14 December 2005

Climate Indymedia

Hey so I thought I'd tell ya'll about my latest project...

I somehow got drawn into taking on a big role on putting together an IMC.

IMCs are 'Independant Media Centres' - "A network of individuals, independent and alternative media activists and organisations, offering grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial coverage of important social and political issues." Most of them are local based websites where anyone can post news stories. For instance there are sites for Cites all over the UK, then National UK Site, then IMC World. They are structures like this all over the planet.

The project I have been involved in is a Global Climate focused indymedia.

Its been pretty cool working with people all over the planet.. sometimes having meetings over the internet, with people you have never met, at strange times of the day & night. We found that the universal language of The Simpsons prevails! My main input has been the design, content management, hitting people with virtual sticks, and learning some of the coding to get it online..

Things have been going pretty well, we are now getting many submissions from all over the world. There is still a lot of tecnical work to do, but its a good start.

Climate Indymedia Is Born

A global group of climate and media activists are establishing a topical indymedia site on climate issues. We are concerned that news reporting on climate issues too often is biased against local communties solutions and the concerns of local communities to government and industry are not being heard. We hope to provide a place for a range of news and views on climate issues to have a voice.

Our site is supported by members of many grass roots environmental, social, climate and alternative media organisations. We hope that you will take advantage of our site to post your stories so that people globally can access of the views of the majority world on this important issue.

You can post on our site by visiting:
http://www.climateimc.org or emailing it to us at imc-climate-organising [at] indymedia.org.au

For information about our project and how we are organsied you can visit our documentation site at


If you're really keen to get involved in this project you might like to join our mailing list at:


The IMC-Climate Collective


13 December 2005


When I had to leave NZ in such a hurry last year I was in Wellington.

It was the final few weeks before work started on an inner city bypass the local community had been campaigning against for about 10 years. The Bypass is very close to the hearts of many there as many people I know live in the nehibourhood the bypass is to cut through to make it quicker to get into the city. Tensions and preparations were escalating towards the first big demolitions of houses. The local activists were training, organising and there were actions planned I have roles in.. the atmosphere was tense but electric.

And so suddenly, unexpectedly, I was on the other side of the world and in my first few weeks back in the UK I followed the events unfold on TVNZ, Indymedia and text messages from friends "I'm locked on to a digger!", "I'm barricaded into a building they are demolishing!!".

But time went on, most people were arrested, trespassed of the bypass route, the battle has been lost and big parts of the the neiborhood have been trashed.

So it is with mixed feeling I return to Wellington, I am really stoked see so many friends again, but where I am staying is an activist house and community centre right on the route, all the houses are around have been demolished and moved and to really drive it home where there was once homes there is now a two story mound of earth next door.

Its really sad to see posters up for saving community gardens spaces that are now is piles of gravel and mud.

I hear many of the activists here have one by one had their dark times, and depressions, and dissapeaerd form the scene for huge chunks of time. And now the destruction continues around. It made me think of the campaigns I have been involved in and how I don't have to spend much time around the spaces that have been destroyed, and daily face the defeat and in the wrecked places I have tried to save.

So I want to say a big ups to the wellington crew for all their energy and staying strong and continuing to fight environmental and social destruction while they live with this.

with love x

20 November 2005

Hitting the Hight Street..

I don't usually go on about shopping. I dont usually do much clothes shopping outside the charity shops.

Avid followers of my blog will be aware that I'm having a little trouble in the footwear department due to cycling all these steep hills and dodgy breaks.. and now they are definitely on their last legs... So to continue with my consumer thread.. and also I know some of you cant sleep at night worrying over my ever thinning footwear, I have an update on my old converse situation.

So I've just got some shiny new No Sweat fair trade baseball boots. They are made in a factry in Jakarta and there is a card with a breakdown of worker hours (40) pay & benefits. I can now steap in little puddles without getting wet feet and know some poor sole is not living as a barley paid abused slave for the likes of nike (who own converse) to make them for me.

Oh, there there were complaints about not enough pics of me (ta for missing me ;-)

And not enough pics of my tan in that one..

So I've only a week or so of being online lots.. then hopefully I'm hitting the hills (well the volcanos & mountains!)..

17 November 2005

Scummy Skipper / Dirty Dumpster Diver

noun [C] (US TRADEMARK Dumpster)
a container designed to receive and transport and dump waste
Synonyms: ashcan, circular file, dustbin, garbage pail, trash basket, trash can, waste basket, wastebin, wastepaper basket, compost heap, garbage bag, litter basket, skip, trash bag, wastebasket, wastebin, wastepaper basket

I got that look again today. That disgusted horrified look. "Ohh! thats dirty" .

I told someone that sometimes I eat from skips.

If your not familiar with the practice of dumpster diving reading this you might to still be in that horrified stage - posibilly picturing me fighting with rats for that half eaten meals... but next time someone in Leeds makes you roast asparagus with fresh basil pesto and home made guacamole.. or in wellington fresh kumara soup and toasted onion bagels.. wonder where the ingredients came from.

You can get all sorts from skips & bin. Clothes, furniture, kitchenware.. well anything and everything. But why I especially like dumpster diving food is because it used to make me so mad to see what's in there. (Ok it still does but hey somthings its hard to be horrified when your faced with nice big punnets of blueberries & strawberries or a gialnt box of shitake mushrooms).

As an example the Leeds 'magic skip' its a veg wholesaler which means as it has to go on to other places stuff would be thrown away before it turned. Most of it is packaged up so its not even slightly gross. And things like Oranges & Bananas have their own skins. So.. I'd read the boxes & packets and they'd be from Brazil.... Zimbabwe... New Zealand.... All over. Somebody grows this food, and is probably underpaid for it, then we put it on a plane pumping out heaps of carbon dioxide so we could eat things out of season, and then while most of it was still perfect to eat - maybe a moldy orange or soggy mushroom, in a pack of totally good ones - we chuck it away to fester in a landfill where is can leach out methane and add more greenhouse gasses to our out of control climate. Thats disgusting. Thats horrifying.

So I'm dirty? Redifine dirty.. whats really dirty is what we leave behind.. the chemicals we put down our sink and over our houses & gardens, the carbon and toxins we pump into the atmosphere, the feces we flush down the loo into the watercourses & sea, the plasitc we throw away and the veg we dump in landfills adding to the climate chaos. This dirt will be around for a long time, it will outlive us. Our kids and grandkids can clean up our dirt.

And they call me dirty for recycling perfectly good food.

So I skip to reduce my carbon footprint, to live cheaply and cos its fun! The magic skip in Leeds was like the local shop.. you'd meet friends there as you perused the selection. Wellington has a cake skip... Fresh bread, donuts, almond croissants, pecan pie, chocolate cake.. hmm am I even beggining to tempt you?

If your all really good and post nice comments I'll tell you the story about how I got half of Christchurch police after me for dumpstering..


i just found a whole directory on yahoo on Dumpster DIving.. its under Hobbies?!

If you missed that link before this is really good carbon footprint calculator.

10 November 2005

The Macadimia nut dance...

I've finally given up trying different routes to cycle to work.. it was becoming frustratingly comical as I'd look at the map and find ''direct' looking routes across town then try them out and find mysef on a roller-coaster of impossible hills you have to push your bike up and that I diddnt dare cycle down with my dodgy breaks.. If these hills were in the UK they would have a cliff lift up them I've nearly worn through my shoes slowing my self down!

However - I was drawn on by the belief that if I looked hard enough I'd find an MC Echer route that would mean I could go downhill all the way... there and back.. but sadly no avail. Looks like I can't beat physics..

When I'm feeling uber fit I go the the 'Rocky route' which involves finding the biggest steepeds hill and pushing my bike up it, in the hope the rest of the way will be downhill (which as the name sugests is Rocky's cycling strategy) It kinda works...

I seem to be reverting to my NZ shape pretty quickly.. might need some bigger trousers but ohh blimey.. cold pressed macadima paste mmmm like better then marzipan, and no sugar ,I could eat a kilo a night ..

So not much going on right now.. seems a bit topsy-turvy having had the most crazy 6 months ever doing lots of insanely exciting things... and now I'm not up to much for a couple of months i write a blog! Ahh but lots of you are a long way away.. so i suppose that the point. The last few months in England/Scotland/Ireland/Wales&Spain will have to wait for my memoirs.. (wondering how many people are now wondering exactly how to bump me off!)

I've got a new room with a deck outside dieactly opposite the flashing 'Samsung Mobike Phone' sign.. but soon I hope to come home on a balmy evening and sip G&T's on my deck as the sun goes down (or at least roobois tea). You'd think I'd know better than to hang out on decks after that party though!

My flatmates are ace and theres aways something going on and people to hang out with. The include these guys. Eabha is one and a half and every night I come home she rushes over to put my cycle helmet on, shes dead cute. The local Food not Bombs runs from our place and a heap of assorted meetings and discussions are going on in the living room most nights.

There was an Auckland 'Women Take back the Night' which was fun, after we took the road for a while the (male) cops showed up sirens a blaring and not a single one of us even acknowledged their arrival..

Oh yeah.. I'm not compleatly kicking my heals.. very busy setting up Indymedia climate soon to be at climate.indymedia.org we hope!

So I'll leave you with a word from Mr Bert and his moist throat:

Oh I love chinese supermarkets!

ps. and I'll put some new pics on flicker soon, from before my bag got nicked, theres been a delay as to add to my fun my laptop is very poorly.. she must have heard me say too many times "but at least Priss [my laptop] diddn't get stolen!

But to be going with, if you havent already seen them, are some pics from Stirling, Mayo and Escanda (spain) and the best of pics of the world from my travels. http://www.flickr.com/photos/cookielovescake/

26 October 2005

Structural collapse, robbery & surfing - A weekend in Auckland

Stay tuned for tales of a party so disastrous it was on the national news, dealing with the injured, a robbery, catching the waves, moving house and patra.

Stress and nervous tension are now serious social problems in all parts of the Galaxy, and it is in order that this situation should not in any way be exacerbated that the following facts will now be revealed in advance. The robbery in question is of my things, including phone and bank cards, however does not include my laptop or involve confrontation. The collapse of part of a house during a party results in the concussion of a woman, the broken leg of another, the bruising of somebody’s right hand, the untimely ejection on the cold rainy streets of Auckland and sudden demise of a party. In order that some sense of mystery should still be preserved, no revelation will yet be made concerning whose right hand sustained the bruise. This fact may safely be made the subject of suspense since it is of no significance whatsoever.

So after my previous blatant gloating, the weather in Auckland was suddenly horrible.. cold wet & windy. I was sat in the office in a wooly hat.. How can so much water fall from the sky? Why haven't Kiwis herd of insulation?

So me and my Wellington pal Pip brave the cold wet blustery weather to go to big party (of the donations to get in kind) being thrown at the house of a friend. It was totally rammed, hundreds were there and we spend most of the night up on the deck (balcony), but got to cold so fought out way in to watch the bands.

Suddenly there's alarms going off and I assume we are being raided for something or other and we all squash downstairs to get out. Pip, myself and a random bloke spot a disorientated woman staggering about being ignored by everyone else and go to help. She has blood running down her head is in a very dazed state, so we call an ambulance, carry her out the front and keep her warm & talking so she doesn't loose consciousness. As we carry her past the side of the house we could see that the balcony has collapsed under the weight of so many people... So after eventually getting her to an ambulance we call it a night and head home, soggy as we are. Apparently it was on the next day's TV news!
New Zealand Herald article

So I've moved into a room on the infamous Karangahape Road for a few weeks. Its the centre of all things in Auckland.

Within spitting distance I have:
- an all night 'Dairy' (like a well stocked corner shop)
- a chinese supermarket
- a pool hall
- several night clubs including 'Family' a groovy gay club (full of very cute boys who dance fantastically)
- food from every corner of the planet including a cheep Indian doing the most amazing vegan Masla Dosa & Patra
- several pretty sleazy sex shops
- an army surplus store
- a choice of cafes with vegan cake and hot chocolate
- an animal rights shop/campagin HQ
- several op shop and 2nd hand clothing stores
- a bar doing a range of organic spirits & liqueurs
- a strip club
- organic juice bar
- some hippy shops wafting stinky incense onto the street

Now while not all that list fill me with joy - however the only reason to leave my street is to go swimming in the sea and find an organic shop! I'm not gonna save much money am I...

Did I mention the Patra?

So suddenly the next day its summer again so we head over the hills, through miles of unspoilt bush to the beach where they shot 'The Piano' (picture) to go swimming at beach.. and I go body boarding and manage to catch some waves! Just picture me in the shallows on the tiny broken waves whooping with joy while the surfers further out roll their eyes at me..It was of course more or less at this moment that one of the people in this tale sustained a bruise to the right hand. This should be emphasized because, as had already been revealed, they escape otherwise completely unharmed.

This is where it all got a bit pants, calamity struck as I had my bag swiped at a club. It had lots of important things, like my new samsung phone my mum got me 2 weeks ago.. (last pic downloaded is on the right..) Pip & i were having a great time dancing all night at 'Family'... I was guarding my bag pretty staunchly.. but it was suddenly gone.

I'm pretty gutted theres lots of things gone, including my fab new pirate jacket I'm totally in love with :o( And the bag itself that I made.. at first light for hours I went around all the dumpsters & back allies in the area to see if it had been ditched, but sadly not. I'd only hours before moved into my new house and the keys were in my bag.. I had to wake up a flattie at 4am and explain who I am to let us in!

So I'm trying to move on.. so I've broken into my emergency bar of Green & Blacks ginger Carlo got me as a leaving pressie (thanks Carlo!)

I'm now getting to know my new flatties and being daily taunted by the giant Neon flashing 'SAMSUNG mobile phone' sign you can see from every window in the house...

Anyhow, thats all from this action packed instalment. Let the next one be duller!

The bruised right hand was mine (but I did get nipped by a crab at the beach - again...)

cookie loves cake & green&blacks ginger

16 October 2005

Summer in the City

Wow, like leaving the country it so much effort, I need a few weeks holiday to recover... I think packing my life away, dealing with a ridiculous stream of last minute bureaucratic tasks and then trying to have four leaving do's in four cities in less than a week was sheer madness.

I now have a camera phone so expect so much lower quality pics from me then your used to.. but at least I can snap random things on my daily travels.. Look new glassses!

So, I'm here, and things never seem to go to plan in nz.. I don't ever seem to get where I was going. I arrive in Auckland expecting to head to Wellington as soon as I'm over the jet-lag and within 48 hours I have a job, a room in a house and a borrowed bike. So wow, like a job I go to every day and a room I'm gonna sleep in most nights.. its only for 6 weeks but that's more stability than I've had for years!

And now for some blatant gloating...
There are definite advantages staying in in the warm north. Ohh what a day!.. its started wet and cold but you get 4 seasons in an hour in Auckland..  so then the sun came out and it saw suddenly like the middle of summer and we walked out to a local beach popped into the fab organic shop on route for ripe avocados for lunch then got to the sparkly ocean and I cackled with glee uncontrollably as we splashed about in the sea till we were to tired to swim any more.. then basked on rocks in the sun surrounded buy Pohutakawa trees and looked at the far tree covered shore and Waitakere hills. And this is spring. I'm back!!! (And this is all a short local bus ride from the city centre.) .. although I am paying for it all now with my feet all cut up on clams...
So for the cookie stalkers out there you can try and spot me on the webcam at my fave swimming spot..

Cycling in Auckland.
Think San Francisco. Bring back Leeds's Scott Hall road - all is forgiven.. You look at a map of Aks and your destination looks close then you get to an intersection and suddenly your looking down a precipice of a road down then up again to your level on the other side... wish me luck.. or uber-thighs!

So I'm still getting over my jet lag and used to being here - it's kinda strange to be back after a year around these familiar sights, sounds and smells. But more importantly.. how soon can I get south to those mountains...


27 September 2005


Originally uploaded by cookie's pants.
err.. just experimenting with posting to the blog straight from where I keep my pics online... this is from the G8 ecovillage in Stirling.


On the road again..

Hey so I'm gonna post the odd pic and whats going on with me on the flipside type stuff here..