Jan 17

A Frustrating Beginning

Well our first full day in India was an interesting if frustrating experience.

We had an amusing, if somewhat wearing slog, through the domestic check-in followed by a one and a half hour wait on the plane waiting to take-off in the fog. A common occurrence in Delhi this time of year.

It is fascinating watching and being part of the endless checking and double checking that seem to dominate every part of life here and the airport provided some wonderful examples.

Example 1. Security Screening

Security screening and the airport is pretty standard except that after you clear the automatic scanner there is a guard who then rescans you by hand with the wand and pats you down. It seems kind of pointless to have the automatic scanner there in the first place. They also issue you with a tag for you hand luggage signifying that it has gone through the x-ray scanner.

Example 2. Checking your ID/boarding pass

How many times do you think you can be checked for ID and/or boarding pass? Don’t answer.

  1. Guard checks ID and boarding pass at the entrance tot he terminal. This includes a form of photo ID
  2. Person at the baggage check-in queue checks the boarding pass
  3. Person at the desk check the boarding pass
  4. Guard at the entrance to the gate lounges check the pass
  5. Guard at the queue for security checks the boarding pass before directing you to the appropriate line
  6. Guard at the end of the queue checks again
  7. X-Ray operator checks to make sure you still have the pass
  8. guard who scans you (remember him ) checks and stamps the pass
  9. second guard then take the boarding pass and copies the information
  10. airline gate  staff check the boarding pass as you go through the gate
  11. security guard half way along the boarding ramp checks your pass and the tag on you hand luggage
  12. finally the cabin crew at the door to the plane check the pass and direct you to you seat.

Whew! what a journey!

The flight to Chennai itself was uneventful but the drive to the hotel was chaos as the driver got lost and we took over three hours to find the hotel. After numerous wrong directions from the tour company office and well meaning bystanders he finally did what he should have done at the start, and fired up the GPS on his phone, and we were there 15 minutes later! The only advantage was that we got a very extensive view of the city and surrounds although it did mean we missed out on many of the planned sightseeing stops.

The hotel is basic but clean and the staff are friendly. We had a very nice take away meal from one of the local restaurants and we are looking forward to tomorrow. 🙂


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Jan 16


We are in

India !

We just arrived in Delhi on the first day of our eight week journey through this fabulous country.

I was quite surprised at how cold it was in Delhi with an overnight forecast of 5C and top tomorrow of 18C, but it is winter I suppose. 🙂

Hopefully there will be plenty to share about our trip , particularly around the the sustainability areas (for example, our upcoming visit to the Barefoot College).

It will be an exciting few months and hopefully we can keep you updated.


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Dec 27

Permablitz Part 2 and Post 100

Post 100? Wow!

A bit of a milestone for this little blog that started life as an experiment to get some blogging and website experience and then morphed into a sustainability and appropriate technology site.

So what to post? Why not a couple of random photos showing a taste of the backyard food forest bursting forth after our earlier permablitz and some of the produce.

fruit tree panorama-2014-lores

pears-loquats-olives-2014-loresA couple of panoramic shots of the some of the fruit trees showing the lush growth after installing the mulch pits. You can see Pears, Olives and one of the Loquat trees in this shot.


Peaches and Apricots galore!



The Grapes along the side fence are also doing very well.



jams-2014A selection of produce and the Plum and Apricot jams I made this afternoon. And there is so much left on the trees, I will be able to bottle a several kilos of the apricots as well. I love apricots 🙂 .

Even the Squash is taking over!


Quite Literally



Well there you have it, a small selection of pictures showing some of the amazing results of the Permablitz. We have so much fresh goodies growing in the garden. And that doesn’t include the eggs and the honey.

The funny thing is we have been really busy over the last three months and have hardly had a chance to work in the garden/food forest so it is significantly under producing! We expect that, in 2015 we will have a huge surplus and the food forest will become almost self sustaining.

And that is simply awesome!

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Dec 26

Only 364 Days Until Christmas

christmas-leprechaun-parties-christmas-painted-by-parrot-79204Well, Christmas has come and gone. The presents have been given and received. Most have been unwrapped and warmly received, some have been returned and exchanged.

Families have come together or been torn apart waiting only for New Years Day to forgive and forget.

The boxing days sales are over and the cricket is on at the MCG. Overfull tummies are starting to ease and the hangovers starting to recede.

The lazy, hazy days of summer continue down under as we get ready to welcome in the new year.

In all of this craziness and consumerism I look on with some amusement (and, I admit, bordering on condescension, like that of a reformed smoker)  now that I have jumped off the crazy merry-go-round of Christmas Cheer at any cost, to focus on family and friends. But no matter how you chose to spend the Christmas break, I hope it was all you wanted it to be.

One of the highlights again this year was our recycled Christmas tree. Well, not so much recycled as, built from recycled materials. You may recall that our living Christmas tree, we had for many years, died suddenly two years ago. In it’s absence, and we created a Christmas tree from recycled tinsel and other recycled items (see here).

Well we haven’t got around to getting another living tree yet so, at the last minute we (well Terri really) created this beauty from recycled Christmas decorations and an old lamp shade. Just Brilliant 🙂


So now we have 364 days to actually go out and get another little tree for Christmas, or not… we’ll see how we go :).


How will you decide to celebrate Christmas next year? Will you be in a state of panic and desire for that perfect day and special present for everyone you know, or simply get together with family and friends and celebrate another year together. Whatever you choose, there are only 364 days to make up your mind 😀

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