All posts tagged: community

I’m crap at transitions, & ’empty nest’ is a big one (Part Two)

So as you saw in Part One, I have a new dream of moving onto a community in the rainforest, 20 minutes from my current cute Australian town. But I was struggling with anxiety. ‘What’s underneath it all?’ the therapist asked me. ‘You sound informed, supported, capable, ready- what’s going on? What are you scared of?’ I sat, twisting the sodden tissue, cursing my sensitive stomach while I dug down through the layers… And came face to face with a desperate fear of failure. It just seemed too good to be true, and I couldn’t accept it. I couldn’t believe that after a year of fruitless searching for a rural property, & listening to my growing yearning for a tree change + a sense of community, it had actually fallen into my lap via word of mouth, perfect timing, and feasible financial gymnastics. I couldn’t delight in it. I had to worry about the details, and foresee as many problems as possible. It almost felt like my duty to do so, even though it didn’t …

Should I move from the suburbs to a forest community? I need advice

I live in a small country town near the seaside in Australia, and am essentially a small-town girl. I love cities, and have spent years living in both Sydney and Adelaide, but I do love the friendly simplicity of cycling round a limited number of streets and shops, seeing familiar faces. I’ve been lucky enough to own my current home since 2005, so my share is now way bigger than the bank’s- hurray! I live left of the town centre, down a quiet yet popular street, within a 7-minute drive to the beach. And since ’19’ flew the nest, I’ve been house-hunting. Yes, I’m just one more statistic: downsizing now that I’m at home alone. Until three months ago, I’d been looking at properties almost every week. Then I suddenly realised I felt like I was trying waaaaay too hard, for no result. So I stopped. I took a deep breath, sanded and oiled the front stairs, did a gardening blitz, then chilled out. I’m very blessed: my elevated home faces a small mountain, so …

Surviving a bushfire in Australia takes courage & preparation #resilience

“Don’t send clothes”- The aftermath of an Australian bushfire Part 1

Can you imagine seeing a wall of flames heading towards you as you stand on your front porch or driveway, or perhaps the entryway to your apartment block? What if it was coming from the left hand side? Or the rear? What would you do? This exact scenario has happened to my dear friends TWICE this year already, on their 300-acre beef cattle property, about 2.5 hours from where I live [comfortably] on the coast. I don’t know how they do it. In the 2002 bushfires, a fireball landed on the place, and they lost everything. Everything. Animals, sheds, machinery, trucks and tractors, fencing, and their home. Completely vanished in an inferno they could do nothing to stop, as they weren’t there. 17 years later, they were at home, and fought the blaze. ‘Fought’ is the correct term too. All night long, they doused with water, directed hoses, ran pumps (only solar and generator electricity available), and finished up emptying buckets by hand as the power failed. They’re living legends as far as I’m concerned. …

Without doubt, the most beautiful road sign I’ve ever seen in Australia

I get teary every time I drive past it. Which is quite often, as it’s near the end of my street on the way out of town towards the highway. That stretch of road becomes long and narrow, without pavements or overhead lights, and cars can drive at 80kms (or faster) after leaving the slow limits of suburbia. It’s officially Winter now, so despite my tropical address, it’s dark by 5.30pm, as everyone hurries home to their families and snug houses. Except Alfred. I can’t remember exactly how long he’s been around, but it’s years. Years and years of just walking in sandals on the road’s edge, leaning more and more to one side in his spine as time passes. Who is he, my son and I used to wonder? And why is he always walking, sometimes wearing a garbage bag as a jacket, whatever the weather. Nut brown legs, stained clothes, occasionally carrying a stick with litter impaled on the end of it; always walking, no matter the weather. A couple of years ago, …

So how much did we raise for refugee food, education & medical care?

I was part of a team called Hungry for Peace, aiming to live on the official rations for a week here in Australia. We set our original fundraising target at $2,500, and were hoping to have 5 of us raising $500 each… Hmmm. Turned into 2 of us aiming at $1,250 each. That’s OK, I can rise to that. My fellow campaigner is a very experienced fundraiser, having done the Oxfam Trail campaign twice, and regularly participating in various community drives, while I would say I’m usually just an enthusiastic-friend-being-supportive-of her-ongoing-great-ideas-like that-damn-hike-in-Tasmania-remember? This time, I had to put my money where my mouth was. Or rather, other people’s money where my mouth wanted to be. And DRUM ROLL…………… our team has raised $3,829.00 so far! Fundraising closes June 30, so don’t hold back now if you forgot 😉   WOOHOOOOOOOO! Such a fab feeling. It costs approx $64 to feed a refugee for 3 months on these rations, so that’s 54 displaced human beings no longer being hungry; totally worth my pitiful ‘rice brain’ whinges. On …

Time to get a little serious, and possibly hungry

So we’ve been having a nice time here lately haven’t we? New fun hair dos, online dating adventures, and even occasional Teenage Tuesday posts [still in negotiations for full time returns of this activity by the way]. I haven’t told you how devastated and outraged I was by the increased conflicts in Syria, and now the latest school shooting in the US; I know you’re all with me in this distress and disbelief of course. Remember the friend I went walking in Tasmania with for her 50th? She is a tireless advocate for those less well-off than us, and has easily encouraged me to join her in the Act for Peace ‘Ration Challenge’ Australia’. Basically, we’re going to gain sponsorship to eat only refugee rations for a week, which I’m going to find REALLY HARD. Here’s how it started: “Four years ago, Act for Peace staff members Ben Littlejohn and Karen McGrath visited a Burmese refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Cramped together in tiny bamboo shelters, people were going hungry because there wasn’t enough …

The flood anniversary, one year on

  This exact time last year, here was my morning view from the front verandah at 7am. My son’s room below the house was underwater up to my thighs. His friend’s motorbike was almost floating, and my neighbour’s cars had water up to their steering wheels. It was a challenging, stressful time, as you can imagine, including several deaths, and I wrote about it here with many more photos in Soggy not Bloggy. It took 3 days for the waters to subside, and miraculously, we only lost electricity for a few hours. Which was great, because I had two teenage boys marooned in the living room with me; we would have likely killed each other without the internet for distraction. Or the toaster of course, for ongoing food requirements (I had waded to the supermarket with water over the top of my gumboots to bring back milk and bread). Today, the nearby town of Lismore- which was devastated by over 11 metres of water literally rushing thorough the CBD– is having a community gathering and …

Mum update No.1

Following up on my last concerned post about Mum HERE, her younger sister ‘W’ emailed me this morning, saying she’d found Mum obviously a bit muddled last Friday, but definitely cheery. They all went out for a pub lunch overlooking the sea (which Mum would have relished), and laughed a lot. I LOVED hearing this, as you can imagine. ‘W’ confirmed that the twice-daily community care visits help Mum with eating regularly, and social interaction; I also pay for a weekly cleaner, who arrived while they were leaving for lunch, so that’s running smoothly as well. We’re all doing the best we can aren’t we? Tomorrow morning I’m Skypeing with my cousin, W’s daughter, who lives 1.5hrs from Mum, with a degree in Social Work, so is a good communicator, plus knows her way round difficult situations, and dealing with various community services: I’m so lucky! And YOU are all wonderful, with your loving, helpful, positive comments, your sharing of similar situations, and your well wishes and candle-lighting. Thank you so much; I hope my …

#Australia #ecovillage #permaculture #nature #over50blogger @boneAndsilver #wellbeing #intentionalcommunity

Final Day 7: Integration of Eco Village intensive

I was really ready for Day 7: to walk the actual land of the proposed site, and for it all to finish. I needed a break- to do loads of washing, reply to a bunch of boring emails, re-connect with the status of ’17’s homework, and sit quietly by myself, not speaking or listening for several hours at a time ASAP. We met beneath a giant fig tree, grateful for the shade on a hot summer’s day. I know a bit about trees, and assumed this was an ancient one 150+ years old who’d somehow survived Australia’s love affair with mass tree-clearing, but turns out to be only about 70! Unbelievable- that’s how rich the volcanic soil is- both basalt red, and peaty black. Bodes well for the proposed Permaculture gardens… We walked some of the land, which was an old dairy farm, so full of grass paddocks and weedy Camphor Laurel trees; a re-forestation plan would be paramount. But from one vantage point on the North side, you could see the ocean, and thus …

Day 5: An alternative to the Economic System via an Eco Village

We need an Intergenerational rebellion! That was the essence of the presentation by Helena Norberg-Hodge, an author, filmmaker, Global Eco Village founder and pioneer of the ‘new economy’ movement. Check her out, especially her film The Economics of Happiness (trailer here). Did you know that under the current economic system of trade agreements, governments can actually be sued by the Multinationals if they bring in any legislation which affects their profit-making capacity?? Countries literally export and import the same product, such as beef in America, and 97% of ‘money’ is made of thin air and run by algorithms. *shakes her head in disbelief and sadness But WE can BE the change! Despite all the depressing facts and figures she has collated from round the world, Helena remained positive, and upbeat, with a simple yet profound call to change direction from a global economy to a local one.  And shopping locally at the Farmers’ Markets is a gold-star resistance action-  did you know people have TEN TIMES more conversations at the Markets than the supermarket? We also need …