Monthly Archives: January 2020

Killing the goose that laid the golden egg,

‘Killing the goose that laid the golden egg,’


Toscana is exquisitely beautiful. Everyone seems to agree on the point, whether Italians, or the hoards of foreigners who swarm the gorgeous landscapes, gushing their praises, falling in love with the place. Many stay, like me.


Little wonder then, that Tuscons are so proud of their land. So why is it being trashed? ‘Killing the goose that laid the golden egg,’ is an English expression that aptly describes the situation. As I move around Tuscony, my heart cries out in pain to see so much environmental vandalism taking place, generally by the same proud Tuscons. Continue reading Killing the goose that laid the golden egg,


Forest Gardens


We all understand – I hope – that Permaculture is NOT a list of techniques or technologies, but rather a design system based on the meticulous observation of many systems (both human and ‘non-human’ natural systems), resulting in a series of principles which can be recognized and applied in all sustainable systems.


We use these as the basis for successful designing, whether of ‘whole systems’, or of sub-systems within whole systems. It includes the design and implementation of highly productive and long-term sustainable Forest Gardens. Continue reading Forest Gardens


First evening in India


How could I forget my first evening in India. No, even my first moments in that extraordinary land, since it is not a single country, but a mélange of thousands of shades and colours, cultures and sub-cultures, all loosely united – and often not – as a single entity.


Let me make it clear from the start; I didn’t travel to India on any pilgrimage or search for Truth or Enlightenment, or any of those old clichés that are trotted out as reasons for visiting the sacred and profane India. Almost the contrary, Continue reading FIRST EVENING IN INDIA

It’s better’n an orgasm

It’s better’n an orgasm.


It’s been 43 years now, that yoga has been a fundamental ritual of my every day. Almost literally. It has probably been a significant factor in survival many times over, when I lingered on that finest of lines between life and death. And besides that, yoga has been a centering and calming half an hour of each day. What a blessing.


My initiation was far from conventional though. It was Murray. Continue reading It’s better’n an orgasm

Love Visa


How could I not fall in love with Italy? Almost from the start, she seduced me as no other country has done before. In the spirit of love.


We had left early morning from home in south Germany, wanting to make the most of a beautiful day, and to arrive in Italy with still some hours of sunshine to enjoy before nightfall. There were four of us in the car; three German women including my girlfriend, and myself, Australian wanderer.

, Continue reading Love Visa

A Red Kamala on Arunachala

A Red Kamala on Arunachala


When I first arrived at Arunachala back in 1989, the mountain was little more than a pile of rock, with very few spindly trees breaking up the rockscape. Little wonder, since the mountain was deliberately burnt ever year, partly as a homage to Lord Siva (the mountain represents Siva, in form of Fire!), and partly to ensure that the dominant grasscover that managed to survive, would be burnt to an even stubble. It was harvested as thatching material for the homes of those wealthy enough to afford the high quality thatch it provided; burning the stubble also furnished a little nutrient as potash on the otherwise barren slopes. The government had attempted reforestation years before, but had given up long ago, discouraged by the miserable success rate.

Continue reading A Red Kamala on Arunachala

Clothing the naked mountain – the rainmaker


Before the forest grew, in the early few years of my life by the sacred mountain Arunachala in south India, some mornings I would look up at the peak shrouded in cloud, and optimistically hope that rain might fall. Invariably though, I was disappointed.


The reasons are obvious, now that I’ve watched the mountain for so long. Invariably, the prospect of rain would evaporate – literally – as soon as the sun rose and beat down on the dry rocky slopes. The temperature for seven months of the year averages a daily maximum of over 35 degrees, and often much more. Hot – parched and dry at first, in March, building up to stifling and humid pre-monsoon, then simply sauna-like until the relative respite once the monsoon has passed by December. Comparatively mild for the next three months until the build-up process begins again. Continue reading Clothing the naked mountain – the rainmaker