Monday, 1 October 2012

Tale of a Thousand and One Blogs

Today I'm writing our 1001st blog. We started This Low Carbon Life with a party and three years later the invitation is still open, as we celebrate our third birthday on 17 October at the Bicycle Cafe and the Keir Hardie Hall. Since then we have documented every aspect of resilience from allotments to zero waste. We have written short and long, nonchalantly, passionately, politically, in gritty black and white and in full-colour.We have looked at the big picture and the small print - from the impacts of global climate change to mending a kettle in our downshift kitchens.

This year in our topic weeks we looked at sustainable relationships, Transition documentaries,energy, buildings, blogs, trees, music, economics and livelihoods and development. We reported back from Norwich FarmShare, the Community Bees project, Low Carbon Cookbook and many encounters with the natural world - still our top subject (see Reconnection with Nature tag). Chris Hull's A Love Affair with Place became one of the Talkback comments on the new Transition Free Press; while Kerry, Charlotte and Mark have become full-on national bloggers on the Social Reporting Project (both publications inspired by work on this blog).

Since 2009 there have been 15 regular bloggers, who have contributed to this site, as well as many guest bloggers from Norwich's progressive quarters and neighbouring Transition initiatives. So hats off to all of us! It has been an extraordinary and productive commmunity enterprise and has inspired many people, including, of course, ourselves. Communication is a big part of resilience and opportunities to "show and tell", especially in a shared creative context, are increasingly valuable in our controlled,  locked-down culture.

Who knows where we will go next? As people have migrated to other projects - FarmShare, Magdalen Street Celebration -  left the initiative or the city, we have had to change our rhythm. We held our last Transition Themes Week #14 in May and in June we switched from running topic weeks and three-day shifts to a once-a-week rota. We now publish about three times a week, including occasional reposts from our awesome archive. Most of our work is original, and some of it cross-posted. Whatever shape or form this blog takes in the future, thank you dear readers for travelling with us.

So, as we head up for our birthday this week (October 4), we'll be publishing some of our favourite posts of 2012. Here to kick off is a reminder from our film week about what really matters when push comes to shove . . .

Baraka by Jon Curran
20 March 2012
Sometimes it’s easy to get wrapped up in our own lives, become obsessed with what my friend calls “first world problems”. The issues of the world outside our own bubble become abstract, almost academic. It takes something powerful to ground us again, to open our eyes to the wider world that we don’t always have direct access to.

I first saw Baraka in 1994 and I’ve watched it many, many times since. I call it a film without words; the name means “blessing”, and it’s a celebration of all that’s beautiful in the world, and an anguished cry against all that we do to destroy that beauty. It also, crucially, puts us, humans, in the context of the natural world around us, and reminds us that our cruelty to each other is not always in the action, but sometimes in the inaction too.

This is my favourite part – a montage set to great music by Dead Can Dance.


Bloggers meeting, upstairs at the Bicycle Cafe, St Benedict's Street at 6.30pm. Dancing from 8pm at Keir Hardie hall. For more info contact Charlotte Du Cann
Images: Social Reporters at the Transition Conference at Battersea, late summer flowers from a roadside stall

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