Tuesday, November 25, 2008

International Buy Nothing Day - November 29th

Buy Nothing Day Imagery from their site

I've been reconnecting with friends, past & present, via Facebook this week. One of them forwarded me this link, which is all about 'Buy Nothing Day' - the title explains the gist of what it's all about!


Here's some of the events they advocate for the day:

  • pass out flyers and or do a performance in shopping areas, trains stations in town or shopping malls (note: If the space is privately owned, the security guards will probably show up soon. In public space you may have to register with the police, beforehand, but business owners cannot chase you off.)

  • street performances: funny costumes are de rigeur. Santa Claus doing weird things (meditating, ), the shopping-dropping act (walking laden with insane amounts of shopping bags, pretending to collapse under them.

  • Demonstrations: on foot or bicycle

  • a stand selling nothing (with a hawker), or a shop space with empty shelves and a register with only zeros on the receipts

  • postering blitzes: put stickers and posters up in town (FOR THE RECORD: we are not encouraging illegal postings, and recommend that you do not damage whatever is below it)
    no shopping inside a supermarket or mall; a large group of people push around empty shopping carts and baskets

  • credit-card cut up service station

  • creating a shopping free zone: put a sofa and other furniture in a shopping area, create a cosy atmosphere, give out free tea and BND pamphlets

  • teach-ins, discussion group meetings, video screenings, BND poster exhibitions, free concerts

Sounds like fun!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Simpler times?

Ted Kennelly, the former owner of our house, kindly gave me this photo of our home as it was many years ago. Ted raised his family here and was generous enough to share some of his memories of the place he had invested so much of himself in.

He talked of community fund-raising dances, and his daughter's wedding in the 1960's in our apple picking shed. He recalled when my sons' bedroom was the local general store for the apple pickers during the season, and gave us some of the labels he used on the packing boxes of the export-grade apples he produced, which are now proudly framed on our wall.

Our home looks very different to it's original version now - it was remodelled in the 1960's - the high roof replaced with the flatter version which was fashionable at the time.

I wonder sometimes what life was like in this house for these girls in the photo - I wonder what they would make of this challenge to simplify? I like to think they lived the life we're striving for - abundance resulting from their endeavours, delight in the company of loved ones, reassurance in the knowledge of their place and their value in the world, and hope for the future. Perhaps that's over-romanticising a bygone era?

I read somewhere that despite our increase in wealth and the 'stuff' we're able to accumulate, measures of satisfaction and happiness have declined since the 1950's. Apparently despite being better off we're collectively convinced we're doing it tougher than previous generations. I guess it can be easy to misplace one's sense of gratitude for what we have, and tend to take for granted all the blessings we have in our lives.

Monday, November 17, 2008


It's been a busy few weeks on our little home farm.

Vitually everything here seems to be in the midst of a growth spurt - we're already picking leafy greens from the new veggie garden, the lambs that were so tiny a few weeks ago are stocky and strong now, and the chicks have developed feathers that are protecting them from the occassional chilly evening.

We've had a community garage sale in our apple picking shed - successful in that I sold a few items cluttering our space - not so successful as I ended up bringing a few boxes of other people's 'stuff' they had decided to part with into our house. Ah well.... it was a fun day - lots of cups of tea, and catching up.

The house has been smelling great - mainly due to the scent of baking muffins, breads, biscuits, BBQ's and roasts. It's resulted in an increase in our power usage which we had been averaging at about 6kwH per day. I'll have to rethink how we use the oven during the challenge - and utilise the time and space better.

Some of our animals have gone to new homes - chooks and rabbits... all the people who collected them have seemed really great - committed to providing a good quality of life for the animals. We've also gained a lot more baby chicks - Barnevelders, Buff Columbian Brahmas, Plymouth Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, and some cross breeds from some chooks I was given which I've been told are called 'Tasmanian Giants'.

Tasmanian Giant?

I really like the look of these birds - especially their large brown eyes, and their dramatic colouring - the photos don't really do them justice at all - they're beautiful. They have feathered legs - and I originally thought they may be from Gold Partridge brahmas - but apparently they've been bred by someone locally and people (much more knowledgable than me!) have suggested they may be a cross of cochin, barnevelder, and something else.

Look at those beautiful brown eyes

Sunday, November 9, 2008


We're a few weeks off commencing our challenge - seems a bit daunting (that's an understatement!) - so I'll try to bear in mind the words of Helen Keller -

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.”

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Muriel's Island Mini-break

Milking Muriel on a tressle table on Bruny Island

This weekend we celebrated Johanna' s birthday (no. 60) with a family get-together on Bruny Island. It was a time to relax and enjoy each other's company, eat great food (too much!) and enjoy watching the grand-kids hanging out together.

The lead-up was a lot less relaxing - passing on info and advice to our wonderful friends who dished out meals to the pigs, chooks and rabbits in our absence, getting packed (we never did find the tent!), cooking up a storm for the feast to share, as well as juggling the usual day to day stuff.

We had hoped to find a goat-sitter for Muriel - someone to come and chat, and milk her twice daily, but we failed to find anyone up to the challenge. Instead it was decided that Muriel should enjoy the mini-break with us - and luckily my folk's neighbour was delighted to have goat visit for the weekend to deal with his slightly overgrown block. So we loaded her into a vary posh double horse float, packed hay, feed, and milking buckets, and headed off to catch the ferry.

Muriel was a delight - she fitted in immediately, tolerated grotty handed toddlers attempts to 'squeeze' milk out of her, and got stuck into the neighbours weeds with gusto. She spoke only when spoken to - a big sigh of relief from all of us who slept near her and anticipated a sleepless night filled with the calls of a complaining goat.

All in all, I can recommmend travelling with one's goat - great company, and an easy source of milk for your cuppa in the morning.