Life After the rEVolution

… Not to mention the pandemic …

In 43 years on this planet, I have never been happier, healthier, or more content than I am today as I embark on a new career, with a new partner, and a small but perfectly formed handful of trusted friends and allies. Many people have been forced to re-imagine their place on this planet, my changes have been deliberate and very many have been my choice. I was ready for a shake-up anyway, so even having my “wings clipped” has enabled a wonderful new adventure as I explore our beautiful backyard here in Aotearoa.

I’m sharing a bit of my story with anyone willing to read it, after one too many people have recently reached out to me in confidence feeling lost, adrift or uncertain about their future.  

The last two years has seen things change more than most of us could have ever imagined, yet, here we still are, alive and with a new opportunity.  There’s certainly still many challenges ahead of us personally, professionally and as a planet but it’s the perfect time to reflect and decide what you are prepared to do and be to secure your own future happiness and sense of purpose.   

For a solid and seriously exhausting 7+ years, there generally wasn’t a thing on this earth more important to me personally or professionally than encouraging the uptake of electrified transport to secure carbon divestment for our planet and energy independence for New Zealand.

My son (left) and some EV champions/friends Ben and Dave at one of the hundreds of conferences/trade shows I used to host/attend

I was obsessed and ensconced in every aspect of the “rEVolution” and was engaged in some online or real-world Electric Vehicle activity or conversation 7 days a week without fail.  My kids were packed up to roll all over New Zealand and across the planet, watching their weary yet always whirlwind and wild-eyed mother EVangelising the cleaner, kinder, more enjoyable future of transport, and it was ELECTRIC.

An EV driver since 2004, the incomparably improved driver experience in an Electric Car, even at those early stages, fueled my obsession and passion for the movement.  The flames of this fire were further fanned by my certainty about the complete chaos that was about to ensue on this planet as a result of climate change. Every moment felt like I was doing something important, wonderful, fun and fundamentally freeing all of humanity, particularly my beloved Aotearoa, from the bonds of fossil fuels.

Trust me.  Nobody ever benefited from a messiah complex of that magnitude.  All that passion and energy was poured into too many other people’s cups and I found myself used up, disappointed, and exhausted by the pace and I crashed and burned spectacularly.  The movement began to attract all kinds of cowboys and credible champions alike, but it was gaining global momentum while our local network continued to grow in New Zealand.  That kind of growth invites dangerously ambitious and opportunistic people and creates posturing and power plays that my raging ADHD and penchant to speak my mind just could not understand, keep up with, compete with, or control.  Bullies are everywhere, and they tend to form alliances, just the same as passionate and optimistic activists also gain strength and solidarity together.  They don’t win, but they do certainly change the state of play and make authentic change-makers and disruptors have to rethink their strategies.  

Perhaps bullies are an important part of any movement or culture, as they certainly keep their victims and targets on their toes.  That’s a topic and discussion for another day though.  My strategy for the past 2 years has been to completely and confidently weed out any person or situation that has the potential to be toxic to my newfound state of zen. 

There are still plenty of people with different opinions and plans than me.  Diversity, curiosity, respect, trust and admiration are the foundations of the fruitful and fantastic relationships I nurture and enjoy these days.  There is simply no room for anything less.  Life is busy and can be very difficult, only space for gracious and supportive people in my personal life.  It’s a great policy, if you haven’t already put it in place I strongly recommend you try it.

The bygone raging revolutionary days were rewarding, harrowing, terrifying, exhilarating, and it genuinely nearly killed me.  Che sera sera.  It was a wild and wonderful ride, and boy has the world finally started two-stepping in time with the stuff people used to call me crazy for saying/thinking when this all started.  Turns out, you CAN own/use/enjoy electric transport and generation options and benefit the economy and life on earth while you do it.

Cool.  It’s brilliant to know that the movement now has real momentum and will continue to grow and thrive while I disappear onto an experimental farm. I Love people and this planet, but goodness gracious, I am so tired.  The obnoxious EVangelist who would take strangers on a drive or ride in her EV at any and every opportunity has suffocated on her own self-importance and now she really just wants to be left alone most of the time.

By doing so, my carbon and ecological footprint has been made miniscule in comparison.  My mental and physical health has improved immensely, and I want to share knowledge and passion and enable more people to unplug and find their bliss, preferably in a less dramatic and destructive turn of events.  Seriously.  That’s the new purpose and plan.  Slow down and encourage others to do the same.  It’s incredible how good it is on a micro and macro scale.

So here I am starting something totally new and fresh.  After hosting a successful but exhausting international conference and road trip in 2019, my marriage to the co-founder of ChargeNet NZ Steve West finally, publicly and officially ended.  That was the swan song and I sat supportively by his side at several events, while we were struggling and grieving.  To say our marriage ended amicably is an overly simplistic but relatively accurate summary of the dissolvement of what was, in my view, one of the most magnificent, abundantly fruitful, and romantic unions ever.  We were and remain eccentric as individuals and we were unstoppable as a team. We are both much happier as it became abundantly clear toward the end that our crazies were too terrifically unmatched to ensure a stable union.  

The grief and growth that followed was life changing. I mic dropped every aspect of my involvement as “the high priestess of electrification” so I could recover from the complete nervous breakdown that had resulted after years of pushing myself to the absolute limits in every possible sense. 

It is now 2021.  Our kids have settled into our shared new life.  Steve and I have stable and much more suitable new partners, and I will be marrying Damon Birchfield at an autumnal farm wedding in Aotearoa early next year.

So that’s how I ended up happily ensconced and embarking on a whole new trajectory.

It is my firm and ardent belief that there is still hope for all of us, including the biodiversity on this planet.  It is also my unequivocable observation that we need to change as a society and as individuals or we probably won’t like what we are left with as a result. However I will not spend the last part of this blog scaremongering on a doom’s day scenario. Rather than that, I’d like to echo some of the brilliant and meaningful advice that bounces off the walls of the ecologically minded echo-chambers I seem to frequent lately.

We can still slow our trajectory towards irreversible climate change but time is running out and fast – something needs to give. I have some ideas about what we can do and be as we enter the next decade.

We can encourage re-wilding and regeneration and do so in a sustainable way that encourages steady and manageable economic and infrastructure growth.  We can be healthier.  We can have a world with more transparency, justice, accountability and a stronger sense of community.  We can have cleaner water, air and communities.  We can have carbon neutral or even carbon negative energy and transport options.  That means you’ll need to change your mindset, embrace the bike or maybe even hike to the bus or train stop and actively ask for electric infrastructure from your governments.  You and your voice can and will change the world, if you are ready to do the best with all you know, and when you know better do better.

Seriously.  We can do this. You can.  I can.  We can.  And we will.  Together.

Appreciation Blog Written for an Aloof Goof

Meditation moment by the campfire 🔥 wearing the scarf 🧣 I crocheted 🧶 for him

I think most successful relationships need to have what our therapist calls “the bank account” topped up frequently with actively thinking about elements of appreciation and respect for the other. None of us are perfect, and the more we know each other and the more entwined we become as friends or partners, the more likely we are to take people for granted. I’m writing this homage of Love and appreciation, between working on our new business and wedding planning. I hope it gives you pause to think about some of the people closest to you with fondness on this rather grey Monday. Maybe even give yourself a little homework and tap out a few words of appreciation for someone close to you today. Could be a family member, a dear friend, your partner or maybe even your pet. There’s a healing and uplifting quality to actively expressing and acknowledging gratitude.

He’s always keen to get into the water.

So let me tell you about my aloof goof.

Damon is a creature of great depth and empathy. Also, incredibly cool, bordering on a bit of a snob concerning things like food, wine, coffee, and music. He knows how to manscape (he’s actually an incredibly beautiful human specimen), and he is brave – not afraid to speak up and be counted in professional and personal circles. He’s a good person to have in your corner if you find yourself in a pinch or needing a champion if you’ve fallen on hard times or feel put upon. He knows highs and lows in his own narrative, which makes him much more adept at feeling true empathy when others struggle. He’s actually also a great person to have around if you’re on a winning streak of any description. I’ve seen it time and again, he’s quite likely to kneel himself down to help lift someone up and ensure you get the shine they earned. It’s a pretty great and honest superpower to be as gracious and genuine when the people he admires and respects do well. It’s a Kiwi thing to be humble, something I’ve not really been able to embrace even after nearly three decades here. He’s 5th-7th generation New Zealand (Pakeha) and both sides of his family are fascinating and have had incredible influence on the cultural, economic, and general landscape of Aotearoa New Zealand. Not always in a good way. Some of them are very colourful characters indeed.

He’s also a glorious goof.  He’s got the quintessential kiwi dry humour punctuated, almost embarrassingly often with puns and dad jokes.  It’s the right brand for him, as he is often viewed as incredibly earnest and can make people mildly uncomfortable with his pensive and serious expression as he floats off into what his friends and colleagues call his “spaceship” where he ponders information deeply and thoroughly.  It can be mildly intimidating to see him in this state, so the goofy side slices through that effectively.

So why all this gratitude on a seemingly unremarkable Monday? Well, he’s started writing again. We both have. We are born storytellers and wordsmiths, and I daydream of us growing old together as a much more vanilla version of a spectacularly creative couple of story tellers: Leonard Cohen and Marianne Ihlen. They were the real deal and both the artist and muse to each other at various stages of their tumultuous union. Our union is not tumultuous. I have had enough tumult, I will take calm and communicative coupledom at this stage.

Leonard and Marianne

Leonard and Marianne spent a lot of time in the Greek isles, where Damon and I will one day settle in for an extended writers retreat and leave the world and technology behind for some matter of weeks.  He already lived there for a few years, it is where he met his rather remarkable, intelligent, fierce and statuesquely beautiful first wife.  She’s a thriving entrepreneur and impressive industry mogul in mindfulness and wellbeing now.  They have a respect and ease in each other’s company that seems to be appreciated by their two now adult children.  

Damon and I daydream and discuss often about returning to Greece, or somewhere equally packed with character and history, the way artists did in a bygone era.  We’d live simply and offline in total anonymity.  We’d recharge our souls and let our creative genius flow while we feast on Mediterranean oils and drink local wines.  We will nap, snack, and walk, meditate, and be blissfully wrapped up in each other for as many weeks as we can manage before needing to return to our children and the farm we are nurturing together.  It will be a beautiful thing to behold.  

So writing.  Writing has become a big part of our culture.  He and I have, as in just about everything, a very different style when we write, as we do when we cook, he cleans (I do not consider myself a cleaner).  With the writing, we both type 80+WPM and the tapping of the keyboards when we are on a roll creates a rhythmic hum in our space.  He ponders, and pauses, considers and changes up his work as he goes.  Words explode from me and land hodge-podge on the page and then I get him to help me clean it all up and give it some order.  So far a system that seems, more or less to be working.  

That’s probably enough words and gratitude for and about the aloof goof for one day.

Now I will hand this over to him to edit and post it before we both have phone calls with magnificent women we know and respect at 3pm… both named Megan.  Funny little coincidence among countless coincidences that seem to pop up in our stories daily.

Have a great week, and get out there and be grateful for your own glorious goofs, whoever they are.

Just My Opinion

No idea how it happened, but very pleased to notice today that the algorithms on my social media feeds (twitter, FB, Insta, AND LinkedIn) have completely given up showing me any, if not all political content.

I still get a lot of feminist memes and a fair whack of spiritual (mostly Buddhist) content which is cool and I enjoy and engage with that stuff. That’s how these algorithms work right? They give us more of what we engage with? So, I don’t see much of anything from any political parties, here or overseas lately. WAIT! I get content about and from AOC regularly, but I don’t even see them as a political figure anymore, more just like a fierce, fabulous spirit animal fighting for justice and the planet.

Aside from that, the tap has literally been turned off. It’s fantastic!

So, how do I know that I don’t get political content anymore? This morning, I had to have a conversation with my cousin Ryan in Canada, who is just one of five cousins in Canada I have had conversations with this week, to know that today is election day there. Not sure how to feel about that. Good? Bad? Lighter? Heavier? Isolated? Out of touch? Content? Ensconced in my new tiny little life which clearly is not in Canada?

Like I said… I really don’t know how I feel.

I am actually an avid participant in the democratic process in Aotearoa. I hold my cards close to my chest as the few times I have said anything online I get stopped in the street by someone or other who takes exception or is overly supportive of my political leanings. Because of this, I now have a blanket policy to keep my political ramblings to real-world interactions only.

It’s nice. Maybe more people could and should try turning off the political activist or opinions tap for little bit and see how they feel and how it reshapes the content they are fed? Haven’t thought too much about it before today.

The one thing that really got the gears turning in my tired little mind today was, I wonder what people are seeing me broadcast? Have I successfully taught the entire Internet to leave me alone because I simply do not get involved in political debates anymore? The personal brand that’s been built around me has strong views and opinions about, well, just about everything. That brand, however, generally keeps those things to herself and saves her expletive laden rants for her nearest and dearest and most trusted friends.

I know that nobody sees these blogs unless I copy and paste them as native content as along form update on FB.  The link to my WordPress page simply seems to not make it to anyone’s eyeballs except for a teeny little number of my tribe who are very selective of their friends list and that content squeaks through because we have each-other mutually favourited on our settings.  Aside from those handful of people, nobody seems to stumble across my blog these days.  People have to want to see what I am up to and what I have to say, nobody new is roped into my content or opinion, that is kinda cool.  Best I can tell, my extended sabbatical has seen me all but disappear and that’s actually a really comforting and uplifting thought.  We can fight our way onto the stage and into some spotlight and when it gets too bright we can retreat into a bubble and somehow the crazy singularity that swirls around us even helps us to be more anonymous.

So what was I saying?

Oh yeah.  I know everyone has opinions.  I don’t really have anything deep or useful or overly meta to share about politics, algorithms, or opinions today.  All I am here to say is that my heart and my brain feel better not being bombarded with political content.  I still have opinions.  Lots of them.  But today feels like a win because those opinions feel like they are safely guarded here in my head, my heart and only shared if and when I feel like it.  It is not my job to change your mind or tell you what to think or shape your opinions.  Wait, not my job, but I feel I do have a purpose pleading constantly and consistently to anyone that will listen: “be kind whenever possible”.  

So here’s my opinion about both of our opinions.  It is not your job to make everyone else agree with you about any single issue or number of issues.  It is our job to seek and find information from accurate and rigorously scrutinized sources and allow our political, spiritual and general opinions to evolve in their course.  Provided we are not hurting anyone or ourselves or the planet with extreme or violent actions or activities… That ought not be a big caveat as it ought to be pretty clear in the “try to be kind” schtick you have been hearing me bleet on about for decades now.


That’s just my opinion.

Have a great day!

Toning Down to Avoid Being Tone Deaf

While this lockdown has been tough, it has provided the opportunity (wanted or not!) to hunker down, prioritise, and plan.  So there’s plenty we could discuss, but today I am going to fill you all in on the changes to our wedding plans.

Bridesmaid Krissy’s gift 💝 on our engagement party 🎉

We were imagining a gathering of 400+ truly magnificent human beings at a zero-waste festival-like event at the top of the hill on the Matakana farm in March next year.  Budgets, entertainment, tents, catering, and magic were all set to be unleashed as we showed off the epic changes and fantastic plans we are progressing on our experimental farm.  I even tried to arrange an upcycled dress to be designed and made here in NZ to follow on with my passion for supporting local and ethical business and creative industries.  But after this latest lockdown, sadly we’ve decided that none of that is happening.

While many of us could probably really use a good hit out about now, we have come to the conclusion that in the face of so much uncertainty, and with so many people struggling, the timing just feels wrong. Bringing a large group of people together just now feels somewhat ostentatious and flies in the face of the evolution we’ve embraced as a couple where we have invested time, energy, and resources into simplifying our lives.  The high-flying rampant champion of change and one of the most visible leaders of the EV revolution is currently parked up. I feel like I’m resting in a safe little cave readying myself for the battle ahead because the world is hurting and we are going to need to be brave.  I’ll be ready.  And steadied by the anchor of the aloof goof I can’t wait to marry.

So while going ahead with a larger event would be the perfect opportunity for us to thank the many people who have supported us over the years, we just feel that the timing is too hard with all the other forces we are currently contending with. We have every intention of hosting a large, safe and celebratory event at the right time – maybe to herald the official opening of the experimental farm and accommodation.

Creating some content (when we were level one) capturing the progress on our experimental farm. This is the exact spot where the wedding will be held. Top of the beautiful hill. Still lots of landscaping to do before the day!

We’re now planning a much smaller more intimate wedding as it feels more appropriate.  I will either have a dress made by my beautiful bridesmaid Steph, or I will rent something, or I will buy something vintage.  The dress thing has done my head in a little bit.  My bridesmaids have been brilliant and supportive and will get me down the aisle (which is actually a meadow) on the day.

What I am certain of, is that I thrive being a part of a Loving, committed, dedicated and supportive partnership. I teetered for a long time between extremes of co-dependence and self-destructiveness. The battle between craving intimacy and seeking all sorts of empty and occasionally even destructive validation raged on within me.

We all have to figure out what works for us and eventually invest energy and effort into the path we choose to tread.  None of the paths is simple or perfect, but I do suggest you pick one to walk and don’t try to dilute or mix your choices too much.  Some people are complete, content and happy single.  Some people sparkle offering support and being buoyed by a spouse.  Polyamory is the path for others.  And then there’s everything in between. All have their advantages and challenges.  All will leave you feeling vulnerable at times.  Any choice and action will mean someone somewhere will judge or disagree with you.  But none of that matters as far as I can tell.  What does matter is you living your most authentic life with kindness, purpose, and conviction. 

One of the most heartfelt bits of advice I’d like to finish with is this: “We are all broken and damaged and can be difficult or even quite crazy at times.  Don’t seek perfection, better to just find a crazy that fits.”  

Damon has patiently allowed me the time and tenderness to meet him where we dwell now, which is the perfect place to embark on the rest of our lives together.  

That’s enough words for this Monday.

Thanks for reading.



Today we were meant to be at an SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) conference alongside some of our most trusted and cherished friends and colleagues. Instead, we are in level 4 lockdown in Tamaki Makaurau.

Snuggled safe in our big comfy bed, my fiancé and I are today determined to apply some discipline to our daily schedule. We are both writers and observers with time on our hands to write and observe. This is time that we have been squandering. Rather than writing or reading we have been sleeping and snuggling and spending time in the kitchen creating comfort for the kids who have been returned to us after our attempt at a romantic holiday ended abruptly when the Delta variant of Covid arriving in Aotearoa.

Vaccinations 💉 booked and received without any drama 🎭

So today we begin something we have spoken about nearly daily for most of our time together. Today we are settled in and determined to stop talking about plans to be creative and act upon them instead. Today we start small, with steady resolve, and we commit to taking time to reflect and record our thoughts and feelings while chaos and confusion seem to swirl around while we enjoy safety and serenity in our beautiful and delicate bubble.

I’ve become quite quiet recently, retreating into the safety of the chrysalis of comfort and recovery that’s been built for me.  Sharing my personal struggles in visceral and confronting detail seems far away now.  Life took an abrupt and absolute turn away from the swampy chaos of thinking I was destined to be some hot mess messiah or self-destructive diva.  High flying attention seeking tendencies have been turned upside down, and now I really just want to be left alone, aside from meaningful interactions with the trusted few people I do not fear.  What was once blind bravery and a warrior spirit has been beaten out of me and replaced with cautious optimism and an omnipresent sense of duty.  This is the planning and resting part of the rest of my extraordinary little life.  And part of that planning is just spending a few moments next to the former monk I am going to marry, writing free-form and sharing it with him, and maybe you, whoever you are… I don’t actually know.

I know that our plans to pursue a simpler life focusing on soil and spending more time listening and less time frenetically interrupting everyone feels like it fits.  40 odd years of frenzied grasping for a feeling of belonging and meaning led me down some incredible roads and alleys.  Somehow, I ended up sitting next to the sensitive silver haired sweetheart listening to dulcet chords from his meditation music playlist, with spring birdsong wafting in through an open window.

We have planned to write every day.  That’s not to say every entry will be brilliant or insightful, it is just a commitment to do something and see where it takes us and what we glean from the efforts.  A form of meditation.

So that’s my 20 minutes up.  Pretty proud of us for starting and putting this little plan we have been discussing at length for ages now into some kind of action.  He is still tapping away and it seems like his work is far more formed and accessible than my meanderings, and that’s okay.

At least I started. Plans are good. Action is even better.

Thanks for reading.