Cut flowers and newsagents (May07)

The lady sitting next to me on the upper deck of a bus from Hammersmith to Oxford Circus was clutching a bunch of lilies with a very powerful perfume. She was taking them as a thank you to someone who had helped with her accounts. I couldn’t help commenting that the website for my book ( has a section headed ‘I hate cut flowers’.

It transpired that she didn’t need much persuading about the environmental impacts of cut flowers – even though her job was arranging them in hotels. Apart from the energy impacts of importing cut flowers by air and truck, or growing them in greenhouses, she pointed out that the industry was extremely wasteful in the amount of packaging they used. And in chucking out flowers before they had actually died, because new displays were being erected. She said that her colleagues were amused by her ‘rescuing’ flowers and giving them to people to take home rather than chucking them away.

I got off the bus in Oxford Street and found a newsagent to get Thursday’s edition of the Telegraph. To my delight I found that my eldest son Connor and I were on the front page – one of those little icons identifying an article within. In fact, I was so pleased that i couldn’t resist telling the Indian man serving me in the newsagent. He was equally enthused and spread the word to his colleagues and other customers, who all wanted to see. It was very funny… but I suspect it won’t happen very often, so I have to make the most of it!

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