Monday, 14 January 2008

Monday 14th January 08

Was woken early.. well earlier than I would have liked as Gill wanted me to take the boys into school, so we set off at 8.30 and I got them to school and got back at 8.50, but as was so tired, went back to bed and tried to go to sleep. I'm not very good at going back to sleep once up (infact I don't get to sleep well unless absolutely exhausted) but I lay there after reading NewScientist and drifted off... and had what I now know of as a 'lucid dream', where the dreamer is partly in control of the dream, and aware of it after waking. I read about different states of consciousness in NewScientist a few weeks ago and it was then that I realised about lucid dreaming. This one was about learning to water ski, using my feet not skis, and then going up a ramp and having to jump but worrying about banging my head as the ramp was under a bridge. I went up the ramp and went so high I flew up in the air. In the dream I cannot remember landing so I don't know if I survived or died... it was a pleasant experience, and when it ended I got up refreshed and very aware I had been partly directing the dream. Weird!

I then went down the garden to try to finish off the hedge processing... and I did get one stage of it done... there are now no more huge lumps of hedge waiting for initial cutting up. Now I just have a pile of cut hedge pieces and a big pile needing shredding and an enormous pile of sticks needing to be cut up so that they can be bagged up for drying.

Came in at 12.30 and downloaded my emails. Got another from 'Dr Evil' who obviously thinks that there is some type of competition going on, as she posted 'Dr. E:1, The Prof:0... and I just don't understand quite what her problem is. If I don't like reading something, or watching something on telly, I don't read or watch it. So I don't watch horror movies or stuff with violence, nor do I read blogs about cars or cooking meat... it just wouldn't interest me, and I certainly wouldn't complain, as I firmly believe that it is an individual's right to watch scary films or get thrills from cars, regardless of my opinions which are just one person's opinions. 'Dr. Evil' thinks that her opinions are important; I agree they are to her, but not much to me, and I suggest she stops upsetting herself by looking at blogs with content which disagrees with her. I still wish her no harm or hurt, and believe that she has been damaged by society or some event in her past. However she does have responsibility for her actions today and I would respect her more if she would not post anonymously.

However her comment yesterday did make me think about why I post this blog. I started because I wanted people to know how someone lives with a low carbon lifestyle, growing some food, using renewable fuels, participating in community and having lots of supportive friendships, but now it is less that and more a way for people I know to keep in touch with what is happening in this household.. and it is read by friends in the UK and US, relatives in New Zealand and family members... as well as anyone else who wants to read it. And I really enjoy writing it... I wrote a daily diary for 20 years and this has now taken it's place.

I got the kids from school and then spent some time oiling their bikes and pumping up tyres, as they seem to be slow... well the youngest anyway. Then split logs for a few minutes, and came in and cooked a quite inventive meal of vegetable spaghetti (a squash which when cooked kind of fluffs up into fibrous 'spaghetti' like threads, with a beans and cheese covering and small potatoes, boiled yesterday and put on the woodstove tonight and crisped up in a frying pan. Was very interesting!

During the evening I prepared some free pineapple for drying and did some preparation for another column subject which has to be in by the first few days of Feb.

I got another anonymous comment on the blog from the same person, who's decided to drop the Dr. Evil moniker this time, who assumes that Gill works and does most of the childcare, and that having a blog is just an ego trip. Well she ought to know that I earn the money and do quite a bit of the childcare... perhaps not as much as half, but plenty more than some Dads do. And I'm very happy that my low-income and part-time work means that I have time to prepare renewable fuels and not have to pay loads for electricity and gas. She may know the phrase 'downsizing' which I have not had to do as I have never been up there with the high earners and highly stressed folks! I feel I have a very high quality of life and can therefore cope with any criticism from folks who probably don't understand how satisfying it is to live a 'green' life.

Oh, and I have worked out who the anonymous Dr. Evil is, too, as this latest message, which I won't publish as it's rude, gives me another clue. I am suprised though as she is friendly to my face. A pity really that she's reduced to posting anonymous defamitory comments! She won't get another mention on this blog and I hope she continues reading and perhaps gets inspiration to green-up her life, which is one of the aims of having a blog. Maybe she should write one, and I could write kind comments about her talents!

Had a lovely happy evening with the stove and Gill who was feeling a bit better than earlier as she'd managed to have a sleep.


Anonymous said...

Spanglequeen said...

Dear Sir

You are quite correct that "Dr Evil" does not have to read your blog, nor do you, in return, have to take account of her (we assume it is a her?) opinions and views about you and your lifestyle. I myself am very much of the same school - if you don't like it don't look at it. By the same token you do publish what would appear to be an admirably truthful account of your daily dealings and it would be rather naive of you not to expect comment and criticism in some small measure.

It has to be said that from a female perspective your wife does come across as rather "put upon" in terms of your obvious associations with a diversity of other women, amongst other things.

The blog in which you describe your friend "K"'s reaction to your answering truthfully your wife's question about what you had been chatting online about was rather telling. It could be said to cast a rather unflattering light on your wife's status within the wider context of your other relationships. At least, that is how it appeared to this reader and, by the sound of things, to the personage of Dr Evil, although I must concede that it is equally likely that this "k" woman is simply difficult or secretive or whatever. There, you have me commenting critically on the personality of a total stranger - this blogging business has a lot to answer for!

I rather doubt that Dr Evil is jealous of the number of visitors to your door; it is more likely that she is reacting to what she perceives as an injustice to the sisterhood, misplaced or not. And, after all, where would the world be if we all simply ignored the things that upset us or that we disagreed with, no matter how trivial they may seem to others?

Regards to you,
Lauren M

Compost John said...

Thank you Lauren M Spanglequeen for your perceptive comments.

I agree that a truthful account of a life such as mine will, with some people, raise some hackles, and my nature is perhaps a little naive and trusting... check out Aspergers and that will tell you a bit about what I'm like (I'm waiting for the letter of confirmation!)

My wife is a wise woman and was married before to a complete bastard, she regards me as a breath of fresh air and tells me every day how good I am to her. She accepts my friendships with other people, both male and female, and 'took me on' with this understanding as I was exactly the same when we met over a decade ago. We are a very well matched couple. I do accept that I may come accross as 'unjust' in my blog, but this is partly because I am not 'telling it all' and giving an edited version of what's happening. I do this out of respect for Gill, to protect my sons and to reduce the types of comment such as 'Dr. Evil' has been sending to me. I hope this makes sense. I do share everything with Gill and she appreciates my honesty.
Glad you enjoy reading my blog... I assume you enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

A breath of fresh air???

- Despite the amount of time YOU spend around rotting vegetation!!

Looking forward to following in your 'wake' when I quit my job after 17 years, (and in my case -)allow the wife to become the sole breadwinner, look after the children and keep house!

She wanted a career; I've been there, seen it, done it! I'm ready to spend my life cooking, cleaning, being a proper Dad, chopping pallets (for firewood) and generally enjoying life again after a long period of time. I expect there will be a positive knock-on effect for the missus also - no grumpy husband, a clean house and a hot meal on the table when she comes home from work.

With less income, we'll be spending less money on crap and therefore reducing our carbon footprint even further!

As a final sacrifice for the aims of sustainable living - I'm having the snip next month so as to avoid putting any further strain on the planetary resourses by bringing more human beings to come and live on it.

Anonymous said...

Hi John, This comment is a response to both the comments posted by your readers:

Firstly "DR Evil" if you arent happy reading the blog and its contents ,please get a life of your own and live it! what are you doing reading this blog? its mainly friends and family of John that care and are interested in his daily activities that read this and enjoy it and I suggest you stop reading and judging someone elses!or read and accept!

Lauren M you suggest one small comment John made about "K" on one of the blogs helps you understand her personality!

You know John doesnt write everything to protect others and himself,so I suggest you dont make assumtions about anyone here as not the whole story is being told!to protect others.

Refering to your comments about"K" getting upset on the night John shared something with Gill,maybe it was something personal and may have involved others and just wanted John to know and keep to himself,I am on "K" side on this! It should be respected by John and I am sure is capable of keeping things shared by so many friends private, if asked to do so and to himself! otherwise surely if he went sharing everything with Gill which didnt directly involve her and of no interest to her or business,it would be wrong and a waste of her time too!.So I think its wrong to judge someone from one comment made by John and readers not judge people and incidents as lots is left out!

As for "K" being a difficult person again how do you know this?! again making assumtions of a personality and thier friendship without knowing full details and thier level of freindship,length of time knowing eachother,DO they have regular contact etc,again not all is told and really not a readers business!!!So take it all with a pinch of salt!

So I suggest to John be careful what and how you write about others as your readers are just too ready to judge not only you but your friends too!So maybe you could write the good things too,If had a good chat with "K" or just a normal chat! you might sometimes want to write it!I feel you could have set "Lauren" right in saying you do however respect privacy of all your friends including "K"!

Good luck and best wishes with your blog!

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day, John, if you are going to have a publicly viewable Blog, you have to accept that people will want to question you, and do so quite closely.

There is no point being defensive about it or dissing people who dont agree with you and go on at length about them in your Blog. Just take it on the chin, man and move on!

Toronto realtor said...

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Compost John said...

Thank you Toronto Realtor, I looked at your site and viewed your green info, which may very well be useful to readers who wish to live a low carbon lifestyle.

My blog is my diary and although a lot of what I do is connected with being green, not everything I do is 'uber-eco' and I confess to doing quite a few 'normal' things, although if I have a choice, I do usually choose the more environmentally friendly one.

Yours, John Cossham

Toronto realtor said...

Hi John! I am sorry for so late reply, but honestly, I forgot to check your blog in last weeks.

Thanks for your reaction. I am happy that people like our website and it is useful for them. I am not so strictly green (I am primary helping people to buy or sell house) but recently I have realized some dependencies and if we want to change something towards sustainability we should firstly take a look at ourselves and begin with changing of our attitude.