The Sharing Economy

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Sharing is one of the things that I believe is central to living a simpler life.  Sharing can take many forms from inviting someone for a meal, giving away excess produce or sharing a burden by simply being there to listen.  In many ways, our society has moved away from a collaborative approach to many things and I think we have multiple opportunities to encourage more co-operation within our communities.

There are aspects of social media that are less than desirable and the way some people choose to use it is downright awful.  But all is not lost.  Today I have been able to make contact with an online acquaintance who is looking for items that a member of my family has to give away.  This will be a win all round – items will be decluttered from one home and become materials for someone else involved in a community project.

A neighbour also recently asked online for assistance in how to pick mangoes.  We were able to offer the use of our fruit picker with a telescopic handle.


So today we worked together to harvest a huge number of mangoes.


Rather than one person trying to pick, process and store a couple of hundred mangoes we have shared the work and the harvest.  Additionally, the fruit picker is available for others to use.  There is no point in everyone having one sitting in the shed when it is only going to be used occasionally.


Thank you, Patty and Chris.  We were delighted to be able to help and are especially grateful for your generosity.  Looking forward to mango chutney, sorbet and smoothies as well as yummy fresh mangoes!!


What have you got that could be shared with a neighbour or friend?  What do you need that someone else may have?  Don’t be shy.  It never hurts to ask and you don’t know what the outcome will be.

Salvaged and Spread

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Now that the weather has finally moderated it is a great time to be out in the garden.

2015-04-18 01We took the ute up to the neighbour’s place to collect the first of 2 loads of mulch that they had kindly offered to us.  This was from when they had some trees trimmed and mulched about a month ago.  Although we have had some light rain in the past day or two the ground was not too wet and GMan was able to bring the ute close to where we wanted to use the mulch.

The newspaper collection has been replenished somewhat, thanks to the generosity of friends and also some that GMan collected from his office.

2015-04-18 02Once again, the newspaper and mulch covered pretty much the same area.  We now have more than half of the front garden deeply mulched.

2015-04-18 03Here are the first of the sweet pea seedling peeking their heads through the soil.  There are also some almost microscopic seedlings which I suspect are the snapdragon or heartsease that I sprinkled in front of the sweet peas.  I am very excited at the prospect of growing some old-fashioned flowers.

2015-04-18 04These are some of the flowers on one of the hibiscus shrubs in the front garden.  It is in the part that is yet to be mulched.

2015-04-18 05It was 4.30pm and I had just finished photographing the garden handiwork when I noticed that this sunshower.  It is the regular rain and relatively warm climate that we enjoy which keeps everything lush and green.  Of course, the rich, volanic soil helps, too.

Where Are We Headed?



Today I want to share a question that was posed recently on an internet forum that I read.  The following is an edited version of the original question/statement that was put up for discussion.

“So many people seem to be in such dire straits with health – physical, mental, emotional and monetary problems.  Why? Do you honestly think it is normal?  I don’t.  I think that the world is in melt down.

So much hatred and heartache in the world, the home, the streets and the schools ,these days.

I think that if we could go back to a simpler life of less things and more love and understanding then we would need less drugs for depression, anxiety and emotional related illness.

The word dis-ease is of course a body not at ease, not happy, not content, not reaching its potential and of course we all know the health system is buckling under the weight of diseases.

So why is humanity doing this do you think? We are clever and we do have choices about how we live and how we work and live in our family units and amongst our friends and in our communities and the wider world.

What are people’s agendas?  Is progress the be all and end all of humanity, if in the end it only causes destruction?  I think that we have gone too far and that it is time to pull back from the vortex we are hurtling towards.”

I found this quite confronting and to be honest, downright depressing.  Several people responded and added their view of what was wrong with the world and I could literally feel myself being dragged down.

2013-04-21 02So I took a dose of my own advice, wrote the following response and immediately felt better.

“There are problems – there have always been problems.

Most of the issues have been thoughtfully identified in preceding posts.  (Original forum discussion not copied here).

So, what to do about it? Whinge? Wring our hands? Worry? These are not productive responses and will only drag you into the downward spiral with everyone and everything else.

Take a step back and heed Ghandi, “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

I do not believe that ‘Dropping out’ is a solution. We are essentially a social species and are not wired to live in isolation.

Make small, incremental changes that are sustainable, otherwise you will be overwhelmed and setting yourself up for failure.

Turn off the TV – or at least skip the advertisements
Do not buy magazines
Limit your exposure to news coverage
Shop during conventional hours (Mon-Fri 9-5 and Sat 9-12)
Support businesses that only open during those hours
Turn off your mobile phone/internet for set periods so that you are not connected constantly
Reach out to your neighbours
Give something back to your community – volunteer?
Participate in local activities
Eat simple meals

It is difficult to change the sense of entitlement, constant anger, greediness etc that we see in the world.


Practise the sorts of things I have mentioned
Model positive behaviours to your children, family, friends and neighbours


You will feel calmer, more resilient and positive
This may be the first drip of a new flood

If everyone who is concerned about the direction that society is headed makes positive changes we can make a difference. We are the society.”

2013-04-21 03What do you think?  I am genuinely interested in how you view society today.  Are we all agents of our own self-destruction?  Can we change things or do we need to?  Are you perfectly happy with your life and your place in the world at large?



Last night when we got home we discovered that another large limb had come off the poinciana tree.  The tree is close to our boundary and this has fallen across the fence and into the neighbour’s ‘paddock’ near the front of their block.  Undoubtedly, the wild weather of the past few days has contributed to this latest loss.

2012-06-28 01There have been at least 3 other occasions where sizeable branches have fallen from this tree and we had decided that it really needed to go and were planning to have it lopped later in the year.  This latest incident has forced us to re-think our plans and move them forward so I have contacted a tree lopper.  He is going to come next week to give us a quote.

2012-06-28 02As well as having the tree lopped, we also plan to get it mulched so that we can use this in our landscaping.  We have decided that we can better utilise the mulch than making more firewood as we really have plenty and this type of tree does not burn well. I am hoping they will be able to grind the stump so that we can then decide what we will plant in this area.

2012-06-28 03I took these photos today.  You can see that I am very thankful that no people or property were in close proximity.