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Society Diary: Outdoor activities, toolboxes and beer

18 Apr 2019 Voices

Friends of the Earth's Flour Power beer, coming soon to CSM Towers (Diary begs)

Happy Easter, dear readers! Society Diary hopes you have a fun-packed rabbit/egg/Jesus-themed weekend planned and hey, we might even be blessed with weather good enough to make the most of it.

This sun-baked bank holiday weekend Diary is hoping to see all the usual sights on its local common: illegal barbeques, marijuana filled tents and that old old man that insists on wearing just his pants whenever the temperature goes above 20 degrees. It may terrify the children but, to be fair, why should he have to pay to use a sun lounger to get an all-over tan? To see how others in the charity sector have been responding to the slightly warmer climate this week, read on.

Up a creek

Jeremy Corbyn has been enjoying the sunshine this week, taking part in a number of activities at the Sunnyvale Centre in Calderdale, Yorkshire.  Leader of the Opposition Corbyn and Labour’s shadow home secretary Diane Abbott visited the volunteer-staffed centre, which provides activities for young people and ex-offenders.

As a paid up Corbynosaurus, Diary approves of Jez’s new Cub Scout strongman look – a cross between Bear Grylls and Vladimir Putin – and thinks this might be a real vote-winner in the upcoming European elections. It would have been even better, of course, if he had managed to get the knack of either archery or canoeing during his time there. Diary has seen a couple of archery videos floating about online and, to be fair to him, even Corbyn looks disgusted at how bad his aim is. By the time it came for him to go canoeing, thought, his confidence had clearly been dented to such an extent that he didn’t even dare go on the water. This must be some kind of political metaphor but Diary can’t quite put its finger on it.

There was more fun for JC yesterday, when group of climate change protesters glued themselves together outside his house. He didn’t seem quite as happy with this encounter, refusing to speak to the group and returning their Easter egg and flowers presents.

Screwdriver of ideas

Diary is all for a random gift. As readers of recent week’s columns will know, Diary was very grateful to receive a kebab from our good friends at GoFundMe. It was therefore delighted this week to see that nfpSynergy’s resident driver of ideas Joe Saxton had treated his team to a toolbox each. Yes, an actual toolbox, with spanners, allen keys, spirit levels and other such stuff in them. Some staff members went for drills instead, while one opted for a hair dryer.

What a set of generous, and intensely practical, gifts. It is not quite clear what inspired Joe to treat his staff in the first place. Perhaps it’s an Easter thing. Was Jesus big into his DIY? (Diary's editor has pointed out that Jesus was actually a carpenter, so the answer to this question is almost certainly 'yes'.) 

Anyway, Diary hopes the rest of the sector takes notice. Perhaps for your next Secret Santa buy your colleague an adjustable wrench or a bastard file instead of a bottle of white wine with a rude name.

Flour Power

We’re just a few hours away from what promises to be a sunny bank holiday weekend and Diary could not have been more excited about the prospect of lazing around in the garden with a cold beverage. 

But now thanks to Friends of the Earth, Diary is pretty convinced that this weekend’s inactivity will save the planet. 

In what can only have been a spectacularly well-timed announcement, Friends of the Earth sent out a press release this morning announcing a partnership with Stroud Brewery and Toast Ale producing “planet-saving organic amber ale” using unsold organic bread that would otherwise have gone to waste.  

Flour Power, as it is called (see photo above), promises to be both a “heavily hopped amber ale with Citra & Azacca hops for an intense citrusy aroma” and part of the “the solutions for a greener future”. 

Some 5 per cent of the proceeds will go to Friends of the Earth’s climate campaign. Mike Birkin, campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said the partnership is “hugely exciting” and urged more breweries to follow their lead.

Diary concurs. Food waste is very bad, and as Diary recently discovered feeding stale bread to ducks is bad for them, so it seems the only morally right option is to turn it feed the craft ale industry instead. 

So, following on from its kebab-related success, here without any shame at all is Diary’s desperate plea to Friends of the Earth: To save us from another afternoon of tap water (or generic brand lager), please send samples of this sustainable craft ale to review.


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