Week 25/2021: the wild places

Week 25/2021: Week of 21 June 2021

What did I want to do better this week?

Shut down and go to bed earlier. Get more sleep.

So, how did that go then?

In my post about the book Spacemaker, I said that I’d decided to introduce a daily pause, and specifically to review and rework my evening wind-down routine. It’s something I’ve not been successful at but I know that I need better sleep and I know I need more of it.

It took most of the week to work that out and I have a plan to start next week. If you remember, one of the things Daniel says in the book is to start really small and build on that, and I know that by trying to start too big I’m setting myself up to fail.

So much as I want to say I’m going to shut down every night at 9.00, have a nice wind-down routine and be in bed before 10.00, that is too big of a jump from where I am now. 9.45 is my shut down time and I’m going to aim to do that four days a week. Since I only decided this on Sunday, my target for this week was one.


A full moon rising over a series of beach huts

21 for 2021 update

Vegetable of the week (thing 2)

Thing 2 is to choose a different vegetable every week from the book In Praise of Veg and make a recipe from the book using that vegetable. This week I used radishes and green beans and they’ll get their own post in a couple of days.

Annoying undone things (thing 5)

One of the things on this list is to season a frypan that I got about 12 months ago. Yes, it’s been sitting round that long with me thinking how much work is involved in seasoning this pan and putting it off. It didn’t help that the instructions I got with the pan were different to what was online, and then I got confused about what sort of pan I actually had because the one I through it was had different instructions again.

I contacted the company to clarify what sort of pan I have and what I have to do and now I know and I have no more excuses.

Kramstable’s videos (thing 8)

I worked on the next video, which is actually Kramstable’s story from 2020 to his birthday this year, so there are still a couple of months to come. I thought I’d make an early start so I have a chance of having it completed by Christmas.

I’m working with the newest version of iMovie, which is completely different to the old version I was using with the last video, and I’m finding it very frustrating.

My mother’s story (thing 9)

This week my mum and I talked about some old photos that my mum had scanned a while ago. There’s about 460 slides, some of which are baby photos of me, some look to have come from my father’s collection and some are from my mother’s high school and early work days. She’s written down a vague description of most of them but without knowing the stories behind them, I have no idea what their relevance to her life is.

So we started to go through them. That was fun. There’s some she can’t remember who the people are, which is a lesson to make sure you record the names of people in the photos at the time. You may think now you’ll always remember, but fast forward 50 or 60 years, especially if they’re people who haven’t been part of your life for a long time, or who weren’t a big part of your life at the time, and their names could well be gone.

Brainsparker (thing 17)

This week we covered mind mapping as part of module 7.

21 for 2021 summary of week 25

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed to date: 3 (1, 18, 20)
  • Things I progressed: 5 (2, 5, 8, 9, 17)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress: 8 (4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16)
  • Things not started: 5 (3, 12, 15, 19, 21)

Other stuff

What did I do for the Earth this week?

I went to an exhibition for the takayna/Tarkine by the Bob Brown Foundation on Tuesday.

The entrance to the Bob Brown Foundation's takanya exhibition
takayna exhibition

The Australian Heritage Council has assessed takayna/Tarkine as being of “outstanding national heritage significance” and found that the flora within the rainforests have links to the ancient continent of Gondwana, and long with the lichens and fossils “help tell the story of Australia’s ancient flora and its evolution”. It also found that the coastlines of this region are home to “the remains of numerous hut depressions found in Aboriginal shell middens. The huts and middens are the remnants of an unusual and specialised Aboriginal way of life based on the hunting of seals and land mammals, and the gathering of shellfish”. You can read more here.

Despite this, the area has never been formally declared a World Heritage Area and its boundaries are not defined.

Many people are now concerned about the impact of a proposed new tailings dam that would support a mine near Rosebery. It would involve clearing up to 285 hectares – roughly equivalent to 350 football pitches – of rainforest and other terrain for both the dam and a 3.5km pipe that would carry toxic waste from the mine across the Pieman River.

According to the Bob Brown Foundation, there would be other options for this project that don’t involve destruction of the rainforest, and protestors are currently sitting in the area trying to stop the work. These include a former French horn player with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Frits Harmsen, prominent Tasmanian farmer Anthony Houston and Tasmanian Devil conservationist Androo Kelly.

There’s currently a petition to the Federal Environment Minister to stop this, which I encourage you to sign if you are concerned. (UPDATE 3 July: Bob Brown met with the Environment Minister, Sussan Ley, earlier this week to discuss this proposal and alternative options leading up to her making a decision on the proposal.)

I also put in a representation against the Mount Wellington Cableway Company’s development application for a cable car and tourist facility on kunanyi/Mt Wellington.

rock formation on the kunanyio/Mt Wellington summit with Hobart city in the background
kunanyi/Mt Wellington summit

This proposal, and others that never made it to the application stage, has been in the works for years and has generated a lot of community opposition, along with people who strongly support it.

I’m deeply opposed to it and said so in my 10-page submission. There is so much wrong with this proposal. It completely disregards the views of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community, the palawa/pakana people, for whom this s a significant site. The application fails to demonstrate that the proposal is commercially viable, it threatens endangered species such as the swift parrot and it will degrade the natural beauty of this place.

I’m sick of the mindset that every place that is wild or special or valuable has to be “unlocked” so that people can go there and do things. For example, this proposal includes a cafe where people can go to sample Tasmanian produce. There are multitudes of places in Hobart that people can go to do this. Why, when we go to these places, does there have to be something to do there? There is no justification for additional facilities at the summit. The point of visiting wild places like the kunanyi summit is to be in the place and to experience nature, not to go to the place to do something.

And “unlocking” these places will ruin not only the experiences of those places for those that are able to visit, but will also degrade the places to the point that they could no longer be considered “wild places”. Perhaps kunanyi is not completely wild now in the same sense that some of our more remote areas are. It has an access road and it has infrastructure already in place, but this doesn’t give us licence to continue to develop it as we see fit. I believe that the Council has the opportunity now to prevent any further “taming” of this significant place and to send a strong message that kunanyi is valuable to the community now and into the future, exactly as it is.

This proposal seeks to turn kunanyi/Mt Wellington into another tourist experience rather than respecting it as a place to simply take in nature. The tourists will visit and cross if off their to-do list and we will have to live with the visual scars on the Mountain every day.

We have to do more to protect areas like kunanyi and our remote wild places. We don’t own them. We are the custodians of them, yet we are determined to destroy them. The world is plunging head-first into climate catastrophe after catastrophe and governments continue to approve new mines, clear rainforests and give out permits for gas exploration. They set lame carbon emissions targets that will at best be ten years too late and at worst are already too late to make any meaningful impact on global temperature increases.

Remember that song “One Hundred Children”? We used to sing it in school.

Don’t blow up the world, don’t kill all the flowers
Today this is your world, tomorrow it’s ours
Leave us pure water and forests uncut
Think of tomorrow, leave something for us

Well, our generation is now the adults that the kids of today would be singing this song to, and the way we’re going, there will be nothing left for them.

What I’m reading this week

  • Gut. The inside story of our body’s most under-rated organ by Giulia Enders
  • gulp! The seven day crash course to master fear and break through any challenge by Gabriella Goddard
  • Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit

My habit tracker

  • Days I did my morning planning routine at work (Goal = 4): 4
  • Days I did my post-work pack up routine (Goal = 4): 3
  • Days I worked on my art (Goal = 2): 5
  • Days I read a book (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I did yoga stretches (Goal = 7): 0
  • Days I had a lunch break away from my desk (Goal = 4 work days): 4
  • Days I went for a walk or did other physical activity in the afternoon (Goal = 7): 3
  • Days I shut my computer down before 10.15 (Goal = 7): 4
  • Days I shut my computer down before 9.45 (Goal = 1): 1
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