Next Stop??????????

Stop? Really?

The last thirteen days have been full on. I took delivery of the Atlantean on the 30th of January and drove her all the way from Lonsdale to Little Rundle Street in Kent Town where I set to work cleaning and taking stock of the enormous task ahead.

One thing I have learnt over the last year is that there is no end date with a project like this. I inevitably get asked. “So (pause….) when are you going?” I figure the pause is for the sudden realisation by the questioner that they are asking, “how long is a piece of string?”

My answer is the same, “when it’s ready”

The past thirteen days have been amazing. I was contacted on facebook by Claire of the Tin Cat Cafe after posting on the Adelaide Street Artists group looking for people to paint the bus. Claire is coordinating the Little Rundle Street Art Project where a group of over 100 artists have transformed a grey industrial laneway into a place of beauty.

First I was introduced to the incredible Jack Franceschini of “Jack Fran Art” who began painting her straight away while I set to work cleaning her.

She? She has a name.The centrepiece of Jack’s work is a woman in thought. As Jack and I stood back admiring the beginings of the woman taking place I asked, “what is she thinking about?” My answer, “what is my name?”

Suddenly…………..(Eureka moment)

“Atlantis” the 1971 Leyland Atlantean double decker bus.

Since that moment, Atlantis aand I have met many neighbours, business people, local workers and of course artists. The painting of Atlantis has so far been done by Tayla Carlaw, (curator) Jack Franceschini, Elizabeth Close, Seb Humphries and Piano.

What else has been happening?

Upstairs inside: I pulled out the divinding wall, moved out a giant recliner down a small spiral staircase, carpeted, painted some chalkboards, painted the end walls and ducting put in some seating and now I have the beginnings of a mobile classrom.

Downstairs inside: Clean, clean, clean, painted up the front, cleaned and loosened windows, put on the windscreen wipers, made a mobile library and shelving in the back, cleaned and oiled the wooden table, cleaned the bathroom, painted some chalk boards, carpeted the back, decorated shelving.

I still need some tools because I would like to replace the fan belts. There would be nothing worse than cooking the motor. That said, I have filled the radiator, checked the oil and started Atlantis up this morning. She starts easily and runs well which is good since I am not a mechaninc. However there are a few lights that arent working, belts that need replacing and windscreen wiper rubbers that also need replacing.

Tomorrow is the opening night of the Adelaide Fringe Festival and the opening of the Little Rundle Street Art Project #littlerundlestreetartproject with a street party. Atlantis is going to shine. However, this is not the end of the story. There is a long way to go and a lot of work to do.

This all takes time and money. Time I have an abundance of, money is a different matter. While I am productivly building a mobile free school, working hard and intend to be productive teaching in a mobile free school, I am not productive in raising the funds needed to get this bus on the road. Nearly all of the things I have recieved and put into the project thus far have been donated by people with an excess of things. However this isn’t paying the bills because there are certain things that you need money for, registration, insurance, digital technology and of course fuel and oil.

I am at 40% of my target for crowdfunding on GoFundMe and would appreciate it if you could help out. There is an exclusive once off rewards program happening now for the first ten people that donate $350 get to come and stay on Atlantis for a week and participate as a nomad facilitator in residence once she is on the road.

You can contribute at the gofundme link below. Donate to James’ Blue House Free Schools

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Next Stop????????? by James Arthur Warren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Adelaide, Arthur and the Atlantean

After one year of waiting, saving, paying, working and more waiting I finally made it to Adelaide and then Lonsdale where the 1971 Leyland Atlantean double decker was waiting for me.

I left Brisbane on the 21st of December 2015 with Winston, the American couch surfer I’d hosted and “Uncle” Eric Robert Craigie. I expected to be in Adelaide in 2 days and eventually arrived on the 2nd of January 2016…….12 days later. So many interesting and synchronistic events happened along the way that I could write half a dozen blog posts about it. (later)

Highlights of the trip include:

  • being homeless in Byron Bay
  • meeting Bundjalung man Lewis Walker and family in Nimbin
  • staying with Spook Eye in Lismore and having Christmas Lunch with the homeless
  • Moree, Moree, Moree and hospitable people of Moree
  • getting my new car battery stolen in Moree
  • Moree artesian spas
  • 3 days at the #PilligaPush camp with some amazing people culminating in a New Years Eve bush doof
  • a spontaneous video posted on Facebook that went viral. Watch it here.

A week later I eventually got to see The Atlantean. I was so happy that at last the work could begin in earnest.

I started to list all the things I needed for the bus, one of those being painting. I posted a call out on the Adelaide Street Artists Facebook page and next thing I get this message offering to paint the Atlantean in a live demonstration for the #littlerundlestreetartproject as part of the opening celebrations for the Adelaide fringe festival. This will happen on the 12th of February so now I am waiting get a permit to move it and finally have my first drive.

Since I arrived in Adelaide, I have met all kinds of interesting people including the guy responsible for the “Big Brother” RF chip in your visa card, writers, artists and teachers. I dropped in to SA Creative Writers Inc. looking to network and to find out about writing workshops to improve my writing and on the way out I was told about a woman doing something similar to me. So I got in contact with Fee Plumley of the Really Big Road Trip. We hit it off straight way on Facebook messenger, discovering our grandfathers shared the same name, “Arthur.” We had to meet.

I met Fee for a coffee and then we went for a free pizza which I had owing to me from the Bar that accidentally turned of the ATM as it was dispensing my money a day earlier. Fee and I have a lot more than our grandfathers’ names in common. Buses, passion for digital literacy, sovereignty, indigenous rights and activism. Fee invited me to a banner painting at her friends’ house where I was introduced to some of the Adelaide anarchist punk mob. Lo and behold they just happen to know activist mob from Brisbane.

What else?

  • I’m starting my first free Quantum Pause Breathing and Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation class today. 5:30pm by the Torrens. BYO Yoga mat.
  • I have started ollecting secondhand books for the Free Blue Library and also to gift away in return for support. Thanks to “Deb” for her generous donation.
  • I have sourced a spare wheel and tyre for the bus. I hope I never get a flat tyre by myself becauser it took a forklift to load it into place.
  • Also sourced two seconds solar panels with cosmetic damage at $50 each. (Thanks Fee and friend).

One last thing as part of my crowdfunding “Rewards Program” I want to offer the chance to come on the bus and participate in classes as both a guest teacher and student. My question to you, my readers is: How much would you be willing to pay per night, B and B, to stay in the bus, attend classes and also give a daily class on your speciality of interest in health, sustainability, or digital literacy? Please leave your comments below.

In the meantime if you can spare a few dollars to help me fund this school and it’s running costs. Here is the link.

Peace and Love until next time.

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Adelaide, Arthur and the Atlantean by James Arthur Warren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
 

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. 

Peace. 

  

4 Easy Habits That Slow and Reverse Ageing

Most people I know want to stay young and to be in the springtime of their youth again. They want to have happy and healthy lives free of pain. They want to have the same vigour and energy that they had when they were 18 years old. Here are 4 easy habits that help your body heal, rejuvenate and which can slow and even reverse ageing.  The important thing is that if you want to see results that these 4 easy actions become your 4 daily habits. Before I continue I want to warn you that none of these habits reverses gray hair.

What are they? Air, Water, Earth and Fire

  1. Quantum Pause Breathing.
  2. Drinking good quality clean water.
  3. Eating a raw nutritious breakfast.
  4. The 5 Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation.

1. Quantum Pause Breathing  [1]

The first element is air which our body uses for oxygen.Deep, purposeful breathing improves the oxygen in our body. Quantum Pause Breathing is a four stage breathing meditation that helps healing by increasing the transfer of oxygen into the body. QP also improves heart mind coherance, oxygenates the blood, improves lung capacity, helps heal lungs polluted by smoking tobacco.

Quantum pause breathing starts with a 5 second full 100% inhale, 5 second full breath hold, 5 second full exhale and finally a 5 second hold fully exhaled. One cycle takes 20 seconds and a typical set goes for 5 minutes followed by a period of consolidation of about 2 or 3 minutes. When you first begin QP breathing 5 second intervals might be difficuls so you might like to start with 3 second intervals and slowly build up to 5 second intervals. The important thing is that all the sections of the breathing are of equal length.

The beauty of Quantum Pause Breathing is that it can be easily practiced at home, at work, on the bus or even in a conversation.

Here is a video of explaining how it works.

2. Drinking Good Quality Water

Humans can only survive about 3 days without drinking water. However even if you have enough water, it is the quality of water that is most important. There is a big difference between natural spring water and the water in  bottle of Coke.

What is clean healthy water? It is water that is free of chlorine and fluoride.

3. Eating a raw nutritious breakfast. 

Fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts come from plants that take their nutrients from the Earth. They have many essential vitamins, mineralks and nutrients that or bodies need. Processing food and cooking destroys many of the nutrients. Processed foods are low in soluble fibre, energy dense and nutrient poor. However fresh raw fruit and vegetables are high in fibre, nutrient rich and give a more sustained energy over a longer period.

Instead of breakfast  cereal and toast  eat a something like a bowl of freshly cut fruit, a freshly made fruit and vegetable juice or a green smoothee.

4. The 5 Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation

These 5 simple yoga exercises from Tibet came to the world from Peter Kelder in his book “The eye of revelation” [2]  You can download it here. Practised daily these 5 simple exercises with fill you full of fire energy making you stronger and more flexible in your core. Please check with your GP before taking up any new exercize routine.

 

[1] http://eventtemples.com/sessions/evt3/downloads/Spiritual%20Activism%20EVT3.pdf

[2] http://www.t5t.com/product_info.php?products_id=122

I am building a mobile free school in a double decher bus to teach lifestyles of health and sustainability as well as digital literacy. Your contribution to James’ Blue House Free School gofundme campaign will assit in getting equiping the bus for education and travel.

Click here to contribute. 

Disclaimer: In order to slow and reverse ageing these habits need to be practised daily. That means 7 days per week for at least 3 months. That is why they are habits. Unless you are truely prepared to commit to changing your life and adopting healthy habits don’t come crying to me that you are still ageing.

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4 EASY HABITS THAT SLOW AND REVERSE AGEING by James Arthur Warren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://bluehousefreeschool.com/2015/09/12/4-easy-habits-that-slow-and-reverse-ageing/.

5 Foods That Age You

5 Foods that age you. Avoid these 5 foods if you want to stay youthful.
by James Arthur Warren

At 45 years old I look into the mirror and see a lot of grey hair. Most of it is on my face as my dreadlocks still have more gold hair than grey. I do however intend to keep my body young and healthy so that is why I exercise and eat well.

Here are 5 of what I consider to be the most ageing foods. These foods are very common and difficult to avoid but understanding how they age you is essential to staying younger longer.

  1. Sugar: Sugar is one of the most addictive substances on the planet. Carbohydrates are essential to survival but it is the quality of your carbohydrates that either age you or keep you youthful. Refined white sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) are have a very high glycemic index which means they are readily used by the body causing a spike in blood sugar levels. Many manufactured foods are packed with sugar because sugar tastes “nice” which makes foods more desirable. The initial boost from readily available sugars then quickly falls away leaving you sluggish and craving more sugar or another sugary soft-drink. As your energy level quickly drops your body thinks you are going into starvation or famine mode so it starts to store fat for the famine. The sugars and carbohydrates that occur naturally in fresh produce take longer for the body to absorb and process. The release of energy is more sustained over a longer period and the blood sugar level falls gradually. This has the effect of sustaining you longer. Sugar also causes blood acidity and requires that you eat lots of alkaline green vegetables, Sugar has many negative effects which include: brain sluggishness, but most importantly it slows down the ability of the body to heal itself and regenerate.
  2. Salt: Sodium chloride is a common and cheap flavour enhancer that is routinely added to food to make them more flavoursome. Unfortunately common salt is highly processed and is only two kinds of salt. There is enough naturally occurring salt in most foods. However, If you must add salt to your meal you should use a high quality salt such as himalayan crystal salt. Salt also causes blood acidity.
  3. Cow dairy: Dairy causes inflammation and mucus formation in the gut. This leads to a sluggish digestive system which is slower to eliminate toxins which cause ageing. Most dairy also contains hormones and antibiotics that are fed to the cows which also cause oxidative stress on the body. These hormones are then passed on in the milk.
  4. Meat: Meat, especially “factory farmed meat” and processed meats like bacon age the body because once again meat is one of the most acid forming foods. . An acidic diet is a diet that ages you and pulls calcium from your bones. Meat also causes inflammation because it contains saturated fats, Neu5Gc, a sugar molecule and arachidonic acid all of which increase inflammation. Processed meats like bacon and salami also contain sulphites and nitrites which are known to cause cancer. Meat also irritates the gut, cn cause hormonal imbalances and causes oxidative stress. Fried, grilled or barbecued meat also contains carcinogenic compounds that can alter DNA.
  5. “Bad” trans fats: There are a lot of good fat sources, coconut oil, avocado oil, flax, olive and fish oil. All of these have essential fatty acids that promote a youthful body. However the “bad” fats are the chemically altered fats. Trans fats also known as hydrogenated fats are chemically changed by heating. This alters the molecular structure so that a vegetable oil which is usually liquid at room temperature becomes a solid such as margarine. Heating any oil to extreme temperatures in the cooking process damages the fat so it is best to avoid too many fried foods if you don’t want to age.

So what is the solution?
Simple!
Quit eating processed food and soft drinks full of sugar and change your diet to a plant based diet high in raw fruits and vegetables.

Check out my video for more information on these 5 ageing foods.

Reference: “Eat yourself young” by Elizabeth Peyton-Jones

Help me build a moble school teaching lifestyles of health and sustainability by donation to James; Blue House Free Schools by clicking the button below.

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5 Food that Age You by James Arthur Warren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

7 Ways to Speak Aussie English

7 ways to speak Aussie English or how to sound like an Australian Person
by James Arthur Warren

Yaama. This is the greeting of the Gamilaraay Nation. Bunda. That’s Gamilaraay for kangaroo. 

What does it mean to “Speak Australian”? What does it mean to be Australian? The people living on the Continent of Australia are of many different nations. The land is a true rainbow of nations with hundreds of First Nations and hundreds of Settler Nations all mixed up and all living together. The People of the Continent of Australia are plurinational but our identity can be best understood from the way we communicate with each other. The everyday language that is commonly used in Australia has egalitarian undertones with words like “mate” and “darl” that imply everyone is equal and respected.

Before I continue I want to acknowledge the Yuggera and Turrbal people as the traditional custodians of the land on which I write this blog post. This place I live in South Brisbane, was once called Woolloongabba. I also want to acknowledge all the ancestors past, the aunties and uncles, nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters living in the present and descendents in the future.

As an English as a Second Language teacher I have had many requests from migrants how to improve their pronunciation to sound more like a local. I have put together this short list of what I think are the 7 common things that Aussies say when they use their version of the English language.

Here are 7 simple ways that you can start using today to sound more Aussie when speaking Australian English. You can hear me say these things in the video below.

  1. G’day: This is a contraction of the words “good” and “day”
  2. Mate and Darl’: Mate is a word that signifies mutual respect and can be used with any male. Darl is short for “darling” and is usually used by women or for women.
  3. How ya goin’? This is the standard Aussie greeting and is a short from of “How are you going?”
  4. Cheers and Ta: These two words are often used in the place of “thank you.” However “cheers” can also be used as a goodbye.
  5. Shorten words and names then add a -y -ie or -o: Examples are breakfast=brekkie, biscuits=bickies afternoon=arvo, arvi or arv, push bike= pushie, chocolate-chockie, Steven=Stevo Wayne=Wayno. These forms of language are called diminutives and Aussies use them more than any other speakers of English and over 4300 have been recorded in our lexicon.
  6. Yous and Yas: Many Aussies have adopted the use a plural form of the word “you” by adding an “-s” at the end. This helps to avoid confusion about who you are addressing in conversation and is especially useful to address or say goodbye to a group of people collectively. E.g. “See yas later.”
  7. Deadly: This word is an adjective meaning awesome or very good and has origins and came into common use  as a positive adjective by the First Nations’ people 

Check out this video to help you understand how to use these Aussie words and phrases.

Comment added: I have been in English as a second language teacher for 13 years. In this time I have learned that it suits to be able to communicate in a single language because it promotes understanding. How we must preserve languages of all cultures because they carry knowledge that some languages don’t carry. It is absurd to insist that people who live in Australia speak English however it would be foolish not to speak English at the same time we must allow people to speak their own language because this allows them to preserve their culture and sense of identity. So when I lived in China with my family, of course I spoke English at home. I spoke Mandarin in public and in the streets I tried my best  which gained me acceptance, respect and many Chinese friends. My youngest son, his mother is French is also becoming is bilingual because it is important for him to understand the roots of his ancestry as well as the cultural norms that are incorporated into language. Having more than one perspective allows him then to be discerning between the two cultures and choose the best out of both worlds. What is most important is avoiding is ethno-centrism and dictating that other cultures adopt your way of living. This is what colonisation did and continues to do in Australia. Thus unfortunately we now have a ridiculous situation where we have the indigenous people being told “speak English this is Australia.”

If there is anything I’ve learnt in 13 years of English as a second language teaching and having taught over 100 nationalities, it is this. The plurinational nature of the people living on this continent all have something positive to offer that we all can learn from and this richness and diversity of culture,  languages and intercultural exchange should be encouraged for it allows intercultural understanding and positive societal change. However most important is that the First Languages are preserved so that the cultural knowledge of the ancestors can be passed on to the next generation because we can all benefit from a better understanding of the sustainable and gentle way the First Nations people lived and their cultural wisdom. 

Nukinya.  that’s how Kooris say see yas later. 

My name is James Arthur Warren and my dream is to build a mobile school teaching lifestyles of health and sustainability. This all takes money so you can help me help by donating to James’ Blue House Free Schools crowdfunding campaign at Gofundme.

If you would like to read more about Aussie slang and sound more like an Aussie then follow these links:

http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/history-culture/2014/07/knowing-the-aussie-accent/
http://www.koalanet.com.au/australian-slang.html/

7 Benefits of Dancing

7 Benefits of Dancing

by James Arthur Warren

I love dancing. Anyone that knows me well has seen me enjoying a good dance and knows how I love dancing.

The Free Dictionary defines Dance as a verb meaning, “to move rhythmically usually to music, using prescribed or improvised steps and gestures.” [1] I dance because I enjoy moving to music. I love the freedom that I have when I am dancing. I danced a only little when I was a teenager but always enjoyed it nonetheless. My sisters took dancing lessons in ballet, tap and jazz but not I. It wasn’t until my last year of high school that my physical education class had an assessable dance component. I had to choreograph a dance with a partner and enjoyed it so much that I got top marks of all the boys in the class.

As I have become older and wiser I am fortunate to live in a city which offers all kinds of opportunities for dancing. Last year I was fortunate to dance with a group of people worldwide in the International Zouk Flash Mob 2014. I had never done any latin dancing so it was a challenge that I looked forward to each Sunday learning the steps building up to the excitement of a flashmob. On the 21st of September the Brisbane Mob, 136 of us gathered at South Bank Parklands and danced our routine without a hitch. You can watch the video below.


After the flash mob, I continued learning more Zouk dancing.This year I have had fun dabbling in other styles of dancing, foxtrot, tango, bachata, salsa and hip-hop. I did this at some free dancing classes that were held at South Bank Parklands as part of the Active Parks Dance Program. Listening to reggae music is another passion of mine and I enjoy nothing more than moving rhythmically to reggae. My love of reggae is one reason why I subscribe annually to public radio 4zZz fm [2] which has a reggae show each week called “The Yard” [3]. This year for subscribing I was rewarded with a pass to see House of Shem, a band from New Zealand, playing this Friday night. Once again I have the opportunity to dance and move my body rhythmically to music.
Here are just 7 of the many benefits that come from dancing.

  1. Fun: Dancing is enjoyable and makes people happy and smile. A month ago of was leaning to bachata with a large group of people doing a progressive dance where we changed partners after each routine. By the end of the song everyone had mastered the moved and had big smiles, were laughing and the feeling of joy had permeated all the dancers involved.
  2. Dancing improves your cardiovascular health: Dancing is a form of exercise which is quite vigorous and helps to improve your cardiovascular fitness.
  3. Dancing improves your coordination: Dancing involves moving rhythmically to music which improves your coordination. In order to dance a different style of music you need to learn new ways to move your body.
  4. Social: Dancing, especially social dancing is a great way to meet people and expand your circle of friends. You might even meet the love of your life dancing.
  5. Builds your confidence and self esteem: One of the most common excuses for not dancing is “I can’t dance” however this more often than not is code for “I have never tried or don’t want to try because I am shy that people might think I look funny and laugh at me.” Occasionally someone might laugh at someone dancing funnily but usually the dancer is having such a good time, enjoying themselves that they couldn’t care less what other people are thinking. Dancing helps people to get over social inhibitions and become more confident.
  6. Reduce stress and increase relaxation: Dancing allows you to forget the stresses and troubles of the life because dancing focuses you in the present. Why? To dance you need to both listen to and feel the music as well as concentrate on the moves. Dancing also uses up your energy so that when you stop you are more relaxed.
  7. Dancing gives you stronger bones: The more that you move the stronger your bones get.

Bonus Benefit boosts your memory because you need to remember “the moves” and think about where you will move next. A study in the New England Journal of medicine showed that frequent dancing was the physical activity most likely to protect against dementia. [4]

You can help me build a mobile free school teaching lifestyles of health and sustainability here.

 

Check out this video on the 7 benefits of dancing

[1] http://www.thefreedictionary.com/dancing

[2] http://www.4zzzfm.org.au/

[3] http://www.4zzzfm.org.au/program/the-yard

[4] http://socialdance.stanford.edu/syllabi/smarter.htm

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