The first horror film I ever watched was Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The film was already dated by about 30 years when I saw it and so aspects seemed silly rather than scary. Yet, those alien plants still managed to evoke nightmares in my pre-teen imagination. Antagonistic plants have cropped up in numerous films over the years – from the musical menace in Little Shop of Horrors to the Devil’s Snare that entangles Harry Potter and his friends. Yet, the cinematic nightmare of being entwined and strangled by the (not so) local flora is based in some truth…if you’re a microbe. (more…)
By Alida Robey
Composting was an inherent part of how we lived when I was growing up – nothing was wasted. Food scraps went to the chickens, kitchen and garden waste to one of several compost heaps and leaves were piled into a pit for future leaf-mould.
Today, I live in a flat with a small decked courtyard. I have access to five compost bins in an area of communal gardens in Clifton (Bristol, UK); this means with almost no effort at all the only rubbish I produce is recycling and an occasional black bag of non-recycleable inorganic waste. I don’t even have to keep a compost bin at home. And still each week along my road I see quantities of black bags destined for landfill spilling out onto the pavement with fruit and veg and greenery. Given the years I have spent trying to coax friends and neighbours in different locations to compost, this scene is a heart-rending weekly reminder of my lack of success in this personal campaign! (more…)