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    United States Avalon Member xbusymom's Avatar
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    Default Intentional Communities

    I have been looking into getting off the grid for some time now, and am down to the last 6 months before my "time runs out" (job situation hurries up the process... haha)

    and I found a whole list of intentional communities around the U.S.

    Fellowship for Intentional Community

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    UK Avalon Member kriya's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intentional Communities

    Quote Posted by xbusymom (here)
    I have been looking into getting off the grid for some time now, and am down to the last 6 months before my "time runs out" (job situation hurries up the process... haha)

    and I found a whole list of intentional communities around the U.S.

    Fellowship for Intentional Community

    Cool..this sounds like what I would like to see and wrote about in the ideal world thread.

    Good luck, sounds ace.

    Love,

    Kriya
    NEVER MIND HIS SILENCE~REMEMBER HE IS LISTENING
    :grouphug:

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    United States Avalon Member xbusymom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intentional Communities

    already emailed 2 or 3 in KS, bookmard several in MO and will check them out in more detail this weekend...

    this is what I have been looking for in the Groups section of the board, glad I found this... (synchronistic)

    some of them look really good

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    Australia Avalon Member panopticon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intentional Communities

    G'day All,

    Just a few groups that might not be mentioned elsewhere:
    http://www.createcommunities.org/
    http://www.villageforum.com/

    I have not had direct contact with these groups but have had dealings with people who have.
    Might also suggest the 'Transition Towns Movement' that has a more advanced philosophy (partly based on Permaculture):
    http://transitionnetwork.org/

    There's always 'Permaculture: A Designers Manual' by Bill Mollison (co-founder of Permaculture) which has hundreds of pages on varied topics such as crop management, solar housing design, village development and alternative economies.
    Permaculture is non-religious and taught from primary school to university level in Australia.
    It was a huge surprise when I found out that Permaculture was not well known outside Oz so always mention it in case there are those who think of it as "only a form of organic agriculture'.
    Bill Mollison recons that the name came from a combination of "permanent agriculture" and "permanence in culture".

    Regards,
    Panopticon

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    Germany Avalon Member christian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intentional Communities

    http://www.workaway.info/
    http://www.helpx.net/

    2 huge databases of intentional communities etc.

    Though both are not for free, they are quite valuable (as a helper I'm only registered on the first, there are a lot of same entries on both platforms simultaneously), I found lots of nice projects there and have been helping at the first I went to since almost half a year now. Now I'm about to start a vagabund life and made some marks on my maps to find places I got in contact with through that, so I can maybe join there for a while if I get by.

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    Denmark Avalon Member
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    Default Re: Intentional Communities

    What I always find discouraging about all these communities etc. is that none of them actually go far enough back to basic for me. And there are no serious "movements" in my part of the world. I have trouble with the communities which cost money to enter - some of us don't have money! and live like this because we don't have anything Ė we definitely donít have the money for a piece of land to live off of.

    What I mean by back to basic is "no plastic" and ďno trying to manipulate nature by farming landĒ etc. The farming of land issue is that every time one does so one destroys an ecosystem. One should forage and gather, not stay put and force chosen plants and thereby destroying ecosystems. By just reusing plastic etc. one just recycles the poisons. Building a house out of used car tires isnít eco friendly, itís letting waste and oil products continue to soil nature. Cutting down trees to make a house isnít eco friendly Ė itís destroying ecosystems for every tree one cuts down.

    I'd like to just take my simple bug out bag and go off into the woods with one thing in memory: The more I carry in my head the less I need to carry in my bag.

    I'd like to meet up with a few families of similar attitude towards nature and go into the woods of Sweden and Norway (Allemansretten) and wander. Not settle down any place because that's when we become a problem for nature, we're like locus; we eat and destroy everything and won't move on until there are no more resources to plunder. That's not balance. The nomadic life style is as every ecosystem is given peace to stay alive even when animals (and us) pick from it.

    Nature could take care of us. Right now we canít boil an egg so luckily it can be bought precooked (and someone makes money). Good way to keep the population hooked on/a slave of society and money, isnít it? That and the excessive use of everything! Food! We eat and buy and ultimately kill more than needed. So much meat ends up getting burned with garbage etc. because itís all about money, not balance of need. And no one remembers that nature provides everything we need (if we donít just plunder it) Ė food, medicine, shelter etc. but we have to rediscover all this, rediscover how to live in balance with the ecosystems and think outside the box. We have to broaden our minds and vision as the opportunities in nature arenít just presented to us as we are used to everything being in our day society through commercials etc. I believe it is possible but far from as easy as life in a city where one can just buy a cup of coffee without having to pick and roast the beans first.

    Luxury! Itís the pacifier for adults to keep us submissive Ė which steals our freedom.

    Sorry if I seem aggressive, thatís not the point. Iím passionate about it Ö and locked away I the shackles also known as ďcivilizedĒ society.

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    Germany Avalon Member christian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intentional Communities

    If I got you right, you don't want to be attached to a certain piece of land and don't want to farm, so you are looking for a nomad community? Interesting project, really, I would love to see nomads really living off the grid roaming through Europe.
    I'll do that, but not completly off the grid, I guess maybe I can learn it though.

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    Denmark Avalon Member
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    Default Re: Intentional Communities

    chiquetet, yeah, a nomad community. Living it without having tried it is probably a no go unless it's "doom and gloom kinda that last way out" where it is just about surviving and that's it! One has to learn it - mostly because it is an ... attitude ajustment and because a suburbian survivalist don't really know that uch when push comes to shove. A rearanging of focus on life itself is a must to do it for ever. My husband, son, neighbor and I are thinking about trying it for a week or two. Still having something "known" to return to while polishing off the skills would be prudent. We thought about the alps ... so we'll be comming through Germany. Should we pick you up on the way? LOL

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    Germany Avalon Member christian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intentional Communities

    You wanna go the the alps and back in 2 weeks? If you can do that, please pick me up, I wanna see you move
    Seriously, I start a nomad walkabout in a week, heading to Switzerland first and then further southwest probably. But I don't travel without plastic and I will shop some food in shops till I learned it better. I don't want to end up like the guy in the movie "Into the Wild" - my intention of what lifestyle I want to live eventually is more than that as well but I have to get there through a reasonable process.

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    Denmark Avalon Member
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    Default Re: Intentional Communities

    Good point, we obtain our goals one step at the time and learn as we go. I didn't mean I would walk from here to the alps and back in two weeks LOL that would be straight for Guinness Book of World Records! No, more in the line of setting time off for travel and then the two weeks. I haven't seen Into the Wild, so sorry, don't know what that is all about.

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    Avalon Member kudzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intentional Communities

    I left the mainstream world almost 15 years ago to join an intentional community. It was the best decision I ever made. I've been living off the grid, helping to build the community, my homestead and the homes of friends and neighbors ever since. Practicing Permaculture, living more simply, governing by consensus ... I can now hardly imagine living any other way. It hasn't been easy and we've only really just begun. I would strongly encourage anyone living in the industrialized world to pool their resources, form or find communities, grow food and heal themselves.


    Quote The farming of land issue is that every time one does so one destroys an ecosystem.
    I disagree with this statement. In most cases, small scale subsistence farmers are actually the ones that are the most in tune with the ecosystem. These farmers are the ones interacting with the land day after day. They have the most to loose if the ecosystem is destroyed. IMHO it's been large scale industrial farming that has pushed the small farmer off the land and into the cities. Thus leaving the land open for exploitation.

    I firmly believe a well managed farm can produce an abundant yield while increasing the health, biodiversity and beauty of the ecosystem.

    Quote What I always find discouraging about all these communities etc. is that none of them actually go far enough back to basic for me.
    I started as a rugged man in my mid twenties. I lived in primitive shelters for years, hauled water, pushed wheelbarrows up hill and processed all my own firewood. At times all I had was an outdoor kitchen. Cooking outside all winter long is no picnic. I can appreciate the romantic idea of 'back to basics' but until you really get to it you have no idea how difficult it actually is to do. But well worth the effort.

    Quote Nature could take care of us.
    I do agree with this statement provided that we give some in return. Or else she will kick our asses.
    If all of us gave back to nature by composting, building soils, preventing erosion, planting trees, managing invasive plants etc it would go a long way towards building a brighter more sustainable future.

    After years of doing my best to walk my talk and live as simply as I can I have no desire to live a nomadic lifestyle. Rather, I plan to continue interacting, managing, loving and appreciating the little slice of Mother Earth that I call Home.

    Blessings
    Last edited by kudzy; 17th February 2011 at 15:29.

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    Default Re: Intentional Communities

    G'day Kudzy,

    You speak from experience.
    I respect that.

    I have often mentioned to people: "living the dream is different from dreaming the life".

    I admire those who choose a nomadic existence.
    The risks are too great for me.

    I prefer to be self reliant.

    Kind Regards,
    Panopticon
    "What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence.
    The only consequence is what we do."

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    Default Re: Intentional Communities

    kudzy I agree with you a long way ... and I have an outdoor kitchen as electricity is expensive ... for our income level. We haul water, chop wood, collect food in the forest (can't always afford the veggies in the supermarket) etc. And we live in a small town and feel kinda free. I can appreciate having a bit of land, room for chickens, sheep, rabbits etc. but I still think that it is too easy to make everything about the money. In my country, anyway. Let me explain as we probably view this ďproblemĒ from two different stands and this may be the reason my opinion is so difficult to grasp:

    The Danish government gives the word greedy a whole new meaning! Having a sheep to keep the grass down, to eat and get some wool for clothes ends up being a paper trail from here to Rome and then one is forced to pump the animal full of drugs (who wants to eat that?!?) and then there are inspections which makes you think you may just live in a police state! They want money for everything so being self sustaining here is impossible. Ex.: If one uses rain water in the toilet they want a special tax for that because then they don't get the taxes from ground water: 6 kr. pr. 1 cubic meter water ... 40 kr. in taxes! That's 46 kr. in the end I have to find. They don't get the 40 kr. if a person uses rainwater so they put a different tax on it by taxing installations Ė same goes for solar panels etc.

    A whole town made a commitment to be more environmental in their everyday life so they all saved electricity (made from coal and stuff). At the end of the year they had saved a lot! So much that the prices were just raised enough to cover the electricity companyís losses. Thatís fair Ö or NOT. No matter what is done to save the prices just go up on something so the government gets what they need. Or they invent a new tax. This is the reason why I donít see the idea of owning land as it is taxed ridiculously compared to other countries. No point of being a part of that and the only way one can get out of that here in Denmark is by going nomad. If they made a plan to get more environment friendly ways of living, hey, Iíll have a little farm! But until it isnít about their own ridiculous pensions, big houses on my bill etc. then no, I will rater go nomad than support a system so greedy that they refuse to make an official policy on poverty because as long as they donít have an official stand on the subject they can deny the existence of poverty in a country known for ďthe worldís greatest welfare systemĒ. (Ad all the cuss words you can think of and you get the idea of my frustrations haha) Even now after the crises where family after family is evicted, poverty is still none existing if you ask the government Ė and they ran out of housing opportunities even though the law says that it is the governments duty to house a homeless Ė especially children. These families canít afford the rent on the housings the government can give them. So Iím bitter and stubborn and have no intensions of cooperating because then Iíd help the ones who donít know how to live without running water etc. stay in poverty.

    Maybe we donít define eco system the same way. A tree is an entire eco system in itself with worms, insects, fungus, little plants who lives near this kind of tree etc. By killing a tree to make a house kills or takes away the "house" for all which are relying on this tree to stand there. Same when one plows a field or get rid of weeds. Like killing a shark: All the little fishes that live of the leftovers in their teeth (the sharkís toothbrushes) will starve as they are a part of the same eco system.

    If this post can be read and understood as an attack please note that it is not my intension!

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    Avalon Member kudzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intentional Communities

    Thanks Autumn, I appreciate your response.
    Quote If this post can be read and understood as an attack please note that it is not my intension!
    No attack whatsoever, just agreeing to disagree, I hope. I just don't see a nomadic lifestyle as a viable option for most of humanity, unless of course we're forced to go nomadic.

    I'm not familiar with the laws in Denmark. Unfortunately they sound rather Draconian.

    Regarding your tree example; There are very few virgin stands of forest left in the world. Most forests have been logged several times over and soils depleted. Cutting down certain trees, here and there, (not clear cutting) can have beneficial affects on the overall forest. It may remove competition, allow more light to the forest floor so other successional species can move in, if done in the correct moon phase it will coppice, etc.

    My point is; If we're conscious and caring ecosystems can be managed, sustained and improved.
    My sense is you ARE conscious and caring.

    Best wishes

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    Default Re: Intentional Communities

    G'day Autumn,

    Quote Posted by Autumn (here)
    ..we probably view this ďproblemĒ from two different stands and this may be the reason my opinion is so difficult to grasp:
    Excellent point and post. It seems from your post that you are not living a nomadic lifestyle is that correct?

    Quote Posted by Autumn (here)
    The Danish government gives the word greedy a whole new meaning!
    From what you have said I would have to agree with you.
    A direct tax on rainwater was talked about in Western Australia in the 80's.
    That was until they worked out there'd be a lot of unemployed politicians if they did!
    I think you are pointing out that at least part of the taxation on rain water is derived from system installation, inspection and authorisation. Is that correct?
    Is there a form of metering system for water tanks or a single charge?

    Quote Posted by Autumn (here)
    A whole town made a commitment to be more environmental in their everyday life so they all saved electricity (made from coal and stuff). At the end of the year they had saved a lot! So much that the prices were just raised enough to cover the electricity companyís losses.
    This is a valuable observation that could be missed by many.
    Might I suggest that in an instance like this the town could create its own LLC power co-operative. That way Government benefits can go into the towns power supply and not the national. Also the town may wish to change to a combination of renewable resources, suited to their environment, instead of fossil fuel. Seems like a large step but with a bit of investigation it may be possible if appropriate to the country, municipality and conditions. There are all sorts of difficulties involved and I only suggest it as a possible alternative to a centralised profit based resource allocator.
    I might also point out that the town still used less fossil fuel. That was their aim. Not to decrease their expenses but to have a positive effect on their perceived impact on the environment.

    Quote Posted by Autumn (here)
    ..the only way one can get out of that here in Denmark is by going nomad.
    Going and living a nomadic lifestyle is great for you but it doesn't help thousands who are in similar circumstances.
    Maybe a change of view and look at the problem differently might help.
    As Permaculturists say: "Turn the problem into the solution."

    Quote Posted by Autumn (here)
    Maybe we don't define eco-system the same way.
    Interesting point!
    Maybe it's the position of "human as an animal" in the environment and interactions based on that which is the difference and not the view of eco-system?

    At this moment I am debating whether to dredge our lake or allow for the silt to continue to build up. The state forest behind was logged five years ago (as part of a sustainable timber management program in combination with fire management) and the top soil from there has almost filled the lake. In this instance do I destroy the swamp environment (by dredging) that was created by human interaction up hill or continue to allow it to evolve and lose a large source of water while gaining a viable fertile deep soil area?
    Maybe a combination would increase edging and allow for increased plant diversity?
    In all instances it is due to human interaction.
    What to do, what to do...

    Kind Regards,
    Panopticon
    "What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence.
    The only consequence is what we do."

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    Default Re: Intentional Communities

    Hello autumn and co

    I very much agree on the second part of your first post. It is a shame to see the food people throw away-in western society 35% of good food lands in the trashcan. In cities more than on the countryside.
    What freaked me out, was when I was working on an organic farm here in Austria, we had to to put sometimes a quarter of the tomato harvest on the compost, because they were to small.
    And the supermarkets would not take the small ones and to preserve them would have been to much work. Or basil in small pots...they had to be at least 15 centimetres high-the rest goes on the compost, but its still good basil.

    @ kudzy I know what you mean-lived 2 years in small communities and it was on of my best experiences and I learned a lot, not just farming wise. I stayed in an old mouldy stone house without electricity and in winter it is very hard to cook and quite difficult to get a good fire going.
    You dont get distracted from TV or Internet. It brought me to the point were I realised, what I really need to live.
    Like in Henry Thoureaus book Walden, which I recommend everybody to read ;-) You realise what is really necessary in life and I figured out that spending time on your own and to think about stuff and to discover who you really are is very important and doesnt cost anything.
    A warm fire, good shoes or a hot soup - things have a much bigger value and you feel happier if you work hard for your food. Back in modern society I try to continue this lifestyle.

    @ Autumn I disagree on the first part of your post. Well, I am against use of plastic and I would like to see a world without. But as we have it now, I see no problem to use an old tyre as flowerbed. I would not buy a new one to do that, but as I have an old tyre in my garage...whats better: To bring it to the timber yard and they burn it or to make something useful out of it? It will rot anyway.

    Quote kudzy: I firmly believe a well managed farm can produce an abundant yield while increasing the health, biodiversity and beauty of the ecosystem.

    Thank you kudzy for that-I think so as well.

    When a beaver cuts a tree to create a shelter for him and his family its ok, but if a human does it, its not?
    Everything has to be in balance, cut a tree, plant a new one.

    If you just wander around in the woods and look for food, it takes you some hours, to collect enough food for a family. It is doable, people lived like this, but it simply takes to much time.
    And it is nearly impossible to find food in the winter (Middle & Northern European winter)...there are nearly no wild greens, no crops you can grow (just cabbage), and if you wander arround, I think you will not carry preserves for 3 months.
    And if you refuse to kill and eat animals, what do you wanna eat? I think today it is very hard to live a nomad life, also because our bodies are too mollycoddled (funny word, do I use it the right way?).

    In my opinion everybody should have a small garden with veggies and herbs, not just to get food, also to understand how nature works. Permaculture is a good way to do that.


    This is how I got in touch with organic farming and alternative lifestyle...it is called WWOOF. It means WorldWideOpportunitiesonOrganicFarms
    It is pretty big in Northern & Southern America, Australia and Europe, but Asia and Africa are catching up. Depending on the season, you will be asked to help for 4-5 hours a day in
    exchange for food and home.

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    Default Re: Intentional Communities

    Quote Posted by Zampano (here)
    This is how I got in touch with organic farming and alternative lifestyle...it is called WWOOF. It means WorldWideOpportunitiesonOrganicFarms
    It is pretty big in Northern & Southern America, Australia and Europe, but Asia and Africa are catching up. Depending on the season, you will be asked to help for 4-5 hours a day in
    exchange for food and home.
    G'day Zampano,

    Thanks for that!
    I'd always known it as "Willing Workers On Organic Farms" and wasn't aware it went by different names in different countries.
    Excellent opportunity for people who want a more nomadic lifestyle or to learn more about Permaculture etc!
    Very good point!

    Kind Regards,
    Panopticon
    "What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence.
    The only consequence is what we do."

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    Default Re: Intentional Communities

    Hey panopticon

    When I started it was called "Willing Workers", but then it was decided to change the name, because it sounds too much like a working experience.
    Even though you work on a farm, the more important thing is the exchange with the farming/community/volunteer people.
    I remember long nights talking with this interesting people, everybody a unique character with good insights of life. The time was an eye opening experience for me.

    I actually starting wwoofing in Queensland, 20 km from Noosa, close to Eumundi. There are lots of organic farms and hippies, big community of alternative people.
    I really loved it there and wanted to stay there so much, but as Austrian I was no able to apply for a working visa...strange laws.
    Last edited by Zampano; 20th February 2011 at 11:15.

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    Default Re: Intentional Communities

    Thank you all for sharing websites and information.
    You've been helpful to me to realize that human life goes on, and not only spirit. Although spirit will be very powerful in this transition.

    Personally I think we have to move forward as a human being in community living but with new technologies and consciousness.
    Another major part, which will be my next move, is to bring a high awareness in living. Does anyone have experience in communities who include this in their setup? Issues like no plastic, also no oil then is an difficult topic. We are plundering the earth but do we really have to step back in time and live like nomads?
    I like the luxury but not if exploitation is involved.

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    Default Re: Intentional Communities

    I have been pondering this for many years. I'd like to throw some radical thinking into this post

    1. We are actually PART of nature here on the planet. Religion, school, and modern life (we are now getting ready to let go of) all tell us this is not so. In fact, we are made to feel somehow ashamed of ourselves for being human. It isn't wrong to work with the earth to grow food we can eat. Being a nomad isn't wrong either, but very impractical for the current population size ... although easily possible in some parts of the world still.

    UNLESS!!!!!

    We begin to live on light, prana, and breath. Now, I know this sounds farfetched, and it does not sound like fun. There might be the idea that this would be difficult or feel like starvation. However, I had a samadii many years ago and one of the results was that I became a breatharian. Each and every breath felt like being filled from head to toe with thick and silky love, it was pleasurable beyond description. However, after a few months, I felt pretty lonely since others did most socializing around food, so I decided to force my body to eat again. I have regretted this decision for a long time and am currently working to reverse it.

    It only takes 6 months of less than an hour daily to accomplish this switch, according to info on sun-gazing. I currently have a simple routine which involves doing this for 40 minutes daily (don't(!) try this without researching it first, because you need to begin with just 10 seconds and build up your time slowly). If what I have read and heard is correct then sometime before this upcoming March I should be completely off of food.

    Just think of how amazing it would be not to need to feed your body food! You would not need to purchase or grow your groceries. You would not need to cook. Your home would not need a kitchen, and probably would not need a bathroom before long. Your footprint on the earth would be light. The cost (in time and/or money) to keep your body strong would be minimal. You would be pretty immune to climate changes, as long as you could stay warm with layered clothing or a shelter. And, you could still garden and give it all away to others who aren't there yet if you wished to.

    Well, that's my thinking. Your thoughts about this.....?
    Last edited by Dawn; 7th September 2011 at 23:23.

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