Saturday, April 25, 2009


This is my response to this article "BP backs Jatropha as a biodeisel feedstock"

we don't "need" cars, we want them.
Without cars/transport, our lives revert to about a 50km radius, with very few trips outside this. Society is conditioned to living in a larger radius than that. Our food is grown in other hemispheres, most people live more than 50km from work, friends and family. A lot of people live hundreds of km from major hospitals.
Until society constricts back to a smaller radius, man made fuels may be a bandaid fix, but we really need to focus on "relocalising", or "transitioning".

Whole cities, even countries, not just people, need to restructure, so that all necessities are within a reasonable distance. Unfortunately, for state government, this means no mega hospitals, instead build up a resilient network of smaller hospitals. The same goes for educational institutions, like child care and Uni. For Coorporations, this means more cottage industries, more local general stores, etc, instead of humongous Westfield Malls. On a personal level, we need to build our community's resilience and diversity. Don't invest your life in a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom house on 400m2, in an estate that is 1/2 an hours drive from schools, shops, and doctors. (I think we are all on the same page there. lol)

If you are already invested for life, make friends with neighbours, grow vegies/herbs guerrilla style on the nature strip, on one of those stupid traffic slowing islands or on your roof. Rent out an unused room, or invite gran to live with you in return for free childcare. Work from home. Carpool, or do the shopping for your elderly neighbour, to get the most out of each trip. Use your local convenience store, (if its not already 7/11), it might be more expensive, but you are paying for the convenience, and when they go out of business, you will have to spend more on petrol to get to mega mart anyway.

We are investing in the wrong things. (Why spend billions of $$ on Clem7 for example?) We need to focus less on preserving our current lifestyles, and building a system that will be resilient in the face of energy descent, so that the impact is positive rather than doom and gloom.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Talking about Jerry Coleby-Williams and potato substitutes. Here is a link to his post about plaintains.

ABC Gardening expo

I forgot to post about The ABC Gardening Australia Expo.
We went on Saturday, the 18th.
It was great. I wanted to see Jerry Coleby-Williams and HH wanted to see Colin Campbell. We love the TV show and the website is so useful, it is the first place I go to for gardening tips and info. Northey St City farm had a stall there, and they had a couple of chooks in a chook tractor, that mesmerised my son. We bought too many books and plants (me), ate junk (my son), drooled over huge ride on mowers and mulchers (HH), and basically had a good time.

Jerry Coleby-Williams did a talk on survival foods. It was really interesting. Basically, he gave a whole heap of subtropical alternatives to potatoes. Potatoes can be hard to grow in humid weather, but sweet potato, yams, arrow root etc, just look after themselves. He also talked about a couple of things I'd never really considered, the plaintain and green (unripe) pawpaw! I had to try green pawpaw, I have a huge tree full just sitting there. We don't really eat our pawpaws. The ripe fruit is not that great, we have the yellow kind, I prefer red pawpaw, also we rarely beat the fruit bats to it anyway. That night, I cooked some up, without telling the boys. It tasted sort of like sweet potato. They totally ate it, no complaints. It's surprisingly good, we will do that again.

We also joined The Digger's Club, which I had been trying to talk HH into for ages. When he saw thier stall and talked to one of thier sales people he was finally convinced. I think the free seeds pulled him over the edge ;)
Recently, Ps. Ron Favaloro, a family friend and the pastor who married my husband and me was on Australian Story.

When I was googling for info about the program, I found this photo, I just had to share.

From left to right: Ps David Warren (my dad, he he), Ps Ron Favaloro, and Ps Terry Walker.

The photo was in the local paper advertising a charity bike ride to raise money for Zoeys Place.

Photo from ALBERT AND LOGAN NEWS, FRIDAY, MARCH 14, 2008 p3, Dale Haberfield
view original article

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The environmentally responsible child

My son cares for the environment in a number of ways.
The first is by showering once a month at the most, to save on electricity, water and soap.
He also reduces the amount of washing up we have to do, by drinking out of the milk bottle and eating with his fingers.
He chooses to fertilise the garden, instead of flushing his nitrogen rich pee down the loo. When it comes to flushing the toilet, his motto is: "if its yellow its mellow, if its brown, let it sit there and stink!"
He also tends to wear his clothes to bed, saving loads of washing.

See, his mother may find it irritating, but he is just trying to do his bit for the planet.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I haven't had a chance to post anything for awhile. I have been having loads of fun, but I have been thinking of you, lol.

HH has just returned to work after having 4 whole weeks off. We made the most of the time together. We spent a weekend on the Gold Coast, just HH and me. All three of us went to Fraser Island for a week. The two boys went off for a boys weekend, camping at Neurum Creek, while I flew to Melbourne for a big family do with my sister.

We also used the time to set up a business. So much paperwork, ABN, insurance, registration, phew. Finally, it all came together and "Ellaby Yardcare" is open for business. Visit the website here.

And no that's not the Irwins in those photos, it's just me and HH, dressed up in khakis lol.

Our weekend on the Gold Coast, was soo relaxing. We saw Tim Minchin, at the Gold Coast arts centre, which was hilarious. Then we had dinner at an italian restaurant. We also slept in past dawn, such bliss. We stayed at the Meriton, which was inexpensive, but really stylish. HH commented that he really liked the apartment and its furnishings, I just really relished having a shower in a bathroom, which didn't have holes in the walls and missing louvres. I also liked applying make up without having to stand on tippy toes, in the dark (our mirror is installed too high, and the bathroom light doesnt work).

Side bar:
I think the main reason we felt so relaxed, was probably because the place wasnt full of our junk, I mean stuff. I tried to explain to HH, that books piled up against walls (mine) and unpacked boxes in the hallway (his), not only clutters the walkways, it clutters your mind. We have pledged to rid ourselves of junk, hallelujah, he has seen the light. He is even letting me sell some, ahem, wedding presents that have never come out of the boxes, let alone been used. We got married in 2007, people. Fingers crossed we don't offend anyone, not that that has ever stopped me before. We just have to be brutal, we live in a tiny, tiny unit, with (I am not making this up) no cupboards! There are no cupboards in the bedroom, none in the bathroom, we don't have a linen cupboard, we dont even have a pantry. There are some shelves in the kitchen, and a cupboard under the sink, that is it! Think about it, for a moment, where is your vacuum cleaner? your broom and mop? your toilet paper? your towels? I am guessing in a cupboard somewhere? Oh ho, not me folks, all my stuff is out, in the open, for every visitor, in law, and door to door salesman to see. Anyhoo, back to talking about holidays.

After our cozy weekend, we all traipsed off to Fraser Island in the 4runner.
(or should I say we bounced, jostled and jarred our spines?) The weather was absolutely perfect, it was lovely and sunny, yet not too hot. We stayed at Fraser's at Cathedral beach.
We slept late, and ate when we felt like it, like all good holidays. HH did some serious 4 wheel driving, I read trashy novels. There was no TV, no phone, no computer....

I took heaps of photos of bush tucker, which I think I will upload in a different post. We saw dingoes, kookaburras, turtles, goannas, eagles. It was heaven to use an overused cliche.

After we got back, the boys took off to Neurum Creek, to eat junk food, burn stuff and behave badly in general. My sister and I flew off to Melbourne for my Aunts 50th birthday and had a girly weekend, catching up with our family from over the border.I think that catches everyone up...

Living in an elevator

You know how you step onto an elevator, and immediately, every one shuffles back for you to fit, with out a word said and no eye contact made. Everyone faces the front, and the trip is in silence. Temporarily, your personal space bubble shrinks. You politely ignore the fact that the briefcase of the guy next to you is digging into your side. You breathe shallowly, feet together, elbows in, taking up as little space as possible.

I have a theory, that the same unspoken rules apply to modern life, with so many people, living in such close proximity.
Living in a block of units, with large blocks of units on two sides of our block, and another block across the road... We are living in an elevator.

(The purple arrow is pointing to my place)

When you live in an elevator, your personal space bubble is permanently shrunk. We pretend that we don't see each other. You ignore the fact that you can hear each other laugh, sneeze and cry. You pretend you can't hear anyone fighting, or making love, and pray that you are quiet enough, yourself. Curtains have to be closed, because it is too easy to see across into the neighbours place, and for them to see into yours. You feel self conscious hanging out the washing, taking out the rubbish, even checking the mail. You never say hi, or make eye contact, because of the unspoken elevator rules.

Life can be claustrophobic, and pretty lonely.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I've been away for a while, on holidays. Pics and lengthy posts on their way...
I have also been working on a project with HH.... see I can't wait to post about it.
In the meantime, read 'The one straw revolution' by Fukuoka, 1978

I have embedded it at the bottom of my blog, so scroll down...

or read it at SCRIBD