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June 2018 - Week 1: A Sharing Community & Mixed Berry Jam

A week spent mostly writing and editing but everyday practice continued through personal behavioural change and community engagement. There is a great local community developing that shares items, including meals, produce, artisan products and so on. Chub, who lives across the road brings produce almost daily. I gave him some soap that is almost cured and some jam that I made this week.

Fresh produce from Chub, the neighbour across the road.

4/6/2018 - Monday

I did some shopping (I'm missing my local market that recently closed). I went to Woolies for bread and butter because I didn't want to drive 10 minutes each way to the nearest fresh produce market at Fairy Meadow. I need to research alternatives. In particular, I want to know who stocks Falcones bread, which is made locally by a family owned business at Port Kembla. I'm also intending to try to cut down my reliance on frozen processed food by making my own frozen convenience foods like sausage rolls and croquettes and patties.

I started organising my latest Situationist writings into a cohesive argument for a chapter.

My brother Paul visited for an hour in the afternoon and I went to Matt and Deniz' for dinner.

I have an increasing number of vegan friends who try to encourage me to eat less (or no) meat. Chloe has built a great garden that she is fairly self-sufficient with, but likes to supplement her veggies with fake meat.

Chloe's fake prawn skewers look appetising.

5/6/2018 - Tuesday

I worked on my chapter writing and have found valuable new research material in the process of seeking definitions and explanations for terms such as "the realisation of art". This means that one cannot realise themselves through an artwork, but rather they simply realise themselves in the process of making. This is all about the art of living,

I had the idea to cut the 1 litre milk carton I use as a soap mould longways, instead of cutting the top. This way the mould will lay down, rather than standing upright. I want to experiement some more with colour and design and think this will open up new possibilities.

1 litre milk carton mould cut along the side rather than the top as I have been.

6/6/2018 - Wednesday

I focused my attention on writing.

I noticed how much the bottles and cans are building up now that they can be returned for a refund of about 10 cents per item. Bob has been saving them until they add up to a reasonable amount. I think he's just about there.

Boxes of cans and bottles on both sides of the pole out the back

7/6/2018 - Thursday

I made some mixed berry jam, using frozen strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.

Left: plastic packaging is unavoidable even if buying fresh fruit. Right: Berries in the pan are starting to steam.

Left: Adding sugar to the cooked fruit. Right: I made two 375 gram jars.

Chub brought over and gave us a heap of greens, mostly spinach.

I went to a cultural creative practice seminar and workshop in the afternoon at the Research Hub about International Relations and behavioural change, based on a post-human understanding of microbes. This is a holistic view of life on earth and its interdependence. One interesting fact is that 90% of human DNA is actually microbial. This provides a great perspective on the need to get over our view of dominant humanity on planet earth. Without the microbes, we wouldn't exist.

8/6/2018 - Friday

Paul visited for a while in the morning while he was in town.

The wet weather is perfect for getting stuff done at home... more writing that is. I'd like to be making, but need to use my time wisely to have some writing that's good enough/ready to send for feedback.

I combined the soap shavings (scraped off when unmoulding) from the amethyst crystal looking soap batch (made about 5 weeks ago). I couldn't wait another week to try it out and I wanted to tidy up the shavings that have been laying around.

9/6/2018 - Saturday

I did some journal related stuff (entries and image optimisation).

I decided I should cook the last batch of markalade for a while longer as it is not gelled well enough. It is thick but still runny. By doing this I learned to be more careful when dealing with such almost gelled jam because I think I have burned it. I haven't tried it yet, but the colour is much darker than when I poured out the jars. I hope it is a deeper flavour and not burnt. I ended up with about 1/2 a jar less.

I went to Dad's for lunch.

Back to chapter writing in the afternoon.

I went out to the local cheap Chinese restaurant for dinner with Matt & Deniz and Rob & Jason, then we came back to my place for a couple more hours of chatting.

10/6/2018 - Sunday

Even though I have been using rancid soap for a while, I have not been entirely reliant upon it alone. I have various other bits that I also use. See my current array of soaps I use in the shower below.

The rainbow soap stick on the left is super luxurious and I use it for face and hair. The two white blocks were made by others and are also luxurious. The soap with purple is a recent batch that is not quite fully cured. The orange soap is oily and has a slight odour from rancidity.

Chub brought half a bag of potatoes over.

It's the Queen's birthday long-weekend and everyone must be feeling sociable. I had a visit round lunch time for a couple of hours from Rod, (he's on TAFE holidays), Paul came mid afternoon and stayed till dinner time, Matt and Deniz called over after being out in town for lunch, and Fleabag came over (I haven't seen him since Jason's disco party).

I couldn't get into writing after dinner from having had such a full social day. I watched TV instead and changed the channel every 10 minutes trying to find something interesting. So I missed out on having another chapter writing day as I had intended. I'd like to send this lot of writing to my supervisors tomorrow, but to be realistic it will most likely be another couple of days getting it organised /edited.

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© 2018 by Mark Richardson. 

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