Progress Update

June 15st 2016

Hasn’t been long since the last update, but it seems a lot has changed. Mostly because I’ve nearly run out of renovations to start. The result: psychological overdrive.

As planned, the solar rig is now complete. It seems to be working well, although only in direct sunlight, so it is indeed limited in its usefulness. The wind turbine is underway, but I’m waiting on a few tin cans to be emptied to use as its fins. No point in rushing that, so it will be done once I’ve used the contents of a few cans.

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Permanent solar rig up and running

Fair weather is also forecast for a little while and the tarp seems pretty sturdy at the moment too. So although I have the washing line ready to go, I might just hold off for a bit on the reinforcement of that.

The reason being that I’ve given myself a little time to take stock again. With so many ideas and things going on, I often lose sight of my goals. They have definitely been overshadowed recently. That’s not to say that recent efforts have been wasted. All this time working on the living situation and setup is valuable stuff. As is the time I’ve had to work on other skills, like reducing consumption. Dumpsters have been visited several times with excellent results and my wild food harvest skills are coming a long way since having received a little guidance (see Digging in for Winter). I’m confident I can find and identify several different edible mushrooms and have become a big fan of Sea Lettuce. Sorrel and Oxalis are becoming a more regular ingredient in my diet and I’m enjoying the new perspective on our abundant environment.

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Some of my wild harvest this week: Pine Bolete, Puffballs, Basket Fungus, Harore, Fungus Icicles and Sea Lettuce. Bellissimo!

It’s really wonderful when places which used to seem just like scenery, but now appear to be a more integral part of life. Actually, the two things (electricity generation and food hunting) have mingled together in the front of my consciousness to give me a new appreciation of the concept of conservation of energy. That energy is conserved in a closed system. That I cannot be created or destroyed. Only transformed from one form to another. It’s not a new concept nor is it new to me. What is new is my experiential awareness of it. So much time spent concentrating on shifting energy from the sun and wind to batteries. Monitoring the consumption of those precious volts and amps. Taking the time to notice where the components of food come from naturally. Doing my best to not consume more than I REALLY need. All these things are intimately tied to the idea of energy.

Other questions have come up too. In the previous blog, I touched on ‘where to next?’. That’s been a big one and a couple of answers have resurfaced from the past. The possibility of sticking around for a bit and giving a food truck a go with the goal of building a business and selling it on is buzzing around in the air and given all my entrepreneurial readings recently, I’m going to definitely investigate the viability. It’s fun watching an idea which was developed a bit a couple of years ago developing further with new inspiration and knowledge. Not going to delve into that one too much just now but perhaps later, if it looks to be an option.

More likely are the possibilities of running some canine education programs in schools and an unexpected spin-off idea that popped up in the process of searching for local schools’ contact details. While not exactly a shocking coincidence, I came across a rather interesting teacher training program which doesn’t require the fall back into full-time study. Instead, Teach First NZ is a work-while-you-train program focussing on improving teacher availability in areas where teachers are scarce. Luckily, Whangarei and the Northland area (which is where I was always aiming at) are included in these.

The other is the resurgence of an idea which kinda got lost in the renovation and search for a place to settle. The idea of a fundraising walk was briefly discussed waaayyy back in January. The time is right now to look at that option a little more seriously. I’ve got a few of the materials for the rickshaw and while I don’t see it happening for a good few months, it’s time to start planning.

I guess the purpose of this blog is not so much to diarise what has been going on in my head and life, but to explore the idea that perhaps it’s ok and maybe even important to wander off course. After all, many, if not all the best inventions have been accidental rather than defined objectives. The other point being how many options there are and that they can often be interwoven.

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