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Archive for the ‘good life’ Category

Building the Good New Town as a non-dogmatic community

In eco-friendly, good life on October 16, 2016 at 07:55

If the word eco-village is too loaded with images of low tech and countryside to be used for a nature- and future- friendly intentional community also in towns and cities, what could it be called? There is a therm for a nuclear family. Maybe there should be one for a Nuclear Community, as an alternative building block of any society? To put everything on the shoulders of a small present day family is being too harsh on people. Wait… Then if you say “I plan to build a Nuclear Community here” the residents will suspect you are planning to install a small nuclear power plant in their neighborhood…

Maybe it just has to be a “Good New Town“. I live in Newtown, Powys. Newtown is small yet it is the biggest town in Mid Wales. It is old. We all heard about “Good Old Days”, “Brave New World” and “The Good Life”… Some may also know about “Good Life Project” and “Good Sense Foundation”. – those are my influences for the name.

Whatever the name, I think for true happiness and healthy development this community should not be dogmatic.

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The future of agriculture in Wales

In eco-friendly, garden, good life, healthy life, Uncategorized on October 4, 2016 at 13:50

Here’s my contribution to the debate

Many small scale experiments for a more resilient future

Now that we have an opportunity to rethink the future of agriculture, land management and the life of rural communities in Wales, let people to experiment and to find out what will work. There is no need to play havoc with all of the rural economy at once but please allow innovation and initiative on a small scale, as long as there is no clear and obvious risk to people, animals and the environment. There must be people willing to experiment, creating all sorts of new businesses, eco-villages, homesteads and seasteads, various intentional communities. Give them a good fighting chance then take evidence-based decisions, not affected by fads or overrated opinions of the most vocal of lobbies. Even then, no government should ever place all eggs in the same basket (be this sheep farming or timber). Diversity in business models and lifestyles improves the resilience of any economy just like biodiversity helps ecosystems to survive changes and hard times.

 

alexfarmboysmallWhy the contribution is important

Presently there are lots of things going wrong with our lives. Our towns are surrounded by countryside but people may feel very distant from it. The farmland creates backdrop to their lives but is inaccessible due to lack of footpaths, public transport and human connection to the farming community, lack of internet – and lack of interest too. This is not a healthy relationship. The people are suffering, stuck to cities and towns with ridiculously small gardens and manicured parks. People need real nature and countryside for mental and physical health. People need fresh quality food, need connection to the land and to the community. So, we need our intelligence to develop a way of living in harmony with nature, surrounded by nature everywhere where we are. I am thinking in the direction of sustainable small scale farming, food forests, “garden cities”, decentralisation, edible landscapes, living roofs and walls, passive houses, forest farming, green burial sites, silvopasture, permaculture, aquaponics, real community gardens serving real communities, etc. – whatever works. I believe human activity and flourishing could be conducted within a healthy ecosystem made of us, our stuff, wide variety of plants and animals.

I am an artist and a geographer interested in creating a prototype semi-rural intentional community (an eco-village, an eco-block or an eco-neighborhood), an ongoing experiment for a better way of living, more sufficient and efficient, closer to Nature, working with the help from newest technology. An open lab of an honest, creative and compassionate life, strong friendly community, better health and well-being. Doing research into reintroducing wildlife, into more efficient food production and waste recycling systems, into automation, working on the new ways to get energy, new building methods, new educational systems, restoring useful agricultural and building practices from the past, and so on. People of various interests and abilities creating better lives for themselves, their friends, neighbours and families, ultimately, for the whole Earth. In the world obsessed with divisions this should be a place of honest enquiry, free of prejudices and any party rhetoric.

What we need is relaxing of planing permissions and other regulations for experimental / alternative communities, eco-villages, or self-built houses; we need land and we need grants. It is vitally important that public money won’t go to some smoke screen / green wash projects for clever bureaucrats but to real people building real future. There also should not be any exploitation of vulnerable and gullible “volunteers”, like in some modern social enterprises. People who will be living and working in those future communities are also the best candidates for building them.

The wast green spaces of Wales are treasures. We have a chance to make them also different to all other rural parts of the world in being a magnet for innovation and future-friendly experiment, brain-and skill- gain rather than drain, place for openness and cooperation, honest work for common good.

 

If you are interested in participating, please join the New Good Town project athttp://goodnewtown.uk/ and our Facebook page athttps://www.facebook.com/groups/goodnewtown/

by AlexandraCook on October 04, 2016 at 11:27AM

A couple of A.C . Grayling’s books – recently finished

In books, ethics, freedom, good life, history, moral issues, philosophy, politics, traditions on December 14, 2013 at 14:26

The Good Book: A Humanist Bible.
I normally really enjoy books by A.C. Grayling.  I’ve got few complaints about this one.  I don’t know if it’s only fault of the audio book but I found it frustrating that I didn’t know from where the quotes were taken.

I did really enjoyed the verses chapter. It was great to recognise a piece of poetry I’ve learned at school in another language!  On the whole I think the book should not had “Bible” in the title and somehow influencing its structure. Bible is not a greatest of our ancient texts and has been completely discredited over the centuries. 

I also think that this A.C . Grayling book would benefit from inclusion of modern philosophy.

Liberty in the Age of Terror: A Defence of Civil Liberties and Enlightenment Values.
It is right to be concerned with attacks on Civil Liberties.  However I think the author didn’t really shown how much better informed we are thanks to the technology and globalisation,  how much more opportunities we have to express our opinions to the whole world and to listen to opinions of others. The feeling of interdependence and interconnection (one small world!) does helps to promote the Enlightenment values by itself.

Allotment update

In about me, eco-friendly, garden, gardening, good life, сад, organic on December 12, 2013 at 12:35

Hopefully it is ready for the winter. I am not very experienced gardener but I love to experiment.  Lucerne and Alexanders are sown as green manure,  soil is covered by autumn leaves. 
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Young broccoli and cauliflower plants plus salad leaves are covered by glass jars,  soda plastic bottles and some bubble wrap on top. As people say it in Russia, “голь на выдумки хитра” / “poor are inventive”.

My autumn sown Scorzonera is doing well. Apparently its young leaves make tasty salad and it is slug proof!
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In need of some changes

In about me, art, crafts, good life on November 28, 2013 at 00:33

Why wait for the New Year to make resolutions? I have a good life but I want to make it much better. I want to declutter, I want to enjoy every moment, and I still want to learn to  be a breadwinner for my family.

Live your

Dream

your Life.

Join me on a mission. To be one of a kind. To be kind. Don’t vaste. Don’t be afraid to experiment. I want to be creative in every aspect of life, I want to improve my craft. To make my home a happy place, floating through time and space.

I feel the need to change what I do and how. More of this to follow (hopefully).

A little fishy

In acrylic, art, crafts, drawing, мои рисунки, folk art, garden, my artworks, painting on July 6, 2013 at 14:50

Painted / drawn with acrylics and ink on a pebble from river Hafren / Seven.

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Some recent upcycled textiles

In art, color, crafts, eco-friendly, folk art, gypsy mermaid, jewellery, jewelry, mixed media, my artworks, textile, textile art on June 21, 2013 at 12:23

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White lilacs and other recent sketches

In acrylic, art, color, drawing, мои рисунки, floral, flower, flowers, folk art, garden, mixed media, my artworks, pattern on June 6, 2013 at 09:57

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Tradition vs Freedom?

In crafts, folk art, freedom, good life, healthy life, people, traditions, travel on June 2, 2013 at 20:06

Local customs, costumes, crafts, foods… It’s all seems to melt gradually into some new globalised uniformity. In a way, this is a sad picture, a loss of our beautiful diversity. Western people often feel touched looking at tribal portraits, especially of children, in exotic attires.  But what these people from distant lands would prefer themselves, given choise? Modern living with its salaries, doctors, schools, pensions, benefits, equality and human rights or posing for tourists for a few coins? Is wearing those heavy earring painful? Did that beautiful bride choose her future husband herself? How old is she? How well is she educated? Do we have to stay in a fantasy land? Why so many people are migrating to cities and leaving traditional way of life behind?

 

The solution to the loss of traditional cultures seems to lay in our free will to explore them and carry their achievements into the future. Lets enjoy the color and sound, lets experiment without being afraid of onlookers. Lets celebrate free creative life. Nobody should ever try to force anybody into the past. Rather we should help to grow a free and equal for all future – firmly rooted in the best from our past.

Recent sketches

In art, drawing, весна, взаимоотношения, мои рисунки, мораль, отношения, ethics, floral, flower, flowers, freedom, good life, moral issues, my artworks, свобода, творчество, painting, pastel, pen, pen and ink, politics, relationship, spring, t-shirt on May 26, 2013 at 09:54

A bee one I’ve started while in the Galleries Live in Telford

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And some sketches for greeting cards and t-shirts

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