Sunday, 27 June 2010


Today's flower is a clematis, I can't remember which variety, so if anyone would care to enlighten me I would be most grateful.

For more information on Renaissance, what we are doing, the Renaissance Newsletter, our other blogs and our shop, please visit Renaissance.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Midsummer Roundup

We're at Midsummer and what a glorious week it's been hasn't it?
Last night we were at Houghton Hall for a concert and we picniced on the lawn, the evening was just perfect.
What a wonderful setting this would be for a Vintage Party, and what a perfect place to sip homemade elderflower cordial or champagne.
Our Midsummer flower of choice this week was the wild honeysuckle it smells devine especially in the evening.
The roses are marvellous as well right now giving us the perfect excuse to blog a favourite poem, You love the roses - so do I.
And whilst we are on the subject of flowers we've found a delightfully pretty necklace for little girls called the Annabel Necklace of course we blogged about it at Renaissance Children's Notebook.
Not much blogging going on at The Chicken Daily but rest assured that the girls are all fine and enjoying the sunny days, we'll catch up with them again soon....
For more information on Renaissance, what we are doing, the Renaissance Newsletter, our other blogs and our shop, please visit Renaissance.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

You love the roses -so do I.

You love the roses - so do I. I wish
The sky would rain down roses, as they rain
From off the shaken bush. Why will it not?

Then all the valley would be pink and white
And soft to tread on. They would fall as light
As feathers, smelling sweet; and it would be
Like sleeping and like waking, all at once!
~George Eliot

Monday, 21 June 2010

I know a bank where the wild thyme grows

"I know a bank where the wild thyme grows,
Quite over-canopied with lucious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine."
A Midsummer Nights Dream

The "lucious woodbine" flower is our choice for this weeks Today's Flowers post,
perfect for Midsummer wouldn't you say?
Enjoy the longest day.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Elderflower Cordial & Elderflower Champagne

The Elder Flowers are particularly bountiful at this time of year so why not take advantage of natures bounty and make yourself some Elderflower Cordial or Elderflower Champagne. We've added our old family recipes to our Renaissance Newsletter if you'd like to have a go at making them yourself.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Orange Blossom

Sweet little flowers with the most heavenly perfume
Orange Blossom
is our Today's Flowers post to find out more about Today's Flowers go here.
For more information on Renaissance, what we are doing, the Renaissance Newsletter, our other blogs and our shop, please visit Renaissance.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Government Flying - excessive amount of domestic flights

This WWF press release popped into my inbox a couple of days ago but it was embargoed until: 00:01 BST Thursday 10 June 2010, interesting to see that the government could save £100 million over the next three years not to mention the green isuues..

WWF calls for urgent action on government flying as new report reveals excessive amount of domestic flights

The Government could save more than £100 million over the next three years if it reduced the number of unnecessary flights it takes. A new WWF-UK report, Excess Baggage: The case for reducing government flying reveals the extent of government flying over the past three years finding that 90 per cent of all flights were taken within the UK.

The most frequent domestic routes used by Ministers and officials were between London and Edinburgh and London and Belfast whilst the top non-UK short haul routes were to Brussels, Geneva, Luxembourg and Strasbourg- all of which are reachable or replaceable by train, ferry, or videoconferencing.

The report found that if government departments followed their own best practice, they could cut 600,000 flights, reduce CO2 emissions by more than 59,000 tonnes and save well over £100 million of taxpayers’ money over the next three years.

WWF, the conservation organisation is calling on the coalition to end the spending of thousands of pounds on unnecessary flights to help it reach its commitment of reducing central government carbon emissions by 10 percent over the next 12 months.

Of the 22 government departments contacted by WWF, less than half have reduced the number of flights taken between 2007 to the end of 2009. According to the report, the best performing departments are the Department for Education and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The Department of Energy and Climate Change spent £715,115 on 1,378 flights last year, with 676 of those taken domestically.

The worst performers include HM Revenues & Customs and the Department of Health. Flying in both departments increased over the three year period.

David Norman, WWF-UK's Director of Campaigns, said: “Businesses have done everything in their power to cut out wasteful spending on unnecessary flights during the recession. Yet WWF’s report shows that very few government departments have made similar efforts to reduce their flying, throwing away potential savings of well over £100million of taxpayers’ money.

“It’s shocking that nine out of ten flights by government officials are to destinations within the UK. There's a huge opportunity here to cut costs and carbon emissions – as shown by the star performers Defra and the Department for Education, which have reduced flight costs by 39% over three years. It’s time for the rest of government to catch up, and they should start by cutting out at least one flight in every ten over the coming year.”

The new Government needs to quickly improve efforts to reduce unnecessary flying. Not all departments were able to provide data in response to WWF’s FOI requests indicating that there is an urgent need for government departments to improve the way they record flight data and introduce clear travel policy standards as well as setting flight reductions.

WWF believe these flight reduction targets could be included in the new Sustainable Development in Government (SDiG) framework which is replacing Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate (SOGE) targets when they expire in the next year.

WWF wants to see Government departments sign up to cutting one in five flights within five years, replacing these flights with lower carbon alternatives such as rail or videoconferencing. We therefore welcome news that the Scottish Government will be joining WWF’s One in Five Challenge, which will help them reduce their flights by 20 per cent by 2015.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Blackbird fledgling learning to forage

Or is it hunting?
Anyway Dad was nearby to provide a tasty morsel.