Friday, July 30, 2010

Settling in time and space

A couple of weeks ago I ventured back out to Elcho Island where there are some amazing things happening, culturally and creatively!

I was there for a week, I slept under the stars, learned to slow down, listen, with my whole body and be ready for the right time to present for every action....

I'm back in Darwin now and things are different, maybe they'll never be the same again...

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Bread and Bottles

On Sunday morning I heard news that the environment ministers from every State in the country would be gathered here in Darwin to discuss a container deposit system for recycling drink containers. OK maybe everybody already knew this... I don't have a telly!

There's a campaign promoting Cash for Containers and members of the Total Environment Centre had come especially to encourage the ministers to make a decision that would see the whole country committing to a recycling program. (You probably already knew this too I suppose!) The cash for containers idea works on the basis of 10 cents credit per container which would be refunded when the container is returned to a recycle depot... They have one in S.A. and I believe the NT will follow suit next year but this meeting has the potential for the program to be taken up Nationally.

Awesome idea I reckon. Besides keeping the streets a little cleaner I think a program like this will go a long way toward improving peoples awareness of the value of resources and need to recycle. Not to mention the business opportunities for enterprising youngsters... I remember collecting thousands of cans as a kid! Every football match, every public event me and my mates would be out scrounging cans... Of course this lead us to hang around in the less savory parts of the grandstands at the footie and cop the occasional abusive comment from punters who hadn't quite finished their beer before we stole the cans from between their feet but what a thrill it was to be out there earning our own cash! The kids have got some fun times in the great outdoors ahead of them! It'll be a great earner for a lot of people who could probably use a few extra dollars too. I wonder if Trev will bother cashing them in? He might find some competition out on the street when the program commences in Darwin!

The meeting was held yesterday; apparently the discussions were quite productive and there's a chance that the idea will get off the ground.
Unfortunately I got there a bit late and missed out on cheering, stirring, heckling, or encouraging the Environment Ministers, (whatever it was we were there to do... I wasn't sure actually) but I did arrive in time to see Bev the Bottle and some of her crew in action! They were great! Too bad I missed the main event!

Container Deposit Scheme
(Bev Bottle with some of the crew, me too)

Bev (I think that's short for beverage) and her supporters sang this great song that went something like this:

"Ten green bottles in the recycle crate,
Ten green bottles in the recycle crate
When you return those bottles
You'll get a dollar mate...

When we get cash for containers
In each and every State..."
I don't think the songs complete yet but it sounded great and Bev was an absolute blast, I wish I'd caught it on video!

Fresh baked bread ~ white
(Awesome bread... Lets see her try a sourdough)

When I got home from work last night I was told to check the oven, where I found another loaf of bread! This is my wife's second ever loaf of bread and it turned out perfectly! In fact it's better than every loaf I've ever baked! It rose enormously, had a firm crust, sounded hollow when I tapped it and cut like a dream, dropping very few crumbs. When I pressed down on a cut slice it sprung back up again! I can't believe how well this bread has turned out it's amazing... Sam's Grandmother taught her to bake when she was a kid! I think she must have been the Drysdale master baker or something!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Fruit and loaves

This week has been a lean one... Somehow we spent most of this weeks food money last week!
My work hours have been reduced to just 4 days per week which one would expect to impact on ones take home folding money but actually my income won't be reduced until next pay day! The 'lean times' haven't actually hit yet but why postpone the inevitable? Right? LOL

So anyway we ran out of food money and have had to become slightly more resourceful than usual, (Err I am referring to the usual as it applied to the time prior to my reduced hours at work, which from this week is no longer the norm. Not the usual as we will soon have to become used to which may include hanging around the back of Supermarkets waiting for them to chuck out the old cabbage leaves.... Just kidding mum!)

Chick pea curry with chapati
(A chickpea curry with the perfectly cooked chapatis and rice is so nice!)

So where was I? Oh yes food! We kind of ran out of money but we still had a bunch of stuff in the cupboard. Necessity has inspired creativity on the home front and Sam has been busy! In the cupboard we had a kilo or two of plain flour, some Atta flour, rice, a bag of dried chick peas, a large onion, herbs spices, a tin of tomatoes, and a few other little scrappy things, there was a carton of milk and some butter in the fridge and some yeast in the freezer.

(Let them eat Scones)
Over the weekend Sam has made a bunch of really nice food. Starting with white bread on Friday, It was so delicious we ate it before I could get a photo. There were some green and yellow specks in it due to the fact that the flours was only meant to be used for playdough!

Last night she made enough chickpea curry with rice and chapatis to serve another two meals at least! (You make chapatis with Atta flour) We ate the curry tonight and it was superb. For desert we had scones with Jam... oh yeh there was jam in the fridge. The scones turned out perfectly! There's even enough flour left for another loaf of bread.

Now from just a handful of ingredients we've managed to create some delicious food that we probably wouldn't have bothered with otherwise. Now to top it all off the neighbor called out to me from across the fence this afternoon and gave me a bag full of bananas! Apparently their tree has fallen down under the weight of all the bananas it's carrying! Some how inexplicably the week has turned from a time of trial and hardship into a food bonanza!

Bananas Home Grown
(Bananas fall like manna)

We're living off the cream! Now it's moments like these that I've just gotta give thanks! Shalom.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Ephemoral Stream dreaming

A follow up on my last post which was a kind of screaming rant about the destruction of habitat loosely disguised as some kind of cryptic rant about academia...

Well they're still at it! Instead of improving road safety and building us shared bike path or cycle lane on Lee Point Road a certain Government department who for the sake of this post I am calling: The 'Suppression of Tranquility and Usurpers of Public Inclusion Department'. (STUPID) of the NT'. Have chosen to continue their assault on all living things the happen to find along the roadways.

Continuation of destruction from Yesterday.

Besides creating greater erosion and reducing habitat the removal of these trees has also removed a critical amount of shade... Of course this makes it less pleasant for humans to sit around, or ride through; but what it also does is leave the entire watercourse vulnerable to invasive weeds like Gamba and Mission Grass! These two species are highly invasive and highly flammable. Bad move STUPID! Both weeds are present in the area but had failed to colonize the shaded area in my previous post and you can now see in the image above.

There's something going on in this town and it Sucks! Like Billy Colony predicted... 'The Beige People want to taking over the world' (or something like that!)

I've ridden by that way so many times, delighting in the shade, the green the cool. A secret place functioning beautifully without interference, overlooked by the agents of the machine and loved... One more beautiful place defiled.
Without the cover of a row of trees so many Long Grass camps are exposed, vulnerable to the prying eyes of drivers and 9 to 5ers. Bush campers creeping a little further from the road trapped between the bitumen and a cyclone wire fence... Soon Old Darwin will be sterilized of all imperfections, sanitized of colour of every kind!

All around Darwin right now trees are being felled; cut down to the ground and their roots chewed out of the earth! The attack is not just on trees and greenery either... When I arrived in Darwin there were murals on all of the bus stops, Casuarina Library and a bunch of other places that may have already slipped by without being noticed. The murals are being painted over with some neutral uninspiring anti-colour!

So what's next?

Look what they're doing