Sunday, November 26, 2006

Fon and 360 Fashion...

with thanks to Anina at 360 Fashion for the picture. Anina has been working on ecofashion with Hempworks and we spent the evening talking about fair trade, organic and natural fashion as well as the possible positive benefits of new technology as part of the solution to the environmental crisis. It was a positive exchange of ideas. The night before I was at Soma's tea which was awesome this time. I visited a sacred space that is in us all if we only look for it. The illusion of time in a living universe that is mind itself. The vision of compassion and beauty that arises out of the heart. Geshe-la has left for Paris and I wish him a safe trip back to India. There was much love around me and within me this night.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Beta...just a learning curve...

...or the shock of the new. I'm spending a quiet afternoon having fun with Blogger beta, Feedburner and HTML that works by some kind of rocket science that is beyond me. The pace of technology means we always have lots of new options but also that we (and our old hardware and software) are always catching up. Still I got there in the end. I spent the night deleting all the unwanted stuff on our recycled computer. It now boots up just a tad faster than continental drift. I would love to use Ubuntu as an OS but first I have to sort out the wireless connection. That's a geek problem way beyond my very limited technical skills so I'll need to call on one of my more nerdy technophiles to solve that one. Hi-tech trash is becoming a major waste disposal problem so this little bit of recycling is a small contribution to the solution. As flat screens are becoming more fashionable you see loads of old monitors on the street here. We should be able to set up a small community internet cafe with what we find. The idea is to offer free computers with open source and wifi and a cheap cup of organic coffee to keep the adrenalin flowing. But for now I'm off to the organic market and tonight it's mushroom teatime again.

Friday, November 24, 2006

A nice Polish lunch...

...I've been having a quiet day for a change. I had a visit from my Dutch philosopher friend and we had a nice Polish lunch. Since Oma came from Poland the catering in this establishment is much improved. We talked a lot about Spinoza and the good life. Sometimes a nice chat with a good friend and plenty of laughter is the best medicine. It has been a busy week that turned out well in the end. Many of my deepest values have been challenged of late and I've had to deal with many memories as well as cope with days full of frentic activity and crises that often drained my energy. So a nice lunch was long overdue. My Dutch friend left me with a warm glow in my heart. Must have been the fifties background music and the good food that set the mood. Joli weekend, mes amis.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Blogging for blondes... one of those blogs which are, generally speaking, hostile and, generally speaking, basically see their job as every day exposing how venal, stupid, mendacious politicians are, generally speaking I've been asking myself recently why I bother. After all Rachel does the political stuff much better and I'm an exile anyway. I can only use magic mushrooms legally here in Holland now. Theoretically in London I could be given life imprisonment for what I believe in doing. It was when I read Rigmor's piece on a grumpy Christmas that the penny dropped, this time in the company of some lovely isolater hash. What matters at the end of the day? The big picture, the small picture, or some weird combination of both? At the moment our house is full. Our Polish granny turned up today with lots of homemade goodies including a lovely handknitted Norwegian pullover. We finally have the internet after trying out three computers, three separate mice and three separate keyboards in a combination that works. So I'm no longer dependent on the free internet hour I get in the public library. Tomorrow my Tibetan friend arrives so I'm looking forward to having a Geshe in the house. It's all so trippy. Amsterdam is a strange moving feast. Just when you think you've got it she pulls another rabbit out of the hat.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Calling all dyslexic Satanists...

...golb early for Christmas as Santa is on his way to chocolate lovers everywhere. Rachel says that "As the US neo-cons unravel, you'd think the time for calmer voices calling for thoughtful debate would be heard. But politicians think they can win votes and leadership elections by swinging their dicks and stamping their feet and bellowing like gorillas with the tabloids gibbering a chorus.Until we stop indulging these macho ego-displays and grow up, we'll continue to get hysteria, fear, demonisation of Muslims and the febrile atmosphere of anger, suspicion and cynicism that such an explosive atmosphere brews." so come on, boys, put away your toys and stick your dicks back in your pockets so we can all have a nice green Xmas with lots of organic fair trade chocolate and some wicked dyslexic pudding. I've had such a stressful week that I have an urgent need to be silly so tonight I'm going to drink a beer with the maddest Polish DJ I know, the Funkymonkeyman. Skol, yule and Kali ma to yall. While all Joan Armatrading fans can be "open to persuasion."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tree protester fined 250 euros... an Amsterdam court today, as Michal Grygoruk was convicted of resisting arrest after trying to prevent over 20 trees from being cut down on the Uitdammerdijk 16 in the north of Amsterdam. The spontaneous protest took place on May 2 as the demolition crew moved in on the squatted campsite to cut down all the trees probably without permission. A number of the squatters had been bribed by the owner, Successparkeren, to leave. Michal knew nothing of the bribery and has to carry the can. This is an unsafe conviction that sends out the wrong message at a time when Wangari Maathai calls on us to plant more trees not cut them down. This daily incremental carve up of nature has a terrible cummulative effect. Every day species go extinct and nature loses some more of her inventory in a piecemeal silent holocaust. These twenty odd trees are no more. Yet another loss we can ill afford, and a decent man has been criminalised for his conscience.
"The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way." (William Blake)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Leighton in full colour beta... blue is the new blue as Leighton Cooke now has a leightoncookie URL to go with the space cookies. Talking of which I'm quite spaced at the moment. Which is why it took me till Sunday to finish this post. Had a nice supper with a friend from Israel last night. Sometimes the simple things, nice pasta, Belgian beer and good coffee in the company of good friends can make all the difference. Started growing wheatgrass from spelt this last week and its doing fine. Should be ready to eat in two days.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

More stuff happens... the Democrats win Virginia where Republican George Allen has admitted defeat. I'm drinking wine with some Canadian friends who are packing their kit and leaving for London for a few days. I feel the time has come to mingle my biography with the big picture. Will all this change my life. I do hope so for the sake of the three children I live with. Let's hope the world will now be a safer place with a better future. My five marijuana plants are doing fine and will be put into flower tomorrow. They have been grown in excellent organic soil and given seaweed and neem oil according to Soma's best organic principles. I also now have a prescription for medical marijuana for my arthritis which is practically non existent thanks to the 'erb. It's all good. And my Tibetan lama's coming to Amsterdam to do a meditation course so if anyone's interested get in touch. What a day!

Stuff happens...

...after all "Freedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things." and "Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war." and "I believe what I said yesterday. I don't know what I said, but I know what I think, and, well, I assume it's what I said." and "Well, um, you know, something's neither good nor bad but thinking makes it so, I suppose, as Shakespeare said." and "I'm not into this detail stuff. I'm more concepty." so now we know. As Donald fades into history we'll miss his grammar for sure. I'm grateful to Rachel for the link to these Donald Rumsfeld quotes. We wake up this morning to a different political landscape. The neocon scam is over and the neocon rats are deserting the sinking ship. They have stood in the way of dealing with the serious problems facing humanity and the earth for long enough. Maybe one day Rummie can be put on trial for his war crimes against the Iraqi people but for now let's just celebrate his departure and as Rigmor has a supply of bubbly we'll go back to hers.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Yet not enough say the kids... "Almost two thirds of young people believe we aren't doing enough to tackle climate change, a new survey reveals today (6 November) [1]. Friends of the Earth polled 1000 young people asking them for their view on climate change as part of a Shout about climate solutions week from 6 - 10 November. This nationwide week of activity will see some 1800 schools and youth groups working on projects ranging from making mini wind turbines to carrying out their own school energy audit.

The poll of one thousand 8 - 14 year olds also found that young people are becoming increasingly concerned about the dangers of climate change, with 75 per cent saying they were worried about the impacts of climate change compared to just 60 per cent of respondents in a similar poll conducted last year. The survey also showed that over half of young people had talked about climate change with their parents and that many young people have taken action to save energy at home and at school. Fifty seven per cent said they made sure they turned their computer, stereo or TV off when not in use rather then on stand by, and 60 per cent make sure they turn the lights off when they leave a room.

Shout about climate solutions week offers teachers and youth leaders a fun and engaging way of exploring the issue of climate change, and how to tackle it with young people. As part of the week schools and youth groups also have the chance to win a wind turbine worth over £1500." according to Friends of the Earth.

America says enough is enough to Bush... the Democrats win control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 12 years. After one of the most sleazy, dirty and expensive campaigns ever the American people have given the thumbs down to the war in Iraq and the corruption endemic in Congress. Now we wait for Virginia and Montana to see if Bush loses the Senate as well. The most stupid and ignorant President in modern times is now the lamest of lame ducks. There is also a touch of irony in the closing down of the Iraq auditors as the extent of the corruption and mismanagement of the over $18 billion reconstruction programme emerges. Iraq is falling apart and not even hanging Saddam could save George this time around. As I took the kids to school this morning I felt as if the world was given space to breathe. This is just the beginning of a new era when humanity realises the extent the problems we are are facing with the world's climate. At least the Bush era is coming to an end and for all its faults American democracy has delivered what the world desperately needs. Blair must be feeling lonely this morninig as his buddy in the White House is no longer the biggest kid on the block. Perhaps Arnie has a job for him.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Planting trees in Klobikau... all the rage at the moment as the former East German town becomes the recipient of British carbon sinners largesse. Udo Wurzel, 60, is the mayor of Mücheln, a small city in the Geisel valley south of the eastern German city of Halle, which is framed by an abandoned brown coal open-cast mine and the 100-meter (328-foot) Klobikau slag heap. When he came into office in 1990, just after German reunification, he knew that the first thing he had to do was to plant trees, "to clean up the air that we were breathing." Now we all want to do it even Massive Attack. It's a start. Flying less would also be good (take a note Al Gore, who likes to use private jets). It was funny watching Blair and Brown greenwashing themselves at the Royal Society the other day, in the company of Sir Nicolas Stern. The Stern Report has produced much hot air in the media. What is now needed is action and lifestyle changes. How about cheap trains and bicycle lanes, Mr Blair? What about banning the incandesent light bulb? Let's also join Udo and plant some trees too, but not use that as an excuse to do nothing else.