Monday, September 29, 2008

"When it all started to go wrong", by Michelangeloan.

Here we see where it all started to Go Terribly Wrong. The Bank of God lends Adam a fiver to get himself a pair of sub-prime underpants. It goes rapidly downhill after that - As We All Know Only-Too-700-Billion-Dollars-Well.

By the way, it's an odd number isn't it? Why not 726.457 billion dollars? It's funny that the bailout should work out exactly at a round number...

"Money is not the solution, it's the problem."

Well that's the most sensible thing I've read anywhere recently! It's a comment on the present financial woes and the 700 billion dollar bailout. And the insight comes not from a banking guru but from an elevator maintenance man in Mississipi, Billy Stripling, quoted in the Independent.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

...and dont forget to BOOGIE !!

And here's a man who hasn't forgotten to boogie at all - Dave Arcari live at the Neptune in Hove. Fantastic to see my old blues chum from Perth giving it everything - demonic high energy steel guitar blues like you've never heard before - rock on Dave!
Just sad that this was the last time Debi and I may see Jezz and Tina in the flesh for a while as they are off to Oz - rock on you two as well! Good luck, we're missing you already.
I'll be keeping an eye on Jezz N Tina's Oz Adventures - (though it mainly seems to be just a load of drinking so far ...)


I've just read the first two of the Anastasia books - they're great! A real ray of sunshine in all the gloom.

The books are the story of an extraordinarily gifted girl living a simple life alone in the forests of Siberia and are full of her wisdom. She tells us about re-establishing our connection with the Earth, about how to grow plants so that they can help us, about freeing ourselves from all our techno-clutter and much much more...

It's wonderful to see ideas in print that have been drifting foggily around in my own head for a long time, for example, that there have been much more advanced civilisations on the Earth many thousands of years ago and we have an opportunity now to relearn some of their ancient knowledge through raising our consciousness - maybe just in the nick of time. Also, ideas about living in societies based on mutual help and co-operation rather than competition...

...and good to see Schumacher's words again:

"...We jolly well have to have the courage to dream if we want to survive and give our children a chance of survival..."

The Anastasia series is available from Cygnus books.

And another ray of sunshine!

My own feeling has long been to link the worlds of ecology and of healing, which is part of Anastasia's message. Other people are working on the same lines too. Earlier this month, I went to an inspiring evening, "Sustainability Through Earth Changes", with Ja'been and Barry at their Sanctuary in Newhaven. There were six of us there and we meditated and chatted together for a few hours while epic rainfall thundered down on the roof.

It feels so good that people are gathering in this way at all and a very positive message came through: that answers exist at a higher level for all our problems. I had fascinating visions of a three-dimensional symbol, "Clarity". Though I have had Reiki attunements I don't ever use the symbols so it was a bit strange that this should come up for me. Maybe the three-dimensional symbols link up with designs for structures we will be making soon which will not only shelter us but also cleanse and reinvigorate us.

You can see a bit about Ja'been and Barry's work at

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Is that ICE or just another BANK ??

Everyday something else seems to collapse. What next? The Coral Reefs? The Health Service? The bee population?

The ice in the picture is part of the vanishing sheet on Greenland. Parts of it are melting three times faster than just five years ago.

I really doubt that we have the resolve or power to do anything effective to turn things around. In fact, quite the opposite: we're belching out smoke and chomping up resources faster than ever.

(Read climatologist James Hansen on the "tipping point".)

If climate change hasn't already gone past the point of no return it seems inevitable that it soon will - so here we go for six degrees plus with all that entails.

So what to do? Well for me it's time to head for the hills and woods, to start walking my talk and start to live a low impact way of life, even if it's a step at a time. For the best chance of survival for our children in the future I believe we will need to be as self-sufficient and resilient as possible. The more we can grow, make and do for ourselves the better. To me the best bet is WOODLAND to provide food, fuel and materials, ideally with plenty of water running through it on a south facing slope. So I'm starting to look for suitable places to live and work in some kind of co-operative woodland group.

There's stuff we can do in the cities too: check out Guerrilla Gardening. Let's plant trees and raspberrries and stuff in those bits of waste ground. There's also inspiration in how Cuba coped after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the loss of their cheap oil supply: The Power of Community.

Long live the tree!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Yurt Chapter 99

The first tentative attempt at assembling the frame. Everything seems a bit shakey...
A few days later ... so shakey, in fact, that I decided to give it all a rest until after the yurt-making course I'm doing next month with Matt of Yurtopia. Time for a little experienced input I think.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Anyone for TUNA?

Well it looks like you'd better be quick ... some say that the tuna is facing commercial extinction. Here is part of a report from the Environmental Justice Foundation:

"Today, many stocks of the major commercial tuna species are fully or over-exploited. Of all the principle market species, bluefin have suffered the most from the ravages of overexploitation, for two main reasons: their slow reproductive rate, and their exceptionally high value in the sashimi market, where a single fish can be worth up to US$100,000. Most seriously overexploited is the southern bluefin, which is now listed by the IUCN (the world conservation union) as being Critically Endangered."

Whole report at:

Whilst in the vein of ocean stuff, I remember reading an article a while ago about veteran yachtsman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. What a guy! (And I fancy a blast on that catamaran...) The man completed the Velux5Oceans 2006/7 solo round-the-world race, finishing in 4th position at the age of 68. He said that he didn't see a single whale during the whole voyage. "The seas have changed" he added chillingly.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Yurt Crown - plan C

Bending the wood into a 2'6" diameter circle for the crown was a total failure - twice - so I decided to make the crown out of sawn sections - including some shhhhhh! plywood...

... check out the fiendishly cunning radial arm marking out of the blocks thing going on here ...
... still going well ... maybe it's going to work this time ...
... another layer of ....shhhhhh! plywood .....
... and its happening!

YES YES YES !!!!!!

This is has surely got to be one of the most monumental monuments to human stubborn persistence of all time ... or something ...

leaden ripples

Now that things have calmed down here a bit I've been able to play around with some photos - this is one from Loch Rannoch a year ago - I love those brooding leaden ripples...
lots more of my photos at

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Frustration for Mr Yurt

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear .... making the crown for the yurt has been a wee bit tiresome. This pile of wreckage is the remains of two failed attempts. In spite of steaming the wood for hours and hours it wouldn't bend enough before cracking. So for attempt three I'm going to abandon bending and build up the circle from sawn sections. If at first you don't succeed ...

Progress has also been slowed down by the torrents of rain and gales we have had. My chum John said I might have been better off making an ark. I will give it a go sometime as long as there is a design that doesn't have any bent wood in it.

Easter Island

A grim reminder of what happens when a population uses up its natural resources - when the trees had gone the Easter Islanders could no longer make boats to fish from and birds stopped visiting as they had nowhere to roost. Without trees, the soil was eroded and half of the islands plants became extinct.

Now we're doing it on a global scale and our natural support systems are creaking at the seams.