What would Mandela say?

My chook, Pesky, looking for a star to steer by Stars to steer by; we need them, whether we know we’re using them or not.   A pilot needs a harbour light, a navigator a star or compass bearing, a car driver a traffic light or roadside edge.   But inside the mind as we choose how to steer, what happens there?  How do we ‘see’ the star, what thoughts do we have as we choose how to react to it?   At some moment during so many years in prison, Nelson... Read More

Life while you wait

Nobel laureate Wislawa Szymborska (July 2, 1923–February 1, 2012)   “When Szymborska was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1996 “for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality,” the Nobel commission rightly called her “the Mozart of poetry” — but, wary of robbing her poetry of its remarkable dimension, added that it also emanates “something of the fury of Beethoven.”... Read More


  “Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It creates the failures. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man hangs onto you. You want to save him but you know he will strangle you with his panic.” Anais Nin, February 1947  Read More

How to listen between the lines

I learn a lot from silence. Feeling, for me, heightens in that space, there, too.   So it was with pleasure that I came across a book that explores silence.   Here are some morsels from an article about it: “Smith was looking for a way to get at precisely that unrehearsed language, so the linguist suggested three questions to crack the shell of verbal habit: “Have you ever come close to death?”; “Do you know the circumstances of your birth?”; and“Have... Read More

A Philip Larkin poem – An Arundel Tomb

  An Arundel Tomb By Philip Larkin Side by side, their faces blurred, The earl and countess lie in stone, Their proper habits vaguely shown As jointed armour, stiffened pleat, And that faint hint of the absurd— The little dogs under their feet. Such plainness of the pre-baroque Hardly involves the eye, until It meets his left-hand gauntlet, still Clasped empty in the other; and One sees, with a sharp tender shock, His hand withdrawn, holding her hand. They would not... Read More

From Bronte to a tiny, tiny thing

Bronte on my mind, in my eyes and on my flesh   An almost invisible, tiny critter a centimetre long – a baby praying mantis? – on the table in front of me.Earth gifts me beauty, silence, peace.    Read More

Thinking about last year

Bronte ocean pool gives moments of beauty, simplicity I’ve put on idleness like a pair of comfortable summer shorts.   Books everywhere on the floor around my bed and on my bedside tables like a still life mice plague, ungovernable.  Their numbers and mess say it’s January, when I reflect, read, plan. What was last year about, what did I do badly or well, what would I like to do this year? I pretend to find answers.   And there are movies, walks, morning swims in... Read More

Rafting the Franklin, 27 Dec 14 – 2 January 15

The island photographed by Peter Dombrovskis that became the image for the campaign to save the Franklin river from being flooded by a dam The only way to see the Franklin River close up is by raft or kayak.  You can fly over it, but to see it in all of its moods, to dwell along its shores, to see the platypus at play, you have but one choice and that is hop into a raft.   Alongside 11 other people led by three licensed guides, I rafted its rapids for seven days and camped... Read More

There is no ‘try’, just “do . . . or do not”

Yoda was right when he said to Luke Skywalker, ‘do . . . or do not’. The same goes for me, anyone wishing to be ‘sustainable’, and all of us seeking to sustain our lovely Earth. I’ve written about this in my column, Bathurst Burr, for The Fifth Estate.  Read More

Six seasons in Australia, not four

Here’s a well-written book by Tim Entwisle with persuasive evidence Australia has six not four seasons.   I reviewed the book for Spectrum in the Sydney Morning Herald, here.   Enjoy   Michael    Read More

  • Michael Mobbs

    Michael is a former Environmental Lawyer who is uniquely placed to consult in four main areas:

    • Sustainability Coach and Speaker,
    • Sustainable Urban Farm Design greening, watering and cooling the cityscape, roads, parks, suburbs,
    • Major Projects Consultant Commercial and Industrial,
    • Residential Sustainability Consultant.
    For permission to re-print any articles or to book Michael for a speaking engagement go to Contacts. Please ensure all quotes from Michael's blog include a reference to sustainablehouse.com....au.