Monday, October 05, 2009

Birth of the Nomadic Permanent Volunteer

I've never had much faith in conventional politics' ability to get us out of the current mess. Just as the money system hasn't really been fixed by papering over the cracks with more non-existent money, the climate problem isn't really going to be tackled with any business-as-usual measures, and as methane release starts to kick in we may already be past a tipping point into runaway warming. Not to mention any other problems...

I feel the only effective initiatives will come from individuals and small groups of people so I have decided to start living the eco way full time myself rather than trying to keep both ways of living going. I plan to put my main focus and energy into helping out on eco projects like the ones I've been visiting.

Moving On
Much as Debi and I love each other, we have both been finding it harder and harder to live together. Debi feels she has to stay here while I feel totally at odds with our present car-supermarket-school way of life. I feel there is no time to lose and I don't see any way we can do a gentle transition from the high energy way of life to low impact living. It's been a very sad few weeks but at the same time I'm excited at the prospect of living and working again with some of the fantastic people I've met, and I'll keep on spreading the word and letting people know about the good stuff that's happening

Ian's Own Eco Project
My idea is to help out on eco projects permanently. I want to live a low impact life, help others working that way and also to escape from the money system as much as possible, bartering for anything with my own therapy, woodworking skills etc. as needed.

Brighton to Perth Walk
I've wanted to walk from Brighton to Perth for years - I don't quite know why really, maybe I just like walking. Now it seems like it's possible and would be a great way of spreading the word and meeting people. So I'm planning to set off in May using as little money as possible, looking for board and lodging from the couchsurfing community and freecommunity (details below) in return for therapy and woodwork etc. Get in touch if you want to walk part of the way with me or have a couch free on the route or would like some treatment or whatever.

I am delighted to have got this group up and running - we are exploring higher levels of consciousness and perception, further dimensions and higher frequencies and aim to bring our discoveries into practical everyday life, learning to LIVE LIGHTLY. This group is for healers and therapists but I also want to link up with eco-workers, artists, gardeners, creative writers, astrologers - and anyone else who wants to escape from conventional thought frameworks and GO EXPLORING!
I believe extraordinary abilities already exist for us in energy form with which we will be able to help all life to flourish. (See Spontaneous Evolution below.) Please join in with the group from a distance if you can - next meeting is 14th October, 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm. I'll be joining in wherever I am in the future.

The World's Slowest Yurt - Getting There!

Hurrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy! At long last The World's Slowest Yurt has walls and windows!

I have to say it looks absolutely amazing with a light on inside at night-time, like a great big Chinese Lantern.

There's still a lot to do, insulation and bits and pieces to fix the canvas better to the frame, but it is basically there. YOOOOOO! I have wondered several times why I didn't try to make something a bit easier though - maybe a life-size model of the Taj Mahal out of empty beer tins and string or something...

Saturday, October 03, 2009


A Cracking Book For You!!

Following on from my post Doom Gloom and Hope further down on this blog, I have been getting really excited reading "Spontaneous Evolution" by Bruce Lipton and Steve Bhaerman. You know when you read a book and you just go Yes Yes Yes! because it's saying what you've been thinking, feeling and trying to say for ages? Well, this is one of those books for me. Just a few ideas from Spontaneous Evolution:
- Evolution is not always a slow long drawn out process but can happen in jumps
- Cells respond to changes in their environment by generating many new possibilities
- We can learn a lot from cells: 50 trillion cells manage to co-operate within each of our bodies but 7 billion human beings haven't managed to do it on the Earth yet - why not?
- Humanity may be on the threshold of an evolutionary jump in response to challenges from our environment
- If humanity has a chance of surviving what is looking like the beginning of a phase of mass extinction brought about by us we had better evolve into something more co-operative, gentler and lighter on the Earth
- It's at least partly about the evolution of our consciousness and becoming aware of our collective consciousness
It's fantastic to see this stuff discussed by people with a scientific background as well as hippy-dreamer-therapists like me, the first of many reconciliations of opposites I hope.

Summer at Tombreck

One of the tasks at Tombreck this summer has been digging out the old steading floor to take the foundations for two homes.

The old cobble floor doesn't look too bad at first site but Perthshire bedrock is lurking not far below. The lads from Sweden gave it a good go, I gave it a good go, Debi gave it a good go and that's Tober and Jean giving it a good go by taking out a massive boulder almost as big as the Matterhorn.

Why not use a digger? Well apart from all the diesel, it just wouldn't do such a good job. We were able to separate out the stone that would be useful for building from the general hardcore and the rubbish. And it was such a feeling of bloomin achievment too!!

Clouds Mountains & Trees

A few shots from Scotland this summer: Ben Lawers through a group of ash trees, the last flashes of sunlight on the far side of Loch Tay, and some Miscellaneous Clouds Mountains & Trees. The last two shots are from Carie Woods, on the farm next door to Tombreck: magic, mystery and time slowed right down till you can hear it creaking.

Living without money

A couple of quick links for you - in case you didn't know, there is a whole worldwide network of people letting complete strangers sleep on their sofas, brilliant! Check it out:

and here is a link to a blog by Mark Boyle who is seven months into a personal experiment on living without money and fossil fuel for a year - this guy makes so much sense!

Living without money - I like what someone once said about writer and playwright, Samuel Beckett, "He would give you the shirt off his back if you asked him." That's the spirit that will get us into a new and happier future.

Eco Living - One Horse Power

This is Millie, a recent arrival at Tombreck. She is being trained to pull timber up from the woods for fuel etc. And here is Jean who has worked with horses before and has been helping to train her.
Apparently, in times of yore, horses would have trained each other. A young learner horse would just have been harnessed up alongside an old expert. All this stuff we are re-learning...

Horse-power is a lot different to tractor-power, you can't just stick a key in the thing and off you go. (Mind you horses don't need diesel and tractors can't breed.) The eco-way does generally seem to involve a lot more work and skill.

Eco living - Gay Pride for Montrose?

Here are a few photos from Gay Pride here in Brighton earlier this year. I know it's got nothing obvious to do with sustainable living but it's so much fun! Can we have both please - sustainable fun? And if the going gets really tough lets all just strip off, get drunk and PARTY!!

Yo! And lets not take life toooo seriously...

(Spot the very mystified straight looking guy centre stage above). Having spent a fair bit of time on the East coast of Scotland I am very familiar with the grey, cheerless, inhospitable, straight-laced feeling about some of those towns up there. Wouldn't it be fun to have a Gay Pride Parade in Montrose? Some of these boys and girls would get hypothermia though I guess...

Beach bums anyone? And it was just so nice not to have CARS and TRAFFIC in the streets!

Eco living - More about Ducks

The duck house I made at Tombreck during the winter is now in full use. The ducks seem to be perfectly happy there (they have their own bath and a big pond not far away) and they usually produce an egg each a day. They are some eggs too! Rich and with a beautiful golden yolk. They usually lay them in a handy little clutch too...

They are good fun to watch waddling and quacking about in their compound. They eat lots of pests and, as they have webbed feet, they don't scratch up the ground like chickens. Their big treat of the day is when they are let out in the morning and get the slugs collected from the polytunnel the night before. They come charging down the ramp when hatch is opened and chomp up their slugs like gourmands at a banquet. If they feel threatened at all they hide in the undergrowth and stay still - ha ha! no one can see us now...

Eco Living - Polytunnel vs Supermarket

Here is the inside of a polytunnel in case you've not seen one before. It's a good example of the difference between high-impact and lower-impact living. Its a cheap alternative to a greenhouse and lets you grow a greater variety of stuff through more of the year than you could just planting stuff outside. Getting food this way is a lot different to getting it from the supermarket:

- growing it all takes a fair bit of time, weeding sowing etc etc
- food takes a lot more preparation
- it may have been nibbled by bugs etc
- the energy it took to make the polytunnel
- you have a reduced range of food available - especially in winter

- it tastes much better
- it's fresh
- it hasn't been packaged, repackaged and repacked
- waste goes into the compost and directly back to the soil
- its free of pesticides and other chemicals
- you spend more time with nature and the seasons
- your food has been grown with a fraction of the energy of supermarket food (there may have been 400 plus fossil energy calories used up for every single supermarket food calorie - and then we waste 40% of that...)
- hopefully its more or less on your doorstep
- and I don't know about you but I prefer to spend time in a garden than in a bloomin supermarket

So get cracking! if you haven't got space for a polytunnel at least start a patch or a window box so that you can grow some stuff. Try something easy like potatoes and experiment with easy no dig growing - and check out "Square Foot Gardening" - lots of food in a little space with minimum effort. One day before terribly long you may be very glad of any food growing skill you've picked up and who knows, you'll maybe live somewhere with a polytunnel.