A selection of our writings from 2009 to the present. If you'd like to keep up to date with our latest posts, please subscribe below.

Can we trust the ABC and the FDA?

Hello and welcome to our 8th video in 8 weeks. Yes, we have a gazillion other things we could be doing with our time, but due to an acute lack of alternative voices and critique, here we are, with our cultural commentator hats on, spending hours and hours every week reading scientific papers, newspaper articles and reports, making videos detailing our findings.

In our latest video we examine two public institutions, the ABC in Australia and the FDA in the US, and ask the question: have we become so desensitised as a society that we no longer see conflicts of interest in plain sight?

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We wish you a happy solstice and holiday season, and look forward to bringing you more in the new year.

With love and thanks for your ongoing support,
Meg, Patrick, Woody and Zero

Snake mackerel dreaming (to the far west of Gunditjmara Peoples’ Country)

After 110 days of riding this pilgrimage we forever find ourselves becoming another story. We ride into bower spinach country, succulent and salty, and it predominates the through lines of our slow traverse. Young seal-play country leads us into the hearth of another family. Emu country runs through stumped pine forests, pulp of which is destined for Japan and other places. And all the while we find kinship and comfort in blue wren, blackwood and magpie countries. Welcome to another post from the road.

From the permeable skin of our Portland fingers runs old story barracouta – snake mackerel. When we handle such story we are altered by it indelibly and microbially. Snake mackerel flows into our story guts. Fish broth. From sea gut to land gut, then on to heart, lungs, brain, through vagus nerve country. Thinking for us derives, in this moment, from old fighting fish slime made in and of Gunditjmara country.

Settler industry toils its wisdom lines through Portland. Nearby monocultured forests are chipped, pulped and shipped around the world for single-use paper products. The local community garden is one of many recipients of the annual penalty Portland’s US-owned aluminium smelter pays to the local council each year for environmental damages – the pissy costs of doing big business on stolen land. On the road we are once again, at times, products and eaters of industrialism. Unlike the food of home (that we tend, perform daily tasks and ritual with, consuming the food medicines of walked-for relations), we become again industrial story by what we put in our guts, by what is available. This is why fishing, with all its story and community, is so important to us. To pivot. To not be so emphatically snared by store-bought, packaged and transported food. To live in more direct relationship with what we consume, as filthy and as violent as such story sometimes demands.

We have all been scored by snake mackerel dreaming,

and we’ve all had old story skins to shed and grow anew since our time in Portland.

The red mark between Blue Wren’s eyebrows (above) is the love bite of old Chinese medicine at play. Both Blue Wren and Magpie received the gift of needles by a Portland healer who allowed us to document the process. Magpie uncharacteristically slept through for several nights after her second treatment, bringing much needed deep sleep.

After leaving Karina and Daryl’s cosy caravan, where we gently laboured to help in each other’s lives, including house painting and a pergola design from us,

and a dry little shelter and clothes mended from them,

we arrived, by the good fortune of mutual friends, in this little cove. A self-contained flat.

The flat is part of a farmlet, lived in by four generations that can be roughly described as the Couttie clan. Introducing Peter, Fifi, Finn, Rory, Caitlin and Aaron.

The eldest of the clan, 91 year old vet Peter, holds much mammalian health knowledge and he was eager to share it. We made two short (great) Grandfather University videos centred on some of his life-long learnings.

The remarkable Peter swims a kilometre three mornings a week, and still carries out much of the farm work. He also cured himself of cancer a few years back.

We had 18 magical days on the farmlet, eating fresh produce, chopping wood, baking bread in the little baker’s oven in the flat, and helping out with various projects. When he wasn’t fishing, Blackwood threw himself at playing with Finn and Rory, and helping with the garden work.

There was an abundance of love and story, fish and citrus. At just nine years old, Blackwood fed two families on one particular night by his patience and skill. He was much praised for the deep nourishment he brought to everyone.

While at the Couttie farm he received reading and writing lessons from Steiner teacher, Grandmother Fifi. Throughout his nine years we have intentionally foregrounded orality and left literacy alone. Blue Wren’s doctoral thesis included a critique of writing, querying whether literacy plays a part in the problem of hypertechnocivility (his term for ecological estrangement) – the terminal psychosocial disease advanced more or less unwittingly by Second Peoples who have lost their stories. While writing bears many gifts, especially as a transmission of story, myth and minority perspectives, it also works to make the world less tangible and more mediated. While story has generally been big in his life, literacy, we’re thankful, hasn’t dominated Blackwood’s first decade. It seems right time for him to learn now, not because we adults push an idea about literacy onto him but because he is becoming curious. Becoming curious about reading and writing coincided with having right guidance in right place. Fifi is a gifted and caring teacher. While Blackwood exercised some of his early pathways into mediated life, Blackwood’s parents also used mediating tools to tell another kind of story,

and share more neopeasant skills from our kitchen on the road.

While at the Couttie’s farmlet Blackwood, who lives mostly in direct relationship with the living and dying of the world, spent a day making a rabbit retrieval tool.

He first spent time selecting the limb, respectfully harvesting it (with words we were not privy to), then fashioning it with his knife.

He then fixed the rubber sling. Bonza tool Woody! Each night on dusk he would stalk the farm rabbits. While he was unsuccessful in hitting and capturing one, he trusts that these skills and knowledges add up,

as they have with his fishing,

his salvaging of discarded or snapped off tackle,

and bike riding. The Couttie’s farm harboured a bike he could borrow and he was in heaven riding kilometres each day on a single-speed BMX. Just to give some perspective, when he is on Merlin-the-tandem with his dad, there are 27 gears to help their transits, just like Magpie’s Cosmo.

When we finally left Portland and the restorative hearth of the Couttie clan we entered bower spinach country. We have followed this songline for some time, but this bountiful edible really came back into our focus over this next leg, incorporating it in many meals.

We rode to Bishops Rock, hopped off our bikes and were immediately greeted with hot tea and cake from two women who were camped for the day in the car park, wishfully awaiting their partners to return with fish.

One couple Lebanese, the other Russian, we exchanged stories on beekeeping, veggie growing, fishing, our favourite Russian band and, of course, Covid before riding on to Bridgewater Bay to find a camp for the night.

Hidden behind wattles and bower spinach covered shrubbery we found a sheltered nook to call home.

We raised the tent and got a fire going.

Blackwood continued on with the bookwork Fifi provided him.

We spent some lovely days at this little camp, cooking the fish Blue Wren speared,

and those that Blackwood caught on his line. Wrasse have nourished us well on this journey. An underrated fish, we were told some years back by a fellow fisher that they need to be oven-baked with lemon to bring out their best. But just about any fish cooked on coals taste good if they’re freshly killed, bled and gutted.

We walked along some of the Great South West Walk to Cape Bridgewater,

hungry for and sadly starved of First People place names (at the very least),

out to the fur seal colonies. Can you spot them below?

A little way along this walk we came across a rust-bitten jetty,

where we made the following short video expressing how we are feeling being part of a new underclass in Australia. Almost two years of rupture and suffering for so many – anthropogenic virus, death and illness, extreme lockdowns, vaccine mandates. Thank you to all those who have reached out from overseas, distressed at seeing reports of Australia’s extremist Covid policy. We have even been offered a home in Sweden. You might consider supporting us and others like us by signing (and sharing) this petition before October 27.

We had a very sweet encounter with a young seal at this jetty, which we hope to share with you in a future video. After three days in Bridgewater Bay, where we also bumped into two veteran Artist as Family blog readers, Louise and Jo (Jo and her family put us up for a night on our first big ride to Cape York) we headed off through the backroads towards Nelson, stopping at this incredible cave complex that again bore no First People recognition. The cave, we later discovered, is called Tarragal.

We found a camp site at Swan Lake, though failed to find a lake. Or a swan. Blackwood ran between bikes helping the heavy rollers through the sand ruts that had a few times dangerously brought our bikes mid cycle to a complete halt. It was a fast descent down to the camp and we knew it would take some work to get back up the next morning.

It’s always a relief to find a quiet spot to camp before it’s too late in the day. Enough sunlight to dry out dew-dripped-on-bedding and slow the spread of mould.

Making home is a ritual.

Embodying it and giving praise for such comfort is an essential practice.

Patterns of this pilgrimage are forming. When we stop somewhere for a while we recuperate and reflect, though arguments occur more frequently as our needs get split. When we are on the move we perhaps perform more as a contiguous family unit, holding each other’s back. Blackwood’s help between the bikes has been remarkable. He rode with Blue Wren to get Merlin up the hills, and at each peak ran down to push Magpie’s Cosmo up to the next step. He wasn’t asked to do this. He just stepped off and stepped up.

We left the quiet of the slippery side roads and joined the C192 for a difficult 37 kms on a road with loads of trucks and little shoulder. The truckies were generous and gave us a wide berth so the only real endurance was the persistent headwind,

all the way to Nelson. As you may recall from our first post back in early July, the feather pointed south so we rode in that direction as far as we could. We then decided we’d head west and for most of this pilgrimage we have been creeping along the coast in that direction. Nelson marks another potential direction change.

Crossing the border into South Australia and entering what is, in tangible speech (because the map is not the territory) Bunganditj spoken-for country, is not currently an option. The little sleepy town of Nelson will no doubt provide time to reflect on where we’ll go from here. In the meantime, we are fishing up the Glenelg River with a paddle and a local canoe,

and bunkering down in our conspicuous story tent for wet weather in Victoria’s most affordable camping ground.

We’ve added nearly another 100 kms to our now 700 plus km pilgrimage. We’re not sure why we’re counting such numbers, as crude as they are. Maps and numeracy can never account for the full bodied existence of being storied in country, but perhaps they provide some context for just how beautifully slow we are travelling, averaging about seven kilometres per day.

So, where now Dear Reader? That’s anyone’s guess. We hope you are also going at just the pace you feel liberated to go at. Sending our best health to you and to yours.

With much love,
Artist as Family. x

Artist as Family’s Covid roadmap

All around the world Covid roadmaps are being written by policy makers to help communities survive in the face of a global pandemic. But rather than relying on governments to map our way forward, we feel it’s more generative for people to write their own roadmaps to help create truly democratic, community-led responses, and ways of not just surviving but thriving. We believe a Covid roadmap shouldn’t be a document of top-down coercion, shaming and one-wayism, but rather diverse, nuanced, relational and a wildly joyous dance made by many. After all whose road are we on? And so in this spirit, we have created our own roadmap – a roadmap as art – shared to stimulate, provoke, and envision what’s possible.

Image from here

The challenges

1. Novel therapeutics (Covid vaccines) are only providing fleeting immunity not herd immunity, as we are seeing in the most vaccinated countries. Virologists, vaccinologists and evolutionary biologists have warned of the risk of ‘vaccinating into a pandemic’.
2. Corporatised governments are promoting overly simplistic roadmaps in the face of complex situations.
3. Natural immunity to Covid is far superior, as studies show in increasing numbers, yet natural immunity is being politicised and wilfully ignored.
4. Treatment of severe Covid symptoms with well studied medicines is available but is being blocked by vested interests.
5. Using novel therapeutics (Covid vaccines) may be harming people and the producers of them have made themselves immune from lawsuits. Doctors have been threatened with de-registration if they engage in scientific inquiry that does not follow the government’s script.
6. Novel therapeutics (Covid vaccines) are made by profit-focussed pharmaceutical corporations with significant criminal track records and yet these records are still widely secreted from the public.
7. Governments who use segregation tactics to enforce mass vaccination divide communities and families.
8. Lockdowns are harming people in a myriad of ways and there has been no meaningful cost/benefit analysis conducted to examine the societal impairment caused by locking down communities for long periods.
9. There is little public awareness concerning the origins of Covid and the public have been consistently lied to over this and many other details relating to the pandemic.
10. Continuing the rollout of novel therapeutics (Covid vaccines) when they only provide fleeting immunity appears to be more about saving the faces of senior medical advisors and politicians than aiding the public’s general health.
11. There is a critical lack of democratic news media, and whistleblowers and journalists working on behalf of the public’s interest are no longer protected with basic human rights.
12. The public’s trust in government and public institutions is in radical decline due to corporate lobbying of political parties causing the disintegration of democratic processes.
13. Ever greater force is being applied to citizens who don’t comply with the state’s Covid program.

Our responses

1. Cease the coercive, dangerous and violent mandating of novel therapeutics (Covid vaccines).
2. Introduce diverse voices into Covid public discourse including Indigenous thinkers, community elders, broad thinking generalists, creative ecologists and others who understand a pandemic is more like a forest in its complexity rather than a factory of cogs, bolts and shifting spanners.
3. Offer people Covid antibody (serological) tests to observe levels of natural immunity in the population until herd is reached naturally. Promote immune enhancing lifeways including whole foods, home-gardened food, daily exercise, meaningful work, meditation, etc, and make these lifeways available to everyone through a systematic societal deconstruction of the capitalist property market. Having access to stable housing and land is a basic human need and improves immunity by reducing financial stress.
4. Make widely available Covid treatment therapies that have long been studied and are not a risk to public health. Many of these treatments have been targets of smear campaigns. Investigate who is behind the smearing and expose their interests.
5. Conduct an inquiry into why the federal government agreed to indemnify Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers thus putting vaccine injury costs onto the Australian public. Investigate the silencing of doctors through the directive issued by the Medical Board of Australia and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency, which states doctors may not produce statements or health advice which “undermine the national immunisation campaign (including via social media).”
6. Expose the pharmaceutical industry’s criminal track record, enable people and their communities to understand the economic drivers of this industry’s criminality, and overrule legal immunity of the manufacturers of Covid vaccines in relation to people who are injured by them.
7. Cease the segregation tactics at all levels of government and critically examine the societal scapegoating that has taken place. Engage in community wide grief circles for those who have either been mislead and/or scapegoated throughout this pandemic, to help restore harmony in communities.
8. Cease the lockdowns, cancel the state of emergency, and give financial and medical support to people in crisis.
9. Inform people of the true story of the origins of Covid – a human-engineered virus leaked from The Wuhan Institute of Virology by scientists working on behalf of the vaccine industry and funded by America’s NIH. Enable communities around the world to decide whether gain-of-function research should be conducted or not.
10. Work to dismantle corporate-government collusion generally in society and immediately close the revolving door between government officials and the pharmaceutical industry.
11. Switch off state-funded and corporatised media and support independent media channels, platforms and news agencies that declare their interests. Revoke any government bills or policy that harm the functioning of investigative journalism and a healthy fourth estate.
12. Rebuild the public’s trust in government by electing only candidates who commit to fully disabling lobbying of political parties by business, roll back corporate interference in public institutions, especially in health and education, and restore democratic principles in all tiers of government.
13. Demilitarise the police force, wind back their excessive weapons and power, and enable peaceful protests. Collectively grieve what and who we have lost over the past 18 months, and praise all we have gained.


Well, this is where we are currently at. For us a roadmap needs to be a living document because anything too fixed and rigid soon becomes brittle. What do you think? What have we missed? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. And of course we’d love to see what your roadmaps look like too.

Much love from unceded Gunditjmara country.
Artist as Family

Where are we now? Our lockdown in Warrnambool

Where are we now? Well that’s a complex question. Let’s begin with the tangible end of the answer. We’re in Gunditjmara People’s Country, living in retrosuburbia between beautiful Moyjil

and Merri Island.

When we first arrived in Warrnambool this man, Mark Dekker, spoke to us in Dhauwurd wurrung. He said, ‘Ngatanwarr wartee pa kakay Gunditjmara mirring-u,’ (Welcome brothers and sisters to Gunditjmara country). Mark’s daughter Violet (pictured) and son Beau are Gunditjmara kids, and they are growing up speaking their First People’s language.

We’ve been staying in a self-contained unit as guests of Rod and Hanna. Back home we are good friends with their son Connor, pictured below (some time ago) with his siblings Stella, Maya and Agina.

Rod and Hanna have been so generous to us, as has Hanna’s mum who lives across the laneway. Meet Mor Mor, a true elder who is heartily embedded in her community and, we were to discover, in service to many. She is currently reading Sand Talk, and like Rod and Hanna, Mor Mor has been leaving food packages on our doorstep.

We really landed in a most caring neighbourhood. Steve and Kathleen live next to Mor Mor. Here they are on a ride to the pier we have spent so much time on.

They too have been dropping off food bundles, and Steve bestowed on us a treasure chest of gifts he had collected over the years including panniers to replace our torn ones, a multitool knife for Blackwood and a tin whistle for Magpie. He made improvements to Merlin the tandem, repaired Blue Wren’s boots, and made a leather pouch for Blackwood’s new pruning saw,

which he received for his 9th birthday from his Nana and Papa.

Gifts also flowed to us from saltwater mother country. Patrick (who shares his birthday with Blackwood) caught a beautiful Australian salmon on his hand line with scrap chicken for bait (apparently rabbit works well too).

With all these gifts we couldn’t help but feel even more grateful for this life than we ordinarily do, and it was in this milieu we recorded and shared two new songs, Roadside fruit and Love real high.

So this is where we’ve been in tangible, relational and creative senses. But all the while our critical faculties have been working too, noticing things around us that don’t speak of love, of being in service, of being cultured in care and connection. On a street level, for instance, shops selling alcohol are deemed essential services and are well open for business while children’s playgrounds are closed and desolate.

Here, what is allowed to be open is lucrative and immunity harming, while what the state has closed ordinarily brings well-being, learning and social warming. Why then is there a refusal to apply cost-benefit analysis to COVID debates? We have so many questions. What if natural immunity is really superior to vaccines (as reported in Science)? How exactly has the Australian government’s ‘culture of secrecy’ threatened democratic journalism, and what does this mean for this time? Why has the Therapeutic Goods Administration taken offline (since August 31) its Database of Adverse Event Notifications (DAEN), including numbers of deaths caused by Covid vaccines?

The below TGA screen grab was sent to us on August 16. It shows 462 deaths reported after taking the two Covid vaccines – Pfizer’s mRNA Comirnaty and AstraZeneca’s viral vector. So are these figures accurate? We’ve been trying to find out for a week but the TGA page is consistently unavailable, “being investigated as a priority” (as above). If these (below) figures are accurate, would this data even be allowed into the corporatised media today? With the Australian government’s growing culture of secrecy, their attack on journalists and whistleblowers, and a general state of compliance or muzzling in a fully corporatised health care industry, how can any of us possibly know what is true?

Furthermore, considering Big Pharma’s track record and a Federal Government bringing in even more extreme anti-democratic bills (signed off by Labor; opposed by the Greens) should we not be seriously suspicious of what is going on? Should we take a novel vaccine produced by known corporate criminals or look for cheap, no longer patented well-studied treatments in times of need? Should we take a novel vaccine just so we can participate in a vaccine economy? What has happened to the Left? Is there a Left left? Do we just continue to cancel comedians while the world burns?

Arggh, so many notional questions. Time to get back to the real stuff.

Whales, rainbows,

rain clouds,

sacred country,

and community. While we couldn’t gather or labour with our neighbours directly in Warrnambool, we could still converse in chanced upon public outings, connect and consult digitally and help plant neighbourhood food for the future. Blackwood made useful mulch from a near silent shredder (something we’d never heard of),

Blue Wren and Magpie planted out deciduous and citrus fruit trees,

on common,

unceded land.

While in Warrnambool we were asked to speak on 3WAY community radio. This is our yarn with presenter Gillian Blair, which centred on child-led learning, fermentation, de-monetisation and going off the (corporate-industrial) grid.

So that’s where we’ve been, Dear Reader. That’s what’s been riling us and what’s been grounding us. Of course we can stay in the sickness of the news – the sadness, fear, grief, division, tears and silencing of alternative narratives – but we can also celebrate the utter gift of life we have been given.

Singing and dancing, gardening and playing, loving and connecting do not counter or cancel the sadness, grief and anger we are feeling, rather these former things bring balance and hope to the latter. Asking questions doesn’t mean we have worthy answers to share, rather it means we’re in a process of adding societal substance to the complexity of now, while refusing to seek out reductive political narratives – them/us; right/wrong; pro/anti.

We hope you too are finding balance, laughter and a little dose of Zappa each day.

Making home on the road (in Gadubanud, Eastern Maar and Gunditjmara Countries)

“There are dangers with using disconnected, abstract metaphors,” says Tyson Yunkaporta on his podcast The Other Others. Like Victor Steffensen, Beckett Carmody and other Indigenous thinker-maker-actors, Yunkaporta argues for a lived (and living) scientific methodology to return to Country.

We finished a magical stay in Apollo Bay in Gadubanud Country with a feast. With all the communing with local fishers on the jetties, with all the quiet adherences to the five mother countries we’ve travelled since leaving, with all the applying what we’ve learnt in a lived, everyday performance of making home on the road, we finally had our first feast of abundance.

With bellies full with the grace of the ancestors of the sea we said farewell to our main teacher. Seal languished, slept, growled and snarled, meditated, lolled about playfully in the saltwater and stole fish straight from our line. In every movement, gesture and action Seal revealed to us our exceptional inadequacies and the structural problems of the culture we were born into. What a gift to be shown our flaws without words or judgement.

Our little caravan of wheels and panniers, mammals, tools and instruments stopped for one last picture a stone’s throw from our secreted campsite, which had cradled us for five nights. We felt gratitude for the hospitality, ease and kindness that was expressed to us by this town.

Then we climbed. We hadn’t looked at a topographical map beforehand, and we were glad. We just headed west along the Great Ocean Road. About a century ago Alfred Korzybski remarked that “The map is not the territory” and “The word is not the thing.” Later Alan Watts added, “The menu is not the meal.” Should we have understood the immense labour required of our legs before leaving (over the next four days we were to climb 1269m and descend 1265m), we may have been less present to what we experienced.

As we climbed the land changed. Tree ferns began to appear lodged in the understorey. All the while magpies, blue wrens and blackwoods continued to accompany us.

We got hot climbing and stripped off, then the rain came in as the forest densified and we added layers. Blackwood asked many questions like why do trees make more rain and why does a steep hill look flat in a photograph? On a train some years ago we overheard two school kids taking about hills while looking out the window. One said to the other, “What are hills even for?”

Climbing a hill has many gifts – becoming aware of what we are biophysically capable of, exuding toxins through sweat, building fitness and immunity, and developing a muscle memory for resilience. Cresting a hill has many gifts too – a sense of palpable achievement, being present to the magic of water rehydrating your body, experiencing an elevated view of Country, and a chance to rest and praise each other. Descending a hill has more known gifts. For us it’s utterly psychedelic coming down a steep, serpentining beautiful hill road with the full weight of our packed bikes (Merlin the tandem 50kg and Cosmo 40kg) and us (Blue Wren 75kg, Magpie 52Kg, Blackwood 33kg and Zero 7kg) upon them. Then to find a campsite among the she-oaks with another flush of wood blewit mushrooms… oh, the utter exhausting, exhilarating joy of the ups and downs.

Making home for us on this winter’s pilgrimage is drying tents and making fire. Making home on the road is sleeping in a half dry tent so that the tent as home becomes a more tangible metaphor – a lived, felt metaphor. Same goes for scratching around for kindling to make a fire. ‘Leave no trace’ is a daily performance, a lived process that keeps the authorities off our back and dirt under our nails while honouring Mother Country.

Similarly, cooking with coals is a relationship with fire making and fire enquiry, because fire is many fires – a hot fire to warm coldness, a settled fire idling to conserve resources and labour, a burned-through fire to produce goodly coals for cooking. Fire is what we eat alongside that which we cook upon. All these stories come into relationship together – wood blewit, she-oak, store-bought flour, souring microbes, fermenting vessel, walked-for kindling, found ciggie lighter – in and of the fire, in and of the body. The morning sun that germinates the seed, the midday rain that grows it up, the mycelium that connects all the trees in the forest, the ordinary everyday processes of death and decay that brought the old wood into this common earthly moment of fire making story.

As Deborah Bird Rose came to learn as a student of Aboriginal elders in the the Victoria River District, NT, Indigenous knowledge centres on foregrounding relationships and backgrounding technologies. This of course doesn’t mean tools are unimportant, it just means they don’t dominate culture because of the deleterious effects this inevitably has on Country. Why create new tools when old ones suffice? Is progress really just an anxiety for innovation? A year ago Professor Thomas Borody from the Centre for Digestive Diseases in Sydney developed a “triple therapy” treatment using Ivermectin, Zinc and Doxycycline. All of these are old, established and well-studied medicines. Old, at least, in relative terms. “When Ivermectin and zinc combine,” he said back then, “it’s very important in killing the reproductive cycle where multiplication occurs…Virtually everybody gets cured – it’s so simple and in 10 days, side effects are virtually unheard of.”

Today, Borody’s triple treatment is being trialled alongside other treatments as Covid vaccines efficacy falls in the most vaccinated countries. In our video, The Pandemic Game, we featured many voices to try to diversify the Covid narrative. One of these was Dr Pierre Cory who has been another significant doctor championing the use of Ivermectin from early on. We shared this video on our local Hepburn Shire Coronavirus Support Group Facebook page back in June and it was immediately taken down. The consensus-driven agenda of this pandemic has been extremely dangerous to public health and to science itself. When we read the long list of corporate criminality committed by Pfizer we smell old fish bait left to rot in a public rubbish bin. We do not sense a scientific methodology that gives to the living of the world. Can we imagine what this pandemic would look like now had Ivermectin and Zinc combo treatments not been cancelled, blocked and ridiculed by the biggest media conglomerates in the world right down to small community Facebook pages? We are no longer surprised by the vested narratives of a corporatised media that has infiltrated the establishmentarian Left.

The costs of the absence of a democratic press aggregate every year. Speed and greed do not make for permanent cultures.

The day we climbed up Lavers Hill from Glenaire we heaved and grieved, hauled and bawled. It was hard going on top of already tired muscles from the day before. We were thankful for the lack of tourist buses and cars, which we were told by a local cyclist would have made our journey much more difficult. We crested at the quiet little town, made lunch outside the CFA headquarters and began our descent.

Halfway down Merlin snapped a brake cable and Blue Wren and Blackwood made an emergency landing. It took boot brakes to pull up a fast travelling Merlin that had only one operating brake with fairly worn pads.

On dusk that night we made home on Eastern Maar Peoples’ Country. When we find a place to lay our heads for the night Magpie usually makes up the beds,

Blue Wren gets with the billy to make dinner,

while Blackwood goes exploring or helps with the homemaking. On this night we fell asleep with the bleating of lambs and their mothers to the left and the crashing of waves to the right, too tired to properly acknowledge Country and thank the ancestors. The Great Ocean Road had spent much time over these past few days taking us inland, but now it ran right along the coast. This is ordinarily a tourist-intensive part of the road, though for us travelling with dog kin Zero, we were not permitted to venture off it to the designated National Park viewing platforms. The new morning was sunny, the road empty, and our perception of the coast was felt in our tiredness.

This coastline is shapeshifting, is being made and remade by many players – granule, water, wind, light, heat. The picture of it below is not us trying to rip off Impressionist painting stylistically, rather we’re pushing our rare-earth camera-phone to the max from our (National Park) exiled vantage point to help tell this story. But what does such an image try to reveal? The certainty that we were there? The certainty of life itself? The complexity of beauty? The preservation of impermanence? We’ve had many conversations on this trip about the role of technology, especially the technologies that data mine us, exploit rare-earth minerals and take us away from Country, mediating our travels. Most of our family arguments occur over this kind of technology. It takes a day to organise our photos for a blog post and another day to write and edit the post. Young Blackwood loathes this disruption to the magical and lived. We keep saying to him, ‘We are story tellers, and if independent-minded people don’t share their stories all we will be left with is a corporatised media.” Malcolm X once stated:

“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses. The press is so powerful in its image-making role, it can make the criminal look like he’s the victim and make the victim look like he’s the criminal… If you aren’t careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

We hear you Blackwood, we feel the emptiness of our explanation because it ultimately relies on so much hyper-mediated time on screens, and we see the emptiness of pictures like this that is trying to hold memory.

Later in the day we rolled into Port Campbell, received a call from Zephyr, made some lunch and did the customary drying of the tent. While Blue Wren took a swim, Magpie wrote postcards, Blackwood refilled water containers and Zero mixed with the locals. Later in the afternoon the little scruffy fella made an exhibition of himself chasing a rabbit down the main drag.

Colonisation keeps rearing its head on this pilgrimage in both abstract and tangible ways. We wish we could listen to the dreaming of this old rock in language, rather than read its settler name, London Bridge. Since being on the Great Ocean Road we’ve not come across a single sign indicating which Aboriginal country we’re in.

Our third night on this double humpback leg between Apollo Bay and Warrnambool we found home on the edge of the old netball court in Nirranda.

A left behind bench is always welcome technology. Every place has its special offerings and we need to observe what that place is happy to give and, as perpetual blow-ins, how we might leave traces of gratitude and little other noise.

These momentary home places are song places for dreaming. A south facing besser brick wall is welcome relief on a night of north blowing winds and it shields us from the road too.

The forth day of this short leg saw us absolutely exhausted. We were met by head winds, cross winds and rain. We quickly covered up to keep dry in the coldness of the day, then a few kms down the road the sun popped out and we stopped to strip off again. We danced like this for 35km.

Our leg muscles felt like jelly. We would have loved a jug of raw milk from one of the many dairies we were passing.

For the past few days we’d been travelling in cow and swan country. The temporary flooded paddocks of farms and other wilder waterways become the seasonal homes for nesting swan couples. We didn’t apply the term ‘heteronormative’ to them, it didn’t seem to translate in the lived, much more than human world. Instead we observed and praised the temporaneous nature of their home making. Their context of temporary dwelling sites – making little islands of safety as home – was also ours.

A very hard last haul into Warrnambool saw many tears as Magpie and Zero were almost sucked under a truck. The driver was doing nothing nefarious; Magpie was within the tiny shoulder the road provided. Rather it was the combination of escalated traffic into the little city and the headwind that created a vacuum that has taken down many a cyclist before. Tears of shock, anger and tiredness flowed and we hobbled into town in this most eastern part of Gunditjmara Mother Country to find the local Unpackaged Food Cooperative. It was time to restock our supplies. Thanks Brenda and Peter for volunteering on this day and thanks to all the other volunteers who have given their time to this food co-op over the past thirty years. We feel a special kindred connection to food co-ops, as we are so lucky to have such a special one back home.

As we generate our own power to ride this pilgrimage, what we eat is as essential as the stories our food comes wrapped in. Another Indigenous teacher of ours, Martín Prechtel, describes in his numerous books that the ascension of food and medicine that comes without story or without known origins is at the very root of a culture of separation. A food co-op is a first small step on the way back to living in connection and with care for Country.

Care, tenderness and generosity has flowed in abundance on this journey. We arrived in Warrnambool to be taken in by the family of our dear friend Connor. They offered us a self-contained granny flat for what was looking like the next impending lockdown. We are so grateful for the opportunity to rest, recuperate, and dry out the tent. Thanks Hanna, Rod, Maya, Stella and Max for providing a little pad to collapse into.

Before Victoria’s 8th lockdown (the third for our trip) a local Gunditjmara family met us on the pier with a bag of fresh produce, worms for bait, and warm hearts. Blue Wren hooked a shark while our families yarned. The shark thrashed furiously, snapped the hook and swam off looking for the next fisher’s bait. Mark and Blue Wren exchanged stories about being danced into Country by the old women of their respective Countries, and Mark brought the old language back to the pier. Rod fished the jetty too, shared his local knowledge with Blackwood, and spoke of his Gunditjmara relatives and how that story was shameful to mention in the culture just a generation ago.

The jetties and piers on this pilgrimage have provided endless sources of community and kinship. With seals, dogs, people, fish, winds, sharks, salt, whales and gulls. We have travelled over 500 kms now in six weeks, adding another 164 kms this leg, which has been the most physically challenging so far. Blackwood takes these challenges in his stride. He may have only been a baby and toddler when we rode to Cape York seven years ago, but the muscle memory of travelling within limits has deeply imprinted as he edges very close to being nine years old.

Not long after we arrived in Warrnambool we were contacted by Ros from Permaculture South West Victoria who welcomed us and asked if we needed anything. We asked her if she had some seeds to plant a garden while we’re here. She brought seeds and some homegrown fresh and dried produce. Thanks so much Ros!

Behind where we’re staying is a goodly neighbourhood compost heap and common, and with the go ahead to garden it that’s what we’ll do while we’re here.

That is, garden and fish.

We hope, Dear Reader, you too are planting seeds of renewal and interrelation or fishing for some magic. Back home an outside cold water plunge for five minutes a day was enough to reawaken us to raw, tangible life and to remind us what unmediated living is. It doesn’t take a year-long pilgrimage on bicycles to attempt to put back into the foreground relationships with the living of the world and background the technologies that domesticate and incarcerate us. It only takes our naked bodies plunging into brackish water to begin to enliven our senses and to remember what it is to be human.

The lockdown leg (sedentary, errantry, on the jetty)

Well, that was a strange 17 days! After our first magical spell on the road, starting to stretch our touring legs and build our fitness, the state of Victoria went into lockdown again. Friends Jo and Tony kindly offered us their sweet shack in St Leonards so we could lay low.

The day before the lockdown was enforced we went in search of a local bikesmith to help us with a rear tyre issue. On the way we came across another simple example of neighbourly generosity.

Unaccustomed to visiting supermarkets we spent far too long wandering through the aisles to see if there was anything we could eat. One thing! Unpackaged organic bananas were cheaper than some of the conventionally grown ones! Our waste free, nutritious lunch cost $8 for the whole fam. We found some nearby shrubbery and buried the skins discreetly. We could have eaten them, as they are higher in antioxidants, fibre and potassium than the fruit, but felt the municipal garden bed needed this food more than us.

It’s been a creative time in the shack with all that is going on in the world. We wrote and published our first blog post of the pilgrimage, recorded one of our busking songs, wrote a new one to rehearse, and a satirical one that we published, which saw us censored by YouTube for a day. This song came out of a cry for help.

The headline in The Australian triggered many emotions, as Patrick states in introducing our latest video, Anthropogenic pandemic – how to trust ‘the science’. This is part of our explanation for why we made the video, Jab the kids.

In this video we compile a number of sources who speak on the growing evidence for the lab leak theory, including Clive Hamilton’s two articles that made it past the gatekeepers. Why does this matter?

The Australian science ethics professor makes the case that not only did the pandemic originate in a lab, the virus was engineered to be more virulent by scientists to obtain gain of function research with the express purpose of developing vaccines. Seemingly, to be ahead of the game for the next global pandemic.

“A Bayesian analysis concludes beyond a reasonable doubt that SARS-CoV-2 is not a natural zoonosis but instead is laboratory derived.” You can download that analysis here. In this pre-reviewed report, which has been sent to both Lancet and WHO scientists for peer review, it states that the “Wuhan Institute of Virology analysis of lavage specimens from ICU patients at Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital in December 2019 contain both SARS-CoV-2 and adenovirus vaccine sequences consistent with a vaccine challenge trial.” This effectively means that vaccine research created the pandemic. This is not a comfortable conclusion for science, and we are very concerned it will be covered up once again.

While in St Leonards we reflected on how different the previous lockdowns were for us. We ordinarily live in a home which is highly energetic in producing our own food, fuel and medicine resources, one in which a television has no place, and positive actions are our main focus. With all the hard news and views encircling us we got suckered in to the dominant screen in the little shack, and became sickened by it. Charles Eisenstein has warned activists that if you wallow in the shit of the old story too much (we are paraphrasing in our own language) you become the same sickness of that story. The jetty was a major salve.

Each day we fished,

reeled in nourishing gifts (Arripis trutta) from Wadawurrung mother country,

collected and salted our own bait,

got wet and put the little ones back,

witnessed the sublime and the prosaic riffing off each other,

looked for many opportunities to eat outside the lock and key of the industrial food bowl,

practiced our breathing routines and rested,

and watched the dawns and dusks come and go with the pelicans, seagulls, cormorants and wrasse (Labridae) communities. We caught Australian salmon, local wrasse, ling and a baby flathead. Needless to say, the undersized went back from where they came.

We went on bike rides and walking excursions around the town, coming across these delicious feral fruits (Opuntia),

harvested oldtimer warrigal greens (Tetragonia tetragonioides) where there was evidence of the absence of pesticides,

exchanged books at another friendly roadside library,

found places to swim and spearfish,

places to embrace the cold as part of our immune strengthening regime, and places to tell our censorship story from.

We fiddled with a dumpster dived-for jigsaw puzzle,

and when Blackwood asked who the people were in the image, we laughed and told him they were world renown op-shoppers.

Be it on the TV, by the jetty, around the streets or in the virus, colonisation exuded itself everywhere. We showed Blackwood the place where William Buckley was found by Batman and his Boy Wonders.

“Always was, always will be.” Just for the record, Buckley was never included in “European society.” Alan Garner’s novel Strandloper about Buckley is the best thing we’ve read on his life. It shows how close the Greenman cosmology of Cheshire-dispossessed peasant Buckley is with Wadawurrung peoples’ cosmology. An escaped convict, Buckley spent three decades living in Wadawurrung (Wathaurong) country, becoming a fully initiated member of the local clan.

Just over the drink to the northeast we looked out to the pandemic embattled city of Melbourne, where friends and family are coming up for air as this lockdown ends. So many nerves frayed in the spray.

We are filled to the brim with gratitude that we have had a cosy place to be locked down in, but we cannot wait to get back on our deadly treadlies. We are committed to re-establishing the intentions for this pilgrimage – to not get caught up in the world online, to background our egoic minds, and to fearlessly, sensitively and lovingly inhale and exhale the living of the world. We are making a pledge to ourselves, and to you Dear Reader, to return to these intentions as we continue on our journey.