purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
... for those of you who celebrate

- calendrical Samhain on Oct 31,

- or astronomical Samhain - at 12:33 GMT on Sun 7 Nov 2010 (http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/)

- or World Vegan Say on Nov 1!

I will be celebrating at a large indoor festival in England today :-)



Oct. 16th, 2010 04:10 pm
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
So I've been away ... recovering from getting my Permaculture Diploma, hugging trees in Skye and opening chefs minds in London (!) I'm just enjoying my first weekend at home since all of that.

Mum literally hit a new low last month, and although she's medically much improved, she's got a lot of ground to cover with her psychological recovery from that. She has a new social worker, who has only just met her, and her rehab therapist is going to meet the social worker for the first time on Monday, so we have to see if anything positive will come from those relationships ... I'm really hoping that she will be well enough to enjoy Yule, but she has a lot of physiotherapy to do before then, too.

The Flooger continues to do pretty well, all things considered.

Meanwhile, D is helping me really get going on the next phase of our garden rehabilitation. We've done all the rest of the ground work today to enable us to create a brand new growing bed tomorrow, weather willing :-) I will be able to think four-dimensionally of gardeners toothsome treats with the vegetable seed catalogue again!
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
Mater took a tumble on Tuesday, and is only slowly recovering. It's not entirely clear which of her symptoms are cause and which effect at this point. But nothing broken this time at least.

Sunday is the climax of a big piece of paid work for me - anyone in the UK who can watch the Great North Run on Sunday might catch a glimpse of why (no, I don't run :-)

The summer is definitely drawing to a close, and I'm looking forward to going again to tend the trees I've been helping to plant over the last 3 springtimes.

My new year's resolution is definitely going to be to spend more time outside and around trees ... something about 'nobody ever said on their deathbed, I wish I had spent more time stuck indoors'.


Sep. 4th, 2010 10:15 pm
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
I passed my exam :-) I have my Diploma!
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
That's one of the few times I have ever been turned out at closing time from the Tun - great to see so many people after far too long!

News from me is ... very busy but still enjoying work; starting to really get the garden growing including successfully bringing my pear tree back from the dead (many, many thanks to all who helped with that miracle :-) ; Mater continues with her chronic illnesses but has recently enjoyed yoga, lunches and The Kung-Fu Kid at the cinema with us; The Boofy Flooger has turned 17 and is still stomping on, albeit with twice-daily medication - still occasionally delighting Wong! by wielding those skillful white paws to box the HUGE Wong-ears; D & G both doing pretty good ...

Am at the Permaculture Convergence this weekend, presenting to accredit at the end of three years work for a Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design - like a conference in a field, with a tree bog and computer projection :-)
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
Many thanks to The Cthulhoid One and G for efforts in the next step to implement our Household Permaculture Plan :-)

This is also a test of my new footer, courtesy of [personal profile] rosefox ... only visible at LJ [personal profile] purpletigron:
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
The full book available as a Web site at: http://www.futurescenarios.org/

I would like to start with Holmgren's 'Energy Futures' chapter. I tend to work with 'The Precautionary Principle', which I think is in line with Holmgren's approach when he says,

"We do not have to believe that a particular scenario is likely before making serious preparations. For example most people have fire insurance on their homes, not because they expect their primary asset to be destroyed by fire but because they recognise the severity of this unlikely event." (http://www.futurescenarios.org/content/view/20/57/)

(Or, because it is a condition of their mortgage lender - because banks do lose houses to fire on a regular basis.)

Holmgren sets out to use 'Scenario Planning' methodology to look at how human society may change in the future:

"In classic corporate scenario planning the two variables might be the growth rate in the wider economy and the regulatory framework that constrains or encourages business." (http://www.futurescenarios.org/content/view/26/40/)

"Four broad energy scenarios provide a framework for considering the wide spectrum of culturally imagined, and ecologically likely, futures over the next century or more.
I've labeled these:

  • "Techno-explosion,
  • Techno-stability,
  • Energy Descent and
  • Collapse"

ETA 1: Note - Holmgren's figure encapsulates some of Holmgren's interpretations and motivations, which as I suggest below, might be better left to later discussion. If you assume that the Y-axis refers to Energy, and is intended to evoke best-estimate fossil fuel energy data such as global oil extraction as graphed here:

World Oil Production from the Oil Drum

and that it's a non-linear sketch graph, I still think Holmgrens figure gives a somewhat useful visual guide ...

four futures


So my first question for consideration is:

Do these four energy future scenarios usefully summarise the prospects for which we need to be planning?

ETA 2 These are clearly 'simple' scenarios. I'd envisage that it could be useful to study each of these four - and decide whether one or two more simple scenarios are needed. Only then would we start to look at the complexities of how these scenarios interact, if say Countries or Regions 1 - 4 are each different mixes of Scenarios 1 - 4.

(I was hoping we'd come back to a detailed discussion of Holmgren's own interpretations and motivations quite a lot later down the line ... )
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
I have had an exhausting week. I have had a nasty UTI, and was out of it on Wednesday, overdoing it and very sore from mid-Monday until Friday am, and now feeling wiped but on the mend.

But at least I was up to enjoying my birthday party yesterday - vegan haggis, and vegan treacle-tart-and-custard :-)

My plans for the weekend ... rest, be pampered, potter in the garden, stay hydrated (!) and hopefully, eat some delicious seasonal food.

I hope you have a pleasant and restoring weekend! I'm so out of touch, been focusing on my portfolio write-up ... do share a little update here if you'd like me to catch up on your past 6 months :-)
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
I haz. You can haz. You wantz?
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
Apparently, this Saturday 21 August is Earth Overshoot Day 2010 ... the day when the human population of the planet collectively goes into 'global debt' with the rate at which we've used natural resources during the year: http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/earth_overshoot_day/

In other words, for the rest of the year (over a third of the time) we collectively are liquidating planetary capital to meet our combined needs and wants as a species, rather than living from the interest.

On the one hand, 7 billion humans is an awful lot of monkeys to cram on to one planet. But on the other hand, if all 7 billion of us lived like us Europeans or North Americans, we'd need 2 to 5 planets to supply all the resources sustainably.

Solutions which are simultaneously fun, compassionate & effective, on a comment card below ... because I don't fancy any of the alternatives :-S
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
There is now an argument circulating that there has never been a systematic investigation as to what forms of medical research are the most effective. That is to say, how do we know whether e.g. non-human or human or computer model approaches are more reliable for any given area of medical research. (As an extra wrinkle, sharing data apparently rather rare in medical research, leading to duplication, inconsistency, omission etc.)

In the UK, LibDem MP Bob Russell has now co-sponsored a so-called 'Early Day Motion' to the House of Commons (EDM 475):

"That this House believes that the safety of medicines should be established by the most reliable methods available in order to reduce the large and increasing toll of serious adverse drug reactions; and calls on the Government to initiate a comparison of currently required animal tests with a set of human biology-based tests, as proposed in the Safety of Medicines (Evaluation) Bill 2009, to see which is the most effective means to predict the safety of medicines for patients."

Conservative MP David Amess is sponsoring the Safety of Medicines Bill 2010-11, which aims to ensure more rigourous standards for putting medicines on the market.

If you have a UK MP, you can use this simple web site: http://www.writetothem.com/ to contact your them about EDM 475 and the Safety of Medicines Bill 2010-11.
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
Long time, no etc. Hope all's well chez vous?

Some new things with me & co.: Mater is starting to recover some ground in her convalescence after her 2 months in hospital last winter - we've been doing gentle yoga together once a week since June, for example. The Boofy Flooger is now 17, still doing OK with daily kidney & diabetes medications. I've submitted my Permaculture Portfolio, hopefully presenting for accreditation in the Diploma of Applied Permaculture Design in early September. D & G are working hard, doing OK. We're harvesting from the garden: poppyseeds, blackberries, onions, garlic, runner beans - with pears, carlin peas, kale & one apple to come - & almost time for the Garden Great Autumnal Renewal, with lots of groundwork, tidying, planting out & preparations.

Today, we're celebrating Mater's birthday & mine with a family trip to eat at Wagamama's & watch Jackie Chan's Karate Kid at the Torchwood centre :-)

Have also seen all of Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, which was generally very impressive but culminating in the finale last night Spoilery stuff )
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
... but I'm up late because the diabetic kitty has a tummy bug, so I've been nursing him. He seems to be perking up & I'm just about to dose him with antibiotics & then retreat to snooze.

Mater has been to five Monday morning gentle yoga sessions in a row now, so this is definitely starting to look like more than a fluke :-)

And I've been told I'm ready to submit my Portfolio to accredit for my Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design at the end of July!

So, some good things ...
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
... a stunned silence?

Me, I enjoyed the ride ...
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
Mater and I met at yoga today, for the first time since she was hospitalized in November. She did the entire 1.5 hour 'Gentle' class, and said she wants to do yoga again next Monday. This makes me happy!

Our Flooger has also reached 17 years of age in reasonable comfort ... twice-daily medication for diabetes and kidney disease seem to be keeping the Boof!er feeling boofy. Wong! continues to adore Boof!
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
I've spent a productive, interesting, fun, emotional, tiring and slightly damp weekend working an outdoor eco-veg*n festival.

I have two lieu days owing from that, but today is a (Bank H)oliday Monday, so instead of solo flopping around to recover, G is around as well. D seems to be enjoying a socializing weekend chez D. Kitties in good spirits.

On Friday, G & I will be going on G's 21-againth birthday trip: a steamy (steam railway in preservation) pub crawl (at least 3 CAMRA-listed ale houses on the route, with bottled ales on the train :-)
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
I seem to be emerging from yet another bout of the near-continuous 'viral stuff' that I've been suffering with since last September. Summer helps.

Mater is covering some ground in being more able to manage her health challenges.

D&G both seem OK.

The Flooger seems as well as can be expected given kidney disease, diabetes and grumbling IBS, having gained a little weight and a lot of appetite.

Wong! has been given a clean bill of health - the lump on his leg is a 'benign lypoma' e.g. a harmless fatty deposit ...

Here's to good health for all!
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
I've emailed my LibDem MP and balancedparliament@libdemvoice.org on PR as the 'deal make-or-break':

LibDem opinion, PR, some words )


purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)

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