Saturday, 25 September 2010

We Rode

I thought we'd get a crowd of 20 people, I had hoped we'd get 30, but 40 turned up, which is about 1.3% of our small town's population.

We rode bikes and scooters. We rang our bells and we blew our whistles. We waved to people we know and those we didn't, standing on the footpath. We slowed the traffic to the pace of our cheers and wheels.

We reclaimed public roads as public space.

Then we all sat around with our celebratory ales, toasting the mighty and the free.

If you're this way inclined, please feel free to join the Daylesford Critical Mass Facebook page.

Or if you're that way inclined, please feel free to tune into ABC Ballarat this coming Monday at 6.40am (yikes!) to hear me talking about the event.

I look forward to riding with you in a month!

Thanks for the photos, Kate.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

En Masse

We made it! The weather here is still chilly and un-springlike, but the coldest wintry days feel like they're behind us.

We have walked and ridden our bikes on 90% of the journeys we made this winter past, and I am happy to report I haven't had a single cold. PJ takes a raw garlic clove at the first hint of a sniffle, but I swear by my daily intake of spirulina. And lots of time spent outdoors.

The advent of the warmer weather is bringing with it more people on bikes in this little town of ours, but not necessarily more bike awareness, so we thought we'd change that with our very own Critical Mass.

If you live anywhere near the Central Highlands, we're meeting at the zebra crossing outside Daylesford Primary School at 5pm on the last Friday of each month, which means our inaugural ride is tomorrow.

If you're going to come along, please do come say hello. For those of you I've never met, here's what I look like:

And yes! That is a puppy in my basket. Introducing Zero, the newest addition to The Artist as Family. He's a 9 week old Jack Russell and he'll be coming along tomorrow too.

Hope to see you there!

(Thank you, Kate for the photos.)

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Starry Starry Nose

We have been watching with much delight, each weekly episode of the series Life, narrated by David Attenborough. We have been mesmerised by insects, enthralled by reptiles, and last night we were spellbound by an assortment of animals hunting and hiding.

Featured in the most recent episode is the star-nosed mole. I had never heard of it before, and I definitely hadn't seen one — it's not an animal one is likely to forget.

Isn't it remarkable? Aren't we lucky to be alive at the same time?

Just after the British colonised Australia, a platypus was taken from these shores to the Empire where people couldn't believe their eyes. They thought the animal was a hoax; that the sailors who had brought the specimen might have been playing some kind of joke on them. What would they have thought of the star-nosed mole??

If you're interested in finding out more, here's a great four minute vid:

Friday, 3 September 2010

Leave Them Kids Alone

The other day, when PJ and I had our heads buried in books, Z found an old chair in the shed.

The less we parent, the better for everyone — a sentiment PJ and I often talk about, and now that Z is growing up, a practice more easily fulfilled.

The book I had my head buried in was Tom Hodgkinson's, The Idle Parent, a book that expounds do-nothing parenting, just as Fukuoka posited do-nothing farming.

Hodgkinson writes:
We need low-impact parenting, do-nothing parenting, no-work parenting. Harness natural processes and nature will do the work for you. In the case of gardening, this may involve a lot of simply wandering about. Just sitting in your garden or strolling around it will produce umpteen ideas for low-effort improvement and refinement. So it is with children. Just sit near them with a book and watch them play and chatter.
...And incite new life into old things. And old parents like us.