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Life grows and fades in time

A life could be static and unchanging but for a conscious human being this can become monotonous after some time repeating the same thing over and over. I prefer to think of life and time as cyclical. There are small cycles and big cycles. 

I write this article on the 21st of December 2O15, the summer solstice, the longest period of daylight for the year here in the Southern Hemisphere.  8pm and it’s still light. 

Just like the year, my life has ended one cycle and began another. A year ago, I decided to change the direction of my life after the roof blew off the house I was living in. My sons who were home at the time Escaped unharmed. A few days later I decided to go for my dream and purchase a double decker bus to make into an mobile free school teaching lifestyles of health and sustainability and digital literacy. $18,000 and one year later it is paid for and I’m on my way from Brisbane to Adelaide to pick it up. 

I’ve given away and sold most of my possessions apart from the basics in order to fund my venture. I’ve even left my sons behind but they understand what I’m doing and that we’ll only be separated for a short time. My parents have been amazingly supportive because they are ex-teachers too and understand what and why I’m doing what I’m doing. (I hope). 

So today one part of my life has ended and the next big adventure is truely underway. I feel blessed for the opportunity that I’ve worked hard for and created. My goal for the school in a bus is to travel to different communities, in particular aboriginal communities offering free educational programs. For this reason I am also fortunate to be accompanied on my journey by Garru Robert Craigie of the Gamilaraay Nation who is taking me to Adelaide via Moree and his Country. Now we’re spending the night in Byron Bay because he wanted to show me the right way to go back to his country. First we had to go cleanse off the city in the ocean. 

So as the dirt from the city washes away, the last 11 years of my life in South Brisbane, Kurilpa, Meanjin are now a memory and it’s time to create the next uncle of my life. 



7 benefits of apple cider vinegar

7 benefits of apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar is one of the most versatile products a sustainable home can have.
It is useful for: diabetes heart health weight loss sinus, sore throat aid digestion warts, skin irritation sunburn, insect bites, energy, natural cleaning, weed killer odour neutraliser, veggie wash hair rinse, facial and skin toner and many more things.

  1. Apple cider vinegar is high in acetic acid. Acetic acid has good biological effects
  2. Apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial effects.The main ingredient, acetic acid kills bacteria and prevents them reaching harmful levels. Apple cider vinegar is used as a preservative and disinfectant.
  3. Lowers blood sugar levels. Apple cider vinegar has numerous benefits for insulin function and blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
  4. Weight Loss Apple cider vinegar aids in weight loss because it helps to regulate insulin function.
  5. Cleans hair and skin. Apple cider vinegar is a harmless cleaner of both hair and skin. Apply apple cider vinegar to your hair and skin in the shower for a chemical free clean.
  6. Safe cleaning agent Apple cider vinegar can be used in everyday household cleaning.
  7. Detox Detoxify your home by using apple cider vinegar for your health and for cleaning. It has many uses and can reduce your use of harmful chemical cleaning agents.

Bonus benefit :By using apple cider vinegar and less commercial cleaners and soaps you are saving orangutans.Thousands of hectares of rainforest are cut down to produce palm oil in plantations. This rainforest in Malaysia and Indonesia is home to many orangutans whose habitat is being destroyed. Using apple cider vinegar as a substitute can help reduce the habitat destruction of these wonderful animals. You can find out more about how orangutans are threatened by palm oil plantations here.

There is more about the benefits of apple cider vinegar here at

If you like this article and want to help me build mobile free schools teaching lifestyles of health and sustainability then you can support James’ Blue House Free Schools here


Creative Commons Licence
7 BENEFITS OF APPLE CIDER VINEGAR by James Arthur Warren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Vlogging the Free Blue Walk

I have been busy in my preparations for the Free Blue Walk from Brisbane to Adelaide to raise support and awareness of Free Education in the form of James’ Blue House Free Schools, mobile schools teaching lifestyles of health and sustainability, and preserving Indigenous culture through mobile digital literacy.

This is going to be one big walkabout so I will be Vlogging, Blogging, Tweeting, Instagramming and Facebooking so here are a few teasers to get you excited.

This first video takes you through the Botanical Gardens in Brisbane and ends with a look at the darker side of Brisbane.

This video is one of my extended Vlogs as I walk about a part of Kurilpa, now known as the corporate entity “South Bank” in the 4101.

If you like this click to donate to James’ Blue House Free Schools

Watching a planted seed become a tree

Watching a planted seed become a tree: Patience grasshopper.

by James Arthur Warren 5th of January 2015

I have planted many seeds, hundreds of thousands, more than a million. Some seeds I watered, watched, waited harvested and tasted the rich fruit picked from the plant. Much tastier than any apple after a 12 month hibernation in a Tasmanian cold store.

There are many seeds that I have planted that I will never directly see the positive benefits but will continue to give back to me and you long after we are gone. In my early 30s, I worked beside my father in our forestry nursery. In the beginning we were sowing seeds by hand. The seeds were smaller than 1 millimeter in size, hundreds of thousands of them one by one, patiently and carefully dropped into a seed tube. Some days that was the only thing we did, working flat out and some days we had to wait.

Watching seeds become trees take nurturance and patience
Watching seeds become trees takes nurturance and patience

The seedling trees were watered, watched, weeded, watched some more, sorted, shipped and planted.

The majority of the trees, I’ll never see again. I know where some were planted and I drive past the juvenile forests that they have become. All the trees working together to provide oxygen, habitat and seeds for future generations of trees to continue the cycle again. As Neil from the tv comedy “The Young Ones” said, “we plant the seed, nature grows the seed and we eat the seed.”

Thirteen years ago I took the strongest spotted gum seedling I could find in the nursery and placed it to grow over the placenta of my recently born son Luca. I prepared the ground well, planted the seedling with love and watered the tree regularly. I went back and saw the tree recently and it is now 25 to 30 meters high and I can just wrap my arms around it. (I am a tree hugger) It is a huge tree, a home to birds and insects.

Luca, 13 is now a young man too, strong and handsome like a tree too and if you know of Luca’s sporting achievements, you know what an inspiration he is to many people. That seed planted with love became a tree and will continue giving oxygen for many years to come.

For the past 2 days I have waited for a problem with my online fundraising campaign to be fixed. It’s working now. I took the opportunity to get out and enjoy life. The Chinese have a saying which translates to “walk slowly”. The seed for James’ Blue House Free Schools has been planted with love. I’ve been watering and waiting.

“Hey! Look! I think the seed has sprouted and I can see the first two leaves.” I will be around to see many of the positive results that come out of James Blue House Free Schools. But I’ll always remember that  I have to look past the trees in order to see the forest and the seeds of love planted today become the forests of tomorrow.

Many of the seeds I planted I will never see as forests but will live on forever.

Patience Grasshopper

About: James’ Blue House Free School

On 27 of November 2014 a supercell storm blew the roof off my home of 8 years and left myself and 3 sons displaced. I am an Environmental Scientist and English as a Second Language teacher. I have taught thousands of refugees and migrant to read and write English and settle in Australia. I understand the importance of reading and writing to having access to information so that you can improve your life and the lives of those around you.

So I am selling everything I don’t need to fund James’ Blue House Free School Bus so that I can take a travelling school into areas where access to education is limited. The money raised will go to purchasing a double decker bus and equipping it with computers and solar energy generation.

The initial goal is to raise $20,000 of donations on gofundme James’ Blue House Free School Bus

Read more about the Blue House Free School Blog

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One hand washes the other hand and together they wash the face

by James Arthur Warren 31 December 2014

I want to tell you about Marietta my neighbour, she’s twice my age, I’m 44. We met ten years ago when I discovered her in my garden picking grape vine  leaves to make dolmades. She told me her name was Maria but her real name is Marietta, which I always use. I said my name’s James but she’s called me Davi ever since! She came back later and gave me a bowl of  her delicious homemade dolmades and that  mutual giving between the two of us has continued for 10 years.

Marietta came to Australia as a 19 year old from Greece, post WW2 after it had been occupied by the Italians. She’d learnt Italian during the war. She arrived in Australia, married had a daughter and then was widowed when her daughter was young.

Marietta found herself work while her daughter was cared for by another woman because there was no child care around at the time. Marietta learnt to speak English but never learnt to read or write it.

There were no free classes she could go to. She had no time  as she worked hard to survive.

Marietta making dolmades

Marietta got married a second time and had a son and now has great-grandchildren too. Her family visit most weekends and during the week Marietta can be seen tending her beautiful garden with roses, hippeastrums, lilies but also beans, okra and  spinach to name a few.

We call out good morning across the road, often at 5.30am as we’re both early risers, watering our gardens or when I’m going to do some sport. But the most important thing about our relationship is that is about giving to, supporting and loving your neighbour. I give her pawpaw and she returns with beans, I give her bananas, she gives me pasta for dinner for my family, I give her eggs from my chickens and she gives me biscuits for my coffee, I  jump start her car and call the RACQ for her, she keeps an  eye on my kids and home when I’m away. I read letters for her.

Marietta tells people I’m like a son and  I tell people about how amazing she is.

Yesterday I mowed her lawn, its growing so fast now it’s summer. After I  finished  we were having an orange juice and Marietta  said for the first time ever, “do you want money?”

Of course I said, “No, it’s not about money it’s about helping each other and working together and loving your neighbour”.

Marietta replied “ Davi, in my country we have a saying, one hand washes the other hand and together they wash the face”

I went away with a plate of Marietta’s biscuits to dip in my coffee. The truth is that I do want money and help. I am just just one hand that wants  another hand to wash a face.

I know that if Marietta had had the opportunity she would have loved to learn to read and write English but like so many people who live in Australia the opportunity wasn’t there. That’s why I have started, James’ Blue House Free School, to take technological literacy to people and so people can find information that allows them to shape their destiny. Marietta doesn’t know what the internet is, she doesn’t have email, and facebook is outside her comprehension.

That’s why I am asking for  volunteer teachers for local English classes. That’s  also why I am asking for money so that I can buy and equip a double decker bus with learning technology to  take the concept of free school to remote areas where people don’t have easy access to education.

If you want to help this free education initiative, please donate at gofundme by going to James Blue House Free School Bus

I just went to the first Blue House, the place where I met Marietta,  to feed the chickens, collect  some eggs. While I was there. I picked some grape vine leaves and took the eggs and leaves over to Marietta, She was making dolmades and showed me how and told me the recipe.

She teaches me, I love her.

Each one must teach one. One Love


PS Please share this post.

Mariettas domades

In Praise Of Decay (and against plastic)

Malcolm Guite

In pale gold leaf-fall losing shape and edge In pale gold leaf-fall losing shape and edge

I walk each morning in some woodland near my home and especially savour in this late autumn, early winter season, the damp carpet of fallen leaves, now decaying and forming  rich mulch that will feed the soil for future growth. Even in their decay, losing edge and shape, melding and blending together there is in this carpet of leaves, a kind of grace and beauty. The other morning though, these meditations were interrupted by a sudden intrusion. There amongst the gold and mottled leaf mould, like some harsh alien excrescence, was a discarded plastic bag. It was totally out of place and told its own tale of indifference and carelessness; not just the carelessness of the person that dropped it, but the carelessness of the culture that produced it. The trees shed their leaves, and in that fall and letting go  achieve…

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Cold turkey for plastic bags in 4101

South Brisbane retailers called to voluntarily stop supplying plastic bags for the New Year.

South Brisbane, December  24, 2014:  local resident, James Warren is calling on businesses in the 4101 postcode to go cold turkey and  stop supplying single use plastic bags to customers as their Christmas gift to the planet. In an open letter to retailers and businesses Mr. Warren is inviting them to participate in an initiative that can increase profit and business sustainability.

Stopping using plastic bags is an environmental safety issue because only 25% are reused and the rest end up in landfill or the environment.  Plastic bags are avoidable consumer waste which damage the environment and kill many animals. Plastic bags don’t break down in the environment but break up into smaller pieces. Micro-plastic is then eaten by fish and bio-accumulates up the food chain to people who eat seafood.

Mr. Warren said, “I was prompted to do something when I saw thousands of pieces of colourful blue, red and green plastic while walking along the high tide mark on the beaches of beautiful Stradbroke Island during a family holiday so I decided I had to do something for our children’s future.” “Understandably there will be some resistance to change their habits by people who have grown up with free plastic bags but many of the older generation can recall  using paper bags and boxes,’ he said.

Reducing single use plastic bags through a ban does not increase the cost to consumers because when faced with a plastic bag ban, consumers choose sustainable alternatives such as canvas or jute bags.

In South Australia, nine out of ten shoppers now take their own bags at no extra cost. California in the US has recently outlawed single use plastic bags and major countries such as China and India are working towards eliminating plastic bags.

Thousands of Queenslanders participate in the annual Clean Up Australia Day. All of these clean ups report the problem of plastic bag litter. There is a reason for South Brisbane, 4101 to address this environmental health and safety issue. It is our duty of care.

The open letter to retailers in 4101 can be viewed on google docs.

Why education should be free

In 1988 while studying my Bachelor of Science in Australian Environmental Studies I was fortunate to study major paradigm shifts in society. I had a realization that through education we can make positive improvements that result in an improved, sustainable, happier world. In 1989 the government of Bob Hawke abolished the free  universities that the Whitlam government had introduced in 1974.

Since 1989 we have seen a whittling away of public  funding of education and a gradual move toward increased privatization of education similar to the United States model of education.  However in Europe and many developed and developing nations state sponsored education is increasing. At the same time in Australia the administrative burden has steadily increased reducing teacher’s focus from student’s needs because of the increased  burden of compliance.

These developments have not been confined to the tertiary education sector but also the Vocational Education and Training, and schools sector. In Queensland, the VET sector has been restructured resulting in thousands of job losses in the TAFE, reduced accessibility to a variety of vocational courses at TAFE, and increased prices for courses at TAFE.  As well there have been numerous reports about substandard education in the private sector. In the school sector the National Assessment Plan for Literacy and Numeracy has seen increased pressure on students and teachers with less teaching time reactive to the needs of the students and increased time spent on test preparation.

I have also seen firsthand the power of education to improve people’s lives during my work as an English as a Second Language teacher for over 10 years. In this time, I have discovered that all people want a better, peaceful, happier, fulfilling lives.

The words of Halie Selassi I, Emperor of Ethiopia also support education:

“Education develops the intellect; and the intellect distinguishes man from other creatures. It is education that enables man to harness nature and utilize her resources for the well-being and improvement of his life. The key for the betterment and completeness of modern living is education. But, ‘ Man cannot live by bread alone ‘. Man, after all, is also composed of intellect and soul. Therefore, education in general, and higher education in particular, must aim to provide, beyond the physical, food for the intellect and soul. That education which ignores man’s intrinsic nature, and neglects his intellect and reasoning power can not be considered true education.”

Solutions are easy. The internet and in particular the phenomenon of social networking increase the permeability of helpful positive information. For example, the act of sharing an article in facebook, twitter or google+ can result in the information being further shared and re-shared which means it is potentially read by thousands of people in many countries.

However, there are pockets of society that are disengaged from the traditional education system and also the internet of knowledge. For this reason James’ Blue House Free School is setting up a travelling free school in a double decker school bus. The aim is to engage the disengaged and empower them to make their own life changing choices through their own self mastery. The most important people to educate are the ones who need it the most.

Please help me achieve my vision of a travelling free school by donating at