Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

Hume’s Environmental Champions

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I’ve had a great day out with Hume’s Environmental Champions today. We had a lovely day trip around the district visiting various environmentally sustainable projects. We started the day out at Meadows Primary School to check out their wonderful facilities. The school is powered by wind energy that is produced on site. There are enormous stores of fresh water collected off the roof and the school has within its grounds a community garden for friends of the school and local residents.

They are also involved with the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program so the kids have their own garden too. The school are always keen to hear from willing volunteers so if you are in the area and have a few hours free Maureen would love to hear from you =)

We went out to a new community garden development in Mickleham. It’s a part of the “Network Of Gardens” project that is being established – more on that soon!

Then we headed off to Sunbury for lunch at Just Planet. Norman and Lee Palumbo have a lovely cafe that specialises in ethically sourced raw food. You can also buy all manner of fair trade items from chocolate to hand woven baskets.

We wrapped up the day with a visit to the Evans Street Grassland in Sunbury. It is one of the most diverse grassland sites in Victoria with over 180 species present on the 4 ha site. Well worth a visit, particularly in spring when the wildflowers burst into colour.

What are you up to this weekend?

On Your FM Dial!

Kony 2012 Cover The Night

Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past few weeks you would probably have heard about the KONY 2012 campaign.

For those who haven’t – Kony 2012 is a campaign created by Invisible Children, Inc. It was designed to bring worldwide awareness to the actions of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and in particular their leader Joseph Kony.

Kony is accused of ordering countless atroricities including, mass murder, mass abduction of children, forcing children to work as sex slaves and also forcing them to serve as LRA soldiers.

In 2005 Kony was indicted for both war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court in The Hague but, to date he is still at large, continuing to terrorise people in countries such as Uganda, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

To date the KONY 2012 film has been viewed over 88 million times. If you haven’t seen it you can watch it here: KONY 2012

Last night, right around the world it was the pinnacle of the KONY 2012 campaign labeled “Cover The Night”. It has been described by many Australian media outlets as a flop but, was it really?

I have been out and about in my local area today and virtually everywhere I have been I have spotted KONY 2012 posters. I should state that I don’t live at all close to the city where I believe the media has been focusing it’s attention. Perhaps activists have simply concentrated on targeting their local areas rather than congregating in one central location.

I think we’d all agree that there has been tremendous debate about this campaign – the good, the bad and the ugly. I don’t think that it’s for me to say that it is right or wrong so, I’m not going to enter into any kind of debate over it. Having said that, I would love to hear what you all think.

Did you support it?

Did you cover the night?

Did you think it was as big a flop as the media made out?

You Gnome Me?

So I came home and found this guy under the cherry tree. Nice!

You know I have always loved gnomes but, somehow I have never gotten around to buying one. Someone certainly knows me well 😉

I’m going to call him Al.

I love garten schmuck!

Thanks xx

Earth Hour

It's earth hour!

I feel very sad that almost none of my friends or family observe Earth Hour. They just don’t get it. I don’t know why.

It was really getting me down because I would tell people it was on and why it was important but, each year there seemed to be someone who would spoil it for us. Well, last year I decided to put my foot down. I knew that I needed to do something to let people know that we are doing something that is important (even if only to us). I decided that each Earth Hour night I would put three jars with tea lights across my driveway. Its my sign to let people around us know that we are observing Earth Hour.

Its just a simple idea but it seems to be working!

We also decided to take Earth Hour a little further by switching off for the entire evening. Its not hard to do especially if you have some good company to share it with.

I love  looking down my driveway looking at the beautiful glowing jars. Imagine if everyone did this. How beautiful would our streets be for that evening?

Do you observe Earth Hour?

What do you get up to?

xx

I’m back!

I’m well and truly up and out of bed now and for the first time in many, many weeks I have been back out working in my garden. If you’re still with me, thank you so very much for your patience!

I have been out in the garden from time to time but I didn’t have the energy to actually do anything except sit and enjoy my girls company. Bless my girls! While I was in bed they were right there outside my bedroom window keeping me company and keeping me entertained. And Chickie was there with me too as always =)

See:

The girls sunning themselves outside my bedroom window.

So, I have quite a lot to catch up on. Yes indeed! I’ll tell you all about as I tackle it throughout the next week or two.

My poor vegetable garden is in a very sad state. It is getting very empty now as Autumn is upon us. I have been out and cut out all of the veg that had gone to seed or was totally neglected in my absence. I cleared out my tomatoes yesterday – the earliest that I have ever done this! They were not happy and had endured an unprecedented attack by the birds. We have however, had a fairly good crop all things considered. So, there will be bottled tomatoes to come – watch this space! But for now I am off to make a Tomato Cake. See you soon!

In Praise Of: In Praise Of Slow

I’m in bed sick again today. I’ve had a few of them the past couple of weeks – nothing serious, thankfully!

This is me in bed "listening to my body".

That's Chickie checking the bed for lurgies!

While I was laying here I thought that this might be a great opportunity to share with you a book that changed my life and that was   probably the catalyst for me deciding to spend so much more time in my garden. It was a book that came to me quite by chance and one that I urge you to seek out and take the time to read: In Praise Of Slow by Carl Honoré.

Like many people, I suddenly became aware that I had lost a great chunk of my young years because I had allowed myself to get stuck on that great treadmill of life. It was not too long after I had this epiphany that I was wandering out of my local library and spotted this book on the $1 rack. I had a quick look at the blurb and got an overwhelming sense that the universe was sending me a message. With that, I walked straight back into the library and bought the book.

So, there I was reading this book thinking “yes, yes Carl, yes!”. Fact: Its all common sense stuff. However, we rarely (if ever) take the time to think about the repercussions of our actions because we’re all so busy trying to rush on to the next thing.

Well, I have been taking it slow (or slow-er than I was going before) but, it hasn’t been easy. What I have found is that it’s quite often the people around you that, inadvertently, keep pushing you back towards the treadmill. I have tried to encourage the people around me to step back a bit and think about how a bit of slowness could enrich their lives. Sadly though, they’re more often than not too busy to stop and think about my advice, let alone let me finish my sentence. LOL!

I have learnt a lot from my own reflections and the observations I have made of the people around me. The key things are:

The majority of us have a tendency to overburden ourselves.

We can’t do all of the things all of the time.

We can, unconsciously, influence people to live at a faster pace than they may be comfortable with.

We can, unconsciously, take up too much of other peoples time.

We can slow down and still do the things we want to do.       How?     Consciousness, Patience & Control.

I have a girlfriend that I admire so very much. She does what suits her and she doesn’t rush about for the sake of people around her. She is a tranquil woman and it reflects in everything she does. I always find it funny when I hear people criticising her for not doing things the way they would. The fact is that she is happy and she gets everything done. Interestingly, I have never heard her say “I wish I had time to…[insert activity here]”. Something I find her critics saying quite often.

So, I thought I’d add the link here to Carl’s Ted talk about the concept of “slowness”. I hope that you have a chance to sit down and listen to what he has to say. It may change your life too!

Ted Talks: Carl Honoré Praises Slowness

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