Creating an urban homestead and news about life.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A dinner party, and my trip to work...on foot.

Well, two weekends ago I went to canberra to pick up furniture from some relatives. Last weekend, I had my first dinner party. It was a lovely night of delicious food and great company. Robi and Adam on the right brought a lasagne, salad and garlic bread, Tracey and Jill on the left brought dessert (cheesecake and apple pie) and Lynda brought drinks. I provided an entree of a Tom yum soup, with fish and dried mushrooms and rice noodles.

All these guys are people I know quite well from my church, but none of them really knew each other before the night. I quite enjoy introducing people and building community. Invite them, chuck them in a room together and watch new friendships grow. Whether anyone decides to catch up again apart from at another dinner party I hold, I love the fact that when they meet again they will no longer be strangers.

Also, I thought I would share my walk to work with you. This is only possible because of the direct decision I made to buy a home close to town. I am now located in a place where I literally would never need to drive a car again. At the moment I am still driving, although only to places I can't walk to. My church is a 7 minute drive away which is not realistic to do late at night. Should petrol become un realistically expensive I will either have to carpool more with others (I am already trying to do this where possible) or consider moving churches, which is not an option I really want to consider as I love my church. The other option is riding my bike, which I have bought and used now. Anyhow, also withing walking distance are all the local shops, the town's main bus station, from which I can get to the train station, the beach, and most capital cities in Australia. I can also walk to my mother's home, and numerous friends, hospital and doctors etc.

These hibiscus bushes are my first stop. They were overgrown and completely covering the path until someone who will remain nameless and is not me took to them after an evening shift (about 1am) with a pair of branch loppers. This has made the path accessible and the bushes a profusion of flowers.

The bushes are next to a doctor's surgery which has the most beautiful cottage garden, including a pathway of lavender bushes. These are always full of flowers and smell divine when the sun is out. I am planning to take some cuttings soon.

This is our central town park. Within the park is the local guide hall where I did Brownies and Guides from age 7 to 15. This park was definately part of my childhood. It has some lovely rose gardens and more recently camellia gardens which add to to park. A regret for me is that council decided to remove the waterlillies which used to cover the surface of the water. Now the ponds are much dirtier and much less attractive, and I worry about the nutrients which flow into it I believe as storm water. I have often thought of secreting a couple of plants in at night. Any one have any that need dividing???

One thing I love in our town is that local artists were commissioned to paint all the electricity boxes. There are some brilliant ones and this one is by no means my favourite, it's just the one I pass on the way to work. One has a circus theme, another cows. If I remember, I'll try and photograph some more if anyone would like to see them. It definately improves the streetscape.

This photo is one of the last parts of my walk, and probably the most depressing at the moment, a constant reminder of the rising cost of living, but also as I walk past it an encouragement that everytime I walk I am not only saving the environment, but also my hip pocket. It definately motivates me to think of ways to not need to use the car, like shopping at the hardware store in town rather than Bunnings, like riding the bike to my friends house, which is harder and takes more time, but leaves me fitter and the planet healthier.

What does the rising price of petrol challenge you to do??? I'd love to hear some of your creative ideas, and focus on what we can do to change. There's lots of fears and concerns but lets help each other find the answers.


ps. Rhonda at Down to Earth just pointed out an interview that screened last night in Australia with Richard Heinburg, oil expert. You can read the transcript here


Melinda said...

Hannah, congratulations on your first dinner party! What a great way to connect and build community! And I love that you also made a direct decision to move close to town. We feel completely rewarded by having done so. We LOVE it, love our walks, love saying hello to people in our neighborhood, love being able to walk to nearly everything we need.

If it weren't for a couple of things, we'd rid ourselves of our car as well. Mainly, it's my weekly visit to my grandparents', to take them out and talk endlessly once a week.

The Hunky Gardener said...

Garden till ya drop!

han_ysic said...

I haven't gotten rid of my car either. I use it to visit relatives and to transport stuff for the garden. Try and get lifts or walk as much as possible as public transport locally is pretty much nil, although I can get to other cities, esp Sydney easily by train.