Saturday, April 15, 2006

Simple Things

Rocky Bay, Waiheke Island on an Tuesday afternoon in Autumn..

Easter Weekend, with a capital W, here in New Zealand, which means Holiday Time. The Official End of Summer weekend, is packed full of music and festivities for the "punters" to flock to this weekend, including none other than the Rolling Stones, playing at a midget car raceway outside of Auckland. Go figure. Here on Waiheke, we have the Annual Jazz Festival, for which I have tickets for Sunday evening's performance of Elana Stone, voted Australian Jazz singer of the Year. OK then.

Also some great new films out, and a couple of festivals offering up the best of international indie treats. I agree with blogger Mark Glaser here on demise of the multiplex as entertainment, and I am glad we have the very supportive Academy Theater in town (located just under the library). One of the few things worth going into Auckland for. Another reason for going into town is the fact that so many New Zealanders head out for long weekends, and it is quite enjoyable to have a city easy to get around in.

Then there was the weekly market this morning where I picked up some homemade vege samosas, carrot cake, and stuffed olives. Gotta love it. Local food is sustainable food. It just makes sense. I don't like contributing any more to a larger carbon footprint by having my food, the single most important interraction I have with nature, travel unnecessary distances when it can be grown and consumed locally. It is catching on, and when petrol is no longer affordable by the ordinary folk, it will not only be fashionable, but very necessary. Great interview here with journalist Michael Pollan on the food "industry" in the States, and how so much land there is used to grow corn primarily for animal feed and corn syrup sweetener, which insidiously ends up everywhere in our processed foods. WTF? When were Silent Spring and Diet For a Small Planet written? about 50 years ago? What have we learned? The book is called The Ominivore Dilemma, and the interview from an NPR podcast was brilliant. Hope the book is as good. Will keep you informed.

Speaking of the States (and I try not to much, as there just is not anything good coming out 0f there recently), but if you are interested in the Way of the World, NYTimes journalists like Paul Krugman and Sy Hersh from the New Yorker (good Guardian bio here) will give it to you straight in these articles. That oil over there is becoming so much more costly in so many ways than the $2 or $3 we pay at the pump. In our lifetimes, folks...

Back to the island (please!) means holiday festivities would not be complete without the Dirt Track Club having their weekend party and demolition derby, where loads of "petrolheads" drive around a dirt track in vehicles that barely hold together, smashing into each other, until only one is running. Brilliant. And then there is, wait for it, the Annual General Meeting of the Omiha Welfare and Recreation Society, encompassing the RockyBay Memorial Cruising Club (see pics above of the newly renovated hall that hosts everything from Dynamic Meditation to the Forest and Bird Society. The burned out store is another story, but we will get there soon. Photos taken on a busy Tues afternoon!). These are two well respected organisations here in Rocky Bay, and before you snicker, they happen to have a long and celebrated history of sponsoring events and community service (they sell the local paper for $1.50 every Thu afternoon between 2-4pm if you are in the area). I have booked an interview with some of the local dignitaries from the groups, and find out all about upcoming events. If the photo above seems like I live in derelict community, it is far from it. Just a mere population density adjustment..

The water 50 meters from my home IS Omiha Bay, so I want to ensure it doesn't head the way of some more popular and "posh" areas of the island that are being eyeballed constantly for unsightly and inappropriate development from fast buck merchants over from the city. Heads up to the Miro Valley Action Group, and the Community and People of Waiheke (CAPOW) for their sterling efforts in warding off too much greed and commercialism on the island. Growth is inevitable, but It CAN be sustainable. It does not have to be ugly.

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