Thursday 30 April 2009

Round Ireland with a Fridge

‘The media likes to hype up what an awful place the world is, but a hitch-hiker will tell you otherwise.’ In the summer of 1997 Tony Hawks (comedian, travel writer, philanthropist, broadcaster) was a hitch-hiker, in Ireland, with a fridge. The book he wrote about his adventure ‘Round Ireland with a Fridge’ was a bestseller and it is soon to released as a film, more about that in a bit, I want to talk about ‘The Fridgehikers guide to life’. Fridgehiker is an abridged version of the story dotted with the lessons Tony learned on his journey. What’s all this got to do with education for sustainability? Well, here are a few of Tony’s bits of advice along with my interpretations of them:

We need less than we think we do
Anyone who has spent anytime on the road know the value of a lighter load, but this is equally true in our everyday life. When we are less materialistic, we have less stuff to buy, look after, clean, insure, worry about losing, use, justify owning and so on. We think we need lots of things, but we have been conditioned to think this by the world around us.

Slow down and create some moments of peace
Life is all bit fast these days and I’m as guilty as most, trying to fit as much in as possible all the time, I enjoy the wide experience of life that this gives me. But, I try to make sure I don’t rush too much between things so I can enjoy the journey. I also try to catch at least ten minutes ‘slow’ time (it often goes on for longer). No writing, no talking, no reading, no eating, no screen watching, just peace and quiet with open eyes and open mind.

You don’t need to show off
Bling is immature, eco-bling is a contradiction, status symbols are shallow, no one likes a show off. Sure we should celebrate and share our talents, but no one likes someone who over does this. Sustainability requires a bit of maturity and humbleness, well actually a lot more than is currently around.

Worrying is not a good use of our time
There is no point worrying about environmental problems, or making others worry about them. We just need to get on with living lives that ease or solve these problems; it is not (despite what we are led to believe) difficult to be green. As Tom Hodgkinson says the best thing we can do about environmental problems is nothing at all. By this he means literally do nothing, unplug, slow down, stop shopping and so on. A better use of our time is to assess exactly where we are now and then decide what is the best course of action to make the future as good as possible. Just get on with life that is simple in means and rich in ends. That is the main thrust of what the Fridgehiker can teach us!

So, the film… Tony Hawks needs extras for ‘Round Ireland with a Fridge’, here is the info:

'Hi there,

I thought you might like to know that Round ireland With A fridge is finally going to be made into a film, with the incredibly creative casting me playing me. I don't know how we thought of it. Anyway, there are a few scenes where we'll need some extras, and since it's an incredibly low budget film, we can't afford to pay anyone! We'll need some extras in the scenes we'll be shooting in pub interiors around the Wimbledon and Tooting areas in London. If you, or anyone you know might like to take part then do get in touch. It would most likely be a day's commitment though, so you'd best be aware of that. (The dates we're likely to need you will be 14th and 15th May.

If you can't help in this regard, please make sure you go and see the film when it comes out. Then you can say that you were asked to be in but that you turned it down.



(If you want to be in the film contact Tony via his website)

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