Thursday, September 18

air travel, being green and guilt

I know that the no.1 thing to give up, if you're going to give up anything in your life in order to reduce your carbon footprint on this planet, is air travel. Ive just made our carbon neutral life flip over into the red (or is it the black?? i can never remember, whatever the word is, i mean the BAD one) by booking a trip to the states. No amount of greenwashing with carbon credits will cover the motherload.

Simons dad died 8 years ago and his mum has a very advanced case of diffuse scleroderma, an autoimmune disease which expresses itself in calcification of your organs and skin, a terrible disease. You can 'knock' on Felicite's leg, like a door, its weird. So far, she is the poster girl for scleroderma sufferers and has outlived the 3 year death sentence it ususally is, and has been living with it for about 8 years but surprisingly to all it appears to have stabilised. Its important for me and my sense of family to have her meet her boys little boy. After all simon has been through, losing his late wife and step daughter both within the space of a few years, having family together like this is so important. So we're going. While we can.

We will spend Xmas with Simons sister Jen and her partner Mark, kids Ezra and Oona and Simons mum Fefe and her partner Mark. Jen lives in Fairfax, in the San Francisco bay area. Its the last outpost of the 1960 hippies; home to Joan Baez and Van Morrison and now Sean Penn. i love Fairfax, its a really cruisy, California dreaming kinda place and the whole town is really into sustainability and community and Im hoping this time to visit some innovative farms and co-ops while we are there. Needless to say the girls are NOT happy. They love Aunty Jens too and are less than thrilled at spending 4 weeks at their Dads while we go away. Jen n Mark own a huge organic supermarket, the Good Earth which provides me with hours of endless fun cruising around; its a really great innovative community shop which advocates and provides for GMO free, healthy school lunches, employee justice, fair trade, sustainable farming and the like. Simons Mum, who is 76 and her partner Mark who is 60 (you go girl) live in a van on an organic farm where they paint, garden, make music, do reiki and generally live an alternative life. They are a very funny, loving and totally eccentric couple so Im looking forward to catching up again. I cant wait. Here's Grandma Fefe and Mark.

So, guilt in hand, we hop on a plane in early December.
Pass the Dutchie, dude.


Lisa Barrett said...

OH my god I love Joan Baez, my father was so into her music when we were young. Please look her up and get her autograph for me.

emmani said...

I can understand your angst at taking a flight, but getting serious, it's not very viable to catch a bus to Easter Island, then trek through Peru, before finally catching a camel up in the the good ole US of A...(with little man tucked up in a goat skin hide on your back)..................Is it?!

What an exiting, eclectic lot you are visiting, Simons family sound fab! I didn't realise people like that really existed..Ha Ha... I can see by the way you write about Simon, where his relaxed attitude comes from.

As for his Mum, well she's just stunning for 76! Are you sure you didn't post a picture of his sister by mistake? I bet she's over the moon to be looking forward to seeing her grandson...

So stop feeling guilty about what others make you feel guilty're not going on a beach, nip and tuck gucci shopping spree, fly drive, you're going to see a beautiful lady with the gift of a baby boy.

Have fun and plant a few trees when you get there x

Gavin said...

Kel, same comment as Emmani. I hate the us and them concept, but people who at least attempt to live a sustainable lifestyle run circles around the average Australian citizen as far as carbon emissions are concerned.

So take some time, and enjoy your time with Simon's mum and partner, because these are the type of memories are so very special to us, and make us fight even harder for what we think is a very important cause!

Kel said...

Lisa, shouldnt be a problem ;-) and thanks for the support guys, im prone to guilt, drives simon nuts, so i needed a check. But it still rests that despite being 'good' by intent, im still contributing.

Barbara said...

Go ahead and do it and don*t feel
guilty ( as I say writing this
from Helsinki so I'm being a bit
of a hypocrite!). Like Gavin says,
you and I and very other person
who practises a more simple
lifestyle, has a lot less to feel
guilty about than the average