What would you do if…?

Imagine today you woke up and you had no food in your cupboard.  Not only that, the freezer, fridge and pantry were also empty.

Annoyed, you walk (or drive) to the local grocery store only to find out that it too is completely devoid of processed or fresh food.  Any produce you’ve grown at home will remain (that is unless your neighbours have seized an opportunity while you were away).

Where would you find your next meal?  

You’ll be competing with an entire city.  The whole nation and planet also find themselves in the same predicament.

What is the first thing you would do?  How would you secure steady food for yourself?

I would start with the little produce we have at our house.  One lemon tree would be plucked of all it’s fruit.  We’d preserve the fruit with sugar and also bring our coriander pots inside to prevent pilfering.  We’d buy some fishing rods with lures, and try and get to the river and catch some fish to freeze asap.  Apart from that, we might eat some edible native bush if we could figure out what’s safe, and definitely head into the country to get some game meat to freeze as well.  As for veggies, we’d have to barter hard with local farmers…and I bet they’d all be armed and fiercely defending their crops and livestock, because not everyone is so honest to pay for food in a crisis.

This scenario came up a few days ago.  Mike and I were having a chat about how simple it is for us to get food in our society.  If our resources were removed, how would we all survive?  Especially city dwellers…  It’s something for us to think about, and help to really appreciate where our food comes from.

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The Website – Tell Me Your Thoughts!

Hey All,

I’m just fiddling around with my website.  I’d love it if you could give me some really honest feedback.  What would you prefer I do?  Is there something you’d like to see changed?  Start over?  Do you like it?

Honesty really is the best policy folks, so please do me a favour and tell me what you really think!

Here is a shot of it…and the link

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So, you like nature?

An older lady stopped and commented as I was crouching on the sidewalk this morning.  I was carefully photographing a small little lizard when I noticed she was watching me.  “What are you photographing?”.  I told her I was photographing a little lizard when she smiled.  “How did you notice it?”.  I guess I’m always watching for small creatures.  “So you like nature! Bless you”.

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These photos were taken this morning…after I woke up excited to take out my camera and find some birds.

I’ve been re-reading a book “The Ecology of Commerce” by Paul Hawken.  I read the original about 7 years ago, and now am catching up on the revised edition.  If you’re interested in nature, and the effects of industry both as a microcosm and a macrocosm I highly recommend picking up a copy.  You may even borrow mine, if you’re interested.

As a result, I’m evaluating my daily habits.  I buy bottled water, soft drinks and eat take away a few times a week (naughty!).  I also wear makeup daily and purchase clothing (fairly regularly).  I sometimes stop and think about how far a particular product has come to land in my hands, and what country produced it, but not nearly enough.

We consume so much useless crap in our day to day living, that we’ve become used to throwing away garbage as if there is no consequence to our vacuum like need to consume and keep up with the Joneses.  I am so guilty.

Our planet is consuming forests, fresh water and natural resources at an alarming speed.  As a result we are losing 27,000 species to extinction every year.  74 per day, 1 every 20 minutes.  Hawken’s explains this is a result of clearing forests at a rate of 500,000 per hour.  Which is insane.

We live in the city.  It’s not easy to just pluck some lettuce or carrots from the veggie patch anymore, we literally are surrounded in concrete.  The best choices we can make are to purchase from a farmers market, or identify locally grown produce at the super market.  I’m going to try harder to do that…because I’m pretty sure I’ve never really stopped to make sure I’m making good choices.

A few months ago, I went through our possessions and decided I’d like to own less stuff.  I made the decision as a result of thinking about the above.  I no longer own hard copies of dvds, nor do I own a mountain of books.  They were easy to sell, and put a little change in my pocket.  I donated clothes that I haven’t worn in months.  The cleaning products we use at home are a mix of eco friendly and harsh/toxic, and I always use the same rags to clean up to avoid wasting paper towel.  In an effort to stop contributing to pollution, I’m going to fill our emptied bottles with non toxic, environmentally friendly options.

We’re share a home with two other people, and while it’s not solar powered, we all take public transit (or in my case walk) to work.  Mike is an exception, as he flies to and from work every other week.

This book had a huge impact on me the first time I read it, and I believe it’s had an even more substantial impact this round…as I feel accountable for my actions.

I’m going to try a lot harder.

I swear it.

Are you conscious of sustainability?  What do you do around your home to help out?

Have you read “The Ecology of Commerce”?  What are your thoughts?

Also if you made it all the way through to the bottom of this post, would you help me?  I’ve entered Redterrain into Australia’s Best Blog of 2014 competition and would love your support.  Please vote for this blog by following this link:

Thank you, and stay tuned!

 

New Zealand – 2014

We’ve just returned to Perth from New Zealand.  We were gone for  a whirlwhind 10 days.  Mike and I managed to pack in quite a bit in the 10 days we were over there…

1. Firstly, the main reason we were there was for our friends wedding.  Congrats to Natalie & Ross Scurfield!

2.  Catch ups with family and friends.

3.  Hiking with Mikes Aunt Lynda was a treat… loved the views, and the untouched woods.  And of course our chatter heard through the land.

First ever..

Kumara (which is essentially a sweet potato) fried up with some smoked salmon and a poached egg.

Rugby match:  Warriors vs Tigers – a chilly match to watch, but it really had some epic moments.

Black sand beach.  The sand was so soft, and deceptive.  Every so often I’d look down at my feet and confuse the black for dirt.

Deer – crying for it’s fawn in the woods where we hiked.

Bug discovery: A two eyed spider called a Male Harvestman.

On returning to Perth this morning, the ground was freshly rained on.  The air was wet and had a damp smell of gum tree leaves, which oddly smelled like home to me.  Mike and I wished we had longer in New Zealand, but are thankful for the time we were able to share with family and friends.  Next time we’ll make it a bit longer…

Heirisson Island

I wandered over to Heirisson Island around lunch time today…  I spent 4 hours watching birds, sitting with kangaroo and taking plenty of photographs.  Summer is finally letting up, and I can’t help but imagine how lush and green the landscape with look over the next few months.

I believe all five of the kangaroo I was with today were female.  They smelled me and then continued to chill in the shade.

The animals must be holding out for winter too.

I also broke out in laughter as I listened and watched a small Corella cockatoo screech out for its mum, non stop, mouth wide open, feathers puffed out.  He/she was screaming for a feed, and I couldn’t help but thing of human babies.

The small bird in the water is a young Australasian Grebe.  Normally they are very timid, but this one being young was quite brazen and unintimidated.

I can’t paint, but Anya Brock can.

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Paintings: Anya Brock (I’m in love with the colours and her aesthetic).  Her work can be found all over Perth.  The large paintings are in the city, and the small exhibition was found in Fremantle over Valentines weekend.Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 5.41.40 PMScreen Shot 2014-03-08 at 5.01.49 PM Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 5.02.03 PM

The last time I tried to paint, I created the biggest piece of crap.  Mike joked about hanging it up in the living room when we had guest stay with us on the farm, and I eventually threw it out; to prevent that from ever happening.

Last week Mike took me to Heirisson Island and surprised me…with kangaroos!  This is an island very near our home in East Perth, and I am so excited that we can get our kangaroo fix whenever we want.  It was such a nice surprise.  I made some clicking sounds and this young girl came over for an nice chin scratch and a cuddle.  Often Mike and I remember Lena.  We miss her.  Seeing this young western grey kangaroo brought back so many good memories for us.  I’ve caught myself a few times over the past 1.5 years imagining what she would have been like as an adult.

Speaking of me imagining things…

Earlier this week I really embarrassed myself.  I’m hoping it doesn’t happen again (something tells me it might…).  This has nothing to do with painting.

Mikes phone died while he was at work.  I went about 13 hours without a word from him, and by the end of my day, I was a total mess.  I assumed the worst…  He was gone.  Something terrible had happened…

Thankfully he came home safe and sound only to find me in tears.  He joked with me for the next 24 hours about how amazing it was to be brought back from the dead.  He did remind me that there was a time when people didn’t have cell phones and people would have to wait hours to hear from one another.

This isn’t the first time though, I did the exact same thing when my beloved father was 1 hour and 45 minutes late getting to the train station to pick me up about 4 years ago.  He didn’t have a cell phone at the time and so I just had to wait.  I stood in the freezing snowy weather, becoming more and more devastated as each minute passed.  Eventually the familiar car drove up, by that point I broke into tears.  My dad was confused, he hugged me.  I had to explain that I just assume that people get into accidents when they don’t turn up.

Dad only forgot, and was half way home when he remembered… you can always count on that!  I’ve learned with him to allow for delays.

Have you ever thought the worst has happened when you haven’t been able to get in touch with someone?

Danny Marin – Searching (Original)

Saturday Sounds.

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Mr. Little Jeans – Good Mistake  - The intro to this track will lull you in… I’m obsessed.

Rudimental – Free

Tycho – Montana

Tycho – Spectre

Joywave – Tongues (feat Kopp)

London Grammar – Strong  This song is beautiful, and so is the singer.

Ultraista – Our Song (Zero 7 Remix)

Tomas Barfod – Pulsing (Featuring Nina K)

Heartless Bastards – The Mountain

Somebody won by a landslide…

I’ve just tallied the votes.  Actually it was very clear to us right away who the winner was, and so without any further a-due…

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The winner of the photo scavenger hunt is Michael P. Cresswell with a whopping 33 votes! 

I, only managed to scrape in 7 votes total, which is only mildly alarming.

Mikes Photos: Dragonfly, Stawberries, Baby Swan, Orange and Yellow Flower and Peter Pan.

Hollys Photos:  Tiny spider, Red wall, Cormorant, Rose, Creepy Baby

We need YOU to judge these photos!

Hello Readers, Mike and I just finished a photo scavenger hunt this weekend against each other and we need your help to decided the winner!  Please take a look at the following images and leave your comments below for the best in each category.

This was a great way to spend our weekend together.

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Something Small.Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 5.16.47 PM Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 5.16.07 PM

Something Red.Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 5.18.35 PMScreen Shot 2014-02-16 at 5.18.00 PM

Something that can fly.Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 5.18.43 PM Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 5.18.52 PM

A Flower.Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 5.18.59 PMScreen Shot 2014-02-16 at 5.16.22 PM S0me thing to do with children.

Friday afternoon, I’d just flopped down in bed completely exhausted.  Mike entered the room, and said he’d like to go for a walk with me.  Some of you may realise I’ve just returned from Canada.  I’d been suffering some major jet lag.  My eyes were burning, and my mind had gone completely mush and I felt nauseated.  I didn’t stop to give myself time to adjust and had been working for two days before the weekend.  Needless to say my energy was really low, and I was not completely game for a walk.  He desperately tried to convince me, and I suggested he might go without me.  This was not the right answer for he suddenly offered to take us out for Mexican at our favourite place.  I perked up and agreed, as I couldn’t turn down delicious Mexican…

As we were driving, Mike and I sat in traffic.  He took us on a different road and suddenly we were a little off target.  I suggested we try somewhere new, in a nearby suburb.

“Leederville?”

Mike agreed and we continued on our journey.

He then suggested that we should try a place in Subiaco.

As we continued driving I noticed we were way past Subiaco.  I was pretty tired and comfortable so I took in the view and enjoyed the little road trip we were on.

“Holly, how about we try Claremont?”

Not knowing where that was I agreed.

Suddenly we were in Fremantle.  He said we should wander around and see what we could find for dinner.  As we began walking we passed the Esplanade Hotel.  He suggested we try it, and I agreed.  As we were walking into the dining area Mike turned quickly and placed a small plastic card in my hand.  “Room 252, I’ve booked it for you the weekend!  I know you’re pretty tired and it would be perfect to have a quiet few nights where you can relax”.

I started to smile and laugh, stunned and completely blown away (how the heck did I not pick up on it?)…I gave him a kiss.

I’ve never had anyone do something so romantic.  I couldn’t stop thanking and kissing him.

He told me he almost had to give it away when I was laying in bed in a heap, but the Mexican food got me motivated to get outside.  He spent the afternoon, picking out clothes and packed us a bag that was already waiting for us in our room.

We had an amazing weekend, cruising the markets, touring the Fremantle Prison, and enjoying each others company.

I feel so loved and special.

Before I knew about this trip, Mike and crumpled up two pieces of paper I’d made previously in the day. into his pockets.  It was a scavenger hunt that we’d talked about doing for months.  I was confused as to why he just shoved it in his pocked, but did not question it due to my exhaustion.  Anyway, these photos above at the result and we would be so honoured if you could help us decided which photos take top prize.

Thanks!

Holly & Mike

A Brief Encounter with Winter.

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I’ve just returned to Perth, from two weeks in frigid Ontario, Canada (my homeland).  I promptly left Australia to spend some time with my Aunt and Uncle.  I left with next to no warm clothes, and so hide from the wind, snow and -15 temperature just about every single day I was there.

Being back in Canada, I found it really strange to actually hear the Canadian accent on television and radio.  I’d never noticed what “we” sounded like before.  Also, the positivity and acceptance of gay people and transgendered men and women was also very refreshing to hear.  Most days on CBC a positive story would feature.

My beautiful cousin Vanessa gave birth to a healthy handsome boy while I was staying with her mum and father.  We are all very thrilled for her and her growing family.

I’ve missed Mike badly while I’ve been away.  We’ll be seeing each other for the first time in 3 weeks tomorrow!  Though to me it feels like it’s been a year!  I can feel my heart tighten a bit when I think of him…

From top to Bottom:

1. Winter’s sun glowing on the scene.  At my Aunt and Uncles home.

2. & 3.  Toronto’s InternationalAirport has some stunning artwork.  I walked through the centre of the black installation and was wowed by the sheer size and power of it.

4. Dad giving me the stink eye.

5. A Mississauga sunset.

6.  Tuesday, my Aunt and Uncle’s cat.  We had a violent encounter a few years ago, but apart from one instance, she was really lovely, and basically stalked me around the house for my entire 12 day stay.

7.  An attempt at documenting nature in snow.

8.  The view from dad’s house.

9.  Dad’s beloved Maggie.  She really is a sweetheart, however was in a nasty car accident before I arrived.  She looks pitiful in her outfit, but her wounds are improving.  She even gives kisses (much to my horror) while we changed her dressings.

10.  Sunrise through the glazing at the DubaiInternationalAirport.

For those who must endure winter, and want and escape our place has a spare bedroom so please don’t hesitate if you can get away from the cold!  I feel your pain…

I’ll sign off now, as I cannot keep my eyelids open any longer.