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Impressions of the live-in project

posted Jun 6, 2009, 6:59 AM by Anick-Marie Bouchard
First of all, I decided to contribute 2/3 of my living budget for June to the flat because I heard we didn't make rent: 100 Euros. I won't be in the flat so much during June, but will be back in July and assess the situation then, seeing if we make rent or not. I'm worried about it, but have not fully understood how the money is collected yet, so don't feel like making any intervention yet. I know that people here had a meeting about it and recorded a lot of info on the website, but while recording is important, organizing the info to make it legible is critical. Information that can't be understood is .. useless!

I heard so many things this week. Little frustrations, mostly around the project's "direction". I find it healthy if people criticize and get their ideas together... but then it has to lead to action. And at all stages of change, some communication / recording. Example: I record in my log that this frustrates me. People comment on my log giving me their opinion or additional info. I gather it somewhere and propose my own change. People comment. If they don't have a very strong opposition, I try to integrate their comment, then act. Then I try to get feedback. If there is strong opposition or feelings about the issue, I organise a focussed meeting and record everything. This way, nobody can blame ME for not communicating enough. If they don't voice their opinion when they have a chance, THEY will have to go themselves through a similar process to get things done.  I think this process is good for small changes that has impact on how we feel while living in the house, or even as regular visitors, guests.

I think the stickers in the kitchen were appreciated and are generally useful. I think once we find them useful enough (after a little test period), it would be great if Paul would airbrush them directly. Aesthetics have an impact on our well-being in a flat, and the kitchen is Ugly with a big U, but the people in it are truly beautiful. I think my impac on the kitchen won't end there: some food tends to be more lost, and some basic food tends not to be there in enough stock. I wonder if we could list what we tend to need and give suggestions of places where to obtain them at a fair price. Or even invest in collective buyings of industrial-type stocks. I'm thinking of Olive oil, flour (or grains and grinder..), dried food (why don't we have more dried beans in stock? dried fruits?), some cleaning products (what do we REALLY need on a regular basis?). This way we also make it easier to evaluate our consumption, to act on it and to help contributors to know what they can buy to contribute. I want to make Resources the July focus, as I am here and I have some experience in that matter.

As for the project's direction, I think it's time to clarify some basic principles the core group agreed on - live research-action and why we record everything. How comes this was not recorded in the first place? I don't know. We were not that experienced, it doesn't matter much, but thing is, we need it now, before the initial vibe gets lost and this flat just becomes a cool place to hang out. There are two concepts that I believe are vital: