Tuesday, September 07, 2010

On the Eco Edge...

We have been working on Permaculture publicity and produced some posters - have a look and please print out and put up any that resonate with you. I can't get my images to upload to blogger at the moment so have put the posters and some photos on facebook for now:

link to Facebook for posters and photos

I can't believe it's two months since I set off from Perth with the Bike and Grand Piano Combo! What an amazing time its been since then, seeing old friends and making new ones and exploring this bit of Wales, new to me. My original plan was to cycle through Wales and then maybe on through France to Portugal but as John Lennon said, "Life's what happens when you're making other plans"...

When I arrived at Llanfyllin to help my old friend Steve Jones for a while I found I've  come at a time when a lot of his projects are coming to the boil. I've always liked working with Steve and am full of admiration for all he has done over the years on projects such as CAT and Chickenshack as well as his Permaculture teaching and TV work. My odd mix of experience and skills fits in well so we had the idea to moved into our brilliant flat in Llanrhaeadr-Ym-Mochnant, in Powys. We're mainly working on:

Sector39: running courses on Permaculture and skills for Sustainability. and projects such as Cwm Harry, the community garden project. As well as all that we are planning a co-operatively owned permaculture small holding, low-impact development and research institute for developing and teaching skills for sustainability on a 23 acre plot near the village at Pen Y Garnedd. This is the big project and just the sort of thing I have been hoping to get involved with for a long time. I'm absolutely delighted that after all these years of eco-wandering I've found myself working on really crucial, long term stuff and with a bunch of like minded folk with an extraordinary range of skills between them. It's nice that all the skills and experience I've picked up over the years are useful in the eco-world: woodwork, gardening, tree-care, building work, scale drawing, graphics and photos, writing and of course therapy/healing work... I like plenty of variety in my working life so it all suits me just FIIIIINE!

"AND DON'T FORGET TO BOOGIE!" (as Bob Hite of Canned Heat used to say)
And it's a lot of fun here too, not least because Steve is a fellow Blues & Boogie enthusiast. The Chickenshack name was appropriate for many reasons but one is that there is a sixties'  blues band of the same name, (featuring Stan Webb on guitar - he's still going strong by the way). I remember arriving at Chickenshack for the first time a few years ago and noticing that there were an awful lot of guitars in the kitchen... and a Fender Rhodes electric piano... not many kitchens are equipped with one of those. I had a funny feeling that it all boded well and I was right.

(Just as a wee side note, I actually saw Canned Heat way back in the seventies with my great chum Stone at the Raith Ballroom in Kirkcaldy, Fife of all places. They were EPIC! The Bear and Henry Vestine in the line up - one of the best gigs I ever went to.)

I'm still mainly using just the stuff I brought down with me on the bike: four changes of clothes, a laptop, sleeping bag, camping mattress and assorted bits and pieces. Steve has a good collection of cooking stuff and has kindly loaned me a gent's wardrobe but it's nice to have basically minimal stuff and clutter. How much do you really need anyway?

Finally, many thanks to Ralph Arbus for letting us use a couple of his orangutan photos - check out his work here.

Bye for now, ian xx

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