Let’s ‘clean-up’ our act!

It’s great to know that Irish fishers are involved in cleaning-up our seas and oceans. Goodness knows fishers get bad press; and of course, people tend to put all fishers in the one basket. Or as an Irish fisherman once said to me “they’re being tarred with the same brush”.  Many of Ireland’s fishers are involved in the ‘Fishing for litter’ scheme; collecting plastic and other waste from the sea without any incentive but just wanting a better marine environment. I am proud, we all should be, that Irish fishers are involved in such a scheme that can only benefit all of us.

We must realise that we are all more or less guilty of polluting our seas whether directly or indirectly. Just think about all those micro-plastics found in your everyday products. Think about it next time you use your favourite cleansing lotion, or when you brush your teeth. We all have choices to make and we all have the power to choose what is best for us and our planet. Make the planet a better place to be and, especially, think about ‘cleaning-up our act’ for future generations; it is really worthwhile.

We do not require any extraordinary means. Suffice to make positive changes on a personal level.  Next time you’re taking a stroll along the beach pick-up a piece of litter and bin it. Making positive changes as individuals leads to collective transformations.

Ask yourself what kind of a planet do you wish to bestow on the next generation?

A little bit of “Nice” history…

I recently spent a week in Nice; it’s my second time there. I like to go there during the off-peak season as it’s much quieter and there’s more of a ‘local’ vibe about the place. That said, the city is always dappled with both national and international visitors. Anyway, as I strolled through Nice’s old district I could almost feel a sense of Italy; an identity that remains connected to its Italian origins. It must be said that during the course of most its history Nice would swing between French and Italian dominance. You only need to raise your head to appreciate the names over the shop-fronts. The myriad of restaurants, cafés and other various establishments possess an ambience imbued with “all things” Italian. By the way, for anyone wishing to taste some good pasta I’d recommend La Favola, in Nice’s old quarter.

The Greek seafarers who established and settled in Marseille were those who founded Nice approximately three centuries BCE. The city was probably named in honour of a victory over a neighbouring colony – Nikē is the Greek goddess of victory. After the Greeks the Romans arrived in the first century CE and settled in the mountainous area behind Nice. By the tenth century, Nice was ruled by the counts of Provence when the House of Savoy of Northern Italy, who ruled from Turin, took over in the 13th century. It wasn’t until the 18th and 19th centuries that Nice would experience French occupation on several occasions. However, it wasn’t until 1861 when Napoleon III signed the Treaty of Turin that Nice definitively became part of France.

Sandwiched between the Alps and the Mediterranean – entre terre et mer – between land and sea, Nice enjoys an advantageous geographic situation. During the latter half of the 19th century the British aristocracy descended on Nice during the winter season to enjoy its douceur – mild – climate. The favourable climate of Nice and its hinterland continue to attract visitors from the world over. I hope I’ve given you a “taste” of Nice!