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Sorry for the extremely late blog folks. C and I have been getting out more than at any time since becoming parents. I am attending writing classes, C has a weekly art class, and we are both doing a circuit class. The weather has been dry and warm enough to get us back into the pool as well. All in all, less time to blog. Well, that, and the time-sinks known as twitter and facebook. Sigh.
We have, however, had another big electrical storm, which left us without power for half a day - but we were better prepared this time, and none of our electrical equipment was damaged. We have had enough blackouts so that we are seriously considering adding the optional battery backup pack to our solar panel system (when it is eventually installed) so that we can have light, power, and internet during power outages.
Apart from the painful circuit classes, most of my exercise has come from the digging, wheelbarrowing, mortaring, and block laying involved in constructing the retaining wall for downstairs. that project is progressing well - the interconnected fire alarms are installed, the laundry area power has been switched to the downstairs circuit, the workshop area has been switched to the upstairs circuit, and I have very nearly finished digging out the drainage trench.
Djanbung Gardens and Nimbin Info Centre staged an interesting and participatory community sustainability forum in the town hall through the second weekend in February, and C and I attended and will hopefully have some involvement in some of the outcomes from the Forum, which may even include reviving the near-moribund Nimbin LETS scheme. here's hoping.
the ongoing tasks of keeping a car on the road were more onerous than usual this month, as I needed to grapple with Australia's convoluted state-by-state vehicle licensing laws to " import" our wagon from Queensland into New South Wales. In the event, the manifold had to be replaced, and once the various insurances, registration papers and taxes had been levied I was left with a bill that could have flown me to London and back.
Louis and Mbweeda got wind of a good local chef doing a "music and themed dinner" event on the fourth Sunday of the month at the Tuntable community Hall - and, even better the theme of this Sunday was Mexican, which is a firm favourite in this household. We hadn't been to the Tuntable community proper before, but we weren't disappointed - the community hall/shop is a pleasant space with awnings and tables around a patio area, which filled up with local diners and local musicians who provided a not-at-all-Mexican themed (but rousing good fun) background, while we consumed sangria, Mexican mains, and cheesecake, and caught up with several people whom we really should make more effort to stay in touch with. it will definitely become a regular fourth-Sunday event.
This week, K's day-care sessions have given her a cold, which she first shared with C, and then with me, so we have been a little slowed down. As luck would have it, the woodchip guy chose Saturday afternoon, when I was actually feeling pretty damn ill, to show up and get stuck in to the large quantity of felled trees that had accumulated in our front garden since November. I had agreed to help in exchange for a mates-rates price, and I somehow managed to stagger around the garden hauling branches for 90 minutes, but it left me destroyed.
On Sunday, we once again caught up with Louis and Mbweeda, as their little girl Luyando had her naming ceremony in a grove by the creek in the shadow of Wollumbin. As Louis is Chilean, Mbweeda is from Zambia, and they make their home in the heart of the Australian aboriginal Bundjalung nation, they logically enough decided on a Cherokee naming ceremony for their daughter (her totem, we learnt, is the Lynx). The celebrant, a Mr. Running Fox, made the ceremony both enjoyable and meaningful. I don't have any plans for similar ceremonies for our daughter, but being part of this ritual made me think that perhaps it's a nice idea.

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