Second quarter.

I seem to have missed three months. And I acquired heaps of new things in that time. Most of it was while travelling, though, and I did tell myself all bets were off while overseas. The trip itself was, though not an object, a very resource-intensive luxury, and by far the most expensive thing I’ve bought all year, but then visiting my relatives also felt like a social necessity.

Purchases, Shanghai:

  • one pair of prescription glasses (which I don’t need just yet but my current ones are beginning to fall apart and I figured I’d need new ones before the next time I could afford to go overseas — they are about a tenth of the price in China that they are here!)
  • one pair of prescription sunglasses (this will be the first time in about ten years I have had sunglasses — I didn’t miss them but now that I have them I realise how much my eyes were straining in sunlight)
  • a shirt, two dresses, a pair of shoes, two necklaces, some underwear (no excuse at all)
  • this book
  • a postcard by a Chinese artist whose name I’ve forgotten and I’m too lazy to take it off my wall to check
  • two ShanghaiPRIDE badges
  • a pair of woollen tights because it suddenly got really cold one day

Other acquisitions

  • a new laptop (gift from my grandparents — amazing!)
  • a bag and a jewellery box from my aunt
  • a bag and scarf from my other aunt

Purchases/acquisitions, Kuala Lumpur

  • this book (I really like the first story and a couple of others, there are some terrible ones too though)
  • some comics/zines by Shieko
  • sticker for an awesome band Shh…Diam! (which I think is also designed by Shieko)
  • 5000 mosquito bites

The laptop is a pretty big deal — and it makes this project kind of redundant, given that it was probably at the top of the list of new things I was considering. It does put me and Felix on a bit of a more equal footing — not that it’s a competition but he came into this project with a new bike, laptop, PSP and other tech while I had a bike I bought five years ago that’s probably 30 years old, Felix’s old laptop, and Felix’s old iPod. For me technology is a bit harder to buy second-hand compared to things like furniture or clothes, because I don’t have the knowledge to judge its quality or the skills to fix it, so I prefer to buy something new with a warranty.

In other news, Felix and I have been struggling with not buying the newspaper, especially on Saturdays, so we keep going out for coffee just so we can do the crossword. It’s been really sweet, actually, making a proper date of it, but obviously it’s not really in the spirit of reducing consumption. I think one effect of the No New Year project is that my extravagant impulses are re-directed towards food (to the detriment of seafood sustainability, it has to be said). Felix and I have told our families not to buy us presents this year, but I think it would be easy to do gifts with No New Year in mind – second-hand goods, or food, or tickets to events.

I had planned an awesome date with Felix on the weekend, where we would go to ACMI Screen Worlds exhibit where you can film yourselves and have a flip book made of your stop-motion scene. And then we realised that the flipbook would be a NNY violation, but this was a case where the idea of the date was almost as good as doing it — which isn’t true for most things, especially not food (I’m reading Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina at the moment, and it has a scene where they’re really hungry and talk about all the things they could be eating – so dissatisfying). In any case, ACMI is always a great date, especially the Mediatheque where you can grab a booth and watch full feature length films for free. My friends disapprove of movie dates but I like them, though probably more when you already know someone. Maybe one day I’ll make a guide for free or cheap dates in Melbourne.

I’ve also resolved some of the issues I had in previous posts. My housemate found some earphones for me in a bin, and gave me her old mobile phone. We also managed to furnish our living room and replace the kitchenware we needed with all second-hand goods. The furniture is pretty exciting: we got a red vinyl four-seater sofa bed, two matching armchairs, a hunter green upholstered three-seater sofa and matching armchair for $60 – that’s averages out at $6 per seat which is pretty good I think. It’d definitely be possible to acquire that amount of furniture for free (from Freecycle, Gumtree or roadside hard rubbish) but given neither of us own cars, it was too hard to co-ordinate it with opportunities to borrow transport, plus we wanted something we really liked — when you live up several flights of very narrow stairs, all furniture is a commitment.

I was thinking the other day how speaking honestly and explicitly about money can be really powerful, how so much economic injustice is buried by this idea that talking about money is bad taste. I think this is mostly a (Western) middle class aesthetic — like in Mad Men (S2E7) when Sally Draper asks her mother, “Are we rich?” and Betty replies that they’re comfortable but it’s impolite to talk about money. My family are fairly open about money — I grew up hearing the bill read out at the end of a meal, and whenever I received red envelopes from relatives, my parents would count the cash so they could ensure they were giving an equivalent amount — but I’ve still been taught a lot of values about money that I’m starting to reject.

Most of them are about being (or seeming) respectable, which is really about not seeming desperately poor — for example, you don’t go through bins or squat or steal because we’re not that poor. And I think there’s something to be said for that, when it’s understood as something like, don’t take things from people who need it more, but it can also be this way to stop poor people from getting what they need out of a sense of pride. When it’s institutionalised — eg when welfare programs means-test or demand other evidence of poverty — it means poorer people suffer extra surveillance and have to trade “pride” and privacy for getting material goods they need.

The inverse is that if you pay for something, you don’t have to account for it — you don’t have to prove why you need it or deserve it — especially if you’re the one “making” the money. I think sometimes when people first start getting paid for work they often pick up this kind of thinking, even if they don’t believe in capitalism, even if deep down they know that having a paycheck in your name doesn’t translate to having “earned” anything. And really the people who are most held to account for their spending aren’t landed gentry or celebrity heiresses or lottery winners or those who did well with stocks, they’re people on welfare. But obviously if you’ve been up all day and night scrubbing dishes or sucking cock or whatever, it does feel like you have to have earned something. Whatever it is, it probably isn’t the right to more resources. I’m not saying that everyone should give away everything they earn — I don’t — but I do think we like to compare our extravagances to those who are far wealthier than us, because it’s inconvenient to think about people who are much poorer instead.

Another thing: good taste is irrelevant — as a justification for spending money, if we’re talking about capitalism and poverty. I mean, throwing a steampunk themed party in a reproduction dirigible where the invitations are in period-authentic type is just as obscene, in this regard, as any tacky wedding with a crystal-laden gown that detaches to show off the bridal g-string and a procession of Hummer limos. They might differ in terms of environmental impact, I don’t have the knowledge to offer you a comparison.


week 21

“The reason that the rich were so rich…was because they managed to spend less money. Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots,…cost about ten dollars. But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while a poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.”

-Terry Practchett, ‘Men at Arms’

After my ebay spree, I’ve been thinking a lot about my need for a checklist when I’m acquiring. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

>When choosing , be really clear and honest with yourself why you want it, and what you want it for. If you don’t have a good reason, don’t get it. If you do have a good reason, make sure the thing you choose suits the task you have in mind. Be patient; if you can’t find the right thing straight away, don’t get something that will do in the meantime,

> Understand how it works, how it’s made and how to care for it. Find out what constitutes quality in that class of thing, and what’s best going to meet your needs.

>Get the highest quality reasonable. By “highest quality” I mean staying power. You’ll replace it less often, which will save resources. I would add to Sam Vimes’ boot theory, above, that the ten-dollar boots use the same amount of raw materials as the fifty-dollar pair.

>Give preference to self-serviceable, rechargeable, and mechanical (as opposed to electronic) items. Look for technology appropriate to you.

Well, it’s a start.

In other news, some friends came over and built me an amazing composting toilet, which will be filled with poo to eventually go on the fruit trees at home. It’s nice to be leaving something behind I probably won’t benefit from directly, and I’m also aware of the huge amount of water used with every flush. Filling a cistern with buckets really brings it home.


I’ve been in a strange place the last few weeks, having found myself with both more time (the end of this semester’s coursework) and more money (job that pays the cashmoney). And so, ebay.

It’s been what can only be described as a spree, and while I’ve been careful to buy only secondhand things, and things I think (hope) will last me a longtime, I feel much more as though I’ve violated the NNY spirit than with the hardware I bought last week. I’ve bought another straightedge razor (as excessive as it sounds, two are actually recommended – they’re supposed to rest between shaves longer than I usually go without cutting) and a watch (which, as gauche pointed out, was a bad call), a pen (which I think is probably quite sensible – it’s what should be an entirely reliable gold nibbed fountain pen. They’re so much easier to refill than any ballpoint I’ve ever found, and the nib will, with luck and care, last longer than I will). I also got some entirely unnecessary butch street-cred in the form of cufflinks, tiepins and money clips. Oh yes.

The idea with these purchases – at least, the way I have been justifying them to myself – is that there are certain things (pen, watch) which I will need throughout my life, or at least the life I can foresee (bar the apocalypse). I figure it’s worth trying to find some good things, and paying good money for them, if they’re a once-off deal. But perhaps I am just kidding myself, and wanted some bling. Also I went to op-shops; got pants, shirts, even a suit. And shoes. My wardrobe is brand new, and entirely old. It’s quite nice, but I feel now that I didn’t need any of these things. The compulsive purchasing bothers me.


Batteries are evil. I have a bunch of rechargables, but can’t seem to find them in bigger sizes, so when I brought my boombox to some rally, and realised the absence of volume was an absence of voltage, I felt as though there was no option but to run to the nearest ‘convenience’ store to buy some. Salt n Peppa are the shit but I’m not convinced they were worth it – I didn’t end up cranking tunes on account of boring chanting. The moral of this story is that the presence of convenience stores tricks us (by which I mean me) into buying what we don’t need because the illusion of necessity is compounded by sheer force of presence.

In The Good News, however, I now have aloe planted for the shaving of my face, and a wonderfully ingenious friend has pointed out all the plum trees on the other side of the creek will be ripe in a month or so. Just in time for summer plum wine, a la Riots.

til next week.



So. For I think the first time I’ve seriously broken my (admittedly ill-defined) rules for NNY. I went to the hardware store the other day, and bought nails, wood glue and concrete. Nails and glue are for buildingthis bike trailer, and the concrete was for fixing the bath, which is now done. We didn’t use quite enough the first time, and it was stable but not quite steady. Since it’s pretty much the best form of relaxation (it even beats the adventure hammock) I’m keen to get it fixed up. Anyway, I bought a bunch of plants and seeds, too – but I’m ok with that.

To be fair, I feel as though I exhausted most of my other options. I even went looking for construction materials at my new favourite place – the Darebin Resource Recovery Centre (also known as the Reservoir tip shop). Seriously, tipshops are awesome, and I got a bunch of stuff there which I’d kinda given up on, like a vacuum cleaner and a bike pump (mine broke). Actually, I think tipshops are different to opshops, which I’ll talk about again soon.

on entertainment

Now that school’s over and I’m excited about summer projects, not buying’s going to get more difficult. I want a bike trailer – it would be useful, I think. Since my bike rack broke I’ve been enjoying the lightness of a bike without cargo, but I do miss the ability to carry my life around with me for a couple of weeks. I took that bike touring in Tas a little while back, and it was amazing. Having the cargo capacity of a trailer (but being able to quickly disconnect it and have a supergofast lightbike) will be aces.

I have other projects too, like fixing the garden and reading more. But they won’t break the rules, I think.

But what I want to talk about is movies, and entertainment more generally. Because I walk past the drivein cinema screens every night after work, I’ve been thinking about cinema a lot. I tend to think of entertainment as not consuming. After all, in a cinema I’m not actually using anything, or paying for its use – except electricity, I suppose, and upkeep on plush chairs. But this is an aversion of the responsibility for supporting big budget bonanzas which fly film crews all around the world, support the lifestyles of the rich and famous, blow things up in industrial proportions and generally make a mess.

Not that it’s necessarily a big deal. I mean, it’s a pretty long bow to draw claiming that by watching a movie I’m making myself liable for the entire downfall of the ecosystem and life as we know it. But I think it’s interesting to consider, and there’s a case to be made for prioritising the small theatre over the big movie, the musical your friend’s in over the broadway show.I think it would have the same – or at least a similar – effect in the making-of-happy for the watcher, and adds the benefit of, in the words of CrimethInc., a “readership of authors” – a culture of entertainment in which all who want to be watched, can be.

Long absences

Well, it’s been a long time. I have been legitimately busy, as well as just distracted and lazy. Because I’ve been busy I’ve been simply not buying, rather than creatively finding ways to get what I need. My housemates and I have been continuing to scavenge all of our food from the dumpsters of supermarkets, but I haven’t been keeping a diary of it, partly because I’m lazy and mostly because it’s been them – not me – who’s been going out.

My garden is blooming and full of beans. The bees are busier than I’ve ever seen them, and I’m enjoying baths looking out over the escarpment, across the willows and onto the banks of the creek. It’s springtime; life is good, and it’s time for projects. We finished the housemate’s new room. It looks lovely, and ey was ridiculously stingy in buying new things, so other than a little timber, some concrete, bolts and nails, it’s been renovated and furnished with almost entirely found and recycled materials. We also built a firebath! Incredibly exciting. Bricks from the garden (which were serving no real purpose where they were), concrete and mortar we found in the shed-of-a-thousand-wonders. Mounded dirt around the bath and now we’re bathing in a bed of succulents. We’ll plant flowers and aromatic herbs later.

There have been a few major temptations since I last wrote: a sneaker store with a huge sale, cheap-cheap swivelscreen multitouch tablet/laptops. And a few failings: I’ve been buying a heap of take-away coffees, which is both unusual and unnecessary – I have a bunch of travel mugs at home.

I also serviced my bike. Which meant a fair whack of new materials going into it, including a whole new bottom bracket, which was wobbling around like a drunk rolypoly clown…

Second month.

I still haven’t bought anything new, but mostly because I have been procrastinating from various tasks that would have required first-round consumption.

Audrey, my darling bicycle, is well wrecked — Felix tried to fix her but just broke her harder — and I’ve left her chained up at the station for almost three weeks because I haven’t had the time, money or inclination to take her for repairs given the rain. (I am, sheepishly but stolidly, a fair weather cyclist.) I might go to the bike repair workshop at Loophole to get a used wheel but it will take a lot longer than giving her over to a bike shop, and possibly still result in failure.

When it comes to manual tasks, I oscillate between being an obsessive perfectionist and a flaky slob. I will lace boots so that every cross is flat and facing the same direction; organise my bookshelf alphabetically by author, then chronologically by first publication date; and make elaborate paper cuts and cards and wrap gifts with surgical precision; but sew zips on with sloppy darning stitches; get halfway on greasing my chain and give up; or start making soup and get hungry and eat the half-sautéed ingredients. Okay, after writing that it’s obvious that I’m pedantic about the logic and aesthetics of things, blasé about restoring things to good working order, and terribly terribly impatient.

Anyhow, my headphones are also broken, but they work if I twiddle them a bit and it discourages me from listening to music while riding, which is probably good for my safety. Also my housemate is moving out, so there’ll be quite a few things ey’s taking with em that I need to replace, but I have a couple more weeks to prepare for that. I’ll start looking out for things in op shops, on Freecycle and in hard rubbish. My phone stopped working for two days as well, but it seems alright again, so let’s hope it holds up, especially as Felix and I have already exhausted the supply of spare phones among our networks this year.

Toiletries are something I’ve been thinking about. Cotton buds (q-tips), cosmetic wipes, emery boards — all things that are technically consumables, all things I don’t actually need. Should I just stop wearing make-up? Are there reusable alternatives? I do use a metal file instead of emery boards but I use a buffer for the tops which needs replacing every few months or so, and I have developed a bit of a thing for home pedicures.

Felix and I have talked about how hygiene is determined by social demands as well as practical needs — and social function is one way to measure health. But what about when those social demands are problematic? Don’t understandings of health that are based on social outcomes serve to calcify coercive norms of behaviour — eg, that a healthy person is one who is employed in the capitalist labour market, who enjoys the consumption of media and other ordinary pastimes, who has conventional relationships — rather than, say, health being measured as your capacity to engage in work, pleasure and relationships that are meaningful or enriching for you.

I think a conception of health wholly based on individual intention and desire can be problematic too (in how it would read psychosis, for example — but probably fine for neurosis), but probably not as much as one wholly based on social expectations. There is plenty of feminist analysis I could refer to here, on how the unholy marriage of patriarchy and capitalism produce the most rigid and sometimes violent beauty standards, but I’m not sure where to start. It comes up on Jezebel a lot — perhaps too much, at the expense of other issues. But maybe that’s my privilege talking — or at least, the particularities of my body and its experiences.

All this is a digression, because I know I don’t need to buff my nails. But I do need to wash, much more often than I need to wash in order to keep clean, in order to keep my job. And the level of grooming that’s expected of me as a woman in society generally is a lot higher than for men, and the scrutiny of my looks more intense. I’m in a social position where I can resist that pretty easily, but I’m sensitive to the pressure.

Anyhow, since No New Year began I have acquired a face wash, moisturiser with sunscreen, toothpaste, and nail polish remover. Luckily I don’t need disposable pads or tampons, as I use a menstrual cup in conjunction with cloth pads, and I don’t use perfume, deodorant, or any shaving/waxing products (though I have tweezers for eyebrows). I lost an eyeliner brush at some point, which I would like to replace, but I suppose I will hold out unless I can get one second hand (which seems unlikely — the only place I’ve seen used make-up brushes sold was on the Vogue forums which has since shut down its sale section).

I guess this is still the same problem I had last month: Do I want to alter my style/taste completely in order to lower my consumption? If I either grew my hair long or kept it shaved, and stopped wearing make-up completely, that would cancel many of my toiletry needs. If I give in to my bad skin, I could get by on just a toothbrush, toothpaste, and soap. I could actually ditch the soap and I would be fine. I wouldn’t lose my job, and I know enough hot crusty punks that it’s not going to affect my social life. And it would be pretty cool to have nothing in the bathroom except a toothbrush and toothpaste (maybe dental floss, too — I’ve had two unnecessary extractions already, and at 23, that’s not so great).

But right now I’m wearing pink and gold eyeshadow, metallic blue on my toes. And it looks real good, and I don’t want to give it up. It’s not essential to my livelihood or my identity. I could say that everyone needs nice things and I do think that’s true to a point, but I’m aware that this defence of decadence sounds like Amy on True Blood, the v addict who kills a vampire to drain him for his blood and says something like “a lot of bad things have happened in my life so I deserve this”. Except I haven’t had a lot of bad things happen in my life. Does everyone deserve nail polish?

I don’t know where I’m going with this. Maybe I’ll buy new make-up pads, maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll buy them and feel guilty and then be annoyed because I’m fairly committed to not feeling guilty about consumer choices. Whatever.

Here are some things I’m definitely not going to buy, though I want them very much (helpfully, I can’t afford them anyway):

I don’t understand why I hated being dressed like a little girl when I was one and now it’s all I want. I think I would have had an easier time of this when I was eight and hated girly shit. On the flipside, femininity is famously crafty, and I’m sure I’ll find a way.

Also, I nearly forgot: I paid for it before this project commenced, but I’m subscribed to Overland. So I was wrong, I have bought something new that’s in no way a consumable and I will renew my subscription even if it comes up before this project finishes: I think supporting new Australian writing and left-wing criticism is worthwhile, for sure. I’m really happy for Overland to be the only literature I buy. I guess I could donate money and read it at the library though. Hmm. Maybe I’ll do that.


I’ve been helping build a room with and for my housemate, in the shed out the back of my place. And while we’ve been using as much secondhand and reclaimed material as we can find, we’ve had to buy a fair amount, timber especially. And it’s come mostly from a particularly horrible hardware chain. While I’ve been rationalising this as being Not My Fault (it’s not my room, after all), I directly benefit from having the extra housemate (less rent, for instance) and I’ve been encouraging em* to move in to the shed.

So the obvious question is, is there a better way to build the shed? And of course there is. To start with, getting materials from gumtree, the trading post, or any other similiar hub for the secondpass economy is totally viable – and would probably also have saved us money. There’s also freecycle, one of the most exciting manifestations of the gift economy I’ve run across in Melbourne. Freecycle is a simple listing service, where folks announce what they’ve got to offer and what they need. There’s no expectation of a direct exchange for goods, just the anticipation that those who benefit from freecycle will help others, in order to keep the system flowing.

And there’s a bunch of blogs, DIY books and websites, as well as workshops and trainings dedicated to the idea of “green” building – which often means reclaiming and recycling materials. In fact, there’s so many I’m not going to make a gesture towards listing them here – I think there’s no point. Because more than anything I’ve talked about on this blog so far, this building project reveals the class privilege I’m working with.

It’s easy for me to suggest to my housemate that we slow down, take longer and get recycled materials to build eir room with; I have somewhere to stay. But ey hasn’t had a room of eir own since April 2009, has been couchsurfing ever since then. We both have a fair bit of time to scrounge with, but we don’t have a car to get stuff home. So while I’m angry at the luxurious sense of convenience that a lot of consumer decision making is based around (which we can see in the marketing of goods as well), I see this as a bit different.

Other than that, I still haven’t bought anything. My underwear’s beginning to thin, so I may well need some soon!

The contract on my phone is coming up, making me think (again) about Coltan and its environmental and social implications.

More on this later.
*using Spivak pronouns

First month.

So, as far as I can remember I haven’t bought anything new except consumables (food, drink, toiletries) but I haven’t really succeeded in cutting down unnecessary consumption either.

Yesterday I bought a dress, even though I have more dresses than I have friends, just because, well, I don’t have a vintage safari dress and it was $5. And I would probably have got more if they’d fit me (heads up, if you’re size 8-10, there’s two fabulous ball gowns at Lost & Found Market on Smith Street, for $10 each — one is strapless with a black velvet bodice and magenta taffeta trim and skirt, the other is long-sleeved, off-the-shoulder black velvet). My darling friend also bought me the killerest shoes when on holiday, which are no less an extravagance for being second-hand.

I agree with what Felix said about op shops operating as a pressure valve for any guilt we feel about new purchases. Op shops don’t represent, and have never represented, a closed cycle — the majority of goods sold are second-hand only, donated by their first owner, and in terms of clothing, usually only a few years old. Even if I never buy anything new, I usually only buy things that are effectively new — no holes or stains, not too faded or worn. (A princess aesthetic is less suited to this project than a punk’s, I think.) And though I take pretty good care of my things (I am still wearing a dress I had my Confirmation in, twelve years and many ideologies ago), I have to acknowledge that the things I donate to op shops tend to be in poorer condition than the things I purchase from them, if only slightly.

Op shops actually justify fast fashion, in many ways — though op shops have much more trouble selling last season’s chain-store threads compared to anything that can be classed “vintage” — because just the motion of tossing something that’s nearly new into the garbage might be enough to make us think more about our consumption. Putting your unwanted things into a donation bag instead of the bin gives away the responsibility for waste — in many cases, simply to the op shop staff, who throw out unmarketable items. Like any recycling system, op shops depend on the uptake of post-consumer waste, but (like most recycling systems), far more people contribute to the input than purchase the outputs.

My and Felix’s relationships to clothes make for an interesting comparison. I probably have ten times more clothes than ey does. The average length of time we’ve had each item is probably similar — I acquire new things all the time, but Felix doesn’t have anything old. I can’t remember the last time I wore through something, though Felix’s clothes are always falling to pieces. This is mostly because any one piece in my wardrobe is on such low rotation, but I think I do take better care of my things too. I polish my shoes, hem my trousers, replace buttons, and have shoes resoled (only in China though because here it costs more than my shoes ever do). But once things start to look ratty, I don’t wear them so much — I am aware that my style is less suited to environmental consciousness than others. And I don’t accept that it’s simply a style, a preference; I don’t accept depoliticising aesthetics in that way. I prefer to present myself in a way that is associated with higher class, greater wealth, and which requires more resources — regardless of the direct financial cost, I like to look expensive. I think that’s a problem.

The concept of style is clumsy when applied to what one wears: Arguably, designers have style, but a consumer’s aesthetics are more appropriately called taste. And taste is never quite individual. This is especially apparent when talking about taste in people, particularly lovers — I think everyone could quite easily critique what they find sexy, for example, by reference to popular constructions of sexiness. And it’s probably quite obvious that a taste for, say, the classic quilted Chanel handbag with the chain shoulder strap is not purely aesthetic (especially this season). But alternative tastes are equally situated within an aesthetic culture. This isn’t to say that your tastes aren’t genuine. I have never believed that knowing why you love what you love diminishes it. But I don’t think it’s possible to draw a line between one’s aesthetics and the status we try to achieve through our consumer identities. Less I shop therefore I am than you are what you buy. And I think this still goes for things you don’t pay for.

I really want this project to be something other than the ultimate in rebellious consumption for counter-cultural status, but I don’t have high hopes. I think there are still some choices that aren’t consumer choices, but late capitalism is constantly compressing that space.

x Gauche

P.S. If you click on one link in this entry, that last one is the best. Or for some light entertainment, watch Katy Perry versus Karl Marx.

presence (not presents); mistakes; makeshift

I’m going to start this week’s post with a letter to family regarding Christmas gifts…make of it what you will. Also I want to talk about mistakes (and making the most of them) and makeshift thrifty fun times. Enjoy!

Knowing as I do that some if not most of you are more readily organisable than myself, and what with the halfyear come and gone, I’m beginning to think about Christmas upcoming and the gifts’ll be got. I have a request: the same I’ve asked for years past and have not got.

Please don’t give me anything. Not now nor in the future, leastwise brand shiny and new. I am not afeared to ask for what I need from you (generous all) and will when time comes by. In the meantime, there’s better things than this to do with money, time and most especially with our family’s way to show affectionately love. I have plenty (I know you do too) and need for very little; what I do I can mostlyways get for my own self.

If you can’t accustom yourself to the idea of a gift-free tree, give money to a something which’ll work for revolution and show to me the receipts. I appreciate the gesture I know to be made from love but am asking you to love me in the way I want; by listening to what I’m saying and treating me the way I’m asking.

Big big love…felix.
Recognize environmental problems,
Refuse any damaging activities,
Reduce waste and resources, Replace environmentally questionable activities,
Re-engineer organizational structures,
Retrain employees in environmental issues,
Reward successful attainment of environmental objectives,
Re-educate employees and customers, to benefit the environment.

By way of DIY, I've thrown together a handcart out of a secondhand pram and a luggage crate – photos to follow, but it's nice to know that there are simple (albeit temporary) solutions to my needs. Seriously kids, wheelbarrows = the most useful tool ever.

Aaand, still no buyin’! Well. The things I have been buying (and accepting as gifts, which is the same thing) include food, cigarettes, transport (trains), alcohol (wine), electricity, internet and phone, housing (rent, I mean)…
But still, the intent of NNY remains to examine consumption, at which it is succeeding.

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