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Archive for July, 2006

Nothing happening

Life is pretty tedious lately.  Only one thing to look forward to – the belly dance concert next Friday.  That should be awesome.  I only recently found out there were workshops in the weekend following but I haven’t the time or money – it would have been brilliant though.

Some workmates had a ‘hangi’ for lunch today – some fundraiser.  For those that don’t know, a hangi is the Maori way of cooking food underground – like a Fijian lavalava?  (Apologies if that’s wrong – my memory is unreliable.)  I don’t personally like the food cooked that way.  It’s pretty tasteless and never looks wonderful.

Instead, tonight my daughter cooked a concoction of her own, using pork, lime juice, chilli and cream, on rice and it was delicious.  Excellent with a European lager.

Nothing else to report.

Bye for now.

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I finished the book about Leo Hickman’s experiment with living ethicially.  At the end of it, of course, it’s not as if he can return to his ‘unethical’ living after all the things he’s learned.  Basically you have to reassess everything you do and buy from the food you eat to the bank you deposit your money in.  I’m keen now to look up all those big corporations and find out who are the ‘baddies’ (all of them?).   I didn’t know that cotton uses so much water and pesticides so I would much rather buy organic cotton but finding these organic and ethical alternatives is not so easy and, of course, you often pay extra.  If someone in London found it hard to come up with alternatives, it’s nigh impossible for me in a little village in New Zealand.  But then again, it could be easier.  What is difficult is finding out where stuff came from when it’s not labelled.  I did avoid buying out-of-season Californian nectarines yesterday.  Such little decisions help.  Leo says ‘start small’ and you can’t do everything.  They cut back on holidays involving planes, for example.  NZers would get nowhere if they had to avoid flying!  There’s no Europe across the ditch, reachable by train.

Anyway, I ramble.  Typing as the thoughts appear.  I had meant to relate some of the book in a more organised manner.  Best thing is to read the book yourself!  This copy has to go back to the library. 

I can feel a little better that I’m not a big consumer as I dislike shopping.  I don’t buy the latest fashions or a book every week so am not contributing quite so much to the issues surrounding production.  But I’m as guilty as anyone else living in a western country of contributing to the damage to the environment.  The whole of our society revolves around obscene consumption.

I note at the end of the book that he has written a follow-up which is more of a guide, which would be very useful.  (‘A Good Life. A guide to ethical living’)

So, some research required.  I did once print out recipes of alternatives to those harsh chemical cleaning products… Where did I put them? 

As Libby Purves says on the cover of the book

“Very entertaining… full of useful new things to fret about.”

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Ethical living

I started reading a very interesting book last night.  Called ‘A Life Stripped Bare’ it’s about an English chap’s one year experiment to buy and use only ethically correct products – eg no chemical-laden baby wipes for his daughter, no imported food products, etc.

Oh dear – time has caught up – work already.

Anyway, really interesting book!

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More “wet” (n.)

Well, I headed down to my bro’s after work on Friday since it was his 50th birthday!  Crikey.  Hard to believe he’s reached his half-century.  He didn’t have a party or anything – didn’t want it – particularly in mid winter.  He may have a barbecue in the summer, he  said.  However, he did get lots and lots of phonecalls from all his friends in Germany – one after the other and he even got a happy birthday song from the children at the kindergarten where he worked and some of them talked to him.  He had a big grin on his face listening to them all.  He really should have been a dad but previous partners either didn’t want children or couldn’t.

Anyway, driving down there it rained heavily, got dark and windy and it was a pretty scary place to drive in those conditions.  I drove through a couple of flooded bits before I even realised the road was flooded.  Had to drive around several slips.  Meanwhile the rain kept coming at the windscreen like stars at warp speed.  I was very relieved to actually arrive and we wondered as it continued to rain non-stop all night, whether I’d be able to return before Monday!

Older daughter was also due to arrive and we wondered if she would be able to negotiate the floods and slips but she arrived safely the next (dry) day.  The forecasted storms for that day didn’t eventuate, thankfully.

Numerous games of ‘Siedler’ but turning 50 broke my bro’s winning streak and he lost a few!  Oh dear – now he’s a ‘grumpy old man’.  Hehe. 

Anyway, we both (daughter and I) got back safely home.  Always nice to reach your own little space and see it’s all still safe.

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Sun!

Mood: feeling a little better

Well, Sunday lived up to its name.  It was VERY pleasant being able to sit outside and soak up some Vitamin D in the best way.  Bird song, reading material and a cuppa made it all the more enjoyable.  That’s more like it.  I’m glad the weather forecasters got it wrong.

Actually, there’s no point looking at the weather forecast.  A month ago they predicted an average winter with average rainfall, etc.  After a few weeks of heavy frosts, icy winds, and lots of snow down south, they had to change their ‘predictions’.  I think they probably looked outside the window, for once.  I looked at the daily forecasts over the past week in the newspaper and was amused to see that initial forecasts of a sunny weekend gradually turned to rain.  They should have stuck with the original!

I think I’ll continue to look out the window to judge what the weather will be.

 

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Talk about rain.  Non-stop for about 24 hours and very heavy overnight.  I woke up about 1.30 am and didn’t get back to sleep for some time.  I half hoped that there would be floods enough to prevent me from getting to work but no such luck.  The rain went away only to leave threatening clouds for the weekend.

While away at my brother’s I tried a German Gewurztraminer wine which I hadn’t had for many  many years.  It was very nice, so I picked up one from the supermarket – no comparison.  I forked out a fair amount (for a NZ one) and it’s just not the same.  The German one was very pleasant but this one leaves a bitter aftertaste.  Ugh.  Wasted my money.

I’ve also gone off NZ chocolate.  I used to enjoy dark chocolate but I just haven’t had the urge after sampling Belgian chocolate last year.  The NZ stuff is just… average.  I’ve developed European tastes, sadly, and you can’ t get the European equivalent or it costs way too much.  Oh well…

Looks like a wet weekend on all fronts.

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Weekend

So I drove to my brother’s for the weekend.  Had a pleasant time and the weather was nice, albeit cold.  Had a walk along the beach today.  The dogs got on well until we got back and the stupid Jack Russell gets all possessive and jealous and attacks my dog for no reason.

I’m tired.

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