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August 2011

Do you pack food and drinks when heading out and about?

Heddon greta drive-in hunter valley

We went to a good old fashioned drive-in last weekend.


Here's what I packed for the night. Water bottles, thermos of hot chocolate, fruit and some nuts.

I think i'm turning into my Gran. I remember her always packing a thermos of tea, a couple of sandwiches and some slices of cake for road trips.

How about you? Do you pack food and drinks when heading out and about?

Saved by their charm ~ rooster dilemma solved


Remember our rooster dilemma?

We had decided to pay to have Duffa Dilly Bong and Flappy euthanased humanely by the RSPCA. We weren't thrilled about doing the deed ourselves, nor was I prepared to return them to the seller to be transported in unknown conditions to an abattoir.

Daddy Eco called our Rooster minders to let them know he'd be picking up the roosters the following day. To my delight he was told that Kate had fallen in love with them and wanted to keep one, but couldn't decide which one. So she's keeping both for now. Yay!! Saved by their charm.


Their sister Emu is becoming friends with our other chooks and seems to be missing her brothers less and less.

I've often thought i'd like to raise my own meat chickens or ducks. I like the idea, but at least I now know that it's something I probably wouldn't enjoy. I'm thinking an aquaponics set up is the closest i'll get to raising my own meat.

Speaking of aquaponics, I recently discovered an unreal aquaponics system made from recycled parts. How cool! For starters I think i'll tackle a frugal DIY bathtub system, just in case I find that I don't enjoy raising fish either.

We managed to find that 'escape' we needed


Late Sunday night, a few hours from home, we pulled up to this delightful scene. Our home for the night.


Inside, an open fire, a table for two bathed in candle light, and dinner warming in the oven.



I headed off again early the next Morning, leaving Daddy Eco and Little Eco snug in bed.



I left so early that in my half-asleep haze I left my packed breakfast and lunch sitting on the bench. No worries. I spotted an orange tree growing over a fence and foraged a few for breakfast.

Over the next few hours I was reminded of just how beautiful this country is. Of how incredibly hospitable country people are. Of how sad it is that we pay so little for our food that fifth and sixth generation farmers face a challenge simply keeping their family farm going. Our food isn't grown by families anymore, it's grown by corporations. How sad is that!?


I was lucky enough to interview and photograph a fifth generation farmer from the Upper Hunter Valley as part of an ABC open project. I volunteered my time and in return am learning a few skills I've been seeking. I've had a project in mind for this space for a few years now and am excited to be learning the skills I need to make that idea a reality.

Daddy Eco and Little Eco spent the day touring another, much larger, family homestead and playing in the river.

I returned in time for a few hours of silliness. Little Eco wanted to learn how to drive. I sat her on my lap and let her drive (slowly) around and around a paddock.


We balanced on fence rails.


And Daddy Eco even did a back flip off one despite me threatening to divorce him if he did. He ignored my threats. He winked at Little Eco. She winked back. He jumped. I was so horrified that I barely captured it.

He survived. And I love that despite being nearly forty he still thinks he can back flip off a fence.


We were back at home within 24 hours of leaving. rested. exhausted. wiser. inspired. happy.


My Cool Campervan book 1A

Things are crazy busy around here at the moment. We've well-and-truly learnt that our life descends into chaos when both parents are working full-time.

My Cool Campervan book 2

I often find myself daydreaming of escaping in a campervan.

My Cool Campervan book 3

Hitting the road. Exploring. Having time to simply sit.

My Cool Campervan book 5

Where does your mind wander when things get a little crazy?

This space is going to be quiet for another week or two. I'm preparing a few presentations on sustainable living for the Expo for Childhood (perhaps i'll see you there?) and am also starting an exciting project with ABC Open (I'll share more shortly).

All images are from my favourite bedtime read My Cool Campervan.