Tuesday, September 25

Ntandire Church/ Hall roof takes shape

In August we all trooped off to see Eltham Little Theatre's Production of "Stepping Out".
“Stepping Out” tells the story of seven women and one man attending a tap dancing class in the local church hall. The hilarious play deals with their lives and efforts to dance. It was a a superbly acted production and in the last act the appreciative audience demanded two encores. We nearly filled the theatre and raised sufficient funds for the roof sheeting for the new church hall in Ntandire.

As you can see the project is proceeding with the roof near completion.

Dyson took these photos when the timber work for the roof was completed prior to the fitting of the iron sheet roofing. He took the photo above of Sat Sacrament Classes (Called Tili Tonse ) for the young ones who are to start receiving Sacrament.

More photos are available on the Malawi site.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 14


I have previously reviewed Chris Williams book Old Land, New Landscapes about Australian Farmers, Conservation and the Land care movement in Australia, which are creating a new green wedge of improved bio diversity through private farmland of our immense continent. Click here if you would like to read this review.

Chris is currently the Bush Protection Director for Trust for Nature in Victoria, an organisation whose objective is to preserve “Nature in Perpetuity” for all future generations. Trust for Nature assists private landholders set up legally binding covenants on private land by setting aside areas to be held in trust for nature. Larger acquisitions of entire properties are similarly covenanted.

Chris and his brother currently own a farm which grows natives plants as a ‘seed orchard” in areas previously used as grazing paddocks. The remainder of the farm is bushland with various types of native vegetation managed for nature conservation and to collect the wild seed to sell for revegetation and restoration for projects and mines. Some seeds go also to nurseries to grow plants for gardens.
The property is called 'Sarana' which is a name inherited from previous owners which Chris has since ascertained means "Sanctuary" in Sanskrit.
Chris studied Sanskrit for a year at University long ago, and realised the pronunciation is "Sharana" but decided to keep "Sarana". At any rate it is indeed a sanctuary and I trust you’re able from the above pictures to gain some insight into the beauty and fragility of the Australian landscape. The farm is located in a beautiful setting in close proximity to the popular Warrumbungle National Park, known for its rich old volcanic landscape and outback feel despite a relatively high rainfall.

The Warrumbungle Range is the most westerly extension of the Great Dividing Range, after you leave these mountains its uninterrupted, old, flat, dry Australia until you reach the MacDonnell Ranges in Central Australia!

The photos show 'Sarana ' in landscape context, Chris with a harvest of E.blakleyi, Timor Rock from the hill with the observatory in the distance and Back Creek Rapids.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 6


I think sleeping is an underrated pastime these days.

Have you ever awakened refreshed, the problem of the previous day now resolved, or at least you have worried about it less? A good night’s sleep can do wonders!
Not that much is known about the dream world that apparently we all experience and what actually happens within the brain when we are asleep. Experts are divided as to whether the brain uses the time to erase unwanted memories or to prioritise what is important to be stored. Maybe it’s a mixture of both. It was only in the fifties the so called rapid eye movement (REM), undergone in the first few hours in deep sleep, was observed, followed by resting periods when our dreams become far less imaginative.

Prior to industrialisation we slept for much longer periods which were more in line with the changing seasons. Early dairies estimate the usual average hours at 10 per night compared to today of between 6-9. Einstein apparently loved his sleep, and liked to have at least 9 hours a night. With this is mind I composed a short poem about sleep renewal.

The day ends as always
Planet created that way
Rest and sleep companions
Mind renewed

Tree of life continues
From its leafy canopy
Engulfs, enlightens, entertains
Life’s oxygen

Rays of hope for a new day
Awaken new approaches
Patterns our life cycles
Repeat again