Plogging or Plolking?

I think I first became aware of this new ‘sport’ earlier this year. What a brilliant idea to combine jogging with tidying up our environment. In Sweden, plogging (the Swedish “plocka”, to pick up, and jogging) became a more organised activity a couple of years ago and more recently, with people’s greater awareness of the plastics problem around the world, so too has the movement spread to other countries.

plastic 2 blog

‘Sunglasses’ collected during a one hour walk!

I already pick up plastics as I walk on the beach every day, albeit with more of a stoop than any ‘gym-like’ movement. I’m no longer a jogger and despite having enthusiastically decided I was going to get fit enough for a Park Run a few months ago, my few days of short runs resulted in my physio telling me running might not be what my body needed nowadays. But walking with a few squats and lunges would surely be okay.


plastic blog

Plastic bag, nylon rope and smaller ‘bits’ of plastic caught in the weed.

So a few weeks ago I started my new regime. On an empty windswept beach my dog sniffed around in the flotsam and jetsam while I slowed down our regular walking speed to fit in some strengthening exercises. Rather than being random, I decided to attribute different exercises to different pieces of plastic. A piece of nylon rope or string would be three squats, small fragments of plastic would be alternating lunges and other items such as sunglasses could be a slow stoop-like stretch of the hamstrings or a squat if the item was heavier, such as a lobster pot.

I’m not sure if this trend will take off in Western Australia. I have had a few bemused glances from other beach goers, few and far between in winter, and  becoming more numerous now the temperature is warming up for summer. Perhaps if I could get some fellow dog-walkers to participate my antics might not seem quite so bizarre? After all, I’m not exactly plogging, it’s more a case of plolking – ‘plocka’ to pick up, and walking.



Favourite Places

Where would I rather be?


On a beach in Zanzibar listening to the surf breaking on the reef and the gentle lap of waves on the sand …

Alam Jiwa Mt Agung

On the balcony of one of my favourite hotels in Bali, overlooking rice paddies and watching the sun come up behind Mt Agung …

South Cott Beach sunset

Or on my local beach in Western Australia walking with my dog?

A privileged life indeed.

Repurpose Re-create

In 2007 I spent a year on the island of Zanzibar. Weekends were often spent at one of the beautiful white beaches, swimming, relaxing and beachcombing. One day I sat with my daughter looking at our spoils and saw she had picked up some broken coral entwined in fishing line and tied it to a piece of driftwood. That was the beginning.

From those rudimentary mobiles, over the years I have refined the art and learned how to craft and design for beauty and endurance. Some still hang around my own home while others have been gifted to family and friends.

In this journey to where I am now, the beach has always featured as a place of inspiration, meditation and rejuvenation as well as a source for materials.

My beachcombed treasures might be fragments of seaglass, shells or coral and to these I add beads and pearls. I source beads sustainably from my travels or I upcycle old pieces of jewellery.

The driftwood, that lines the beach after a winter storm, I greedily collect allowing my dog to play only with those pieces that do not pass muster.

I love to sit, designing and creating.

I love the feel of the smooth glass, naturally tumbled by the ocean.

I love finding a new, unique piece of driftwood, holding it and turning it to appreciate its striations and form.

I love discovering some dazzling beads in an old unwanted necklace amidst the discarded jewellery in a charity shop.

I love the satisfaction of seeing each finished unique mobile.

I love the thought that someone else will receive a little bit of the energy of the ocean and the beautiful discoveries of my beachcombing.

I love and take pride in knowing that this sculpture will give delight wherever it may hang.

I love feeling virtuous in knowing that the majority of the materials have been upcycled into this new life.

And finally I love that each and every day I can walk along the beach and be delighted, be invigorated, be dazzled and energised, and when I get home I can combine these elements and create something new.

And now I also share my treasures with anyone who would like to own one!

via Photo Challenge: Repurpose