In his treatise on ancient calendars, The Reckoning of Time, the venerable Bede tells us that in Anglo-Saxon times February could be called “month of cakes”, after the cakes which people offered up to the gods during the month. A cake charm also survives in a manuscript written in the tenth or eleventh century, which instructs us that a blighted field may be restored by leaving a loaf kneaded with milk and holy water under its first furrow.
As the Isonomia team spends a good deal of time looking back at months past in order to bring you these enlightening updates, we aren’t ones to quibble with the Father of English History. We therefore spent February honouring both his memory and the gods by making offerings of a selection of rolls, gateaux and pies. But if you spent last month up to your elbows in cake mix – or indeed stuffing your face – rather than reading Isonomia, what did you miss?
First prize in The Great Isonomia Bake Off went to Peter Jones, who constructed a pièce montée of an article on the waste policies of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles – a man who has previously inspired us to great acts of baking. Peter examined Pickles’ attempts to promote weekly waste collections, often contrary to local priorities and rational argument, and asked whether his questionable interventions would receive their just deserts.
Rob Reid returned to serve us up a second helping of heat pumps, eight months after sharing his original conundrum concerning whether to fit one in his home. Since then, Rob has been researching his options and was finally able to reveal his decision in an article that provides all the ingredients that someone facing the same question will need to weigh.
The third biggest slice of the blogmange went to another renewables article courtesy of Chloe Bines, who shone a light on how the positioning of solar panels affects the energy they generate and the contribution they make to the reliability of the power grid.
We also had plenty of traditional Norwegian kransekake left over from our late January celebration of our first article by Hulda Espolin Norstein. Her exploration of the impact a change in the UK’s relationship with the EU might have on its environmental legislation went like hot cakes well into February. Lastly, the icing on the cake came at the very end of the month courtesy of Emma How’s piece on the problem of chewing gum litter, which included the first ever Isonomia taste test challenge.
With so many great articles it may seem like running an environmental blog is a piece of cake, but we couldn’t do it without our readers. We’re grateful to all those who tweet about our articles, and for the fascinating comments we receive, both on the site and on LinkedIn. We try to provide an informed but accessible viewpoint on a wide range of environment issues. Offering a platform for a variety of opinions and generating debate is what we’re all about, so if you think that anything you’ve read here is perfectly to your taste or as nutty as a fruit cake please do tell us, whether by leaving a comment or with an article of your own.
Many of those who’ve written articles for the site started out just as visitors, and we’re always glad to hear from you if you want to pitch an idea. Whether you’re from Bakewell or Genoa, Eccles or Battenberg, with your help we will create a space where thoughts on topics from across the environment sector can be expressed and explored, enabling communication and cross fertilisation of ideas.
What might we have in the oven for February? Although there won’t be any more references to the Father of English History, we have a new article from Father of the Waste Hierarchy Ad Lansink already in the works; we’ve not paid a visit to the oceans in a while and this will be rectified with new a piece on marine litter; and don’t be surprised if our indefinitely renewable supply of energy articles continues to run plentifully on.
Isonomia is more than just a blog these days – we’re hooked up to all sorts of other outlets. You can now follow us by subscribing to our Paper.Li site, where you can see Isonomia’s articles, and other interesting material, gathered together in a newspaper format. We also post our articles via our Facebook page, and tweet about each new piece. Of course at the top right of each page you can still subscribe to have each article e-mailed to you. It couldn’t be easier to follow all we have to offer.