Wednesday, November 22, 2006


This little family is going through some (little) transitions at the moment. We are learning to Trust in the midst of chaos and uncertainty. Which is i guess what trusting is actually all about. So in a matter of weeks I may have 1. no job, 2. a job that I'm semi-excited about, 3. a job that I'm very excited about BUT am also freaked out by, 4. Some other job that well... pays the bills...

and in amongst the chaos and the plans I've been doing some dumb stuff like yesterday I was sure that my car had been stolen at a rather large complex only to have the very nice security guard walk me around the entire carpark until I found the car by which time I had told him all about peak oil and how it probably would be better for everyone if the car was stolen and written off never to be driven again. Right before we spotted my car I said to him "Razoul why are we even making new cars, new roads, new freeways..." Poor Razoul. anyway his "I'm not sure lady" replies were enough for me.

My Boys...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Other Inconvenient Truth

The End of Suburbia

The End Of Suburbia

You've heard of Global warming, but what about Peak Oil? It's set to be the other defining environmental, economic and social issue of our generation.

Come and see Peak Oil documentary "The End of Suburbia" at the St Barnabas Church Offices (4/173-179 Broadway; enter from mountain Street) Monday November 20, 7pm for a start. Bring your own popcorn/snacks.

For more info drop me a comment....


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Check out Jas and Kaz's garden!

Check out
Peak Food blog. What an inspiration! I look forward to hearing more of their gardening pursuits.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Pigface Point (where we live) tour coming up...

(Photos courtesy of Alex)


Run by Ted Trainer (Visiting Fellow, School of Social Work, UNSW)

When: Saturday, October 28 – tour starts at 9:30am (2-3 hrs in length)Where: Pigface Point (see directions below)

Description: Affluent, industrial consumer society is grossly unjust and unsustainable. It is only possible for one fifth of the world’s people to have that way of life because they are taking and rapidly using up most of the world’s resources. We must move to far less affluent lifestyles, highly self sufficient communities and local economies, more cooperative ways and an economy that is not driven by market forces or profit, and has no growth at all. Pigface point is being developed as an educational site that will introduce people to these themes, especially the existence of workable and attractive alternatives, ie: “the Simpler Way’.

Pigface Point is not a community. Council zonings only permit 2 houses on the property. The main purpose of the site is not to provide an example of how we should all live, but to have displays, models etc, which point towards the sorts of change that will have to be made in our settlements, economy and technologies in order for our society top become sustainable.

We do not charge for our tours. Please bring lunch if you wish. Morning Tea is provided.

If you want to come along or need directions drop me your email in the comments and I'll send them to you. Rachelxxx

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

margaritas on mondays

I had a fantastic birthday that involved French toast (thanks Alex), Lindt waffles (with Ange), Margaritas (yay for Alex), a great and fun surprise of Bess and Nicole arriving for dinner and an amazing chocolate creme brule birthday cake (thanks Bess and Nicole!)

27 aint so bad! yay for birthdays that revolve around food!

oh yeah and I can cross off 'drink Margaritas' on my 27 things list now... Though there will be more margaritas in the future especially when limes aren't 3 bucks each!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Revolutionary healthcare model!

When a dream takes hold of you...
We cannot separate the health of the individual from the health of the family, the community, and the world.
Much more than simply a medical center, the Gesundheit! Facility will be a microcosm of life, integrating medical care with farming, arts and crafts, performing arts, education, nature, recreation, friendship and fun.
Gesundheit! has grown out of a deep concern for the quality of peoples' lives. We want to subvert greed and selfishness and replace them with compassion and care.
We don't want to be a Band-Aid for ailing health care; we want to change the system, to bring about a peaceful revolution.
-Patch Adams
Ted came over last night really excited about his discovery of
Patch Adams and I have to agree his vision for healthcare is Good! Disregard the Hollywood movie and check it out!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

There is life out there

we don't have a television. But we do have a radio and CD player. We love radio. Even crappy radio can be entertaining (hey have a listen to 'love song dedications' one night after a glass of wine or two...)

I think that little O has benefited from not having a television - he's a really good dancer and his current favorite pastime is to play baaaaRRR-boooOOOm!!! off the couches (throw himself onto the couches with 'loud' sound affects). My hope is that he will be a very imaginative curious inventive kid.

2ser (107.3 FM) kicks butt! Where else can you listen to an ad free radio with both awesome things like radio lectures (where I have heard the likes or Roy and Tariq Ali) and great music...? Community based and run radio stations are damn hot.

Anyway all Kudos to 2ser who have through their member on air comps practically doubled our CD collection. Just this year we have won Gulag Orchestra, Jolie Holland, Dirty Three, Bonnie Prince Billy, Mward and more!

Also I hear the presenter of 2ser Thursday Breakfast is the hottest radio journo in town...

Monday, October 16, 2006

27 things to do in my 27th year...

So I turn 27 in a week or so...

1. Finally get to Galiwinku

2. Facilitate dialogue in Christian communities Re climate change and Peak Oil.

3. Ride a Red Bike in Paris (not likely)

4. Get published (really not likely)

5. Shop predominately at Alfalfa House

6. Get my Steiner Craft toy-making group for mamas off the ground...

7. Facilitate discussion about THIS BOOK at my church and ways to incorporate some of the ideas...

8. Do a felting course

9. Learn to swim

10. Drink margaritas (nikki, jane and anne this one includes you!)

11. create my own zine.

12. get a new job...

13. Do every activity in my book "360 free activities for your toddler".

14. give up caffeine. for good.

15. become one of those kind of people that know where everything in their house is kept or is at any given time.

16. Attempt to not buy one more trashy magazine. ever again. or at least for one year. oh dear.

17. Go on a retreat.

18. Get fit and flexible.

19. create some imperfect crappy messy art. and not care that is crappy messy imperfect.

20. Go somewhere and stay the night... on my own (for the first time since the birth of O).

21. Finally go to Melboune and visit AZ .

22. Read the entire Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe series

23. Pull out the sewing machine and do something with it...

24. learn how to design and maintain a website so I don't have to use blogger...

25. s l o w d o w n

26. get a puppy (hey Alex there is always my birthday....???!!!)

27. Go a whole week (or two) without eating sugar ( i wonder if I would die from withdrawal?).

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Love your enemies... (part 1)

I'm trying to think hard toady who my enemies are and though that part may be easy, how to then love them becomes a little problematic.

The people that I am thinking of are perhaps not MY enemies but enemies of others that I care about...

So Philip Ruddock, Vanstone, and the main man- JH, come to mind... Do they qualify in a biblical sense? How do I go about loving them (sending them a bunch of flowers and an 'I think your great' card does not seem very sincere...)

Could it mean to write them a letter and tell them about how some of their policies have deeply affect people that I know and care about... Feels rather futile...?

I could perhaps also say enemies are people that have a differing ethos to mine- how do I love them? How do I love racists and sexists? How do I love the people who live in the McMansion Estate that I have to drive through to get to our property? How do I love those that live for financial gain? How do I love those who are willfully destroying the environment? Ho do I love those that vote for people that think placing individuals/families in detention centres is a great idea?

Now that I have broadened my 'target' enemies it seems that my enemies are closer to me than I realised? It includes now some friends and family....


"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."
-George Bernard Shaw

Monday, October 09, 2006

piss-weak prayers

I just wrote a little comment (maybe a rave- oops) on The Blogging Parson
about praying Big Bold Prayers in regard to world issues (eg David Hicks, current wars etc)

I seem to get frustrated at church when prayers do not seem to accommodate that we believe in a God that can do anything. A God that can cease AIDS, stop wars, bring fulfillment. Rather prayers seem to become piss-weak with the new fandangled concept of "justice".

Justice is not new and maybe one of you who are more educated than me may be able to fill me in on the origin of the word and the true meaning. But I suppose what I am perceiving is a learned helplessness when it comes to praying. We are confused because on the one hand we are told that faithful prayer consists of 'your will be done Lord' but on the other hand we are also explained that "we do not receive because we do not ask..."

I fear that we pray "bring about your justice Lord..." When we really mean "May every man place their weapons down in places of war, please Lord let not one more person contract AIDS, let not one more child die of hunger, let countries compassionately accept those fleeing their nations....."

Yet we do not pray these prayers but we long for these outcomes.

I wonder if we fear disappointment? I wonder if we fear appearing loopy or too optimistic or too naive? I wonder if we think God is not big enough to deal with something as big as AIDS or war?

Praying for justice is good. But I wonder if praying for specifics is gooder (sic). I wonder if those that hear such specific prayers are shown Christ's justice more clearly?

I know there are times when it is impossible to know what to pray. I remember praying for a client when I worked in child protection and I just didn't know what specific I could pray for them. Every night I was praying and crying that God would just do something anything for this child. I prayed for justice. I wasn't sure if this child should be with their parent or not and I know that at times like these that our sheer 'groaning' and 'sighing' reaches God like incense to Heaven.

In many ways all of our prayers are piss-weak and we are entrusting them with a powerful loving God and that is where their 'power' lies.

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

My favorite time of day.

Currently my favorite time of day is reading Oscar a book before bed. He rests his back against me and a miracle takes place- he actually sits still! Sometimes I really have to work it to keep his concentration by singing a song about a picture in the book or by using funny voices for the characters (there is a particular book where I have every animal with a different British accent - Alex is usually in stitches in the other room!)

We really had to work hard to get him to appreciate books . He used to think they were only fun if they had flaps and though Spot is a great book I needed a bit more variation to keep my concentration.

His all time favorite is:
Though My favorite is perhaps:

What was your favorite book as a child? Mine was quite funny.....

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I'm very excited!

I'm about to start a monthly Steiner- craft mamas group.

This is something I've wanted to do for ages and when I saw Rosie's beautiful handmade doll on the weekend that was the clincher for me that it was time.

I love the idea of raising my child/ren with natural handmade imaginative toys rather than commercial plastic toys that leave no room for the child to use their imagination and often foster commercialism or TV watching.

The Steiner doll will be our fisrt project (pictured above) which is an amazing concept of a doll made with minimal identifying features so that the child's imagination will not be restricted and also so the child may be able to project any of their emotions onto the doll.

The pretend food made out of felt pictured above may also be another project.

What was your favorite toy as a child?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Diane Arbus.

"What I'm trying to describe is that it's impossible to get out of your skin into somebody else's.... That somebody else's tragedy is not the same as your own."
-Diane Arbus

My friend Cathy lent me the biography of the photographer Diane Arbus after we were talking a about her. I devoured the book in 24 hours and feel that I have had a glimpse into this extraordinary woman's life. I love her paradox's and ambiguities such as the fact that she was hugely shy and had very low self-esteem yet she found the boldness to ask many strangers to take their photos even going to nudist camps to photograph.

I love the stories of Diane throwing on her camera at midnight to catch the train to the seediest parts of NewYork and take photos of so called 'freaks'. She was terrified yet that very fear was the thing that drove her.

Being afraid yet following that fear was what made Diane feel alive. She took photos of 'freaks' to overcome hers and the rest of societies desire to look away. By taking a photo of the tranvestites, develop-delayed, nudists etc we are once again allowed to look at them and their humanity is once again reclaimed.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

When the best things in life aren't always free.

We won some free tickets to the Australian film Macbeth on Monday. We thought to ourselves why not, surely you can't go wrong with Shakespeare?

Apparently you can go very wrong.

Think Stephen King meets Shakespeare.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Mini MEme

A Piece of Art that you Love
I am particularly drawn to photography. This photographer astounds and amazes me- Bill Henson. I remember studying him in highschool and just not getting it. I was grossed out.

Post highschool and studying art theory at uni I came to first tentatively like his work than passionately LOVE his work.

Seeing his exhibition at AGNSW left me speechless. It was the most beautiful exhibition I had seen in my life.

Just realized that I've cheated and not spoken about an actual single work. Oh dear.

A Line in a Song or Line of Poetry that Reaches Your Core

I don't really like this band but I love their lyrics. Anyway here are some lines from Augie March's Hole in The Roof that I love-

What do the dead say
To the ones who still think they're alive?

Well that was going to be my 'line' but here's the rest of that verse so you have a bit of context.

"With your heads all on backwards
You can't see in front for what near behind you lies""
Well show us some help then,
Above your head let it flicker the light,
These ones that I'm with
Have not learned to forgive your necessary alibis -When they made you love money,
And the poor prophet's stock,
When they poisoned the watersheds
And fashioned our arrowheads
From the deep forbidden rock

An Experience in Nature that was Really Special and/or Spiritual

I didn't believe that it was possible to have a 'spiritual' experience in nature and laughed at those who said they did until I went to the desert. In the desert there is nothing and everything and suddenly you can hear and see clearly for the first time. There is quiet. I'm not sure what people mean when they say 'spiritual' in relation to nature. Sometimes I think they mean 'special' or 'ephemeral'. But this truly was a spiritual experience in that I felt His presence so clearly and I couldn't not look to Him and say 'wow you did this and you're right it is good'.

The Movie that Changed the Way you saw the World.
I came up with this question and I don't have an answer... Perhaps
The Take by Naomi Klein and her husband Avi Lewis. A doco about the economic crash of Argentina and the 'workers' initiative to restart the closed down factories. It made me see what it looks like for people to be as proactive as humanly possible in changing a current system.

A Piece of Music That Makes You Cry
Currently I'm moved to tears when listening to Arvo Part's Tabula Rasa. bliss.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

It may be a while...

till my next post as our magic inverter that inverts our modem from 24volt to 12 volt has esploded!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Mini MEme

This is the mini MEme that I came up with. I will complete it myself next post but thought I'd get it out there now.

A Piece of Art that you Love

A Line in a Song or Line of Poetry that Reaches Your Core

An Experience in Nature that was Really Special and/or Spiritual

The Movie that Changed the Way you saw the World.

A Piece of Music That Makes YOu Cry

OK so I'm gonna tag EmandJon, Byron,Merideth, Andrew, Nicole, Anne, annnd yeah YOU whoever you may be you lovely lurker. Anyway get MiniMEmeing!

Feel free to change the wording or only answer the questions you like.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Plans plans plans...

WE will be once again heading to the Newcastle TINA festival for the October long weekend.

I can strongly recommend this festival!

We are hoping to get along to the Peat's Ridge Festival with Alex lining up a gig or two.

Our friend Jens is currently touring with Holly Throsby - lucky bugger.

Dreams of the Freedom Bus

I am dreaming horrific and sad dreams about refugees at the moment. This is mainly because I am currently writing a University paper about the Refugee Freedom Bus journey that I took in 2002.

I feel a weight of responsibility regarding the stories of many people that I was handed on that journey and subsequent journeys.

I am once again feeling the shame of being a citizen of country that imposes such cruel policies.

We had a lecture last week by the amazing and inspiring Eileen Pittaway about her role in transforming UN policy to recognise rape or gender related violence as a war crime and hence grounds to be recognised as a refugee. I asked in this lecture how she was able to sustain her passion and motivation while hearing the harrowing stories of many women and families to take to the UN. How did she not breakdown? I'm not sure that she really answered my question as she related experiences of coming back from refugee camps and her family telling her that she was crying out in her sleep and her growing love for Gin and Tonic.

I don't think that I 'burnt out' as much as realised that I needed sleep.

I was speaking to many refugees till three and four in the morning as they couldn't sleep or they had been put in isolation as 'punishment', I was doing this many nights and trying to finish a degree and save money for another trip to the outback detention centres. Many of these conversations I probably benefited from as well as or more than the refugees. Sometimes I could only agree that yes, things did seem hopeless. I cried with one friend who told me once that despite his tough exterior, he really missed his mum. I cried with a mother who's son had been raped in detention and was sleeping about 2 hours every night and I laughed with a friend who only wanted to talk about food as food made him happy.

All my friends are now out of detention centres on Temporary Protection Visas and are facing the recovery of both their trauma in their country of origin and trauma that they experienced in Australian detention centres.

Did you know that if an asylum seeker is granted Permanent Protection Visa that they are required to pay back a debt for costs incurred in their time in detention. One friend of mine is facing a 'new life' in Australia with a $90,000 debt for the three years he (unnecessarily) spent in detention.

Here is a link to a doco that was made about the Refugee Freedom Bus trip - Waking Up the Nation

Monday, September 04, 2006

I heart Banksy

The one on the West Bank wall, would have to be my favourite.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Honesty and law-breaking

Being truthful can be hard especially when the outcome of being honest is something pretty annoying. Right now Alex and I have decided to be honest about something we really don't want to be and the option to not be honest is pretty tantalising and from a convenience standpoint is a lot more appealing.

I think that we are both going to have periods of regretting our honesty and getting frustrated at God that he even asks this of us in the first place.

I think we often think that being honest will give us a warm fuzzy feeling of doing the Right Thing - but often to be truthful is hard and the outcomes plain rotten. In a strange way despite the consequences we both sighed a sigh of release when we realised what we should do- and that we would do it.

It's funny because I told my mum about the whole thing and she was really shocked that we decided we would tell the truth and take the consequences. She assumed that because I've been an activist I'm, in her words, "into breaking the law..." . Mmmm well I have done a few things in my time which I'm not sure qualify as breaking the law or not. (who are you kidding Rachel?) Which does make me wonder again about whether it is justified to break a worldly law in order to bring about Godly justice

I think it is. If the government banned church going or praying I'm sure many would (and should) break this law. The things that I am perhaps guilty of breaking the law mostly revolve around making known injustices and abuses of human rights that have been made federally lawful. These are areas that the Bible speaks clearly on "defend the cause of the weak, fatherless and widow" "love mercy and justice" etc.

I understand that I am to respect the law and authorities placed over me - but I wonder if I can respectfully dissent and respectfully break the law ? I have personally shouted at John Howard (not at the television- at the actual man) and looking back that was disrespectful (of another human being as well as a Prime Minister) and also achieved nothing in terms of bringing about justice. But being a dissenting voice in a rally/protest/march is respectfully saying that a policy is wrong, visiting refugees in detention centres is a voice saying (with respect) these people are human with human needs and should not be treated like (worse than) animals. I suppose as I am getting older I am seeing that there is a line (be it sometimes blurry) between respectful and disrespectful dissent. To be wise is to be thoughtful and not get carried away with the emotion or anger that one may feel (which I have regretfully done on many an occasion) and consequently break the law. But perhaps if one thoughtfully and respectfully breaks the law then it is OK.

I have an image of Jesus in my mind pushing over all the tables in the synagogue, angry, indignant. (respectfully) law breaking?

I have an image of Jesus healing on the day of rest - respectfully dissenting?

I have an image of a man on a cross deemed the biggest lawbreaker of his time -(respectfully) dying.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Why fair trade isn't really fair.

We all want to or try to make the most ethical choice when we buy our coffee or cocoa etc so we buy fairtrade thinking to our selves -"Hey, at least that poor farmer/grower isn't getting ripped off". And we go away and eat the yummy chocolate and it really is the best chocolate we've ever eaten in our lives and we're happy because we hope that by us buying the chocolate/coffee someone somewhere is getting treated fairly and they can feed their family and maybe their family's family and we're also happy that a big corporation is not benefiting from our chocolate eating (except if you are eating Green and Black fairtrade chocolate that has been bought out by Cadbury!)

I have been thinking a great deal about fair trade since writing papers on (ineffective) aid delivery to Papua New Guinea. What started my thinking about fairtrade was the constant description of 'poor' PNG communities that were always described as 'reliant on subsistence farming for survival' in a negative light. And for a while I went along with it. I thought "Yeah, these poor Papua New Guineans are only surviving on the food they can grow". But it dawned upon me that the alternative to subsistence farming was much worse (fairtrade or not) - cash crops.

Cash Crops are usually a first world market driven enterprise. When you rationalize cash crops in comparison to subsistence farming it's ludicrous. Eg. In another country they love to drink this yukky drink that we don't drink so I will pull up my vegetable plot and chicken run and plant as many coffee plants as possible and sell them to people who will sell it overseas and with this money I can buy all the food I would have originally grown myself had I not pulled them up to buy coffee (I do not mean to sound patronizing to Papua New Guineans as I think that the pressure to cash crop is largely coming from the ludicrous but often well-meaning developed world)

I do understand that there would be a financial surplus in cash-cropping but such a surplus
does not equate to the subsequent community and intrinsic value of growing one's own food (eg fulfillment, community building through bartering and local markets etc.)

The facilitation of fairtrade on a macro or micro scale is often driven by a developed world market with underlying capitalist agendas. Cash crops and other fair trade arrangements may very well fall through once peak oil becomes a more tangible reality. What hope is then left for both the developed and developing world when the reversal of globalization takes place? It may be a return to subsistence farming on a global level and those who are successful in growing food for survival will not be looked upon as the poor- that is certain.

As someone who is interested in overseas aid development programs I hope to encourage and equip individual/communities to relearn skills in growing their own food and gardens both in Australia and abroad. I hope to build sustainable (there goes that word...) projects, that is projects are not reliant upon a capitalist econmic market that is very precarious/volatile. But projects that look at local needs and skills.

Thanks for trudging through this lengthy piece. Let me known what you think about Fair/unfair trade.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Dear Oscar

Dear Oscar,

This is you at your very first protest! What you can't see is that behind us is a big row of cops who refused to smile for the photo and did not seem to share our enthusiasm about your first protest. You slept through most of it but in my mind it still counts that you made an appearance. This protest was a protest about greed. Many people came to Sydney to celebrate some very rich people (Forbes 500 CEO Global Conference) and celebrate all the bad things they did to get rich and we decided we should protest and say "Hey, money and greed is not the answer and is actually the problem so let's not celebrate it (in a nutshell)".

You've been in a few protests since then and I hope we will see a few more together.
love muma.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Are we all just monkeys?

OK this is sad, funny, bleak and a bit naughty all at once (some swear words for those that care).

Dance, Monkeys, Dance!

And if you wanna get cuted out watch this (no swearing just cuteness)

David's new snail

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Word Allergies...

Inspired by Andrea's blog post I have also decided to list the words that I am allergic to...

Sustainable/sustainability (It is now often being used to promote the status quo rather than bring about needed radical change)

It's all good (I think this one is being phased out but I always hated it)

family/Christian values (there is no such thing/s)

cot (referring to an adult's bed)

Little Lady, The Missus (Mrs), The boss (all in reference to one's wife)


Frickin (in my opinion this word sounds more angry and vulgar than fuck)

stay-at-home-mum and working-mum (these are just dumb and irresponsible. A stay-at-home mum also works and a working mum also works at home.)

What are your word allergies?

Monday, August 07, 2006

My dad was a bikee and other stories

(Photo by Allan Tannenbaum- and definitely not my dad! He wasn't South American for starters...)

Most of my readers (all three of you!) know that my dad passed away when I was very little. It's been an amazing journey getting to know him over my life. I am constantly learning new things. For a long time I only knew the 'Christian lived on an indigenous island /activist' dad but of late I have been introduced to the 'pre-conversion bikee' dad. The dad that left the navy (went AWOL), joined a bikkee gang, had a fling with the bikee gang leader's main squeeze, had a fatwah type thing put on his head (you find him you kill him in bikee language), worked (or more like hid) with indigenous people, met some missionaries and became a Baptist. One day I will write a book about it all as it's tragic and fascinating and is the kind of story that will one day be made into a movie. Maybe I'll have to veto that it never is. The blend of myth and reality is also fascinating as is everyone's version of events that are always tainted with their own 'stuff' (eg I was jealous , Iwas hurt, I wanted to be more/less like him...).

It has been my personal experience of history and how it works/ doesn't work; how it can not be devoid or detached from the humans that tell it/know it.

I wrote a letter to an indigenous friend of my dads recently wanting to know bits and pieces that were missing. I think I expected a three page historical account of all that was missing. But her response was so disappointing yet so beautiful " will come here and tell me story and I will tell you story. Some about Peter, and some other stories too".

I hope I can share stories with you soon Gunnipa/Dorothy.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


(photo: "Garden of Eden" community garden in Albert Park (features an outdoor cob oven and attached cafe!) taken by Russ Grayson )

I am really passionate about
community gardens. If cities like Sydney are to survive post peak-oil the way of the future is community gardens. Recently my church building burnt down and there are negotiations taking place as to how best rebuild a space that will serve generations to come. This is an amazing opportunity to empower the poor in the city who do not have the money or space to grow their own food. My hope is that a community garden will be considered as a serious option of space utilisation on the site or elsewhere. Special things happen when people gather together to grow things.

My friend Jason has a blog on the way called Peak Food and it is all about his family's hope to grow over 50% of their food source.

There is website/book about a family's challenge to produce all of their own food in a suburban block. Check it out here

For those of you who are interested in the links between peak oil and food production check out this site (compliments of
Anne; ta Anne!) -
Eat The Suburbs!

Anyway for any of you that wish to get inspired about gardening here are a few of my favorite sites: Eden Seeds, Seed- Savers, Jackie French, earth garden

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Photo Friday

It's time for a challenge fellow blobbers oops bloggers. The
Photo Friday challenge. The theme for this week is 'common' . Who's up for the challenge?

The One Book Meme

OK I've been tagged. Though I feel my responses will seem a little naf in comparison to Byron and co....

1. One Book that changed your life

The History of Sexuality- Michel Foucoult ( mainly because It assisted me in understanding discourse for the first time ) that and Borderline by Pater Mares that I used as a resource for refugee forums that I was running oh and You are Your Child's First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin Darcy. Oh no the whole exercise was about ONE book, oh well...

2. One book you've read more than once

Women Who Run With the Wolves - Clarissa Pinkola Estes

3. One book you would want on a desert island.

Anna Karenina- Leo Tolstoy

4. One book that made you laugh

The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy

5. One book that made you cry

Would you believe the only book I actually cried reading was The Power of One (Bryce Courtney) that I read when I was 15 - and that was when they killed his chicken?

6. One book you wish had never been written

I don't know what it's called but I found a very right-winged American book at the back of my church once about George Bush's spiritual life/leadership. I secretly hid it - but it's been burnt with the rest of the poor church now anyway.

7. One book you wish had been written

An Australian Indigenous Persons's guide to colonisation - 1787

8. One book you are currently reading

A Trial Separation: Australia and the Decolonisation of Papua New Guinea- Donald Denoon

9. One book you've been meaning to read

Pedagogy of the Oppressed- Paulo Friere

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

God, Women, Church.

"God is a misogynist. When you really spend time and look at things God said, if you have a brain on you, you've got to raise an eyebrow and say this God is a macho pig. I mean, if Sylvester Stallone said this stuff we'd be giving him a very hard time and he has said some of this stuff and we have given him a hard time -- he deserved it. But the point is the Christian god hasn't honored women. Sorry, the cat's out of the bag and it's just not cool so it's something we have to address..."
-Tori Amos
Painting - Willem De Kooning -Woman l
I have a heap of friends that have left church citing similar reasons. And It's hard to know what to say. I know God isn't a macho Pig. But sometimes I feel uneasy bordering on embarrassed about the way women are portrayed/spoken of in The Bible. Perhaps I feel even more embarrassed about how they are treated in the church today. I don't think of Jesus as a particularly macho sports loving, rugby jersey wearing man- though he was a carpenter so he may well have been on the macho side (in my mind John the Baptist was the macho one) . I don't often think of his maleness, neither do I think of God as male. Yet it just feels weird and somehow sacrilegious to say 'She' instead of 'He'. But if the trinity is gendered that does alienate me somewhat.
In another quote of Tori Amos that I have not included she states that she is frustrated that Jesus never married and that to her it seems that if he married he would have no longer been perfect, in her words "he would have been tarnished by a woman". Yet Jesus made it clear that women were/are important to his ministry.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Yikes Nukes

I love the way politics works (note a strong tone of sarcasm). When climate change is finally put on the agenda it is suddenly synonymous with nuclear power and the need to export Australia's large uranium deposits to countries with great track records of human rights advocacy like China and India. (note Downers' comments re the new export policy of uranium to China "they (China) will be held accountable". Mmmmm China, accountable?

The answer to climate change is not nuclear energy (no matter how many times I hear how safe it is now- methinks the lady protests too much perhaps?) neither is the answer as simple as buying energy efficient light bulbs and white goods. The answer is hard to stomach for many but exciting and hopeful for others. It is radical and a huge societal shift. I think that when people realize that they may have to step out of a positivist epoch and come to terms with the fact that technology 'ain't goona save you' they may be ready to face the New Order. What is this New Order? Well take a look at Ted Trainer . It is about a society not fiscally driven, about simplifying, about the rejection of an affluent/consumer lifestyle on the grounds that such a lifestyle is immoral/ unethical on a global scale. It is also about being fulfilled by living more simply. About finding satisfaction in growing one's own food and being part of a community.
Check these out...

Christian Ecology Link
Friends of The Earth

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The days are long

Many a thing is not spoken regarding what it is to be a mother. Perhaps the negative is too scary a thing to embrace or uncover. I felt many things those first five months and perhaps the most overwhelming was the sheer sparse loneliness. In my diary in those early days I described that loneliness… “ it first creeps; then it lingers. It is not an absence- if only it was! No, it has a presence. An incumbent fat-arsed presence. it has moved in and will stay so far as the days are long.”

What pulled me out of this loneliness? My garden. Oscar ate dirt and I put my hands in earth and hoped to grow things that we could eat. I gardened by day and by night dreamed of gardens. It was a beautiful existence. When you have a garden things fade into that little niche under your armpit that I call Unimportant. The days weren’t long enough. When my garden started to take flight I felt the most serene contentment I have ever felt. I also felt the closest to the Great Gardener that I have ever felt. I was reliant on Him in a way that I never have before- I asked for contentment and He gave me a garden.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Ok some time to indulge me in a little Oscar showing off!

Mrs Booker and the Tea Ladies

"The country he had broken out of was all unknown to them. Even in full sunlight it was impenetrably dark"

I am in a brilliant book club with some wonderful ladies (I love the word ladies and think it should be used a tad more...) We call ourselves Mrs Booker and the Tea Ladies and we read a wide variety of books. The talk is complex, the food finger-like and the tea always tasty!

Remembering Babylon is the latest book we will be discussing. I have just finished it and was very taken with its themes and beautiful evocations of this strange country we live and what it can and does bring out in our humanity (or lack of it).

It reminds me of one of my favorite movie - Dogville. and also reminds me of some of the themes in The House of Sand and Fog.


So after reading Byron's post and the subsequent comments I was inspired to think about a couple of things...

Mainly I was inspired to think about jobs/work etc in light of whether it is futile in the scheme of everything. So I have a middle-class degree or two and a middle-class job- am I simply a product of modern day middle class theology whereby I get to keep the job and the God too? More pressing a question regards my role as an activist. Is this futile? Should I just stop protesting and hand out bibles at rallies instead?

No, I believe that taking a stand about matters regarding the environment and social justice hold more intrinsic value than simply as a means of stewardship.

I approached a church minister once about a church assisting some refugee friends of mine in a detention centre, his response was "Aren't they mostly Muslim? I don't hear much of the Muslim church helping them out? Maybe we could just help the Christian refugees?"

What I dislike most about Christianity is 'christian' culture. A push towards middle-class jobs and middle class values. Basically equating to mediocrity. Reminding me of a quote I heard by one of my indigenous lecturers " John Howard does not inspire in us the extraordinary but rather encourages us to be comfortable in our ordinariness." But Jesus was radical. Said radical things, did radical things - he was both outside and inside politics often positing views that could be aligned with communism and anarchy... What we often have today is a far cry from the Christianity Jesus spoke of. The Hillsongs that appeal to modern youth culture, the Anglicans that appeal to conservative educated culture, the Catholics that appeal to traditional culture, the cafe/home churches that appeal to alternative culture... Is it possible to sit outside these cultures? I wonder if we could, if we would find the radical Christianity that Jesus lived?

Check these out as these two radical chriatian organisations.