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West

July 16, 2007

western-sky.jpg

Between Orange and Mudgee.

Took a road trip to Orange (about 160kms west of here). Went to the Farmers Market and realized that about three or four farmers from Orange come to the monthly Blackheath Growers Market. In Orange, however, there was more time to chat, the Blackheath Market is weirdly frenzied. It was freezing in Orange and the market band was playing “Scarborough Fair”at 9.30am – let me tell you that the produce only just stopped me from pulling the plug on that number! I love the country west of the mountains. The sky starts to get big and wide and I just want to run.

So the road trip will have eaten into our petrol allowance but three people in a small car, driving at 90km per hour -it was not without cost ( carbon not dollars) but it was efficiency plus. It may seem totally dorky but that speed is one of optimum efficiency. Combined with the highest octane petrol you can get, it improves your fuel efficiency by 30% (maybe more). Good for the environment and the wallet.

I drove down to Sydney last week, not exceeding 90kph and it was actually much less stressful. I was in the slow lane on the freeway – first time ever without a person in a hurry on my tail – and I arrived about 10 mins later than usual. In fact, most drivers in the slow lane were driving at 90kph, so it wasn’t a big deal. It wasn’t easy to stay in the slow lane. I did want to drive with all the ‘normal’ drivers but I kept glancing at my fuel gauge, which was hardly moving so I stayed in the slow lane.

Slowly finding more local food sources which is good. What I do find disturbing is how wide the area is, that feeds most major cities. As urban development expands, it encroaches on fringe farm land and market gardens that feed the city. I’m guessing Sydney’s food shed is in excess of 300 kms, if not more and that distance is increasing. I can’t find a dairy farmer anywhere near me and I live 120 kms west of the city centre.

Gas problems persist. Electrical use and water use return to acceptable levels (ie no long showers) and may again fall. I live in hope.

And lastly, the television has been banished. Charles had railed against the television for so long that I finally relented. It was wrapped up and stored under the house. Triumph for his decade long campaign – it is no longer stealing my life.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 17, 2007 7:35 am

    Nada Yeah …. well done driving at 90K … it’s an amazingly liberating thing to do isn’t it! I lived in Orange for 14 years – it was those wide skies that I loved too.

  2. July 18, 2007 10:27 pm

    Television would be the first thing on my list to go. But I have to confess that you’d have to tear my laptop from my cold dead hands.

    Hey – how’s a bout Littly Johnny H. giving us that big $1000 rebate on solar hot water heaters? What a far thinking chap. Why, that’s just like the $1000 rebate we used to have about 10 years back, before he took it away from us!

  3. July 18, 2007 11:12 pm

    I don’t miss the tv – except for maybe watching “Gardening Autralia” and “lateline” but fortunately those ABC current affairs shows are all vodcast. I’m with you on the laptop front.

    Little John – there’s currently a $700 rebate for both solar hot water and heat pumps so I think it’s a re-package to give him the ‘practical’ green edge. You know as opposed to Bob Brown who is ….um….like…..you know, real, honest and committed but his line isn’t convenient or practical for business.

    Practical solutions – is that an oxymoron?

  4. July 19, 2007 9:45 am

    >>Practical solutions – is that an oxymoron?

    Only in the world of politicians.

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