Places To Go..

Just because I don't have a TV doesn't mean I don't ever watch a screen for entertainment. It just means I get to choose from a far greater range of truly inspiring stories with no advertising... Here are my current YouTube favourites:

You will find the Artist as Family blog in my side-bar. I have been intrigued for some time by their back-to-basics lifestyle. They label themselves as 'neo-peasants' and they live in a small, country Victorian town on a quarter acre block and are experimenting with what they can subtract from conventional suburban life (utilities, cars, supermarket shopping, conventional jobs) and what they can add instead to create a fulfilling life (bicycles, foraging, growing food, collecting firewood on their bikes, fermenting, bartering, growing a community of like-minded people).

I keep revisiting this story and I challenge you not to do the same, because it is impossible to take in the full glory of the re-purposed, re-use aesthetic of this richly textured, Aladdin's cave of treasures. This family has made their home in a school bus, but it is the most surprising school bus interior that I have ever seen...

Now, how to introduce this next show, Venetia At Home in Kyoto? Imagine if Beatrix Potter went to live in Japan in a 100 year old traditional Japanese house and created a beautiful garden and pottered about making old-fashioned English crafts like pot-pourri and rose-water. This is just what English woman Venetia Stanley-Smith has been doing for the last thirty years. In her show she also introduces fascinating Japanese craftspeople and discusses their traditions and past with them. Venetia is the kind of lovely, eccentric woman who does what she wants in her own quiet way, who I absolutely aspire to be like one day. These episodes make for a gentle, beautiful interlude on a day when everything seems a bit too much.


Beznarf27 said…
Hi Jo,

Your post today is particularly pertinent to me at the moment as I am trying to save as many YouTube videos as I can and am stuffing blogs, websites etc. and any information that I was putting of searching for into my overstuffed computer files like a mad hamster because we have just been told that we can't get wireless NBN here thanks to hills and trees and all of those things that country folk have on their properties and thus we are going to be pushed into suffering the extremely expensive and incredibly limited data allowance of NBN satellite internet. I have just saved those lush videos and am counting my blessings because whatever it was that made me start getting up earlier and earlier in the wee small hours all of those years back (Daylight savings?!) has now given me back a small blessing in return (aside from all of that luxurious "time" I get for myself to research etc. in the mornings before anyone is up) as our data allowance will be split between "Peak time" which is apparently from 7am through to 1am and "Off Peak time" which goes from 1am through to 7am which just so happens to be the time that this little black duck is up and hunting for her online fix. I can still download a few Youtube videos on our soon to be extremely meagre allowance of daily data and we should be able to manage but we are going to have to dump Steve's Netflix addiction as it sucks down almost half of our daily allowance in one hour! It looks like we will be back to watching the ABC and SBS which will be an experience because Steve has had paid TV ever since he moved to Australia 20 years ago! Hopefully you can teach an old dog new tricks and he can still play his online games with his New Zealand clan mates so that should keep him at least somewhat sane until he adapts to his new dataless existence. Thank you for sharing these lovely videos Jo. I am going to look forward to them when I can find the time to watch them :)
Jo said…
Fran, that is not fun! Do you have mobile coverage where you are? Mobile broadband is cheaper than satellite.. I know in NZ they have special rural mobile broadband boxes, I am pretty sure that would be a thing here as well..
simplelife said…
oh that bus, how gorgeous.

I intend to watch the other links in the coming days, thanks for sharing them.

We have very poor mobile coverage here but we do have fixed wireless NBN which is quite expensive but does offer unlimited downloads and a reasonable speed too. Perhaps this is something that is available to your other commenter.

cheers Kate
Jo said…
Kate, oh, I loved it so much! I just had to watch it again now instead of cooking dinner:) Thanks for the broadband tip - I will email that to Fran to make sure she sees it xx
Meg said…
I like the way, in the Artist as Famiily's case, that they gradually removed the things they no longer found necessary because they had no need for them any longer i.e. plastic, gas etc. I know in films like these that we are seeing just a snippet of a life but it looks pretty simple and contented to me. Meg
Pam in Virginia said…
Hi, Jo!

Thanks so very much for "At Home With Venetia". What an absolutely charming show. Isn't it interesting that, after all those years in Japan, she speaks English with a Japanese accent? To be expected, I suppose.

Jo said…
Meg, yes, I like the thought that goes into this way of life, and the family's attempt to live out their ethics, even when that is counter-cultural, and yet what they have ended up with is a (to me) absolutely enviable lifestyle.

Pam, yes I noticed that accent too. I think she has been speaking Japanese for a very long time! I especially like her poetic essays about aspects of her life. It is very rare to find such a gentle, eclectic show in what can be a very frenzied medium.

Anonymous said…
I love reading about people like these. Thank you for spreading the word about them.
Linda in N Z

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