Thursday, 28 June 2007

A Full Belly

Hot minestrone!
Evey Knevey Pumpkin came over to visit, bringing with her a bucket full of veggies, and she proceeded to make us a huge pot of the most orgasmic soup! It was so yummy! and so nice to have a spunky chick come over and make me dinner ;)
and of course I love showing off our wonderful home :D

A good day, all in all, after the disaster that was yesterday; ended up having a terrible fight with Purple. What to do.

this weekend we go to Nymboida to visit and pick up our tipi. and its Purple's driving test tomorrow...

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Birds in the Night

We were on the way back from the Rainbow scout meeting, and in the dark there appeared sitting on the road this white object. At first it looked like a plastic bag in the road, and Purple didn't have time to react, we just drove right over it. luckily, we didnt hit it, I made Purple turn around and see if it was alright, and unbelievably it was still just standing there in the middle of the road, seemingly unharmed.
Before I had time to do anything or even whip out my camera, another car came and scared it away, but it was a really amazing bird.
After much internet searching, I found this website, which is about the closest pic I've found, and it seems this is our Bird

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Welcome Home

So now we have internet on, AND I found the cable to upload photos from the camera to the computer... I'll put some pics of our place

Here is the view from where we park Sunshine...

There's a few cows in this paddok, they're pretty free-range, and Littletree loves feeding them our compost.

This is the view from the other direction, looking up above the cottage, from next to the citrus orchards.

Ahhh, I love to wake up and see this wonderful wall of green forest in the morning :D

This is our little home, with its terraced garden.

you can see the bedroom window upstairs and Littletree playing on the grass.

Here is the inside - well, this is a pic I took on the day we moved in, I've decorated it a bit since then, and Littletree has a different dress on.

Notice that our fire is made of an old beer keg ;)

Rustic and simple, but perfectly adequate. and we even have hot running water and electricity off the grid and broadband!

And this:

So we're not exactly roughing it ;)

Well, its too cold and rainy to use it just now, but it makes me feel like we live in a fancy luxurious resort, even though in reality its a rustic stone cottage.

Especially now that we "weather-proofed" the house by stuffing all the cracks in the walls with old brown-paper bags, and cut up scraps of an old foam mattress!

Online At Last

I am actually sitting in our little cottage, ONLINE!!!
Purple, the wonder genius, actually managed to fix the phone line (which is really just a LOOOONG extension cable from the neighbour's house 60M away), and hook up the modem, so, we are now officially online.
Purple can work from home :)
which is great because until now he's been having to go down to town to use the internet, and the net hotspots turn off early, so he cant work effectively, and the last day we managed to get the broadband connected next door, and he was sitting in the rain trying to work.
There's still some fiddling to do to make it really good and set up, but, it WORKS!!!

meanwhile, its still raining, three days now. raining raining raining.
but its, nice, we are cozy in our little cottage, and since we stuffed all the gaps in the walls with brown paper bags and scraps of an old foam mattress, its warm inside.
and whats more, we can now proudly say that we live in a house made of garbage ;)

Sunday, 24 June 2007

The First Movie

Well, its all over now;
We took Littletree to see a movie, Shrek the Third, at the cinema, her first time!
It was a long process, we'd been talking about it for a while, explaining to her how it works, that there will be a lot of people inside, and very dark, and we wont be able to talk or make any noise in there. But she really wanted to see the movie (and so did we), so in we went.
and of course Littletree was so wonderful, she was the kid who "behaved" the best in there, and even told me and Purple off for talking ;)
So I suppose we've just set outselves up for having to take her to the cinema evey time a new kid's movie comes out; at least we dont have TV so she wont know about most of them ;)

It was a perfect end to a long day, we spent the morning at White's beach, near Broken Head, with Simon and Julia, and their 3 year old daughter. Simon and Julia are old friends of Purple, actually Purple was hitchhiking around in the UK with Julia when Simon picked them up. What a romance! It was such a glorious day at the beach, and so crowded (we were the only ones there), though a little windy.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Acclimatising to Paradise

We are getting settled in our little oasis, I still dont have photos uploaded yet, but we should have internet connected there this week, so it'll be done soon!
The last few days have been a gentle blur of unpacking and organising, collecting wood for the fire (its mighty chilly of a nighttime), playing with Littletree...

Of course, the place is infested with ticks and leeches, so part of our day consists of checking for and the removal of bloodsucking parasites, but we're settling in. Littletree really seems to be flourishing. I think she's a bit tentative, but really catching on to the idea that we are living here, its our home, and its HER space. And its great that there's 2 other girls on the property; one a year older and one a year younger - perfect!

So while Purple has been down in town working, I've been putting up nice curtains and cleaning and making things nice.

Yesterday I spent the day with Littletree, just playing with her and really having a great time.
She came up with such a wonderful statement:
We were playing "Dora", as in Dora The Explorer. I was playing Swiper the Fox, and she was Dora (of course). Littletree instructed me to swipe some keys from her, which I obediently did. She then said:
"Swiper, listen to me, I need to tell you something important. Its not good when you swipe stuff, those keys are my keys, and I need them, and I dont like you to swipe things from me. If you want something, you can just ask nicely for it, okay?!"

I (as Swiper) replied, "oh, okay, I wont swipe anymore. Can I have a turn of your keys?" After a minute she ran off, and came right back to tell me (as her mother) of the positive conversation she'd just had with Swiper, and that he'd agreed not to swipe any more.

Ahhh, she's just wonderful :D and yes, I'm gloating, but I think I deserve to.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

A Homely Home

We rented a house!
That's it, we are no longer drifting vagrants!

I'll post pictures soon, but anyway, its about 15 minutes drive from Mullumbimby at Upper Wilson's Creek, its a little cottage, made of stone, on a property with 2 other houses, both of which have single mothers with daughters about Littletree's age living in them. the property has 200 fruit trees af many varieties, citurus, starfruit, jackfruit, mango, avocado, etc, that have been left fallow and we are allowed to pick as much of the fruit as we like. There is a huge, gorgeous salt water swimming pool (!), and a freshwater spring on tap right to our cottage. its the best sweetest yummiest water too. We also have modern conveniences like gas hot water and elecricity, and we're getting the internet connected soon.

the cottage is small, but totally sufficient for us, and it has a massive yard full of trees (one of which even has a tree-house) and an established veggie garden. not to mention other kids around, who are going to be homeschooled!!!

I know, its PARADISE!!!! and the rent is just so low its incredible!

Whats the catch? no catch really. The owner is trying to sell the property, so IF it sells, (which is unlikely at this point, because all the buildings on the property have been built without planning permission, and are therefore illegal, so no one wants to buy it) then we would have about 2-3 months' notice to move.

But in the meantime, its PERFECT!!!

We spent the day up there cleaning out the cottage, and tomorrow we'll go and move all our stuff in and make it nice and habitable (its been empty for a long time so it was in a bit of a state), and we'll move in on friday :D

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Hard Dayze

What a ballagan we had last night!
Littletree was (as usual) naked, and though the days are hot and sunny, its still winter and the night gets a bit chilly. She started to complain that she was cold (of course, this comes after I suggested about 100 times that she might like to wear something warmer).
so she as starting to whinge that she was cold, I offered her to help her wear some clothes. Naturally, she refused, and asked for a blanket.
thats when the nightmare began.

Littletree likes to have a blanket on her in a very specific (and physically impossible) way. she wants me to stand at the foot of the bed, lit the blanket up into the air and throw it so it lands on her perfectly. I do my best.

She starts kicking and whining "NOT LIKE THIS!" it took me a long time of her screaming that she wants the blanket on, trying to put it on her and her responding "not like this", and angrily kicking the blanket off. she acts as if the blanket is burning her. she works herself up into a 2-yesr-old style tantrum, gets hysterical, and I get frustrated.

I know from long experience that she wants the blanket to be laid flat on the bed, perfectly straight, perfectly even and covered on all sides, and FLAT. of course, with her under the blanket, this is simply impossible, and if I do somehow manage to get it good enough, if she moves so much as a milimetre, then its messed up. The irony is that as soon as I place the blanket, work hard to get it right, she has to sit up a bit to see if I did it correctly, and thus musses up the blanket.

We decend into a spiral of madness from there.

She's screaming at me to put the blanket on her, whining that she's cold, i'm doing my best, but in the end, its really all futile, like dealing with a psychotic Queen of Hearts. I ost my temper and tried to force clothes on her, Purple came in and tried to hold her still.

It was awful.

In the end, she fell asleep crying and I put the blankets on her, and stumbled off to be, miserable, feeling like a failed parent :(

Its all a learning process, and naturally, this morning she woke up bright and cheery, and immediately started whining tha the blanket was wrong. :(
I was just firm with her, said calmly that I wont respond if she is going to whine at me that way and asked her to come and hug me. eventually, she stopped screaming and came over. I hugged her and that was it.

The moral of this story: mornings are no problem, I can be the unconditional-attachment-parenting-gentle-discipline super-goddess, but I dont cope well with stress in the evenings. after about 6pm, I just cant do it.

Its all a process, hey?

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Farming Children

Another funny thing, in melbourne, flipping through the Melways street directory, I happened to see, right next to Studley Park, is the Collingwood Childrens Farm

Honestly, the mind boggles! Is this where the Studs from the park over the road come to harvest their children? Or is it where they grow the raw material for such insidious products as Baby Oil and Baby Powder?

Here you can see the map:
Its a pretty old edition of Melways, I think from the early '90s, so the page number (2D) might not correlate to the latest edition, but totally verifiable to anyone interested.

For a better view, I zoomed and cropped a bit, see below:

On the topic of Baby Oil and Baby Powder, if they are producing it there, this could be a good source for 100% pure products, which I thought had gone off the market long ago.

Actually, did you know that Baby Oil and Baby Powder are not made from real babies anymore? Its all artificial! Also toothpaste doesnt contain real teeth! Just another instance of how corporations are ripping us off and using cheap synthetics rather than genuine ingredients!

It's a SIGN!!

We planned to go for a hike up around the Byron Lighthouse today, but so far, we didnt go... We did manage to go for a walk to the super to buy eggs, which of course took about an hour; walking with Littletree isnt the fastest way to travel, and buying Eggs isn't as easy as you'd think. First, there's all these different grades; cage, barn and free-range. there are also the barn eggs that are endorsed by the RSPCA. Obviously I want to get the most free-range eggs as possible, but they're all so expensive! then, there's some that are organic, and some that arent. some of the organic eggs are freerange, others aren't. some of the freerange ones aren't organic. And just when we finally worked out which were the cheapest free-range and organic eggs, we realised there were different SIZES of eggs, and the size ranges arent the same for every company. add into the mix the different sized boxes (6, 12 or 18 eggs), and it made for a really long mission.
In the end, we made it, but by then Littletree had enough and just wanted to go home. So we spent a lovely sunny saturday at home doing computer stuff. Well, its not so lovely, its pretty cold, just sunny.

In a completely unrelated topic:
Just driving around Australia, we've seen some of the funniest things.

Seems that the Uniting Church have found themselves a new god...

Or maybe just a new messiah?

There was another billboard, sadly the photo didnt work out, but it proclaims in huge letters

Do you want longer lasting
nasal delivery

It just gives a whole new meaning to the term "nose job". We just pissed ourselves laughing.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Unschooling Day

Littletree is spending the last days in the apartment; its cold and raining too much to go outside, but we've been taking advantage of puzzles and games in the house.

Yesterday we went on an adventure to the beach, of course, its a one minute walk, but Littletree cant walk out the door without making a map. so, I sat with her and drew a map, showing how we go out of our house, around the corner, up the street and over the grass to get to the playground next to the beach.

Its really amazing how she is managing to follow the map, and she can recognise details on the two dimensional paper, seeing how they correlate to things in real life.

She's watching TV a lot, especially in the morning when there are cartoons on, but after Sesame Street, its just boring housewife shows, so then she gets sick of it. And some of the shows are actually really cool. I see that there is value in it, even the shows that dont have any overt "educational" value. She is actually learning and absorbing stuff from these shows.

Though it was forecast to rain today, the sun is shining, so I should get off the computer and go out with her and enjoy it.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007


Its raining again.
how my eyes ache

A temporary Home

We looked at some places, but the prices are astronomical (rents have literally tripled since I was here 10 years ago!!! - should have bought property instead of travelling the world!)

So far no luck, but we ended up parking our van in the yard of my old friend Joy, the mother of Oshana, so it was great to be near Littletree's friend. and amazingly, on her land is a little cottage for rent, that suits our needs PERFECTLY, and is only $150/week, and has gas hot water and a phoneline we can get broadband on. its AMAZING. set on a wonderful property in the rainforest with a sweetwater spring, saltwater swimming pool and 200 fruit trees :D


The woman who is renting the place (not the owner, just a woman who also rents another house on the land), doesnt want another family with kids on the land (too much competition for her own 2 kids maybe). So we somehow have to go around her and speak directly to the owner.

Anyway, in the end, the constant stress of trying to get an internet connection for purple to work, and finding a place to live, and sleeping in our van... we just reached the breaking point and came into Byron Bay with the plan to rent a caravan in a caravan park.

Only problem was, there were no vacant vans, and the cheapest cabin we could get was $80/night.
For that we could rent a vacation apartment, a whole house with facilities, and not be in some crappy van.
We got depressed, and started to give up, driving back into town. Littletree was really picking up on our bad moods, and reflecting it times 10. We passed a Real Estate Agent's office, and I stopped so Purple could go in and ask about rentals. they didnt have anything suitable for us, but they did have a vacation rental, 1br apartment, just 100M from the beach, fully-furnished with balcony, secure parking, even a washer and dryer, available today, for $400/week, on a weekly basis.

Purple went right over to look at it (of course I kept myself and littletree with our bare feet raggy clothes and natty dreadlocks out of sight), and he signed it on the spot! so now we have a home, at least temporarily. (see photo)

And the biggest bonus; its right next to the beach hotel, which has free wireless, and we are close enough to get the signal from our balcony!!!!

yay!!! :D

We aren't homeless anymore. we can relax.

Okay, we still need to find a real home to rent, this is just temporary, and its about double what we want to spend on a place, but hey, we can afford it, and it means we have a base and Purple can work, which is most important.

Anyway, [sigh] I can chill now, and I think that's enough for now ;)

Sunday, 3 June 2007

The Scout Meeting

We made it to the scout meeting for the rainbow gathering around 4pm, and were happily greeted by friendly faces; a few old friends I've not seen for ages and a few new ones too.

The best thing was that there were other kids there; Sienna, a girl about 6 months older than Littletree and Oshana, a girl 1 1/2 years older, and a 7year old boy as well. The four of them fast became great friends, playing and being happy while the adults sat around the fire and chatted.

After dinner we had an informal talking circle for the rainbow scouting, which was nice, but uneventful, except for near the end, Purple got frustrated with people disrespecting the talking stick, and actually lost his temper and threw the stick violently at the head of our host :( It was a big shock moment, of course becoming a big drama. but being rainbow, it all turned out okay in the end, and we all talked about it. They even invited us to stay on camping there until we find our own place. But I just dont feel comfortable to be there any more. I guess time will just have to heal that wound.

The next day we went to a local gig, and slept in the van next to the hall, and the day after was the Byron Bay market. We've been looking pretty seriously for a home to rent, checking real estate agents and looking on all the notice-boards around the area.

Sigh, its tough, who knows what will happen. I just want to find a home!!!

Friday, 1 June 2007

The Journey continues

We arrived to Grafton on Thursday afternoon, and Purple parked himself again outside the McD's to work (its amazing, so far we've been in about 10 McDonald's places, sat each time for 4 - 6 hours, played on their play-ground, used their bathrooms and internet and not bought a single thing - in fact, I've sat there eating my own organic vege-chips and fruit and sandwiches, and no one has said anything!)

While Purple worked, I didnt want to hang around Grafton, so I took Littletree and her booster seat and hitch-hiked out to my friend's land in the bush at Nymboida, about 45km south-west of town. We got really easily up there, in 3 rides, but we never waited more than a minute for any of them.

It was so magical to be in Nymboida! Its been more than 7 years since i was there, and 9 years since I lived there, but it felt like i'd been away for a couple of weeks only! it was so great to visit Mali, and feel the calm energy of the place. Purple came up when he had finished working, and we had a yummy dahl for dinner and went to sleep in the van.

In the morning we went for a little enchanted walk around the forest, looked at the bush huts and sites, and just breathed in the forest air.


Again we hit the road, stopping in Ballina to (yep, you guessed it!) use the internet in the Mackers. Littletree made friends with a little girl and I've been sitting around bored for a few hours. Now we'll drive on again to get to the rainbow scout meeting in Mullumbimby this afternoon.