the great tea crisis of 2016

It’s finally happened. Three days ago I ran out of milk! I knew this day would come and I dreaded its arrival. I have now consumed several cups of unmilked tea and I’m feeling nervous – will life be the same without milky tea…..

Luckily, I don’t have many ‘addictions’ that have made living without money difficult. My weakness for warm, sweet, milky drinks has been taunting me. I have been happy enough to decrease, give up and give away many things to be as low impact as this. I had always thought that this choice to live low-impact and moneyless was not about making myself really uncomfortable. I’m not trying to be some sort of ascetic.

I had thus far been able to use old powered milk that was no longer wanted by the people who had purchased it. We were going to milk the sheep on the farm for a very local, sustainable source, but that didn’t come to pass in my time there. My friends or my daughter would happily just buy me more powdered milk if I asked for it – in fact, I think a friend did buy me some a while back in a moment of weakness! Powdered milk is a high impact product and, therefore, according to my fairly loose ‘rules’, anathema to my world.

As for the other ingredients in these drinks:

The tea I have been using has mostly been rejects from friends – when they have tried a new variety that hasn’t passed the test. I had some given as a Christmas present too. As a result of consuming these leftovers, and because my previously favoured dandelion or rooibos is not so readily used or rejected by friends, I have inadvertently become a consumer of tea like never before and possibly have an addiction to caffeine now! My nervous system may be shot but at least I have still been able to have warm, sweet drinks!

The hot water has been easy enough to come by (boiled on the rocket stove at the farm or in a jug using solar power). The honey is local and usually supplied by my lovely friend, Joline, as a kind of gift for my help at her cafe.

My special someone has just been here for a visit and helped me finish off the last of the powdered milk. He then bought some milk which was partly wasted because I refused to turn on the fridge just to keep the milk cool! That’s a story for another time….

So where is this story heading?

I’m sitting here in the warm Byron winter sun with a cup of sweet black tea that is actually not as bad as my imagination had planned it to be. Can’t complain about that! I feel happy in the knowledge that very few beings were harmed in the making of this beverage. I am achieving my goals and doing so now without milk!

Truth be told, Joline, being the kind, caring person she is, recently bought some powdered milk to give to me (she understands my addiction). I politely turned her down but now I’m rethinking that decision…….




Be content with what you have. Rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you – Lao Tzu






24 thoughts on “the great tea crisis of 2016

  1. Hahaha, kind and caring? Buying you evil powdered milk?
    I had to laugh. (well, the package is here somewhere, waiting for you… now, it’s waste…harhar)
    Love you, beautiful…
    Being as brave and committed as you, you are an inspiration to me!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Hi Jo. I am Javier from Argentina, I come interesting in your life by a magazine. This is surprise me, live without money, ok; live without tv, ok; try to live without milk, well, I need money to buy a cow!


    1. Ha ha! Yes Javier, it is tricky but not impossible. I guess it depends on where you live and what is available to you. I would like to live somewhere where I could milk cows or sheep but that is not happening right now. I could make a kind of milk from nuts – there are plenty of nuts grown locally here. I could trade for milk or accept a gift from a friend. All these options have potential. I guess I have to think about what is important to me right now and what I will do to have milk in my tea……of course, I could just continue to not use milk at all. Thanks for your comment. Cheers, Jo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was going to say Almond milk is delicious and easy as pie to make with a stick blender. Handful of almonds (better if soaked overnight) into a tall vessel with 250-500ml of water and blend away. Some additions some people use is vanilla, cinnamon, sugar… Delicious but it separates in coffee (my addiction) but is still nice enough to be drinkable. Strangely in chai it seems to overpower some of the spices so make a stronger brew. It’s awesome in rooibos and dandelion drinks (my other addiction). 😀 and yeah almond milk has none of the cruelty elements of industrial dairy production so there is that to celebrate. Now oats also make good milk but so far I haven’t figured that out. It does work in coffee :-DDD dandy, everything.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The other thing we are assuming it has to be blended. Almond milk needs that, sure, but oats (and I don’t have a recipe) could maybe be cooked over a long time and they might fall apart and then hand blend them with water might just work. Just musing aloud ha ha.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. also thinking instead of starting with oats maybe just maybe start with oat flour. Cook it up like a rue stirring slowly as you add more and more water until its a sauce then a runny sauce then soupy consistency and fingers crossed a milky thing. Hey but I just made that up so it could just end up as clag too. No worries put up a few enviro poster then ha ha ha.

        All the fun to you. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I spent some time looking for recipes, it seems that the ratio of raw soaked oats is 1:3 parts water. Basically this is blended and then put through a fine sieve at least once. Some peopke add a little coconut flakes prior to blending a d a pinch of salt and some sweetener like agave/maple etc afterwards. I’m thinking if you could use ground oats flour and add the water, stir it to combine and then put it through a sieve. It would be really good to make it to recipe at least once just so you know how it’s supposed to taste and of you even like it. Then assuming you do, work on adapting it so it works for you. Dear Jo what size is your solar panels / system?


  3. I find perfectly OK if someone wants to live like this but people should not consider this way of living acceptable .

    We are talking about going back to the caves, the middle age. This is perfectly fine but you would not want all people doing that , would you ?

    Imagine a significant number of people living like this. World would not progress and there would not be research, investigations, medicines, all that requires money, energy, etc. This will not work with Jo’s .

    Sooner or later Jo will require medical attention, and she will need antibiotics or maybe surgery and that kind of treatment is not possible unless we accept the benefits and disadvantages of “modern” living.
    Jo eventually will get her treatment because not all of us have taking the decision to live like savages otherwise life expectancy will be 30s and child birth mortality will increase dramatically. We take for granted all the benefits of progress because most of us accept progress and its toll.

    Jo does not accept the tolls but will want the benefits or will be condemned to die young or with a worse life quality .

    It is bad to see Jo as an example, she is brave and she can do whatever she wants with her life but that is not the life I want fo my children. I might accept this as a detox period of time and move away from many unnecessary things but if Jo thinks this is a long term life project I think she is wrong


    1. Thank you for your comment Carlos. I can understand that it is not appropriate for most people to live as I am choosing. I am simply doing what I think I can with my life to minimise my personal impact on the planet and its resources. I am afraid we may not have a habitable planet if we do not take drastic actions. I do not have the answers but I am trying. Cheers, Jo

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Con todos mis respetos…pero no comparto tu opinión, Carlos Alzola. Trabajando para los súper ricos: una vida a todo trapo a cambio de la semiesclavitud. Si eres una persona sin escrúpulos, dispuesto a agacharte para limpiar los zapatos de un multimillonario y te fascina el estilo de vida de los súper ricos, este es tu trabajo.La sociedad del consumismo genera la contaminación ambiental debido a que han acrecentado mucho la cantidad de basura que se daba en el mundo.

      “Ve a la escuela. Estudia. Consigue un empleo. Trabaja. Paga impuestos. Cásate. Ten hijos. Hipotécate. Mira la tele. Sigue la moda. Pide préstamos. Actúa con normalidad. Compra muchas cosas. Camina por la acera. Escoge entre este producto o este otro… y sobre todo, no cuestiones jamás lo que te han dicho que tienes que hacer. Y ahora, repite después de mi: ¡Soy libre! (George Carlin)”

      Es el modelo de vida preestablecido por la sociedad. Lamentable. Ahora, la cuestión es, ¿es esa la vida que realmente queremos vivir?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Carlos,

    What would you say if the Dr’s and professionals you mentioned all provided their servies withtout charge because they themselves where provided with all the necessities of life without charge ? There is a difference between opting out of the world of money and reducing your impact as apposed to not working as a productitve member of society. This is an important distinction and while the latter offers nothing to the community, the former offers great hope for something better in one form or another. Not a choice for everyone but a society that offers one level of care / standard of living to those with more wealth and a lower level of care / standard of living to the poor/middle income earners is not ideal either. We need something new.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Carlos, what would you say if the world wasnt facing massive species losses, huge storms and other disasters and didn’t have 2-6C baking already on the way? Do you realise what that last bit alone s going to mean? I think people living in very simple shelters will pale into insignificance to the side effects of all this progress that has been carelessly invented. Progress is good but deeply considered progress it should be not this fad chasing, corrupt governance and profiteering we currently have.


  5. Hi Jo,
    I just discovered your blog (via Facebook) and wanted to say how much I admire your efforts to live low impact. It’s so inspiring to read, and I love the gentle non- judgemental way you write. I took a year off last year to travel and spent most of it Helpxing. I loved this way of travelling and making new friends.
    This year I’ve returned to the work- spend lifestyle but your experiences give me thoughts of how I could choose to live differently
    Blessings on you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your feedback and support Denise, it means a lot to me to hear. I think WWOOFing, HelpXing and Couchsurfing are definitely THE best methods of travel. I’ve done it before and might do some more again soon – without money. Could be fun! Cheers, Jo

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Storm. I was gifted the money for a permit and a friend used their vehicle to tow the wagon. I am very grateful for this support but also feel kinda’ bad for the fossil fuel use. The wagon will be moved once more (see Retrosuburban Dreaming post) and then, hopefully, can stay in it’s new position indefinitely so no more needless fossil fuel use.


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