Monthly Archives: August 2010

Looking back…

Ten years ago, our life was very different. We lived in the city, owned a new home in a busy suburb and sent our children to a private school. We had short-term goals, long-term plans, and a list of stuff we planned to purchase over the next few years. We were busy, stressed and burnt out.

Thinking about it now, it feels like I am looking back on someone else’s life. It’s so different to the life we live now that I would have trouble convincing you that we are even the same family.

However, it’s more than just the things we do or where we live. Sure, we live in a small country town and the kids go to a public school, our goals are different and there is no long-term plan and no list of stuff, but it’s more than that.

We are different because we think differently; we believe different things and we’ve changed the rules that guide our lives. My family may not agree, but as the mother, I am in a position to see these changes and direct the change toward a positive outcome if necessary.

Fortunately, it wasn’t necessary.

Even from this unique position, I know the biggest changes happened without me even noticing. I didn’t notice because I was too busy. Even after moving away from the city, we were able to maintain the busyness and the stress for quite some time.

Today, I see a family that has a better understanding of what’s important in life and we are satisfied with a simpler approach. We are more relaxed and less stressed. The funny thing is that life did this to us; it was never a choice that we made willingly. Even in the beginning, it wasn’t a choice to move to the country, it was a reaction to a situation.

To be honest, life dragged us in to the future, sometimes we kicked and screamed, often we resisted and we refused to go calmly. But the point is, we are exactly where we’re meant to be.

Life isn’t perfect but it is so much better than it was 10 years ago.



Comfrey has been used and trusted as both a food plant and a medicinal plant for over 2000 years. In the late 1970’s, Comfrey fell into disrepute and was listed as a dangerous poison in 1984. These days, Comfrey is mainly used in organic farming as a fertilizer and soil improver.

The truth about comfrey and its history is quite interesting and no plant has ever suffered the same treatment by authorities. The Australian poison listing followed an overseas study on baby rats. The rats were injected with pyrrolidine alkaloids, a chemical found in Comfrey. The report stated that the rats eventually developed liver failure or died.

Over the years, the truth about the study has been revealed, or at least part of the truth, but the listing has never been removed. In the original study, the alkaloid was injected into 28 baby rats every day for 600 days and at the end of the study, one rat had developed one liver tumour. A human would need to ingest 19,888 leaves for 16 years to obtain a comparative dose or consume 5 to 6 leaves everyday for 150 years. No human has ever developed liver tumours from consuming Comfrey.

Most of the original study was never released and the reasons behind the campaign to ban comfrey may never be known, but the fear remains, and its use in society is limited. Recent studies have discovered many benefits of using comfrey, both internally and externally, with no side effects.

Comfrey is high in Allantoin, an important ingredient in commercial skin treatments, moisturisers and anti aging preparations. All skin conditions, including bruises, boils, cuts, grazed, insect bites, varicose veins and muscle pain will benefit from applications of comfrey. Poultices and ointments are said to halve the healing time when applied to broken bones, tendon damage and bad backs.

Decoctions and infused oils, made from the leaves and roots, are the basis for many external preparations. Make a strong tea and apply it as a simple wash or add it to your bath water.

The listed benefits for internal use are extensive, but if you choose to take it internally, you should investigate comfrey for yourself.

To grow comfrey,   take a root cutting anytime of the year and plant it about 5cm beneath the soil surface. The plant likes moist compost rich soil and loves cow manure tossed around the surface. In dry period, make sure your comfrey gets plenty of water, as they hate to dry out.

Organic gardeners can use the leaves in the compost or make a nutrient rich tea to apply as a liquid fertiliser. The leaves are safe to feed to livestock and are an excellent green feed for poultry.

Although it is against the law to sell comfrey preparations for medicinal internal use, they have not banned growing the plant. Comfrey makes my list as a ‘must grow plant’ in your garden, I recommend planting comfrey and learning to make your own creams, ointments and poultices.

I will post links to research data shortly.

Hello world!

I guess the phrase Hello World! is as good as any for the first post on a blog site and at the moment I can’t think of anything better.

This blog has been created as an outlet for my writing, a way to share the research and as an accessory to other articles I write. Some of my articles are published in a local newspaper but there is never enough space within the word limits set by my editor to say all I need to say or want to say.

People who read the paper often ask questions about something I have written or request more information, so this blog will help to share this information easily and provide updates when I need to. Hopefully, I will gather some feedback and learn what others are doing to change their lives.

This blog will also allow readers to follow the links and continue to research the topics themselves if they want too or simply check the details of something I have said.

However, this is not about what I have already written nor is it limited to discussions related to the published articles. It’s about the need to share and to encourage others to learn new skills and simplify their lives.

I believe our creative ability sets us apart from other species, not our intelligence nor our nifty thumbs. This creative ability enables us to see beauty, be grateful for the simple things in life and it allows us to discover solutions to problems.

I also believe the secret to happiness is found in simple pleasures. However, were not taught these things and often we are so caught in the frantic energy of life that we forget what happiness even feels like.

So that’s what Creating Avalon is about, discovering happiness, rediscovering our creative energy and developing creative abilities so we can lead a simple more fulfilling life.

Creating Avalon almost became Finding Eden and either name would have suited the theme perfectly, but Avalon was a society while Eden was a garden. Either myth or story could lead us down a similar path but perhaps Avalon invokes the ideas of family, friendship and society more fully and allows me to expand on my image of Avalon.

If you found your way here, Welcome, enjoy the journey and let me know what you are doing on your own journey toward a simple life.