The time has come….

The Walrus and the Carpenter is a ‘non-sense poem’ by Lewis Carroll.  Somehow it seems appropriate to begin with it…..

Regular readers of this blog would have noticed that I’ve not been as regular in my postings this year.  Now it’s time to explain the situation. Or at least try to…..

When I moved to my current place in February of this year, it was to a small cottage on a dairy farm run at much less than capacity.  Some would say neglected.  I was happy with that state. My lease is with the Corporation who owns the property, and not with the manager of the dairy farm.  Shortly after moving here, I found out that all was not happy between those two parties, and weeks later, it came to light that a new manager was being sought.  Around the same time, a spokesperson for the Corporation, knocked on my door, and informed me that my lease would not be renewed as the new manager would require the cottage for a farm worker.  Yes I had a 12 month lease, but had hoped to stay put for a while longer than that, after all the changes I’ve endured recently.  It was most upsetting.  It also gave rise to a change in thinking about how and where I live, to avoid this all too familiar scenario as a renter.  (By the by, I’ve always had great references from any landlord so no faults found there)

Eventually I was able to discuss the matter with the Agent handling the lease, and was assured the visit I’d received was out of line, and she’d be dealing with it and not to be too concerned.  My fears were slightly reduced but I kept on doing some research just in case.

The new manager duly arrived, and he and his family are friendly and definitely caring of their livestock.  Not only dairy cows, but horses and most recently pigs!🙂 And he didn’t require me to move out.

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Fred meets miss piggie

However……  in the process of bringing the property up to scratch, last week he brought in the contractor to spray the weeds.  Hmm…..  it’s now confession time to you about me.

Back in 2005 I was diagnosed with ME/CFS.  Later on I realised I also had linked MCS.

At the time I was self-employed as a gardener, and needless to say, I had to eventually give that up and accept a disability pension.  I won’t go into all the details, other than to say it completely changed my life.  Over the years, I’ve spent thousands of dollars in my search for wellness, or at least, some painfree days.  To that end, I have been reasonably successful, and can now at least live semi normally some of the time.  With care.

It then followed, I needed to move close to the coast in order to get air that was less polluted with chemicals.  On a limited budget I did the best I could, always weighing up the physical benefits with the social/psychological  aspects.  Four years later or so, here I am, once again faced with chemical onslaught.  This past week I had to evacuate from my home at short notice.  Luckily I had a friend in the region to stay with.  Once a day I’ve come back to look after the cats who have been shut inside the cottage, as I felt it less disruptive for them that way, while my dog is with me.  Due to wintry weather, the spraying has been disrupted, and not all of it has been completed.  The spray unit is parked within smelling distance of my place despite my request it be moved further away.  So even though the air coming off the paddocks are now less unsafe for me, I still cannot walk around outside without concerns of contamination.  Even with a face mask.  Sadly, it’s not going to be  one-off event, and so my time here is now limited.  I shall be applying to have my lease cancelled without penalty once I’ve set-up my next step.  Which will be life on the road.  I cannot face this constant search for a safe home any longer, so I’ll be a tortoise and take my home with me.  (On a side note, I have Moon in my Fourth House, and according to some, it has the effect of this constant shifting of where I live, so now I’ll just give in to it and stop fighting the inevitable.  My whole life has been one of shifting…..and not generally of my choosing.)

What I’d like to purchase is something like this little bus.  The reality of my finances depleted by the costs of previous moves, is more like this, which I’d have to refit to my requirements – no toxic materials in the interior.  Squeezing the two cats and dog and myself into it will need some very creative thinking :-)  By the way, I do have two tents, one very good, from my camping days, and equipment, so that’s always a fallback scenario.

Meanwhile, I’m taking it one day at a time.  Today, I’m able to be inside my home longer than previously, but won’t take the chance of sleeping here – not while the spray unit is in sight.  For some years now, I’ve been calling myself an Environmental Refugee, even though it doesn’t yet fit with the current definitions – but given the massive market in extremely harmfull chemicals, more people are finding themselves in a similar situation and speaking up about it.  One active group in raising awareness is March Against Monsanto.

So there, in a rather large nutshell, is the situation.  I’ll just have to keep looking forward and trust…….

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Looking forward

 

 

It’s time to change from outmoded houses!

Definition of outmoded – no longer usable or practical; obsolete.

The cyclone in Queensland has wrecked many homes and caused disruption to power supplies and in turn to water supplies.  People are concerned about the situation. – http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/05/3130932.htm?section=justin

The ABC radio program By Design discussed design of houses in light of recent weather events and also about the trend of Australian houses getting bigger – in fact, Australians have bigger houses than Americans!  We have the – in my view – sad distinction of building the biggest houses in the world.

And yet, nothing really was said about revising the way we think about houses and communities – surely a debate should be taking place now that there’s an opportunity to do things differently.

It is obvious to many, that there will be many more extreme weather events taking place in the near future and we need to be better prepared to deal with them.  Shelter is critical.

Earthship Biotecture was created to deal with these situations, yet has been slow to get accepted by the general public.

There are other worthy inspiring options also.  Inhabitat has a range of alternative designs.  I love their Top 5 Tiniest Tiny Houses.

A great blog on Green Building is Baosol

Then of course, there is the Bogota Experiment. Inspirational changes within a city environment.

Come on – wake up! The world as we know it is changing.  Will humans become outmoded?  Yes,  if they fail to adapt to the changing situation.  Nature cannot be controlled, She must be worked with, not viewed as the enemy.

I live in a country that was settled by people who mostly had no understanding of climate and who viewed the natural world as something that had to be conquered.  Sadly that thinking, whether conscious or not, is still rampant.

This old ruin is a typical example of a house unsuitable for this climate.  It faces west thereby getting the full brunt of a searing afternoon summer sun.  Time and time again this basic principle of correct alignment of a building is ignored in the placement of modern buildings.  For some reason, people want their houses to face the street.  Strange……I’d rather a home that was pleasant to live in.