Making Change in How We Live, Where We Live, in Light of Climate Change (FOR TWELVE YEARS!)

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Reflections on Involvement with TTT

We asked Tooting Transitioners what they'd learnt from getting involved with our local collective response to global challenges. Here's a random selection of what they said:

I am touched and amazed by the generosity and kindness of the people I have met through TTT. What a refreshing change from the profit driven madness of the recruitment world, thank goodness I have left that behind me! …Being a member of TTT has given me the opportunity to learn new skills and do things I would not have had the opportunity of doing, it's been quite an experience.

Knowledge is power, and this is why I joined TTT and I have never looked back. The whole experience has made a difference in my daily life, I stopped driving to work at Chelsea and Kensington and travel by bus or train. I tell my friends and family to live gentle on the land God has given us to plant more trees and to use the produce at harvest time for our food. I have learnt a lot from the meetings, the conference at Battersea Arts Centre and also watching Age of Stupid, raised my awareness to some of the issues affecting poor countries in the world, and that we should try and live simply and allow others also to live. I think I can make a difference, as a midwife giving advice to pregnant women about health and wellbeing, I can look into health issues. I envisage the future for Tooting is to have trees on the pavements on the High Streets, and no cars to cut down on the carbon.

To me being part of a transition group, even on an adhoc basis due to my travelling, helps me to give a moment, sometimes just a thought, to how I live my life and how that effects others near and far.

I have been amazed at how a seemingly small insignificant thing can snowball into a much bigger more significant thing; for instance my photos and videos as picked up on and used by others. It makes me feel that small things can assist in facilitating real change towards a more sustainable and resilient society. An ocean comes from many raindrops.

I look at everything differently. I feel clearer about my role and I feel calmer that I have now taken into my own hands responsibility for acting on behalf of the planet and my community. I am hopeful and excited about some of the things I think we can achieve in Tooting. I have learnt that the earth needs our help and there is a lot we can do. TTT has helped wake me up to this and set me on a road that will be full of adventures. It has given me a framework in which i can lead my life which is coherent and committed.

I’ve learnt that I don’t need the ‘authority’ of a job or a job title to get out and make things happen. I’ve walked through doorways in Tooting that I passed by for years and behind them have found wonderful spaces, lovely people and caring and supportive communities. I’ve met many great people with whom I can share my fears for the future without fear of judgement but also make plans with a sense of imagination and creativity which feels like it might just make changes possible.

I really do believe now that together people can make a difference and that there is scope to reinvent our lives and the places we live in. It has been a very "dynamic" year, exchanging great ideas, developing our vision of a better future and mostly, making things come true!!

We look forward to welcoming more of you in 2010

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Sustainable Future?

The government of The Maldives held a cabinet meeting under water last month to emphasise how their nation is threatened by rising sea levels and climate change.

And an article in the Guardian today claims that the International Energy Agency has been deliberately underplaying the looming oil shortage for fear of triggering panic buying.  Hmmm ...

Meanwhile, closer to home, consultation is under way on Wandsworth Council's environmental policy document entitled 'Ambition for a sustainable future'.  The Wandsworth Environment Forum is holding a workshop on Monday 16th Nov. to (a) find out more about what the council is proposing (b) contribute local people's views about the proposals and (c) shape the Council's environmental priorities over the coming years.  All are welcome and full details of how to attend are here

Saturday, 7 November 2009

All About The Oil

What is it about Peak Oil that helps to 'get one's head' around the converging challenges of this time in planet history? I like to see it as the 'first story': all the others - climate change, economic 'recession', arctic ice melts, pollution, obesity, loss of bio-diversity, floods, famines, having to recycle our waste and think about using the car less are 'second stories'. Peak Oil is certainly the thing that made me, a theatre producer, sit up and decide to act consciously for the earth. 

This new report from Bristol City Partnership and Council. is an incredible resource for us to be able to learn from. At 104 pages it's quite a read, (exec summary short) but it is mesmerising as it covers not only every aspect of the challenge of peak oil, but also the practical steps that can be taken in the face of it. For example, the NHS is heavily dependent on transport for patients and services travelling to and from hospitals. How will rising cost of fuels, have a knock on effect on the rest of health care budgets? Let alone in the longer term, the profiligate use of oil for transport needs when so many other precious things come from oil derivatives and 'oil-embedded' processes: medicines, drugs, hospital equipment, plastics, detergents. Oil is precious (took millions of years to form); has no equivalent as a resource and supply is declining at a time when the world's demand for it is increasing. What does this mean for every aspect of our daily lives and how much oil would we like to be left for our children and their children and generations to come? It's all a lot to imagine. What the Bristol Report does brilliantly is break this all down for us to see how it could work if we start NOW. The single most important suggestion they make for Councils is to 'Publically acknowledge the threat of Peak Oil'. Transition Towns play a part here in creating the public space to hold these discussions for anyone and everyone who wants to get their heads around this amazing challenge. As our Trashcatching workshops showed, children and artists are beginning to do this. Let's join them!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Trashcatching Workshops

Well done to everyone who was involved in last week's Trashcatching Workshops at Graveney School.  A short film of some of the action can be watched below! There will be more workshops over half term in February as we prepare for the big Trashcatchers' Carnival in Tooting on July 4th 2010. Any children or adults wishing to get involved, you can, it's free and we'd love to have you on board!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

News both inspiring and concerning

A few of us from Transition Tooting made it up to the New Economics Foundation's Bigger Picture festival of interdependence on Saturday (although overwhelming numbers did leave others standing in a lengthy queue or giving up all together).  Highlights for me were: hearing Jeremey Leggett and Juliet Davenport giving both the harsh reality and the currently untapped potential for us to survive life after oil, visiting the Ministry of Trying to Do Something about it and receiving my carbon ration book, and of course hearing our own Lucy Neal on a panel investigation of whether Art can save the Earth.  In support of the key role art can play Lucy quoted Brian Eno ... "Humans are capable of a unique trick, creating realities by first imagining them, by experiencing them in their minds. As soon as we sense the possibility of a more desirable world, we begin behaving differently, as though that world is starting to come into existence, as though, in our mind's eye, we are already there. The dream becomes an invisible force which pulls us forward. By this process it begins to come true. The act of imagining somehow makes it real....And what is possible in art becomes thinkable in life."
Time to get imaginging some new realities..

Talking of which - I'm already half way through NEF's new publication, The Great Transition - Tales of How it Turned Out Right - described as the first comprehensive blueprint for an economy based on stability, prosperity, fairness, sustainability and well-being.  Some of the ideas - like valuing products on the basis of the environment are already being tackled in other countries such as Sweden.  Interesting how 'Transition' seems to be the go-to word these days to describe the changes we are going through.

Meanwhile on the Peak Oil front a great (though depressing) summary of where we are by Ashley Seager here in the Guardian on Monday.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Journeys We Undertake ...

In the summer TTT's Bruce Mackenzie made an inspiring return to the Isle of Eigg, one of the Scottish Small Isles in the Inner Hebrides. The people of the island of Eigg have already made great strides towards sustainability and retaining local identity for their island, including generating their own power via Eigg Electric. To read and comment on Bruce's article go here to TTT's ning discussion board. What thoughts does anyone have about the future of the "Isle of Tooting"?  More ...

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Events This Week

Don't forget that tomorrow, Transition Town Tooting is running an an interactive discussion event at Tara Arts - Studio in Earlsfield entitled "Imagining Tooting in 2030, a positive vision of life beyond oil". It's FREE! Come along & bring your imagination!

If you missed The End of the Line, the film about overfishing and the threat to fish species, it will be screened at 10pm on More4 tonight, Tuesday 20th October.

The New Economics Foundation is running The Bigger Picture Festival of Interdependence this Saturday 24th October at the Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf on the South Bank. They promise "learning, making, doing, celebrating and debating" with plenty of speakers, films and things to try out. It's free too!

The festival is part of the 350 international day of climate action 350 is 350 parts per million - what scientists estimate to be the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. There are loads of other events on Saturday tying into this.

On 27th October the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil has an event entitled: Will Global Oil Production peak Before 2020? Anyone can register to attend. Claudia is a veteran I believe and can recommend!

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Tooting Harvest Foodival 2009 Highlights

Watch the video ...

And for more information, reports and all the pictures go to the Foodival Site

Monday, 28 September 2009

Tim Lang & Andrew Simms in Tooting

Last Thursday, TTT & Transition Town Wandsworth organised a discussion event with Tim Lang, Professor of Food Security at City University and Andrew Simms, Policy Director of the New Economics Foundation at Mushkil Aasaan. There was then some time to chat, brainstorm ideas and ask questions. A really enlightening evening with a good turnout. This video contains brief excerpts from the speakers.

And here are the post-it boards:

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

What Are Transition Towns? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and why families get involved

Kate Birch's article for Families South West magazine looks at Transition Towns including TTT and TTBrixton. Click the image below to read in full.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Rob Hopkins at Mirch Masala

Rob Hopkins, the creator of the Transition Town concept, made a flying visit for a late afternoon snackette at Mirch Masala last night, the table cunningly adjacent to our Foodival poster, before being ferried to the Brixton Pound launch in Lucy's van!

Also, a whole hour was devoted to Transition Towns and the B£ on LBC yesterday courtesy of Jeni Barnett who thinks Rob is a visionary hero! She's right of course.

Now what shall we call the Tooting currency when it arrives and who shall we put on it? Just thumbing the Venerable Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People for a decent mugshot of Tōta, the c.6th century Anglo-saxon, and his people the Tōtinges, from whom the name Tooting apparently descends. dt

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Tooting Harvest Foodival - 10 Days To Go!

Final preparations are taking place for this year’s Tooting Harvest Foodival which takes place on Sunday 27th September. We are aiming to highlight the possibilities for local food sustainability with this event which will involve high street restaurants cooking up dishes in their own inimitable styles using ingredients grown and supplied by local people. The Food Walk starts at 12 noon at Al Mirage, 215 Upper Tooting Rd arriving at Fircroft School for a Food Fete from 2pm. For more details go to the Foodival page

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Foodival in The Post

More press coverage of the Tooting Harvest Foodival in this week's Mitcham, Morden & Wimbledon Post.

Click on the image to enlarge

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Foodival In The Wandsworth Guardian

Great bit of publicity in today's Wandsworth Guardian for next month's Foodival - well done Foodival team! We now have a good selection of Tooting's restaurants signed up and ready to get involved, cooking up great locally grown food in their own inimitable styles and are also grateful to several other supporters (see below). All it needs now is for Tooting residents to keep nurturing those plants and to keep fingers crossed for a bumper crop come September! As usual head for the Foodival & Veg Pledging sites or contact Giles Read or Claudia Ruane for more details. Click on the pictures below to enlarge them.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

The Psychology of Climate Change

In a surprise first for this "correspondent", a whole meal was created from the bounteous produce of our postage stamp garden this week (see below). It IS possible! OK we didn't "grow" the fish but ... an ocean is made of many raindrops. And doesn't that carrot look like a well known Tooting resident? Answers on a postcard please.

Out in the ether, todays' Ecologist has an article entitled "The psychology of climate change: why we do nothing" which is an interesting read. The article cites Renee Lertzman a PhD Research student in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University who, looking at the unconscious motivations behind many people’s responses to climate change, reckoned that:
"more participant-led models such as the Transition Town movement where people were encouraged to bring there own ideas rather than being lectured at, were more likely to succeed".
Let's hope so! The positive outlook of the Transition Movement, its open framework and inclusiveness do seem to engage the "man or woman in the street" on climate change and peak oil issues better than beating us about the head with scenarios of impending doom!

Meanwhile back in South London's vibrant melting pot, TTT are busy signing up the town's restaurants to cook local produce for the Foodival next month and looking for more growers to pledge food to be cooked and served to the public on the day. Can you help? Surely you can do better than my lookalike carrot? Contact Giles Read HERE to join in the project.

Finally, if you just can't get enough of TTT in your life, you could join our Facebook group or follow TTT on Twitter. Whatever next?! DT

Saturday, 1 August 2009

What Might Trashcatching Look Like?

A few excerpts from June's Trashcatching Procession at the BATCA Funday

Friday, 17 July 2009

The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan Announced!

Here is Rob Hopkins' excellent as ever analysis of The Government's new UK Low Carbon Transition Plan, announced in the House of Commons by Ed Miliband the day before yesterday. Exciting that there is a (6 out of 10) Plan of sorts breaking down the practicalities of carbon emission reduction. But how half baked that, as Rob says, no mention of Peak Oil - rather like 'the drunken ex-partner who turns up at the wedding, who everyone tries to ignore, but their being ignored doesn’t mean that they aren’t there'. With the role of community initiatives like Transition Towns being given increasing recognition, the balls are all back in our courts to come up with versions of what Jeremy Leggett has called the 'scaleable microcosms of hope’. Positive, local examples of projects happening on the ground that make us all see, feel, believe deep workable change could come our way.

Down Tooting way, Foodival vegetables are positively humming their earthy tunes; Trashcatching for Carnival 2010 is on the road and we say an affectionate cheerio to Sara who has worked tirelessly over the last year and takes up a scholarship to study ecology in Sweden and India over the next year. Cheerio Sara, be back soon, and deepest thanks. LN

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

A Few Interesting Things

Here's a free guide to Urban Fruit Harvesting which looks good.

Here are some showings of climate films at the London Bridge Festival next week.

And here is a an Earthwatch debate in November called "From Tsunami to Drought" where they are looking for an extra speaker aged 18-30.

Meanwhile, Giles still needs your pictures of all things growing for the Foodival site and, demanding as he is, he now also wants pledges of what you will bring at harvest time ... so please get pledging here !

And Giles look >>>> these are going crazy! DT

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Tooting Goes To Town!

A Tooting team travelled up to town last night to hear the final results for the TippingPoint Commission on the roof terraces of the National Theatre on The South Bank. Out of 178 applications nationally the Trashcatchers' Carnival in Tooting was one of 4 awards presented by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband, pictured here with (standing on the right of the picture, Lucy Neal, Hilary Jennings, (co-Chairs TTT), Indrajit Patel (Chair of the Tooting Partnership Board/Tooting Business Network), Audrey Helps (Tooting Town Centre Manager), Deb Mullins (Emergency Exit Arts), Faye Mayer (Tooting Community Programme Co-ordinator for Tooting Schools), Fabio Santos (Project Phakama), Ines Tercio (Project Phakama) and to Ines' immediate Regis Gnaly (Project Phakama). Taking this picture was Mike Grenville who came up from Forest Row to represent the Transition Network, thankyou Mike.
The award is thrilling. It gives £20,000 to Project Phakama and Emergency Exit Arts to lead a year long project in Tooting to use art, carnival, celebration and the collective ingenuity of all the community to create a large scale promenade on the 2010 summer solstice - from Trash! Using recycling as a metaphor, (and as piloted at June 13th Funday) we can build a vision of a low-energy future for Tooting and have a lot of fun in the process. We will post here soon national news about these prestigious awards, created by TippingPoint to encourage artists to introduce audiences to the imaginative thinking necessary to contemplate and inhabit a world dominated by climate change.
Yes, that's us! All would-be sewers, beaders, makers, designers, dancers, musicians, recyclers, cyclers, performers, costumiers, hairdressers, puppeteers and carnivalistas please step forward!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Trashcatching Pics

Here are a few more photos of the Trashcatching and making at last weekend's BATCA funday. Thanks to local photographer Neila ( for these.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

BATCA Midsummer Funday

This afternoon at the BATCA Midummer Funday, TTT helped Project Phakama, Emergency Exit Arts and a small army of Tooting kids turn TRASH into great CARNIVAL COSTUMES for a'Trashcatchers' Carnival procession!

There are grand plans for 2010 but in the meantime here is a selection of photos from today. We should be able to post some film up too shortly.

Imagine if you saved every bit of rubbish for a year what you could make at the end of it?!!! Hmm now there's an idea!

Friday, 12 June 2009

Send in Your Photos for Plant of the Week!

As part of the build up to this year's Tooting Harvest Foodival on Sunday 27th September Giles wants your entries for Tooting's home growing plant of the week! The Foodival now has its own webpages here. Mail your photos to Giles asap for a chance to win ... er ... well at least the honour of sharing your home or garden with a Plant of the Week! Some early contenders ...

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Tooting helps pull off National TT Conference!

Need to pause to take stock of the last few weeks before getting ready for exciting summer of events coming up..... The National Transition Conference held at Battersea Arts Centre 2 weeks ago was a spectacular success.

Transition initiatives from all over the UK and those from further afield. Our own Sadiq Khan was heard to declare in this interview that 'Transition has legs' - that's good! It was Sadiq with help from local Councillors and Transition team Tooting that were responsible for getting the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Milliband, to make an appearance at the Conference on Friday May 22nd. Milliband duly joined the 350 transitioners present to discuss over 100 issues - from the current state of oil depletion to building resilient local economies to how to run food growing workshops.Listen to his interview with Rob Hopkins and Peter Lipman here.
Sounds like he's pretty interested in the Transition experiment. Team Tooting then pulled out all the stops for the 2 Hour Energy Descent Action plan which with help from a total team of 40 dramatised the '12 steps' of transition around the Grand Hall.
Film coming shortly. There was SO much to learn from others present at the conference about how other communities are managing this extraordinary process of changemaking at grass roots level. It was affirming to read Madeleine Bunting's views the next day on how the Transition movement is a positive force to be reckoned with looking peak oil and climate change squarely in the eye...
Tooting's next steps for a summer of events over the next few weeks are ready to go: the piloting the Trashcatchers' Carnival at the Midsummer Funday in Tooting on June 13th 12-4.30pm; screenings of Age of Stupid (7pm on June 18th, The Bedford on Balham Hill; June 29th at Springfield Hospital and July 3rd Tooting Graveney School). And hurray we finally have a leaflet to hand around. The Tooting Town Centre manager has also asked us to take care of one of the Town's noticeboards so people can pick up on what's happening as they stroll around....Lots going on and elderflowers to be picked for cordial making next weekend as well..

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Launch of Tooting Harvest Foodival 2009!

Transition Town Tooting are busy organising this year’s Harvest Foodival taking place on Sunday 27th of September and are looking for all growers great and small to join in.
The event is a celebration of all things green and growing in the town and restaurants down the high street from Tooting Bec to Broadway stations will be cooking up locally grown fruit and veg on the day so locals can sample the true tastes of Tooting! Along with the cooking will also be a number of walks to venues near the high street where food is already being grown above and around shops with talks on urban growing and the possibilities for broadening Tooting’s food production.
At the end of the day there’ll be a fantastic finale event including a growers competition with a category for “Fruit or Veg that Most Resembles a Celebrity” – truly a must win event! So we’re encouraging everyone to get growing and be a part of what looks set to be an amazing day that celebrates Tooting’s rich food culture with more than a sprinkling of fun!
For more details on how to be part of the event or to be emailed updates on what’s happening when and where, please contact Giles Read at or on 0773 892 8215.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Transition Town Meet-up

TT Tooting members were involved in a successful 21st Century Network Transition Towns meet-up at EnlightenNext in Islington on Wednesday (13th May). Lucy was speaking along with TT Brixton's Duncan Law and TT Forest Row's Mike Grenville while David was facilitating. Loads of good ideas appeared in the breakout discussions and I personally was particularly taken with the idea of giving my garden shed a green roof - something like this one perhaps. This group has someone with a good camera taking pics at every event that provide a good record. I think TTT could endeavour to do the same? Any Tooting Annie Liebowitzs or David Baileys out there?

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Tooting Sakura April 2009

I paid an interesting visit to the Tooting Commons MAC last night, a group who act as a consultation partner for Wandsworth Council, and for other bodies who carry out work on or near the Commons with a diverse range of interested parties attending. Discussion ranged from wind turbines and road closures to guided walks and plum trees! Gave me some ideas which I'll bring along to tomorrow night's meeting. Aren't we lucky to have such a great open space right on our doorstep? Just in case any of you have been stodging inside too much of late and missed this April's cherry blossom, here are two fine examples from Tooting Graveney Common, dt.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Guess who's coming to dinner..

Transition Town Tooting were pleased to be invited to join Sadiq Khan MP who hosted Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change at a supper in Tooting last week. I attended on behalf of TTT and was invited to join Mr Miliband's table where I was quizzed by him about the transition movement. As well as an opportunity to hear him speak, it was great to have a chance to share with him my personal enthsuiasm for TTT and for the growing community response to climate change and peak oil which is developing in Tooting. It also provided an opportunity to invite both he and Sadiq Khan to attend the upcoming transition network conference in Battersea in May. A short video clip of them in conversation appears here on Sadiq's blog. - I managed to remain out of the limelight just left of shot...


Friday, 27 March 2009

London transitioners flock to Wandsworth

Around 50 members of 15 different London transition networks met on Monday 23rd at Battersea Arts Centre (venue for the upcoming network conference in May) for the first ever London-wide transition event. We were welcomed by one of BAC's co-Artistic Directors, David Micklem who gave us some insight in to the venue's history as a centre for radical thought and action.

The evening started with a World Cafe event run by Asha Bee which focused on the particular challenges and benefits of transitioning in cities. Asha was then going on to run simliar events in other cities including Bristol and Brighton - all the input from which will feed into the new book on Transitioning Cities which Asha will be writing over the coming months.

After this there was a chance to meet and chat with other London TT networkers and to discuss the conference and plans for London beyond May. It was a great opportunity to share experiences and Finsbury TT has already stepped up and offered to host a future event possibly in June.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Happy Birthday TTT

Transition Town Tooting tonight celebrated its 1st birthday at Mushkil Aasaan! Lucy & Hilary led a good discussion with a review of what's been achieved, a creative visualisation of the future, working groups and a birthday cake with its own rocket launcher!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Local Heroes Community Awards

Tooting really is an inspiring,  quirky, humorous, resilient, inventive and diverse place. Just returned from an incredible evening at Jasmin's Club on Tooting High St, host to this year's Community Awards. A full house organised by the indominatable Balham and Tooting Community Association recognising the work done by 'ordinary' people on the ground. Transition Town Tooting had its moment: Iqbal Turk and I presented a snap-shot picture of the Tooting Earth Talk Walk as a prelude to Tara Art Pauline Nakirya's one woman performance of The Animal's Lawsuit (based on a 10th century Basra poem). Iqbal, Mary Boley and I were also nominated for TTT related community awards which was humbling given a) the short time TTT has been around and b) the company we were in: long-serving health workers, choir leaders, community champions for the elderly, children and women's groups. Great Gustos singing and all topped by MP Sadiq Khan's triumphant arrival at 11th hour with news Springfield Hospital Mega-Development Plans have been turned down by a Wandsworth Council meeting tonight.Hurray! All to play for now on a Sustainable Tooting front.  LN

Sunday, 8 March 2009

The Age of Stupid

The Age of Stupid - join us at Wimbledon Odeon on 15th March

'The first succesful dramatisation of Climate Change to hit the big screen' - The Guardian A new film, The Age of Stupid ( and attached), looks like its going to be a fantastic vehicle to raise public awareness of the issue of climate change. The film makers are trying to get into the Guinness Book of records for the biggest premiere ever and so on 15th March at 5.30pm it is being screened simultaneously in cinemas across the UK. Sustainable Merton have managed to secure a screening at the Wimbledon Odeon and all TTT members are encouraged to attend. If it is a packed showing the Odeon have promised to hold a further free screening of the film! Tickets are available online here - looks like they are selling fast

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Monday, 23 February 2009

May Transition Town National Conference lands in a town near you...

Really Exciting News! The National Transition Town Conference will be held in Wandsworth! May 22nd-24th at our very own Battersea Arts Centre. Check this link to Rob Hopkins' blog in Transition Culture to find out more. A chance for you to really see with your own eyes how transitioning work is transforming communities all over the UK. Booking for the conference opens on March 2nd. Be ready to book!! Transition Town Tooting will play a role in helping to host transitioners from all over the country (and visitors from further afield as well). Lots of workshops, inspiring talks, practical activities. Exciting news. Change-making brought nearly to your own front door.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Earth Hour

I like this idea that everyone could stop using energy for just one hour. On Saturday 28 March 2009 at 8.30pm, WWF will stage their 3rd Earth Hour, when they hope up to a billion people, businesses and iconic buildings around the world will switch off their lights for an hour and send an important message to the world's leaders.

What creative ways can we think of for spending an hour in Tooting without our fossil fuel driven power?

OK I'll start.
Um ... take a picnic down to TB Common and see if I can see some stars in the anticipated absence of light pollution! DT

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Earth Talk Walk Photos

I am afraid that this montage is the best I have been able to cobble together from the Earth Talk Walk on 31st January. Any other photos gratefully received.

Anyway ... well done to Hilary for organising a really interesting day meandering between Tooting's different places of worship. What was striking was how similarly the different faiths look at care of the earth and how much the residents of our diverse community have in common.

On a personal level, the slightly daunting prospect of a hastily arranged address to the faithful at evening prayers in the mosque was survived without incident! Thanks for the opportunity. DT

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Tooting In The Snow

Far from being a crisis or a terrible blow to the economy as some sections of our media would like us to think, the snow has been great!

On Monday, Tooting Bec Common was mobbed with people enjoying the snow, making snowmen and ... talking to each other! Yes can you believe it? I talked to lots of people I had never met before and even got invited back for a cuppa and cake by some newly discovered neighbours.

The power of communication, in evidence again after the weekend's successful Earth Talk Walk.

Glad to see that there is quite a bit of creativity out there in our community. Which snowman is your favourite?

Monday, 26 January 2009

Next Sunday Swap

The Selkirk on 60 Selkirk Road, SW17 0ES, has kindly let use use one of their upstairs room for our next Sunday Swap, so put Sunday the 1st of March, 1-4pm in your diary now!

The swaps are a great opportunity to arrive with something you don't want, and leave with something you do. The previous ones has seen anything from books to fragranced candles and doorstops being swapped, and the sky is the limit.

As spring is upon us (really!) and it's time to get those seeds in the ground I thought it might be a nice idea to bring along unwanted seeds, gardening tools, swap ideas and advice on what to put in the ground this year. Anything else unwanted from that spring clean is of course also welcome.

So come along, grab a drink or a bite to eat with us, chat away and swap some stuff on 1st of March!

For any further info please email


Friday, 23 January 2009

Earth Talk Walk

For your very own, lovely, souvenir edition, print out, keep and collect autographs map of the Earth Talk Walk route on Sat 31 Jan, click here

The Wandsworth Guardian will consider printing any interesting shots of the day so ... will Lucy be dressing up? Will Hilary be using her thespian skills? Who has a good digital camera?! We await the day with excited anticipation! DT

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Earth Talk Walk - 31st January

The focus of the walk will be a dialogue between different faith and community groups’ about the responsibility towards the earth and its conservation. The walk will address concerns about climate change, oil prices and the potential scarcity of the earth’s resources. It will help to build up a common set of beliefs and values in this exceptional part of multifaith London and make a powerful affirmation of shared values and writings around the guardianship of the earth. We will be joined by Tara Arts Centre’s youth theatre group, Arts Beat, with a performance based on an ancient text from the Basra region about a council of animals taking ownership of the earth.

For more details and a map for the day please email

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Barack Offers Hope For Better

Barack Obama speaks so eloquently and his message of hope is so uplifting and revitalising that I just hope that our expectations of him are not too high.

In yesterday’s inauguration speech I was particularly happy to see that he gave several nods to the environmental issues facing our world:

“each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet”

“We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories”

“We will work tirelessly… to roll back the spectre of a warming planet”

“We can no longer afford indifference to suffering beyond our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect”

If he can live up to the soaring rhetoric and has the will to leap the inevitable obstacles in the way, we have the possibility of a real change for good in the world’s attitude to climate chaos and our monumentally unsustainable ways of living.

Best of luck to you Mr Obama!


Monday, 12 January 2009

Hats off to the Hens

I have been feeling very sorry for them. Everytime I go out in the morning to let them out and fill up their food, the ice on their water bowl has thickened. As they rush out to peck at the unforgiving stone hard ground I worry about them. To make things more lively for them I have taken to boiling up our vegetable peelings for a few minutes to put out - a kind of bird broth which is much appreciated. After evolving for 1000s of years, they have clearly got resilience down to a fine art and are the hardiest of creatures. The next day the youngest produces her first very small egg. It's 1.5 inches long, a lovely brown and we serve it up for breakfast to pack a little goodness into our daughter returning to university that day.

A really excellent first TTT meeting of 2009 on Jan 5th. As someone said, 2008 was all about coming to terms with the enormity of the world's challenges, reading loads, feeling somewhat overwhelmed by it all. 2009 can be a year of doing and actions.
More soon on all this.