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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.

Beginning our slow descent south (Blackheath to Gerroa)

We loved visiting the Blue Mountains again, giving book events,

taking foraging workshops in Blackheath,

visiting next-gen food producers Erika and Hayden,

bumping into and then staying with an old school friend, Zoe and her family,

visiting dear poet friends Pete and Kate and their kids Ruby and Felix,

housesitting for 10 days, taking many a bush walk, contemplating life,

and having time to consider what being human means.

Restored by the mountains we zoomed back down to Sydney to house sit again, finding a very rare strip of safe bicycling bitumen in Centennial Park.

We skipped on Christmas, but Boxing Day’d it with fam at Bronte.

Took a roll or two at Bondi,

and jumped a train to Moss Vale, again smuggling onboard the only family member disallowed by the transport authority.

We gathered up cherry plums on leaving Moss Vale,

flew down the escarpment with steaming breaks and faced down a bull in Kangaroo Valley,

where we were invited to stay at this wonderful permaculture farm,

with Peter and Vasuda.

After taking an edible weed workshop on the farm and after a fun, shooting-star kind of New Year’s Eve with Peter, Vasuda, Zoe and her friends Andy and Paddy, we climbed up Bellawongarah,

where we spotted great swathes of Ginger lily (Hedychium gardnerianum), a non-edible garden escapee from the Himalayas that is apparently part of the lung cancer solution.

We rocketed down the mount to Berry and spoke at the local bookshop,

before setting up camp a few kms out of town on Broughton Creek.

We’ve been on the road for over two months now and most days have been fairly sweet, but on leaving Berry for the coast…

At the end of the day we came and stayed with Claire Wilson and her bike polo friends in Gerroa. Claire is a Warm Showers host, writer and gardener who lives without a car, and she offered the perfect antidote to our first day on South Coast roads.

We’re off to Nowra today to speak at DeanSwift Books at 3pm. If you’re in the neighbourhood, please come and say hello.

Thanks for joining us here again, Dear Reader. We hope that wherever you are, your soils are moist, your food is freshly-picked and your legs are feeling strong up the hills.

Winter forest

The Wombat Forest called us recently, so we dropped our human-centricity and went bush. We walked out from home,

crossed the Wombat Creek,

and came across these little Green skin-heads (Cortinarius austrovenetus).

A little further on we came across the ghost fungus (Omphalotus nidiformis), a mushroom that illuminates the forest at night when we diurnal mammals sleep. For ring-tailed possums, high up in a eucalypt or protected from powerful owls in a newcomer hawthorn tree, they cast a magical light show.

Earthballs (Scleroderma sp.), a type of puffball, were out in great numbers.

None of the day’s autonomous finds was edible, so we stuck with spelt stick damper (Zeph’s specialty) and gum leaf tea for lunch.

The bush and knowing our small place in it — the joy of insignificance —

restored our housebound senses.

Mobility and food (our first week home)

Now we are back home we find not all that much has changed. Just as it was on the road, our home-life is also all about mobility and food; how we move around and how we sustain ourselves.

After such a long time on the back of their parents’ bikes, the boys were keen to get their own forms of mobility cranking. Zeph made roadworthy one of our old tip bikes and Woody gave his hand-me-down first bike a thorough going over. Thanks Carly!

We continued to bike and walk as our main forms of mobility. Woody now walks a few kms each day.

We pedalled up to the community garden working bee (blogged here), to contribute to the community gift economy going on there.

We painted up some new signs to be put up at two of the growing number of food gardens in our small town.

We helped Peter install the signs,

and we began to organise some music events that will take place in the Albert St garden to simply celebrate life there.

We biked up to our local food co-op to buy what we couldn’t freely obtain and to support a more environmentally aware monetised economy.

We walked, bussed, trained and caught a tram to visit Woody’s great grandfather (aged 96) in the metropolis.

 We pushed our wheelbarrow over to Maria’s, our neighbour, to collect cockatoo-spoiled apples,

to feed to our girls.