Sunday, 25 January 2009

Burns and bags...

This weekend kicked off with Burns Night in the mess. I have a little bit of a love hate relationship with Burns functions. I love them because I love haggis, but I'm driven mad by the fact that we are nearly always only served a token portion of it! It's like all the Christmas functions you go to nowadays where they don't have Christmas pudding because "people don't like it".

Dinner was the typical lengthy military event. We were still seated and running through speeches when I checked my watch at midnight, but tiny servings of haggis aside, the food was great and the readings from Burns (some from Canadians) were as entertaining as ever!

Our friends MaryAnne and Ed had also been allowed out for the evening. Ed is on crutches at the moment, after throwing himself down a mountain at Christmas. They were both seated on the top table and had to walk into the dining room after everyone was seated, Ed limping along in plaster behind the bagpiper. It shouldn't have been funny, but it was!

I've also been doing a lot of sewing this weekend. A few weeks ago I heard about a website called The idea behind it is to populate the world with reusable cloth bags made from recycled fabric, to try and curb people's appetite for plastic bags. This is particularly poignant in Canada where recyclable waste isn't collected from your house and checkout assistants look at you as if you're mad if you bring your own reusable bags to stores.

At BATUS we have our own "Green plan coordinator" a woman whose job it is to help the base save money and become more environmentally friendly.

Together we are exploring the option of using the crafting skills of the local wives to make morsbags for the one store in our village. Most of the plastic bags that leave the store have served their purpose and are in a rubbish bin within 5 minutes of being issued.

We are meeting the manager later this week, so I thought I'd better knock up a couple of sample bags. I meant to make two, but couldn't stop!

I made the bags from a mixture of old shirts, pillowcases, sheets and t-shirts. Even if our grand plans for distribution comes to nothing, there are still five more morsbags in the world, with the potential to eliminate the use of hundreds of plastic bags over their lifetime.

I also made another applique birthday t-shirt for my niece Millie. This time I tried a more subtle approach for including the birthday number on the design and I tried out some rather retro fabric too!

I used to have an aunt who knitted me awful scratchy sweaters every year, I do hope I haven't become the applique t-shirt equivalent!


  1. Awesome bags! you should set up your own business.. you would do well. Love the T-shirt...

  2. Cool cross eyed cat, I bet she will love it!

  3. I like haggis too, not many people do though. I like the fun of Robbie Burns night but his poetry does nothing for me.

  4. And I love haggis too - few people do, so those who do have great taste.
    Seriously, your blog is excellent, enjoyed reading it and great pics too.
    (More UFO pics would be good tho') ;-)
    Take care,
    Simon G