Kulin in trouble?

By a strange coincidence Kulin was in the news last night. Barley is one of its main farm products and is being hit by the China administration’s impost of an 80% tariff. Thank you Morrison for sounding like you were echoing Trump last week!

China, when approached by an international body, has now agreed to participate in a review of the worldwide response to the pandemic. A little diplomacy and waiting for support from the international community would have avoided causing all of these problems for our exports to China.

We are too small a country to use bullying tactics and the whole point of the art of diplomacy is to get your point across in international relations without being overtly insulting. It never works to bully other countries, even if you are a very powerful country like the US. Other countries may have to bend to your will in the short term, but will get back at you as soon as possible. Countries like China, which the Western powers bullied for years with impunity, have long memories of previous injustices and exploitation and never want to be in that position again.

Here’s hoping that Morrison finds a way out of this without our country having to lose face as well. At the moment we are clearly in trouble, especially if they go after iron ore.

We arrived home yesterday before the storm

It was quite windy on the drive home and we had a few spots of rain, but the main body of the storm came in the afternoon. Our house is so sheltered that we have to read news reports to get a feel for how bad it is. The van’s parking bay has brick walls around it and it is safe from anything except flying debris.

We stopped for coffee and Anzac bickies on the way home. It is so nice being able to use small kitchen appliances in the van. We are still using our gas cooktop for most things, but it saves switching the gas on when we just want a hot drink on the road.

I ordered an ordinary electric one burner cooktop after finding our induction cooktop didn’t work off the inverter. The new cooker has a ceramic top with red light underneath. (my mother had that sort of cooktop in her house at Kingswood Street). It heats up quickly and takes quite a while to cool down, so is a good source of heating for the van. However, it does draw a lot of power and we would only want to have it on for about 20 minutes.

How did our new power system go? Really well. We still need to monitor our use of the inverter with kitchen appliances, but we can do all of our charging and use lights as much as we want without significant draw on the batteries. Our adventures in free camping will continue in much more comfort.

We found we didn’t need to use the heater. Even though we had temperatures down to about 3 degrees overnight the little van heats up enough from cooking and two person body warmth to keep us reasonably comfortable. We try to park where we get maximum morning sun for the solar system and that also helps with warming the van.