Turn the Heater off & Put a Jumper On

My boys are notorious for running around, whatever the weather, in shorts and t-shirts and it seems that it is only Matt and I who, in the middle of winter are absolutely freezing, with all of the layers on.  Yet, still, the heater has been purring on and every opportunity, there the boys are, splayed out on the floor in front of the heater (in their shorts and t-shirts).  I even took to putting tape on the heater dial so that they couldn't turn it up too high (and suddenly remembered my father doing the same thing). Then it dawn on me.  TURN OFF THE HEATERS!

If they are in shorts and tees, then they will survive just fine.  Matt and I have enough clothes in our cupboards to put more and more on until the kids finally realise that they need to put more clothes on before the heater goes on.

This was now two days ago, except for one hour last night (which I will get to later)
We live in Melbourne, and it is winter.  It is cold.  I know that is not as cold as some places in the world, and despite what I thought at the start, I am coming to realise that we are fine in our house without the heater for a few reasons.

1. We cook every night so the house does warm just a little and retains that warm (enough) so that it feels a little cosy whilst we eat (we eat near the kitchen).

2. I, the coldest person in the house suffering a circulation disorder, am getting to know my woollies and have been wearing lots of layers, and getting creative.  Yesterday I wore 2 woollen jumpers and was warm (wow!), and today, singlet, long sleeved top, woollen jumper and windcheater - warm again.  I have also chopped sleeves off old jumpers and made some "armies" that have made a real difference for my poor old fingers.

3. The one hour last night.  We have a heater in one room, so after showers, the kids got into jarmies and got their books, and we closed the door of the room, sat in there for the hour reading.  It was cosy.  After the hour, the kids went to bed, heater off.  We went back in, heater not back on, but the room was incredibly warm (we had adjusted already in a day).  When it started to get cool (about 2 hours later) it was time for bed anyway.

4. We are not noticing the cold outside as much, the difference isn't as harsh on us.

5. My youngest said to me this morning "You know mum, I think that I am getting out of the habit of going straight to lying in front of the heater in the morning now." Great!

Are they wearing jumpers yet? Not really.  Still in shorts and t-shirts, but I figure, when they feel the cold, they will, or not.  They are kids still, and the cold doesn't make you sick, it's the virus and bacteria that get sneezed and coughed at you that do.  They will hopefully learn from us to pop a jumper on as we now wear one in our house now.

Time to Energise and Fertilise

Today it was freezing in Melbourne, in fact, it has been freezing in Melbourne for the last 10 days or so, but I am getting cabin fever with 2 out of 3 kids sick during school holidays.

I began the day with a bike ride with 2 of the boys to warm myself up and that really helped me not feel like I needed the heater on (bonus for energy saving).  It really does seem to make a difference to get the inner body furnace burning early in the day so that you are on a slow burner all day.  I have been remarkably warmer all day.   I am normally a person who is wearing layer upon layer upon layer and gloves and still feeling the cold, so I can vouch for this today.

The other thing that I have done today is do a little gardening.  A friend of mine donated to me a bag of Dynamic Lifter and Sugar Cane Mulch, so it seemed like a great time to fertilise the vegetable garden, flower beds and dormant fruit trees.  There is something so incredibly satisfying about the smell of Dynamic Lifter and looking at mulch all over the garden.  I gave it all a good water in afterward as the whole garden is desperately dry and it needed a great soak in.

I am sure that the bulbs will now give me much better, brighter flowers and the vegetables will grow stronger.  I am going to sleep well tonight.

Letter to Tony Burke MP re: James Price Point

This is a copy of my letter I have emailed to Tony Burke MP today regarding the gas processing plant at James Price Point on the Dampier Peninsula, WA.

Dear Tony Burke MP,

I am writing to you in regard to my concerns surrounding the gas processing plant at James Price Point.

I am wishing to express my wholehearted support for the National Heritage Listing for the Dampier Peninsula which is the location for this proposed gas hub, and express my opposition to any plans for the gas process plant at James Prices Point.

Having travelled through many parts of Australia, I can wholeheartedly tell you that this Peninsula is a place of importance in our country, to the local indigenous people for the long dreamtime stories, the fossils, and storylines, but also for the species of flora and fauna which are endemic to this region.

The Dampier Peninsula has been well guarded from the heavy traffic of tourism by the dirt road that is subject to weather (that caught us out unawares) for a very good reason. The local people of the Dampier Peninsula do not wish to be inundated, they wish to keep their treasures and stories well looked after, and as it has not been listed as World Heritage (like Kakadu, or Francois Peron) like it really should be, they have kept it this way by restricting the flow in.

Now white man's greed and industrialisation is set to trample over the top, and destroy storylines, fossils, and dreamtime stories, bring in a completely different lifestyle for the Broome area that will be more like Port Headland and Karratha that will most likely lead to fly in, fly out workers getting rich, and the local indigenous people being overlooked for work (as they most often are at the moment there now) due to prejudice ("No point employing them, because they probably won't turn up tomorrow" - yes I heard that time and time again) and also because they don't have the right qualifications.

Touting the project as though the indigenous people are going to win out of this is a complete lie, there is no win for them. Their lives will turn upside down.

What I saw in Port Headland was extreme wealth and slums, not a place to stay and marvel at.

What I saw in the Dampier Peninsula was paradise. Broome has a very good thing going with its tourism. Once you industrialise a town, it becomes very ugly, it will become an eyesore over time and lose the very attraction that has been drawing people from all over the world for years. Is this what we are wanting for our country? Is this a well thought out policy?

Dampier Peninsula needs a National Heritage Listing now, if not a World Heritage Listing. I would implore you to spend some time there with the people, in the country.

Please reconsider, Tony. This country is in your hands at the moment.

These are the things that keep me awake - our people who are being neglected, and the beauty of our land being lost.

What keeps you awake?

Kind regards,

Meg Dunley

I will await his response and action.

If you wish to show your support to the Kimberley, please visit www.savethekimberley.com
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