Showing posts from March, 2014

DIY sleeping mat/pad chair kit

For Christmas, I wanted to make Martin a chair that he could use when he goes to the cricket or goes camping.  He's already got a self-inflating camping mat so the obvious chair to make was a "camping mat chair kit": a kind of fabric sleeve that would slide over his existing mat and turn it into a chair.  Finally, admittedly a few months after Christmas, it's done!

I couldn't find any instructions online about how to make such a thing so gleaned information about commercial chair kits from promotional materials and online reviews.  It turns out there were many details to get right.  I'm wanting to share here what I learned along the way so that other people don't have to sew and resew their mat chairs quite as many times as I did in order to get a functional product!

Regular blog readers might want to stop reading here - what follows is detailed and rather long!

Resting to love

During Lent I'm doing the daily reflection I've used previously (and which you can find at the bottom of this post).  In recent days it's given me a new commitment to take good rests during the day.  I've realised that, if I don't rest, it's harder for me to hear from God, harder for me to reflect with Him throughout my day, and harder for me to love my neighbour.

I've heard people say that the command to 'love your neighbour as yourself' contains an implicit command to love yourself.  I've always been uncomfortable with that: it's felt like an interpretation that takes the sting out of a really challenging call.*  But, in the last few days, I've realised (again?) that, if I don't take at least basic care of myself, I'm less patient with people, less humble in my interactions, less generous etc.

* There's a wee video here of me reflecting on this call a few years ago.

So now I'm approaching my days with a renewed commitmen…

Jerusalem artichokes

Every year I delight in our Jerusalemn artichokes.  Here are a few pictures of the current crop (taken a week or so ago), along with some of the myriad bees who feast on them :-)

Climate friendly food

Last year my friend Anna drew my attention to some research from Otago University in which scientists had  worked to find diets that were simultaneously cheap, nutritious and low in greenhouse gas emissions; i.e. that are climate-friendly.

That last criterion may surprise you.  People don't usually talk about being climate-friendly when they talk about food, and people talking about minimising climate change rarely mention food (except maybe farting cows).  But in addition to those direct emissions from ruminants, any excess nitrogen fertiliser applied accounts for considerable greenhouse gas emission; then there are all the emissions associated with the many mechanised elements of food production, processing, transport and preparation.  When Martin and I have calculated our carbon footprint, food regularly accounts for 25-50% of all our emissions.

So, what climate-friendly diets did the researchers find?

They ran their calculations 16 times, each time constraining the parameters …