cost; £475,916.20

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the large bin versus the small bin

For a week or more, the text spacing on this post has been mangled, making the reading of it pretty difficult!

I have asked for help with this, because when it was published, it was fine!  The problem occurred when I went back to update it, and add the last email from Mr Roberts, of Neath Port Talbot CBC.

If you would like to see what the problem was/is you can read all about it HERE.

I am now attempting to ‘repair the site’, and hope it will read properly when I update it! (26 March)

 

This is a follow up to my post of 3 February,

about the recycling policy of my local council, which was prompted by “THE BIG BIN SWAP” when they came and swopped our large bins for small ones – with the stated aim of encouraging recycling.

It was also a measure put in place to try to avoid the fines Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council (NPTCBC) is paying for using LANDFILL.

I posed a number of questions and thought you might like to know the answers.   Its taken a while, but I have now heard back from NPTCBC – to make sense of this email exchange – have a look at the original post by clicking HERE.

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MY SECOND EMAILlarge bin

Sent: 24 February 2015 08:10

To: Chief Execs

Subject: THE BIG BIN SWAP

Dear Sir

On 3 February I emailed both the media department and my local Councillor, to ask them to read the blog below, and reply with some answers to the questions I posed.

https://julzcrafts.com/2015/02/03/a-slice-of-life-the-big-bin-swap-recycling-in-the-swansea-valley-wales/

To date I have had no answer from either of them.

If you’d like to look at the comments section below the body of the text, you will see that there is great interest around the world about recycling, and many people are interested to know what Neath Port Talbot CBC are doing about it – specifically

  1. How much did the new bins cost?
  2. What did you do with the bins you removed?
  3. How have you funded this scheme?
  4. Is there another reason you have limited the size of the bins – ie:  can the new trucks take larger bins?
  5. How is the waste collected recycled?  Which companies do you use to do this and do you sell it or have to pay for its disposal?

I would be grateful if you could supply this information, which will be published in a follow up blog.

I truly do not want to have to put in a Freedom of Information request, as suggested by one reader. However, if I have not heard back from you within 10 days, I think this will be my next action. many thanks for your attention.

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NPTCBC’S REPLY: 11 MARCHImage

Dear Miss Barnett,

Firstly, apologies that no one has contacted you with an explanation with regard to the questions you posed. With reference to your e-mail of the 24/02/2015, I would inform you that;

  1. The new bins cost; £475,916.20
  2. Both the plastic body and steel axles of all the bins removed have been recycled via the Civic Amenity site in Briton Ferry.
  3. The bins were partly Welsh Government grant funded and partly Council funding from reserves.
  4. The reason for reducing the bins size is the statutory waste targets and associated fines and Welsh Government’s ‘Collections Blueprint’.  The aim is to encourage people who were not already recycling to do so and encourage those already recycling to participate further.
  5. All waste collected for recycling is taken to a purpose built transfer building at the rear of the Materials Recovery and Energy Centre at Crymlyn Burrows.  The operator of the facility, NPT Recycling Ltd., has contracts in place with reprocessors and the income is essentially netted off the cost of managing and treating the Council’s ‘black bag’ waste which is also taken to the plant.

I hope the above information is helpful.small bin Yours sincerely, Mike Roberts Head of Streetcare Environment Directorate environment@npt.gov.uk

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Before going ahead and publishing Mr Roberts reply, as a courtesy, I replied on 11 March –

MY THIRD EMAIL

 Dear Mr Roberts
 I am very relieved to receive this detailed reply from you regarding the list of questions in my email of 24 February.
You will of course have noted that I intended to publish your answer as a follow up to the original ‘blog post’ “The Big Bin Swap” dated 3 February.
Before I do, could you please confirm that you are happy for me to do so – and whether you wish your name to be published or just your title?
I was careful not to name which council I was talking about in the original blog, but in view of the details given, I think I should be able to verify that this is a genuine reply.
Re: Your Point No 4:  Is there any evidence that this strategy is working, or is it too soon to evaluate it?
Re: Your Point No 5:  Whilst the general information you gave is revealing, the real concern of everyone who recycles their waste is whether it is being    processed properly and put to good use.  Could you please provide a couple of specific examples of what is done with the various separated materials?
I am copying this email to my local councillor, with whom I spoke on Sunday, and I thank him for his help – and of course, yours.         Julie Barnett
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I also re-sent the email on 18 March, asking for a reply and telling Mr Roberts that I would be publishing this today.  As I got no reply, I think that its time to publish!  I also think that you can all draw your own conclusions, and would welcome your comments below.  
Of course, it you would also like to contact Neath Port Talbot CBC, that is up to you – smile!

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20 March 2015

I got a reply to the email above, late yesterday, most probably after someone had read this post.  As promised, I am publishing it here, and I have, of course, thanked Mr Roberts for his contribution and sent him a link to this post.
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Dear Miss Barnett.

Thank you for your further correspondence.  With respect to your additional requests for information, I can advise as follows:

I enclose details of the immediate impact of reducing bin size in the pilot area undertaken in 2013.

Overall in the County Borough, as the smaller bins have been rolled out participation across the County Borough has similarly increased from 62% in 2013 to 71% in 2014 overall, and now stands at over 80%.

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Average
24% 38% 20% 37% 29.75% Baseline
40% 56% 32% 56% 46% Participation after excess bin removal and reduction to 140 litres(commencing 28th Oct 2013)

It is noted that tonnage data also suggested that many residents were using the capacity released in the larger wheeled bins through recycling to dispose of green garden waste.  With switching to smaller bins the Council’s recycling and composting figures continue to increase and we are hopeful of hitting the next statutory target in Wales of 58% a year early at the end of this current year.

With respect to examples of material destinations I can inform you of the following, as reported to the Council by Neath Port Talbot Recycling at the end of last year. 

 

Example 1:  After delivery to Crymlyn Burrows, plastics collected at the kerbside in Neath Port Talbot are bailed and transferred off-site to Carmarthenshire Environmental Resources.  From there they are sent to EcoPlastics in Lincolnshire.  EcoPlastics produce raw materials which may be used in the manufacture of plastic containers. 

 

Example 2:  After delivery to Crymlyn Burrows, food waste collected at the kerbside in Neath Port Talbot is bulked up and transferred off site to an Anaerobic Digestion Facility in Avonmouth, near Bristol.  The facility produces renewable energy and a nutrient rich fertiliser.

 

Regards,

Mike Roberts

Head of Streetcare

 

Welcome to 2015!

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NB:  This week I am following a “blogging101” online course to learn how to blog more effectively.  
Please bear with me while I do my daily assignments, I obviously don’t usually write daily posts and if you are fed up with them – don’t read them – smile!  On the other hand, you might like to comment and let me know how I’m doing!

 

Today’s assignment is “Introducing Yourself” – so here goes ….

Firstly, you can actually find a fair bit about me by looking at the “About Julz” page, (see the link at the top of this page) which I have written to give my usual customers an idea of who they are buying from.  Today, I thought I’d write something completely different!

Tilly, my 6 month old "kitten" in the garden

Tilly, my 6 month old “kitten” in the garden

So let’s start off with a pretty picture – not its not me!

One of the things I have difficulty with these blogs is how to arrange my pictures to fit in with the text.  I’ve just had to delete that picture and add it again, so it goes in the right place! (I hope)

This is Tilly.  She was a farm kitten who I fell in love with, and asked if I could have her – the family were happy to give her to me because they had too many cats already, but because she was virtually feral, it took ages to catch her, and she jumped out of the box several times!  I was worried that she’d get loose in the car when I drove her home, but luckily she settled down, the drone of the engine and the awful music I was playing probably helped.

She wasn’t used to being handled, and scratched like mad when I tried to pick her up.  Obviously, she was frightened.  As soon as I got her home, I decided I’d have to shut her in,  to make sure she didn’t run away immediately.  I chose the bedroom, and had to keep her in the box while I prepared a food tray, and the other kind of tray for her.  Just as well I did, cos she immediately ran under the bed, where I couldn’t reach her, and didn’t even touch the food until I’d left the room to give her time to settle down and explore in her own time.  And of course, she didn’t know what the litter tray was for, so later on I have to clean up after her!  I was actually feeling guilty for taking her away from her ‘family’, her mother and the rest of the kittens, and thought maybe I’d done the wrong thing.  However, she was 16 weeks old, so she was weaned, and was old enough to leave the farm.

Well three months on, I’m so glad I got her, and I think, so is she – she’s sitting on the bed as I type,  and has happily explored the garden, made friends with the chickens, well not friends, but they all have a healthy disregard for each other. The chickens chase her away if she tries to eat their food!  She even comes in when she’s called – tho she does love to play the game of going out again just to make me open the door and look for her!

I can’t use a cat flap yet cos I’m still not sure she wouldn’t wander too far and get lost, as the garden backs onto the hillside of the valley I live in.  Its an ex-mining area of South Wales, UK, and although the mines are now gone, when I first came here, 30 years ago, it was common to see men looking like they’d put Khol around their eyes – the coal dust was difficult to wash off!  The miners strikes of 1985 and Maggie Thatcher finished all that.  Just for info, these are two of the postcards I published about the miners strike.

1985 miners strike - sign for the food distribution centre - people contributed because by that time the strike had gone in so long that they literally couldn't afford to feed their families.  I thought is was amusing that the bin was just next to it!

1985 miners strike – sign for the food distribution centre – people contributed because by that time the strike had gone in so long that they literally couldn’t afford to feed their families. I thought is was amusing that the bin was just next to it!

The "ALAMO" picket shelter  - so named because it was the miners "last stand"

The “ALAMO” picket shelter – so named because it was the miners “last stand”

That’s all for today, hope you liked it!  Oh, and if you want to see what I sell, just click on any of the “personal links” underneath my photo on the right hand side of this blog.

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calling all past customers………my computer died and I lost your email addresses!

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yes its true – I didn’t back up my mailing list, and so when the hardrive died on my ancient mac ibook last week, I lost all sorts of things – including my mailing list – which had about 350 email addresses on it!

so I bit the bullet and was finally  forced to retire my much beloved, 2nd hand ibook – with all of 128 bits of memory on it and 4G hard drive, that has lasted me about 8 years – it’s in bits on the shelf of the repair shop at the moment – to be used for spares!

They were able to retrieve some of the data on the hard drive, so I didn’t lose everything – luckily I have still got most of my old  photos, and the esoteric collection of music I downloaded years ago, when the Limewire sharing system existed, and I could get them for free – smile!

But I lost all those stored emails that I didn’t bother to take off the system, or print out, so if you sent me an email at the beginning of last week, and I haven’t answered it – that’s why!

These include a few of the enquiries/orders I got for Kromski spinning & weaving equipment – see my last blog.

kromski's rigid heddle table loom

kromski’s rigid heddle table loomkromski's sonata spinning wheel

kromski’s sonata spinning wheel

What with the recent snow, and having to get to the library to read my emails, I have been rather “snowed under” this last week and have got behind with all those things on my ‘to do list’, and as a consequence, the order to Kromski hasn’t yet gone in – because I haven’t been able to confirm the horrendous amount of postage they want to send it all!

And now I’m not sure who ordered what!  So if you do happen to click onto this blog, please get in touch with me if you have ordered anything, AND, as I haven’t yet confirmed the order, there is still time – a couple of days – to request something specifically – and I can let you know the price, and add it to the order …….!

and ……i’m gonna need those orders – smile – cos I’m writing this on my new – it maxed out my credit card – macbook pro!  Got in late on Saturday, and i’m still finding my way around it!

SO –  IF YOU HAVE BEEN, OR WANT TO BE , ON MY MAILING LIST – PLEASE DROP ME AN EMAIL TO

julz@julzweaving.plus.com

Also, if you know of anyone who has bought off me in the last couple of years, could you direct them to this blog please!

That also applies to anyone you might know that would be interested to get my occasional newsletters, with info about new stock, special offers for Club Members only, and “buy direct” discounts.

I thought as an incentive, I would offer a prize to anyone who refers the most number of people – by the end of the month.  Please ask them to mention your name & email address, when they contact me, and the two people who have referred the most friends or colleagues, (even if they have already been referred by others,) will get the last  of my very limited edition of 2013 CALENDARS .

I only printed a few of them to see what they looked like, and because I ordered them late – just before Xmas, they  arrived a week ago.  I had thought about selling them, but there are a few tweaks i’d make if I decided to re-order them, by which time the first month of 2013 would be gone, and its not a good idea to sell a calendar in February!

I scanned a couple of the pages – but scanning print never gives very good results.  Here are a couple of them, just for you to see what they  look like.  I think you might recognise the December image.  You can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

january

januaryaprilaprildecemberdecember

The mailing list is international, so obviously, postage anywhere is included, if you win one!  I’d also appreciate some feedback about the idea of a calendar, from anyone who reads this blog – the photographs are my own pictures – taken some time ago, and most of them are landscapes taken around the Brecon Beacons, in South Wales – not far from where I live.

pant-teg landslip

pant-teg landslip

I took this one down the road just before xmas – if you remember it rained and rained and rained, and the hillside above my road has been an official (threat of) landslip area for many years as there are old mining tunnels running through it.  There is some concern that the drainage system had not been maintained, and just as a christmas was coming up, thousands of tons of mud slid down the hill and blocked the road – and yes, those are full size trees in the middle of the road!

Luckily no one was hurt, and the only building affected is the old meeting hall, next to the chapel, which you might be able to make out on the far side of the slip.  One family lost their home – as they lived above the road, and the container you can see was about 30 ft above the road!  Other families had to evacuate on the night it happened, but are all insisting on staying put now!

The road, of course, remains closed, which is a minor nuisance in the circumstances, and the council are waiting for all kinds of reports before they do anything – Just thought you might like to see it – I live a bit further up that road, so luckily am not affected!

So, I really can’t complain about my little run of bad luck – or bad planning!

wishing you all a happy new year (again) – there is new stock on both my ebay page (85solway) and my easy shop (julzcraftsupplies) – for more info and working links, please go to the ABOUT JULZ PAGE.

hope to hear from you soon!

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