Mundane Matters Monthly – May

Mundane Matters Monthly – May

Mundane Matters Monthly – May


Yesterday marked the end of Mercury Retrograde, which means by now a clearer and stronger outlook must have emerged for you (if you are aware of your inner self) and it is time to start putting thoughts and ideas into practice. Very exciting.

And here goes another list of noteworthy things I’ve discovered in the past month:

1. Mercury Retrograde VS agile methodology

At work we talk a lot of agile methodology, an iterations of development, testing and reiterating changes – build fast, fail fast, learn from it and reiterate. As I see the improvement in my project during Mercury Retrograde, I was stunned by how much nature (in this case, astrology) can inspire even the way we work.

Soon after our first workshops finished, I asked myself: What is special about these workshops? How do they benefit others? How can they be improved? The questions went on and on till I rethought about the experiences we had earlier, discussed it with Anett, Liane and friends, that I realised how many beautiful things we were bringing to our community – to raise awareness of food waste and sustainable living, and most importantly, to create an accessible, equal and thought-provoking creative experience that nurtures our mind, senses and connection with nature. Note it is not about making cute ‘food art’.

I hope you can join us. It runs 6.30-8.30pm every Wednesday, starting in June. See updated communication on Plant Planet Workshop.

2. The enlightenment in the past year without a full-time job

It took me 31 years to finally realise how I can use my creativity to help others and our planet. I believe for us to help others, we have to find ourselves first. And yes I had been trying to find myself. The past year without a full-time job was an enlightenment. I wrote an article about it. A useful read if you wish to start your own project or business one day.

3. It also makes me ditch takeaway coffee  

Working from home (or bludging), I was shocked seeing myself throwing two takeaway coffee cups a day into my bins. That’s 730 cups a year! It is estimated Australians use 1 billion disposable coffee cups each year (source). If you use paper cups everyday, please think of a more environmental-friendly way to drink your coffee. I have a tip for you – just drink espresso in a ceramic or glass cup. But don’t be like George Clooney.

4. Imperfect produce and food waste

One thing that contributes to food waste is the binned imperfect picks. By selling them at a much cheaper price, Harris Farm has saved 2 million kilograms of fruits and vegetables in the past year. I use them quite often for my sculptures. Note I eat them afterwards. They are the same delicious. Sometimes my cat eats them too. If you have the option, try to shop the imperfect picks. Shop from your local farmers.

5. Pocket Farm in Camperdown 

I have been hearing about urban farms in rooftops and unused spaces in New York. But this time is in Sydney – a not-for-profit veggie garden called Pocket Farm is going to open at the old unused greens of Camperdown Bowling Club. Check it out if you live in the hood. You can give them your food scraps to help farming.

6. The hottest April ever

Quite awfully, April 2016 was the hottest April on record globally. It is still warm now! It annoys me seeing some people praising how warm and beautiful the weather is, while on the other side of the world, people, animals and crops are dying from the heatwaves (in India more farmers have committed suicide). While enjoying the warm weather, perhaps we should do more to help reduce global warming. There are so many things we haven’t done.

7. The Pool by Aileen Sage Architects

Speaking of hot weather, Isabelle from Aileen Sage Architects, who is representing Australia at Venice Architecture Biennale 2016, gave me the book, The Pool: Architecture, Culture and Identity in Australia, which accompanies their Venice exhibition, The Pool. What I find most fascinating is how Aboriginal people respect and use water. A very inspiring read. Available at Books at Manic.

8. One last goodness

I shamefully went to this Indian restaurant called INDU three times in two weeks. It is THAT GOOD. The dosas are the best. Not only is its food all kinds of wonder, INDU also helps people in Sri Lanka to build a better economy through local village enterprises. Note: don’t invite me if you are going. When their waiters recognised me the third time, I just wanted to bury myself into a bowl of curry.

I wish you a lot of goodness in June. Besides the workshops, I have also been brainstorming new projects to help make our community a little greener and happier. If you have anything in mind, I am open for collaboration. Or if you know any junior graphic/digital designer who is looking to work with a creative person who is kind and willing to share the knowledge (me me me), please share his/her contact with me. Email me at info[at] for details.

Thank you for reading as always.

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Posted on at 7:26 am by Danling Xiao.