Sunday, July 31, 2011

peak oil - bring it on!

Today I am especially looking forward to peak oil because:

a) I just saw a cool documentary about Cuba and urban agriculture and it would appear that life without cars and pesticides and herbicides and agricultural chemicals is going to be awesome. Decentralized, local, organic and fresh for all!

b) The average Cuban lost 20 pounds as a result of eating less and better food, walking more and riding bikes.

c) sooner the oil runs out, sooner I can get a donkey.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Lacuna Sabbath

 OK, so I am not just being a sook, back me up fellow ONCians - it was COLD this morning. There was still frost on the ground at 11:00am.

This cold weather makes me crave sweeties! So I hauled out the magic bread maker and knocked out some lovely organic spelt dough to make date & cinnamon scrolls. Mr Duck and I managed to get through quite a few of these today.

Once the sun comes out a nice place to dilly dally is in the glass house. Here are some salad veggies (and some native grass babies for some reason) going along nicely.

I like the autopots because they are an Australian invention - they don't require a pump and the plants can grow in soil or perlite or a combination or whatever. I have had them for a few years now. The reservoir for water/nutrient is actually outside the glass house, on the chook house.

So cute. Widdle lettuces.

And on the other side of the glass house are these little babies - baby sparrow grass. These are a year old. I hoicked them outside in the frost for a few weeks to get them to die back, thinned them out and given half to Sue next door. But back in the glass house they just started shooting again strait away. I think I will let them stay in the broccoli box for another season and plant them out next winter next to my main Sparrow Grass plot down at the community garden. They will be two year old crowns then. Growing asparagus from seed is easy and cheap - you just need some time and a place to keep your broccoli box where you wont let it dry out. These are a french variety. From the Italian Gardener.

Oh, so the raised garden bet project is progressing. I have taken Mr BVVFs advise and am turning this second bed into a PROPER wicking bed. Hopefully.

Here in the top left hand corner is what I hope will be the overflow pipe. The plan is to direct the overflow into the raspberries and golden kiwi fruit, and of course, Sue's plum tree next door.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

For Whom the Bell Tolls

OK, so I am interested in what people think about bike bells and bell etiquette.

On the one hand, my understanding is that it is right and proper to let people know you are riding up behind them with a confident BRING BRING.

Sounds simple.......BUT

WHEN exactly does one do this?
WHAT if you inadvertently frighten the CRAP out of someone.
WHY isn't there an agreement about what this loud announcement requires of someone walking along a bike path/path?

And HOW I cringe when I see people JUMP at the sound of the bell and LEAP right off the path as if I am going to MOW THEM DOWN instead of pass them sedately on the right.

 And then there is the issue of ringing one's bell too soon because to ring it too CLOSE might be LOUD and FRIGHTENING - which means that people might not hear.......or you think they have heard, and for a little while you are HAPPY they they have heard the bell, not panicked and are waiting for you to pass them on the right - no fuss, no bother, see, humans can co-exist in the same world - easy ...... which all comes tumbling down when they LEAP up in the air with FRIGHT as you come up behind them..........yelling "why don't you use your BELL!!!!!?"

SO of course I apologize. Profusely. Imagine - apologizing for RIDING ONES BIKE OUT IN THE WORLD IN PUBLIC....... SORRY for not taking my car.....SORRY for being PART OF THE SOLUTION......SORRY for being in public space.......SORRY we haven't found a way to co - exist on these multipurpose paths.....SORRY our %$#^&head government thinks that shared paths that pit cyclists, poodles and pedestrians against each other or cyclists and speeding trucks together on the same infrastructure constitutes excellent cycling infrastructure.... SORRY but MOSTLY I am just sorry you got a fright and that you are perhaps stressed, angry, unhappy or sad about other things but you are choosing to TAKE IT OUT ON ME so I can hopefully smile and shrug and transform your unhappiness into love and light and acceptance........because I REFUSE to take your misery and PASS IT ON.........or something. 

Anyhoo today, I was taking Queenie to Phillip for her very first service........and knowing the Hindmarsh / Melrose Dr intersection is all dug up with the bike and foot paths closed...I swapped over to the other side of the road and rode along the foot path.

Two people were walking along in front of me. I rang the bell, and then, when they didn't move over, slowed down and slowly passed them on the right........they were on the path - I was on the dirt - and said thank you.....and in reply I received a very cranky "Why don't you ride on the road or use the BIKE path... that's what it is for!"

My little heart sank for a moment - I was having such a lovely morning my defenses were not up at all so this angry barb got right in and dented my little heart........and I didn't know what or if to reply - I mean they didn't get a fright, they didn't have to stop or move off the path and there was room for me to pass and I did so at a very slow pace and in the end I just asked sweetly "Are you too selfish to share?" as I pedaled off..........

One of the reasons I am not a HUGE fan of that it can be quite tumultuous careering from the highs of happy, positive lovely random human experiences down into the clunky bruised wondering of what to do when the sad ones perpetrate their misery and unhappiness all over you. 

Humans. I choose ducks any day.

As for the bell issue - I continue to be a student on this topic..........

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

winter stars & rocket

Riding home from the gym tonight on queenie, groceries in my basket,  I fell in love all over again with my velvety green fur trimmed hooded parka. Toasty warm head, neck and ears. Except when I turned my head to check for cars and well, just ended up seeing inside the hood.....not quite what was required of the situation.

Anyhoo it is another crispy clear ONCian night. The STARS. Just amazing. Quiet roads. No cars. Riding as slow as possible, standing up on the pedals, gazing up at the stars, enjoying the wide quiet streets, the dark, the solitude, the stars, the night.

Warm ears. Sneaky cold air biting the gap between my socks and my leggings.....warm hands from yummy gloves.

Winter in the ONC.

Speaking of winter in the ONC - never forget rocket. ARUGULA if you please. Friend of sliced pears, parmesan, olive oil and balsamic vinegar - caramelised if you can get it. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Close rellies of HRH Queenie & the BEAST arrive on our shores

Swoon all of ye. Swoon all of ye and WEEP. (with JOY of course)

While Queenie will always be my first and only love, those amongst us who are not silly/obsessed/crazy enough to order their beautiful forever bikes unseen and un-tried directly from Workcycles in Amsterdam may wish to visit Emmi at Dutch Cargo Bikes (electronically or otherwise) to git yourselves something special. And Azor Oma.drool. drool drool.

Emmi is importing these NOW. For YOU. To LOVE FOREVER. 

I do feel quite strongly that if one is going to ride a  bike every day rain hail or shine, frost or sleet, one really really shouldn't be judged for going for FORM AND FUNCTION AND STURDY ELEGANT BEAUTY.

bthring bthring !!!!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Coming along nicely

Today was so sunny and warm. Well, it was after a -5 morning. Anyhoo, it seemed sensible to ignore the phone and head on out to the farm back yard.

Things are progressing nicely with the raised garden bed project.

The chooks are making sure not a single worm is left in my beautiful soil by the time I am ready to put it into the beds.

And I just noticed how dirty those windows are on the greenhouse.......

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Different Kind of Luxury

Yesterday I pulled out one of my favorite books to lend to a friend. I am very grateful to the weekend farmer for introducing me to this book: "A Different Kind of Luxury - Japanese Lessons in Simple Living and Inner Abundance"

Anyway. It is a beautiful book. Flicking through it again I found lots of little underlines and scrawls in the margins from my last reading. (Yes, I am one of THOSE people that likes to have a written dialogue with my books)

For example:

"If you have time, a lot of things are enjoyable. Making this kind of wood block, or collecting the wood for the fire, or even cleaning things - it's all enjoyable and satisfying if you give yourself time." Osamu Nakamura, (p70)

"Sometimes just to touch the ground is enough for me, even if not a single thing grows from what I plant. Often I'll go outside and just place my hands on the soil, even if there's no work to do on it. When I am filled with worries, I do that and I can feel the energy of the mountain and of the trees"Wakako Oe, p201

"It is important to me to be someone who has time...There's a term we have in Japanese, furyu: the characters are "wind" and "flow". Someone with furyu has time to write haiku, or can appreciate flowers, and they have space in their emotions to look at the moon or the stars. They're not too busy working or making money. Those people who don't have furyu are not full people." Gufu Watanabe, p245

"...the large external universe and the universe inside each person are not separate: they are the same. Thus dreams that jumans see are actually also the dreams of the universe. I don't feel that an individual human's origins and destiny are different from that of the universe as a whole." Masanori Oe, p285.

Its good instantly calming and centering and connecting-you-back-into-the-good-stuff stuff. May your lives be full of furyu.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Beanie #12

Lucky one can not DIE of cuteness. It is ratty weather lately. But a new beanie always makes things better. One MUST have means to keep ones ears warm if one is to eck out any kind of existence in the ONC. I am testing out the patterns we will be using on the CRAZY ABOUT CROCHET course which starts this Saturday.  There is still room if any other ONCians would like to come along. I really like the little trim on this beanie. And that gorgeous blossom brooch - pattern courtesy of the lovely, divine Crochetroo.

Well, I am off to make a pot of tea because, as the very wise Bernard - Paul Heroux (whoever he may be) once said:

"There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea"

And i believe he is quite right.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dirt Girl World

 Heehee. I was just visiting Aussiemumbec - a new blog I found whilst meandering about the internets and HOW DIDN'T I KNOW ABOUT DIRT GIRL?  (well, being firmly Gen X, I only knew about tank girl....)

upcycling a down dog yoga mat

So like the other night on the way back from cyd - ann - ee I just happened to be at my dear friend Rose's house around the time I was due to have a VIPC*. Anyhoo, I got to sit up at the flight deck Rose's office space with my phone, (not the scary phone), some pens, my note book and a BFGoS** and my giddy aunt - above me was the most clever home made pin board a duck has ever seen.

So of course I had to make one just like it....but red. Rose you see is outrageously artistic and stylish and her place is full of up cycled and re purposed amazingness.

So, if you have a dead yoga mat lying just need a cheap white canvas and a $2 bottle of kiddies red acrylic paint. Paint the canvas. Try not to let the chickens walk on it while it is drying. (trust me). Paint it again once you have wiped off the the dirty chicken foot prints. Cut up the yoga mat to fit and glue it on the back and voila! Ok, perhaps in retrospect you might glue the mat onto the canvas first.

Anyhoo, I LOVE the colour. FORM and FUNCTION and COLOUR. My favorite.

* Very Important Phone Call
** Big Fat Glass of Shiraz

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Dealing with new technology

Some of you know that I outsource all grown up IT related thingies to Mr Duck. So how does one cope on one's own with a seemingly complex, impenetrable scary new and spangly dangly pet phone that seems to be able to do far too many things for its own good?

There. Much better.


Hard to be scared of THAT.