Friday, January 16, 2009

Gas-deprived European nations shivering

Everyone needs to read this story closely. As a journalist, I have to say it's some of the best reporting I have ever seen. It is ominous and it will fit in nicely with the next piece I'm working on.


Burning Coal at Home Is Making A Comeback
EROI Educational Resources
Former Bank Of England Official Expects Dollar Collapse
Confidential Information on South African Banking Posted on Wikileaks



Sebastian Ronin said...

The picture portrayed by this article captures fairly bluntly what lies on the horizon with systemic and institutional breakdown. The actual consequences and hardships will vary from social environment to social environment. The confused reaction of the public is summarized by the quote:

"I want this government to resign because it cannot guarantee my basic needs — a normal salary, a heated home and safety for my family," said Ivan Nenov, a 56-year-old Sofia electrician."

Delusions such as these will not crumble easily, but they will crumble, i.e. I want, I want, I want; there are no guarantees in this life, e.g. a normal salary, heated home, safety, etc. Much of what is taken as a given in the fields of human rights and democratic expectations, are nothing more than institutional luxuries. As long as the energy is flowing through they can be "guaranteed" by the state; when the energy stops flowing, such guarantees are exposed for the flimsy sheets of paper upon which they are written.

Re firing up coal and last week's discussion on "clean coal" it may help to keep in mind that China has on its drawing board the building of 540 coal generated power plants over the next ten years (roughly one a week!). If this can actually be done within Post-Peal Oil constrictions is another matter. So much for the second round of Kyoto. It's a hard, and black, rain that's gonna fall. For more info on Chinese coal, check out the Al Jazeera production, China's Coal Face:

Rice Farmer said...

The space heating problem is far worse than it would otherwise be because of central heating. I won't go into detail here because I have already published my own proposal.

Sebastian Ronin said...

Here's a related Pravda ariticle, Earth on the brink of an Ice Age:

Notwithstanding the scientific theories outlined above, also to take into consideration is that (due to global warming) the Gulf Stream may actually be beginning to slow down.

BTW, as I write, it is -25 degrees celcius outside my window (-13 fahrenheit). Wood stove is cranking out the BTU's. Because I bring in 8-footers and buck/split myself, my heating overhead over a 7-8 month heating period, is about $35 a month. The average oil heating bill around these parts is about $200 a month.

FA said...

I wish I have learned about FTW, Peak oil earlier. Thanks so much Mike, JO, & others’ good hearts to help people.

Mike said that it came to a point that you need to let go people who refuse to listen and believe (sorry that I can‘t remember your exact words). My wife’s family think I am crazy, my own family wouldn’t even listen. My wife listens, but she only waits for instructions from me.

Catherine Austin Fitts said that we shouldn’t start living in the woods, eating beans, and waiting for the end of the world. I totally agreed, but I have been standing still, not moving forward. After reading Susan’s comments (questions) a couple of days ago, I found out that I am not alone. Even Mike said he has been asking himself the same questions.

My wife and I have saved enough money to buy a house with cash, but house prices keeps free falling. Gold isn’t money can buy now. Not sure what to do with the money. Are other currencies going down with the dollars? Can we preserve our wealth by switching to Yuan, Yen, or Euro? If the dollars crash, our live saving will be gone.

I was in New Orleans when Katrina hit. I actually saw people shooting at each other for no reason. They were also shooting at the police. How do you hold on to your foods and protect your garden when peak oil hit? Guns?

After the economy crashed, how do we keep fighting the oil wars? How do we keep killing the women and children around the world “because they hate our freedom”? Killing costs money.

My father was a purchasing agent for a large toys company. He used to tell me a lot about the Chinese women and children work as slavery at the factories. How do we forces the factories to cut corners in production because they just can’t survive with the money that we “offer”. Who is actually making all the profits and stealing our jobs in the name of “Globalization”, “helping the poor countries“?

Mike, sorry if you have mentioned this before, maybe I just didn’t get it. According to the FTW articles, China will be the end game. Instead of an open war, Chinese will force us to see them as equal power. Is that the reason why the news media keep educating us that the Chinese are to be blamed for everything from unsafe toys for our kids, to their demand causes high oil price, their industrial developments cause the climate change from bad to worst, and they have no human rights?

Without trades and exports, will the Chinese still be strong enough to compete with us for oil? According to the US Space Command Vision for 2020, the globalization of the world economy will also continue…., with a widening between ”haves” and “have-nots”. Only military dominant can protect US interests & investments….

Will our military dominant still possible after our economy crashed?

Have a good weekend.

Dave Crossland said...

"The IEA said in its monthly oil report that world oil demand would contract as the economic slowdown eroded consumption. The agency revised its estimate for 2009 demand down by 940,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 85.3 million bpd - a fall of about 500,000 bpd year-on-year."


"The great due date of 2008" is a GREAT quick-introduction to the scale of the financial collapse, and has some GREAT complex systems analysis stuff in there too. Essential reading IMO:

Michel said...

Shivering in the cold? Don't plan on running away to sunny California.

The state will suspend tax refunds, welfare checks, student grants and other payments owed to Californians starting Feb. 1, Controller John Chiang announced Friday.

Chiang said he had no choice but to stop making some $3.7 billion in payments in the absence of action by the governor and lawmakers to close the state's nearly $42-billion budget deficit. More than half of those payments are tax refunds.


How do you think people will react when their checks don't arrive?

Brace for impact?

v said...

offtopic: I'm gonna try to move to Australia and live there for the rest of my life. Trying to get a sponsorship visa and after that a permanent visa!!! Tired of packed Europe, lot's of space and friendly people in OZ

Any ozzies here who want to sponsort me (I work as a Software Test Engineer)?
No Worries!!

poverty strikes middle class

So it looks like the middle class will disappear! We will only have the (filthy) rich and the poor.

Eni leads push for gas consortium


FTW admin said...

dear FA:

Instead of an open war, Chinese will force us to see them as equal power. Is that the reason why the news media keep educating us that the Chinese are to be blamed for everything from unsafe toys for our kids, to their demand causes high oil price, their industrial developments cause the climate change from bad to worst, and they have no human rights?

ans: in a word, yes. economic warfare at work. not that the articles about lead in toys etc were false; but the focus on china implied that the u.s. is relatively innocent of similar crimes

Anonymous said...

To V:

I hate to burst your bubble, but immigrating to Australia is really difficult. My son and I tried to immigrate to New Zealand in 2004. I had a needed profession, credentials and even have family down there. Everyone wants to move to "paradise" so they require extensive documentation on all aspects of one's life and are very inflexible when it comes to the rules. They held my application until I was technically over their age limit, even though we had been there for more than a year. Meanwhile the New Zealanders want to immigrate to Australia. They say it is even harder to get in there than into NZ. You can get in if you have a family member to sponsor you, are from a Commonwealth nation,or marry an Aussie. The cost of living is double what it is here, wages are lower. Australia has had nearly a decade of extreme draught, so it isn't as rosy down there as one would think. If you are in your twenties, you may have more luck than we did, but get ready for a long, drawn out ordeal.

jane said...

I am not at all sure what I'm doing these days. Coming late to the realization of what is here/to come, I made up for lost time by ordering freeze dried food, ripping out the contents of a large closet and filling it with non-perishable food, buying survival gear of one kind or another, etc. etc. My friends think it's my "hobby" and laugh at me. One asked "if the economy doesn't collapse, will you be disappointed?"

As part of my preparations, I have contracted to install a rather large solar array, hooked into the grid. It's very expensive, and is a sacrifice for my financial situation, which is becoming more and more borderline. To be OFF the grid is ten grand more.

I thought that this move would give me some modicum of assurance I could cook, have a frig, etc etc and not pay for electricity as it goes higher and higher as predicted.

I have noted in various blogs that some people say to forget going solar. Waste of money. We'll be running to the woods anyway. Well, I think this is a radical approach, but then again.

Please chime in and give your thoughts about this. Thanks.

FTW admin said...


it sounds as tho' these friends belong to a different aspect of your life. for the sake of your own psychic well-being, i'd forego letting them in on the details of your preparations. that's what we in the blogosphere are for.

AR said...

This is why we bought a newer farm with 100 acres of mature hardwoods, and plan (if there's time) to build a super-insulated solar home. We've been growing almost enough food to live on for years already, and would merely need to grow more potatoes to replace purchased rice and wheat, while we learn how to grow grains by hand.

A big deficit in the USA is knowing how to make do and fix things; having the imagination to figure out how to make things work with what's at hand. This takes some training and experience, but mostly practice, as the necessity arises. This only happens by living the life, and with help from an old hand. Farmers are Jacks of all trades by necessity.

If you already have enough cash now to buy a 'doomstead', start looking now. There are a lot of skills to learn, neighbors to befriend, and other preparation to make, once you've settled in. It's a process that takes time.

Either you are committed to the transition to a self-sufficient lifestyle, or you're dreaming. There's no point in waiting, hoping urban civilization and convenience might last a bit longer. You'll need time to adjust to your new diet. If you start now, it will be easier, rather than sudden, or too late. Meanwhile, you'll still be able to get stuff at Home depot for a while.
Mike & Jenna:

One aspect of what's happening that I'd really like to get some input on from you is the repression of sustainable farming. It seems that TPTB are dead-set on eliminating all knowledge of sustainable small farming, via the heavy-handed raids on small farmers. I can post links to several cases that form a distinct pattern. Or browse David Gumpert's blog The Complete Patient.

The only reason I can discern for this is because there really is a plan to kill us off, and to prevent any self-sufficient survivors from remaining. Why else would Rockefeller and Bill Gates build the seed vault at Svaalbard, but passively sit by while Monsanto controls the USDA, and contaminates our food with their trans-genes? And NAIS' only purpose is to prevent home meat production.

Peter J. Nickitas said...

Mike, Jenna, and blog-mates:

Here are two links I found in GATA.

The first is a 1961 FED memo that recently came to light through research by James Turk:

The second is a careful parsing of the report by Mr. Turk:

Mr. Turk's analysis identifies the manipulation of gold by the Fed after the 1944 Bretton Woods agreement for the purpose of dollar support, and the application of these lessons to foreign exchange manipulation.

The analysis shows the use of the Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF) as an opaque, unaccountable method for market and currency manipulation, as well as a "slush fund" for clandestine operations. See the fundamental theorem of politics: CIA = Wall Street.

Mr. Turk identifies early use of "swap" derivatives for gold price manipulation.

I must review these pieces again and again to understand them effectively.

The 1961 document identifies three responses to the evident debasement of the dollar vis-a-vis gold. The first is increase of interest rates to take dollars out of circulation. This is the "punch bowl removal" strategy, as in, take away the punch bowl just as the loose money party is heating up, as one former Fed Chair described (Arthur Burns or James McChesney Martin). The second is devaluation of the dollar relative to gold, as FDR did in 1933, by arbitrarily revaluing an ounce of gold from $20.67 to $35.00. The third approach is unchecked creation of credit, viz., create inflationary money out of thin air.

Based upon the age of the document, the subsequent closure of the gold window in 1971, the growth of debt, the expansion of clandestine money flows from the 1970's onward (notwithstanding the Church and Pike Committees), Peak Oil, the bank collapses and bailouts of 2008, and the call for an $800 billion stimulus program by Pres-Elect Obama, I see revaluation of the dollar vis-a-vis gold, as Money & Markets of 20 Nov 2008 envisaged, is not likely. I see deflation, followed by hyperinflation, more likely. I see hyperinflation more likely in large part because energy flow has a direct correlation to currency flow. Peak Oil diminished energy flows. Currency flow should diminish then. Creation of credit (as money currently works) can only be inflationary when energy flows slow. Adding more credit will ignite hyperinflation on that course.

In 1961, Americans could not own gold bullion. Americans could own gold mining stocks and silver. American coins were 90% silver, with the exception of pennies and nickels. So, what is to be done today? Work to change the nature of money. Work to create local currencies. In the meantime, create, collect, and store real items of value, most especially food, water, tools, and energy generation implements. Make friends. Own real gold, including bullion and coins (not numismatics). Own real silver, including bullion and coins. Some mining stocks are worth holding -- seniors and juniors.

Overarching all, gain awareness of the Force unseen, that is radically amazing, that makes possible love, healing, repair, hope, and transformation in the world, and goes by names such as G-d, Allah, The Universe, The Great Spirit, The Great Dao, etc.

I find unceasing pursuit of truth with all objective and subjective talents available for the sake of the pursuit as a categorical imperative, because the part I have not yet learned is so amazing.

Peter J. of Minneapolis

Peter J. Nickitas said...

Here are two links from a recent post by GATA.

The first is a 1961 Federal Reserve memo that Mr. James Turk found recently after much research:

The second is Mr. Turk's analysis of the memo:

I typed a long analysis of these links and sent them. I do not know whether they made it to the blog.

Here's my short version. Revaluation of the dollar relative to gold will not happen because the Fed opted for creation of debt-based money out of thin air to manipulate gold markets after the 1944 Bretton Woods agreement. The Fed set the table for the same manipulation of foreign currencies in the 1961 memorandum.

The gold window closed in 1971. The Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF) became a slush fund for more and more clandestine operations, notwithstanding the Church and Pike Committees (CIA = Wall Street is still the fundamental theorem of politics). Debts exploded under Reagan. Opaqueness overcame all manner of currency flows during the Clinton and Bush Administrations, culminating in the white collar welfare extravaganzas of 2008.

Peak Oil brings energy flows necessary for currency flows to a lurching slowdown.
The velocity of money has slowed. Pres.-Elect Obamas envisions an $800 billion stimulus. Owed money comes into being at unprecedented rates.

IMO, this points to foreseeable hyperinflation.

I see the following solutions. Change the nature of money and create local currencies. In the mean time, I value investment in real goods, including food, water, tools, and energy creation devices. Make friends, especially amongst neighbors. Hold real gold and silver. Some mining stocks may make sense. Overarching all must be a deep appreciation and life in consonance with the Force that makes possible love, healing, hope, repair and transformation in the world. That Force, which brings radical amazement in its wake, I recognize by different names -- G-d, Allah, the Great Spirit, the Great Dao, Ahuramazda, and the Universe, amongst other names.

Mike, Jenna, and blogmates, I consider it a blessing to share this time and moment with you. I find this blog as a major source of hope for myself, my family, my friends, and the world.

Peter J. of Minneapolis

Mark said...

I have been spending the entire winter using housing on craigslist to discover which property that might be suitable for the most amount of permaculture desing options. I use google earth to see what surrounds me. I have gone to Costa Rice, Florida,Cali, and Oregon. I have weighed the options between arid, temperate and tropic landscapes. I dread to keep discovering my answer because it means moving to a red neck ville. Wetlands of south Georgia. The most sustainable systems can be developed there. Why would anyone stay in California when its turning into a desert? Florida is over consumed, Stay off the Mississippi. flood plains are all dyked up, crisis for a sustainable plains. I want the Georgia wetlands but not the people. Unless the people were like from an expedition to permaculture migration. We need to invade the wetlands of south Georgia, FTW migrates to south Georgia. That would be cool. Plenty of deer, turkey, hog, gator, mmm mmm good. Turn a disadvantage into advantages. Its boring but it will be the most sexy eco village. Mike rally the troops. We'll do bamboo. Mike Ruppert, I can see why you left Ashland Or. Its only 12 inches a rain a year. Its pretty dry up there and its only getting dryer.

If we really want to get ready and go easy with options,i.e. Malaysian fresh water prawns, then its a wetland.

Mark said...

People thinking of moving to Australia, or NZ, those earth systems are failing faster than most. The Maroon Darling River, is dying, the leading permaculture institution directors do not understand how Australia is still alive. "The earth has said bugger you and is just letting all the top soil wash away", Darren Doherty. Look at the estuaries on all the main rivers around the world. silt is gold in permaculture, and its all washing away. Peak oil isnt even on the tipping point permaculture radar. Its a catalyst and we appreciate it and worship the day. But if you think going to Aussie land is the best solution, you better think again.

v said...

I know it's difficult to get. I lived there for one year on a "working holiday visa". I had the chance to renew that visa for a 2nd year, but decided not to do it and head home. Now I regret it and ant to go back to Perth or Sydney.
I want to try a sponsorship so in that way a company takes care of all the paperwork. I'm going to an immigration seminar in March and see what my options/possibilities are are.....I want to give it a try and see what happens. I have a few friends in OZ who are willing to help me.

wish me luck!!

Meremark said...


There are valuable things to see at HomePower.COM

Home Power is a magazine published in Ashland, OR. Only 'published' there, so notice that the writers of the articles, and the demonstration projects of home-scale power generation are not necessarily there -- that is, some homemade-power pioneers 'phone in' their reports. For instance, a recent article series on installed (home-scale) windmill generators is all about Wisconsin.

Perhaps ask your local magazine stand in the Big Box Retail Store to include Home Power Magazine in their display.

sonofafarmer said...

A lot of the issues we are and will be facing do not have to be solved with extremely expensive, high-tech gizmos. If you're looking to add-on or build a new house, I suggest checking out Michael Reynold's work. He's been at it since the 1970s with Earthship houses. Saves a bunch of money. He helped build houses and efficient rainwater harvesting after Hurricane Katrina and the Tseumani in India. Check out or google him.
I'm currently building a greenhouse out of old used tires so I can grow food in winter without electricity. Old window frames on south wall allow sun to penetrate and heat up tire wall on north. These tires are packed with sand/earth and will heat up and release the heat at night. Very labor intensive though - I recommend strawbale or concrete if you have the resources. (I have over 25,000 lbs of earth packed in the tires, and I'm only 75% finished.)
You can cook for free with a solar cooker during the day. Got tin foil? Then relax.
You can preserve fruit and veggies by drying them in a self-built device made of an old window frame, some screen, and a little tinfoil. No freezer or electrical device required.
The key is to not freak yourselves out daily which will take a negative toll on your body and mind. For every question there is an answer. For every problem there is a solution. Step by step, you can get there. Breathe in and out, enjoy life to its fullest each day, and like the man says, "Prepare, prepare, prepare." Everybody take some time today to get outside, take in the sunshine and enjoy Nature. Love and Light to you all.

Peter J. Nickitas said...

Mike, Jenna, and blogmates:

Please check this interview with Judge Richard Posner, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (IL, IN, WI), godfather of the Law & Economics School, and arguably the most intelligent federal judge in the country:

Mindful of the fundamental theorem of American politics, CIA = Wall Street, check out the following excerpt from the story:

"Posner did, however, offer one bit of advice for his fellow University of Chicago lecturer, President-Elect Barack Obama. Drawing a parallel to the development of the Central Intelligence Agency following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Posner advocated the creation of a “financial intelligence agency” charged with coordinating information about economic problems."

Are all these Federalist Society law students so uninformed that no one asked the judge about the Plunge Protection Team or the more secretive knot of advisors that crafted TARP? Do Judge Posner and these law students have any idea of the identities of the founders of the OSS and CIA?

I will say this, on the basis of my experience in law school -- that they do not teach much relevant history in law school, notwithstanding Justice Holmes' observation that a page of history is worth a book of law.

So let it be said here: regular FTW blog readers know more about the way the economy really works than many law students and judges.

Peter J. of Minneapolis

F.Kamilov said...

More battles ahead in Russia's 'gas war'

tony said...

if you (vincent) want to move to Australia, you should read ch.13 of Jared Diamond's Collapse, you could change your mind...

businessman said...

Here's a wonderful article written by someone who's been a leader within the spiritual community for many years...Caroline Myss. The article's titled "Welcome Back America" and she does a wonderful job of describing our history as a nation, how we've fallen, and how we're now at the crossroads of becoming a great nation once an entirely new way.

tony said...

(last post continues here)
some citations from Jared Diamond's Collapse about Australia:
"Australia is the most unproductive continent: the one whose soils have on the average the lowest nutrient levels, the lowest plant growth rates, and the lowest productivity. That's because Australian soils are mostly so old that they have become leached of their nutrients by rain over the course of billions of years."
"the Australian wheat belt is a gigantic flowerpot in which the sand provides nothing more than the physical substrate, and where the nutrients have to be supplied"
"Like its marine fisheries, Australia's freshwater fisheries as well are limited by low productivity because of low nutrient runoff from the unproductive land."
"In the long run it is doubtful that Australia can even support its present population: the best estimate of a population sustainable at the present standard of living is 8 million people, less than half of the present population." [reminder: Diamond isn't aware of peak oil...]

ps: very interesting to re-read this book btw

Raymond said...

From someone living in Australia, after originally thinking of heading back to Portland or somewhere in Oregon, my advice is stay were you are. If you have community, networks, are known, and know the area, you're better off where you are.
Sydney is just another LA, and Perth has serious problem with drinking water, aswell as an economy overly reliant on the resources boom and debt.

bostx said...

sonofafarmer, whereabouts in TX do you live? You should start a blog and share your knowledge.

Anonymous said...

To V:
Good luck on your attempt. Try to get as much finalized before you get there - firm job offer, sponsorship, all documents in order, etc. so you don't get sent back on a technicality. Maybe you will find yourself a sweet little Aussie to marry while you're down there.
I saw a house for sale in NZ on the net which was in the country with an ocean view. Not far from where they filmed some of the Lord of Rings. All I could do was sigh. Woulda been nice . . . now I'd be happy with a house, a plot of land sonewhere off the beaten path with good dirt and some trees for firewood.

Tell how your adventure goes.

Misterseth said...

I'm an American expatriate living in North London and it seems that the civil unrest you have been warning us about has already begun here. There have been two major anti-Israeli protests throughout the UK organized by the Stop the War Coalition taking place over the last 2 weekends with a third planned for the 24th. Both rounds of protests have yielded some violent clashes and small-scale rioting. Smashing up Starbucks chains in central London is a most unusual occurence.

Starbucks smashed and looted as anti-Israel protests turn to violence
We couldn't stop attacks on Starbucks, police admit

Friends of mine witnessed some of the protests on Saturday and described the endless police vans and choppers piling in to contain the clashes. Over the last few years and particularly over the last 6 months I have been noticing a conspicuously high volume of both police and military helicopter activity over the city. I regularly see a pair of Chinooks flying over the Houses of Parliament from my office window in Victoria. It is a little unnerving.

There has reportedly been a significant increase in anti-Semitic incidents since the Gaza conflict began despite an almost unanimous stance against this conflict by the UK Jewish community.

British Jews attacked for pro-Gaza solidarity

Rise in anti-Semitic attacks reported
Leading British Jews call on Israel to halt 'horror' of Gaza

All this underlies a greater, nationwide tension that is escalating and has become almost palpable on the street here in London. While all of the aforementioned unrest has been taking place (along with the 'Captain Cook lands on the Hudson' miracle that even hogged headlines here in London on Thursday & Friday) the UK banking system continues to implode with increasing velocity and jobs are being shed left and right.

"Barclays bank saw a quarter of its market value wiped out on Friday as fears over the solvency of the UK's financial institutions surfaced again..."
Royal Bank hit by biggest loss ever in UK history
UK jobs lost and under threat rises by 7,000
UK jobless 'to reach 3.4 million'

Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling continue to lead us down the path of guaranteed economic disaster with their new plans to loan more of our money to banks to encourage lending in the short term, thereby (hopefully) stalling the collapse just a little bit longer. People are beginning to realize that these short term solutions are bogus because the economy has no real chance of recovery. Drastic and rapid changes in legislation need to occur. These measures feel more and more like a giant slap in the face with an aftertaste of stubborn denial.

New plan to boost banks' lending

My wife and I have a 12 week old son and we're getting nervous as hell about what will transpire in London during the next 12 months. There have been many local warning signs of late: sudden unexplained mini power outages, the first homeless guy sleeping on the end of our quiet road, smashed car windows, one store front after another disappearing from the high street (Woolworths, Adams, etc). In mainstream media we are reading and hearing words like Depression for the first time now and even on Channel 4 news there was prime time mention of peak oil (although not using the actual phrase) in reference to the sheer futility of building a new runway at Heathrow.

[I can't help but wonder whether those mini power outages are a way of deliberately reducing strain on the grid or something similar. Several people I know have been complaining about similar incidents over the last few months]

Most terrifying of all is the gas situation. We're stuffed. As George Monbiot outlined in his book Heat the UK has terrible insulation problems owing largely to privatization and deregulation of building contractors. Much could have been done to correct this as in Germany over the last few decades with the
introduction the Passivhaus standard, but it is too late now. We need gas to survive and therefore many of us will simply die off when there isn't enough to go around, echoing the situation in Bulgaria et al.

Our greatest frustration is that 'the map' is still being kept away from the public eye. Instead of preparing for what is to come there is mass denial, a collective blind-eye until the last minute.

In short, I believe you are correct Mike - we're in for a seriously bumpy ride over here.

I'll keep my eyes open and post whatever I see going on here. Hopefully it will help a little with the map to have another pair of eyes in London.

AussieGal said...

Australia is a big place. Forget Sydney and the other cities. Look at the rest of the country.

Soil can be inproved but it takes time. I'd go for good rainfall over good soil.