Tuesday, 15 April 2014


Okay, hi, yes I did post earlier today explaining all about my computer problems but I am back, computer problem solved (fingers crossed), masses of photos uploaded and brain brimming with an overload of electronic stimulation. Deep breath.
So, here is what I was planning on doing, mostly because I would prefer to take it easy on myself, but   what I was thinking was, how about I kind of just throw you all out there, out into these snippets of our lives with only the vaguest of descriptions, yes, I know, not quite the grand and spectacular homecoming I am sure you were all waiting for but instead, merely the one that feels right for me. Slowly, slowly with minimal need for too much information, any great wit, nor the need for too much wracking of a, ah at times, wonky memory. Okay? Let's go.

To celebrate our beautiful friend and, lucky for us, neighbour, Nina's birthday, we showered her with love, gifts and a delicious, kind of experimental cake based on this recipe. It is true that I thought that a layer of mango and avocado/choc mousse would maybe make it even more delicious than the divine looking berry topping in the original recipe and yes it is true that I threw caution to the wind and did not peel my almonds after soaking (the fact that I was using almonds rather than cashews was already pushing the boundaries), but I must say the gamble paid off the cake was really very delicious, with great flavours and wonderful textures, oh and it satisfied some of our dear friends who are gluten free and the fact that our oven was broken.
But just a word on the lovely Nina, a beautiful human who is open and full of love, wisdom and curiosity, as always I cherish friendships where things are really explored, conversations that are rich, understanding, challenging and interesting. When Nina and I talk it is often around our children, it is often interrupted, it is often left wanting but it is always with understanding, this is how conversations often happen when little ones are around but in that there is so much beauty and acceptance. Thank you Nina for all those juicy half conversations that we so often have.
Okay that wasn't that short at all, but don't get too excited because basically that is as good as it's going to get. 
A delightful play with Ginger and Ilo, oh the love. 
It has been too long between protests, so because there were so many things to march against we decided to do the March in March. A peaceful protest, a wonderful turn out, a time to reflect and become reignited in the passion to bring about change. 
A beautiful friend at the march, wearing a top that I made, her whole outfit made me smile with delight. Come on, a high waisted lime green polyester skirt and a beautiful floral mid-drift top, yes, it takes a very special human to pull of this look, in a way that is totally gorgeous, effortless and supremely natural. 
A wonderfully long party in the Thora Valley, filled with swinging, horse riding, water balloons, river swimming, cubby house making, chasing, hiding and some obscure french pop songs. 
In the cardboard box we trust and love. Always and forever. 
A show, usually filled with some serious dance moves, is always around the corner. 

Communication breakdown

Hello lovelies, apologies for my absence of late but our computer broke, which means, yes no blogging, minimal emailing and many more hours in the day, to tell you the truth I haven't missed it that much. Our beautiful neighbors kindly lent us their iPad last night, hence my ability to put this post out. So while you all wait with (ahem) baited breath for our computer to be fixed and the onslaught of a large amount of photos and a moderate amount of words, you might like to pop over to the blog of this beautiful family, whom we recently had the pleasure of meeting when they popped into Bellingen the other week, far from their home in Daylesford. I felt an instant connection with this beautiful family, on an absolutely inspiring journey. Cycling as a family, foraging and hunting for their food, camping where they can and making friends with strangers as they are welcomed into the homes of many.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

hemp harvest

A few weeks ago Scott and I had the pleasure of being part of an industrial hemp harvest. Harvesting involved collecting the stalks, ensuring they were of a certain size, stripping back some of the leaves, piling them together and then collecting three piles together and standing them up like a teepee and tying them together, these are called stokes and are used to dry the crop. This trial plot of industrial hemp was planted as a not-for-profit project to raise awareness and to trial a technique which is suitable to our region. Once stripped the crop will be used to build an on-site educational studio out of the hemp stalks and hempcrete, demonstrating one of the thousands of ways in which hemp can be used. Hempcrete is an absolutely amazing building product, it has great thermal insulating and acoustic properties, buffering temperature and humidity, preventing damp and mould.
I have to say that the day of harvesting warmed by heart and widened my smile, I admit I did romanticise it a bit by creating visions of Amish barn raising in my head, but honestly I did not have to romanticise too much at all, it was a nurturing, sweaty and community building day. I loved that there were all sorts of people helping, from the very young to yes the ones who were older than others. We sweated together, exchanged stories, shared a meal and relished the drops of rain that sometimes stopped to refresh us. It was beautiful and I look forward to seeing how this crop will further wield it's magic on our community (n.b industrial hemp contains no THC, just in case you were curious).

Thursday, 20 March 2014

our market + some of very special talks

Interestingly as I was checking out when I last brought our beautiful Bellopy markets to your attention I realised that it was pretty much a year ago, literally, take a couple of days. So, now it is to be, even though these markets are visited fortnightly I will endeavour to give you annual updates so that you can see how it has grows and evolves.
I love these markets, they are simple and rich and hold the most beautiful of intentions; supporting local farmers that grow food with sustainable, ethical and humane practices. On the 1st, 3rd and 5th Friday of every month these small markets create their own special buzz in town, there is always music, people to meet and fresh and delicious produce to buy. One week we were bombarded (in the best possible way) with an assortment of absolutely stunning eggplants of so many shapes, colours and sizes, the next market the absolutely stunning lychees beheld by heart.
The passion that Susan (who runs the market) has for spray free, ethical and humane produce is contagious, she is passionate about giving farmers a fair price for their beautiful goods (she doesn't charge farmers for having a stall but asks the visitors to contribute a gold coin donation to cover the hire of the space), she gives them a voice and a place where all their hard work is well and truly appreciated.
Susan (along with many other Bellingen folk) recently participated in TEDX Bellingen, you can see her inspiring and yes passionate talk here but please check out all the other talks, they are absolutely inspiring. I would definitely recommend watching Jennie Fenton's talk 'Inclusion, belonging and the Disability Revolution', but be warned you will need tissues and some extra time in your day, as you will be so moved and so inspired you will need to take action straight away, I promise.