What was your most useless Christmas present? The one that blew it for me and made me think I was turning into my mother, ‘tut-tutting’ about the ‘waste of it all’, was the novelty ‘grow your own beer’ thing – that has nothing to do with beer or growing your own, but is a piece of something shaped like a glass of beer, made in China, which when added to a bowl of water grows! Wow. I’m sure it doesn’t have a massive carbon footprint compared to other over packaged energy consuming products, but it does seem futile. Especially when I, ‘greeny two-shoes’, had gone to the trouble of buying local products for gifts. I managed to create hampers of items all produced within 12 miles. Including Stinking Bishop cheese (needed to be kept in a separate building!), local honey, Hartpury Perry, jams, quince jelly, apple juice, Three Choirs bottled beer, and also one my own collagraph prints of a perry pear. At least most of the products will be consumed and hopefully enjoyed, – where as the ‘grow your own beer’ thing will end up in the bin (we did try it out and it didn’t grow very large!).