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AdbustI’m staying in Sydney for the time being to save some cash-o-la. The other day I tragically had to visit a mall (not for work trust me) to run some errands that couldn’t be done anywhere else. After being on the road for a while and not being near a mall I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed in the Bondi Junction mall. Who designs a place to be a an unfriendly, cold, trap, and maze of a place for people to be in? And no it’s not that I’m a guy and hate shopping..I actually like shopping if the place is rad enough.

No the other day I just about started to cry while I was in the mall. You see there are some good reasons for this I suppose.

  • Malls make it harder for smaller business to survive because big businesses get in their and can lower their prices.Def. how I felt!
  • There is sooooo much new stuff available in malls which makes me really upset considering all the available furniture, clothing, and other articles / materials available at Opt shops (read: thrift stores) and outside of peoples homes on counsel pickup days (here in Sydney people leave stuff outside of their house they don’t want — big items — and anyone can take them before garbage dudes do).
  • Do we know where all that uneaten food that has been prepared at the shops for you to eat is going afterwards folks? Probably a lot of it in the garbage I figure. Ahh it made me so sad. Give me access to this food at least geez.
  • Why are you so unhappy? Take a look at the people in malls. No one is smiling and everyone looks like they are trapped in a dungeon. Malls are made to be nice places with light, sun, atmosphere, buskers, little shops, cafe’s, etc. Oh wait I lied. The people who are smiling are those going out the door.
  • Do you really need all those bags? I mean is this more of a status symbol then a use? What about that bag around your shoulders couldn’t the stuff go in there.

It just made me realize a few things.

  • I need to continue to support small shops as much as I can. It encourages community aspects, supports families trying to survive, and keeps the little guy going.
  • To continue to buy used clothing or at least stuff that is fair trade.
  • To refuse plastic bags
  • To ask more stores if I can have the food they waste and give it to someone who needs it. Can’t really do this while on the road but maybe when I settle somewhere. There is this rad little cafe at UTS in Sydney that puts all the food that it has left over from the day out on the counter for people to take home before they close! What a rad idea! And I’ve heard of bakeries that do that here as well.

It was refreshing to hear that my Aunt is also greatly in favour of small shops and isn’t that impressed with the Bondi mall instillation. This doesn’t surprise me I suppose because using small shops is a way of life for Australian and New Zealanders. The idea of malls is only a new one that most people are not that impressed with, and I hope for their sake they keep fighting it. And I hope for Canadians sake we just start supporting smaller shops again! PLEASE!To deal with the sadness I felt I rode the entire way home on my new (read: found on the side of the road, repaired, and rescued) trick bike home in the rain. Man that felt good to splash through the rain and get absolutely soaked.

– Shane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pfft as if!

[I highly recommend checking this out at as there is some really amazing seeds that can be purchased that are perfect for the Calgary climate! Plus with these seeds and a bit of saving you can reuse them unlike those crappy ones you buy at the store] 

Seedy Saturday

Mark it on your calendar and don’t miss out!

Date: Saturday, March 24, 2007, from 10 am to 3 pm

Location: Montgomery Community Centre – 5003 16th Ave NW (Hwy 1 and Home Road)

Admission $2.00 – We accept Calgary Dollars

TomatoesCome together with prairie gardeners and seed savers to buy, sell, or trade seeds and gardening know-how. This family event will have displays by local seed savers, prairie seed companies, native plant collectors, conservation groups, community gardeners, organic growers; as well as, a seed exchange table, refreshments, presenters, entertainment, and a kids corner. Come get open-pollinated seeds and talk with local farmers and gardeners. Set yourself up for a terrific gardening season!
   
Let’s keep the skill of growing from seed to seed alive in Calgary. As large commercial seed companies consolidate and only offer more hybrids and patented varieties, we increasingly lose the regionally adapted collections that have developed for our unique prairie climate. Help maintain this irreplaceable genetic diversity by growing non-hybridized, open-pollinated varieties. Discover the superior taste of heirloom varieties of vegetables. Learn to save seeds and share them with your neighbour. As you grow them season after season they will adapt and grow that much healthier!
   
If you don’t do it, who will?
   
Check out http://www.uofc-garden.ca for more deets or contact Lindsay at 244-9606 for more info.
   
This event is hosted by the U of C Campus Community Garden and Calgary Dollars.

According to a friend I was speaking with yesterday Polynesian or Maori (sorry don’t remember which) say that in their beliefs it is better for a person to pass along things that they own rather than keeping it completely to themselves.

It’s something that I love to hear. It’s something that reminds me of the essence of good community when you gift something to someone, and then they in turn do the same when they are finished with it. Plus think about all the material stuff that we would stop wasting if we passed things along.

So the first thing I did was contacted my friend Kelsey who is moving into a new home to see if she wanted my desk that I still have lying around in my sisters basements… (read: collecting dust and not being of any use unless given away)

Love, life, and laughter friends,

 Shane

PS – next are all these books I have been carrying around and a few other things I can offload.

My bedThe last few days have been spent at a beautiful permaculture backpackers called the Treehouse. There is a reason that this place has a history of being the best backpackers hostel in all of New Zealand and I think it makes plenty of sense. When you arrive the entire hostel is covered in native forest that has been regenerated from 20 years of permaculture work by the beautiful couple that owns this hostel and land. Essentially, when they first arrived it was old sheep grazing land with a few old natives trees around the land. As they tell their humble story to me about reclaiming the land by letting things grow more wild within the grazing land I look around and find myself taking a deep breath of fresh air. Permaculture is the way to go for sustainable food production folks. I know that now and I know that this is where i’m headed in my life. Full stop. It’s impressive to be here in a place that has turned a cleared native forest from a sheep feeding acreage back into a native forest again.

AND they have planted many native and non-native fruit / nut varieties throughout the forest (permaculture concept to have food placed throughout a forest). Some of the fruit I’ve noticed is gala apples, lime, macaroon nuts (oh yeah baby), pears, bananas, guava, grapes everywhere! I decided this might be a cool place to woof at (and save some cash) and have been spending today removing a dock from a swamp they have near one of the little huts you can sleep in. They put me up in a house bus for the time that I’m staying here which is pretty freakin’ rad cause I have a space to myself finally (no more snoring or people doing other things in the bed below me — ugg — ask me about that story later). But if you ever have the chance PLEASE come here and spend some time. This place is freakin magical and so are the people who own it.

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