Thank You My Stormy Weather Friends!

Must start by telling you that, although it seems like there’s been a lot to complain about, the passion and conviction that started us off on the farm and eco-tourism project has grown, not shrunk, through the stormy winter squalls and serious infrastructure issues of the winter of 2022.

Thank you everyone who is following the journey, thank you most of all to those who have taken the time to call, write, comment and share their experiences. BIGGEST shoutout to the friends and contractors who have hustled to keep us moving forward and fixed things for us in this appalling weather!

Top pic and this taken about 24 hours apart… it’s a mess!

Is it wet? Yes.  Is clean up going to be shockingly expensive and hard fought?  Absolutely!  Are we the only people shoveling mud and muck and soaking to the bone? Not a chance.  

Across the country roads are closed, hillsides have slipped and chaos and crud is being spread all over our beautiful landscapes.  We are all being bombarded with wetter, dryer, hotter, colder, and generally crazier weather.  Nothing feels more important, fulfilling, or urgent than getting ready for the shitstorm that climate change has already placed on all our doorsteps.

I am not a doomsday prepper or anything.  The motivation for moving slowly but steadily toward a zero waste, hyper local, and self-sufficient life is anchored in self-interest and personal evolution, but it also gives me a connection with new communities, as well as nurturing my healthy and productive friendships as we struggle through self-reflection, evolving, radical accountability, and STILL being pelted with new and exciting challenges, struggles and adventures.

Also, I am decidedly shit at walking the talk of many or most of the honourable and important endeavours I mentioned earlier. I have a Zero Waste kit in the car and I often/always fucking forget to bring it in with me so still end up getting too many take-away containers and adding to my reusable bag collection, which is MASSIVE. Tote life episode of We Bear Bears springs to mind…

The point though, is that I am trying.  I have an earnest and burning ambition to be self-sufficient and as close to carbon neutral or deficient in our footprint before this tumultuous decade is out.  This change for me is incremental and I am reminded DAILY that many/most of my friends, mentors and associates are better than I am at getting lots of shit done.  I am surrounded by vegans and off-grid or clean energy evangelists.  Everyone I know is better at something than me, and I do not begrudge or mind this at all, it is amazing to be lifted and Loved by champions of change and impactful advocates and activists.  

You know who you are.  I see you.  And I am so eternally grateful for you and your efforts and the support you give me and the Deemon vision.  

The fact is though, the more we learn and the harder we work, the more the universe is prone to step in to keep us humble and remind us that doing something is integral, but there’s always going to be more to do.

Doing nothing at all is simply not an option for myself or my peers in these uncertain years.  

We’ve sowed thousands of food, flower and native fauna seeds and the vast majority of that bounty has been eaten up by the beautiful birds and industrious possum population.  The pigs and goats have had a good go at fucking our shit up around the property too.  


So, that’s all for today. The wind is whipping around outside, the pool at the rental property is full of furniture and fronds from the nasty palm the landlords have refused to cut down, despite consistent requests from us and our beloved neighbours. It is cold, miserable and wet and will stay that way for a while.

We will do what we can to mitigate the mayhem and then we are running off to the South Island for five days of skiing, research and basking in the glow of being newlyweds.  We have rented a Model 3 from Go Rentals and have our zero-waste kit packed and prepped!

We will need to plant and plan a lot of regenerative improvements to off-set the travel we have already enjoyed, but I am dedicated to facing that realistically, honestly and transparently.

Won’t be catching up with anyone from the community this mini-break as Damon and I need to just be a couple and hunker down in our own company for five days, but we Love, admire and appreciate you all sfm, and there will be more opportunities to connect and collaborate before the year is out I am sure.

Thanks for reading!  



Secretive Success

Friday evening our neighbours invited us over for nibbles and a few drinks. Love them. We don’t agree on everything but they’re just fabulous and I always enjoy time spent with them. It was sort of meant to be our farewell shindig, as we have had a less than stellar situation with the rental property we’ve inhabited in Pt. Chevalier since November last year. There was a massive kerfuffle and we were epically let down by the person we trusted to house-sit and feed our beloved cats, and that meant we secured a new rental in St. Mary’s Bay, only to find out that we would not be let out of this lease without huge penalties.

What an unwelcome clusterfuck it all turned out to be.

But it’s all been a learning curve and helped this former hurricane to evolve even farther into a much quieter powerhouse indeed.

Upshot of these shenanigans is, we will be moving out in November, and that gives us plenty of time to seek out a much better situation and pack and plan rather than rushing to get out in under a fortnight. I’ll chalk that up as a win. Kids are happy to stay settled until the spring, and we actually adore the street and neighourhood. So, we’re pleased to be next to a handful of lovely human’s we’ve been honoured to get to know for a bit longer as well. We really do like our neighbours, the quirky bunch that they are.

Being at the mercy of the rental market has been shit though. We are in a very fortuitous situation and can reasonably manage high rent and flexible terms. So few people are in the same situation, and the bullshit we’ve had to deal with as tenants has shone a light on the fear I am feeling for most people here in Aotearoa and around the world as we move into extreme financial, social, geopolitical and climate crisis uncertainty.

Is it my place to be freaking out for humanity? Who knows.

Fact is, I’ve always had a bit of a messiah complex. Always thought that it’s my job, duty or calling to help and defend people and causes who pique my empathy or concern. My tactics have changed, but the sentiment and sincerity remain.

Old me would rush into battle and defend and offend with reckless abandon. I’d go for a scorched earth approach to negotiating if I was adequately convinced enough that I was fighting on the side of the “good guys” or defending person or cause I deemed worthy.

Not these days though.

Now, I really just want to be left the fuck alone for the most part. I can still shake my fists and plan for campaigns to back any of my many beloved causes. From equality to the climate. From SQUEEZING THE FUCKING TOOTHPASTE AT THE BOTTOM NOT THE MIDDLE FFS! to correct installation of the toilet paper roll. I fight my battles in private for the most part. I am incredibly picky about who is allowed near me, how I spend my time and what, where, when and how I engage with the world.

Years ago, I measured success by social media clicks, likes and engagement or clocking up meetings, networking and just generally putting myself anywhere and everywhere for attention and to champion my agendas. I grieve for the girl who broke herself into little pieces fighting uphill battles and being sabotaged and scarred by people who ought to have been supportive, or at the very least not assholes in response to the support and trust she so freely gave them. She craved so much validation, but the secret to a safer kind of success was in her the whole time:

You can’t control the world around you. You can only hope to control how you handle what happens.

I still have a plethora of feathers in my social, personal, professional and proverbial cap and you can mark my words I have plans to keep fighting for the things I Love and believe in.

Now, however, I just don’t give a fuck who knows what I am up to or what they think about me or my efforts. The right people arrive and stay. The wrong people tend to fuck off or fade away.

The secret to both my happiness and success these days is really just that I now don’t mind keeping the vast majority of what we are up to a bit of a secret. The people who need to know and are involved in any of our projects are kept abreast of situations, and I can share and amplify truths and experiences as much or as little as I choose.

Never felt so safe or been so happy in my life. Hope someone who has been burdened with pathological people-pleasing or suffering from crisis fatigue reads this and decides to enjoy some secretive success and a bit of rest.

That’s all I have to say today.