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Showing posts from November, 2014

Fair Trade scorched almonds!

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I'm rather partial to scorched almonds, so I was delighted to discover yesterday that TradeAid are selling Fair Trade ones!  (Or almost - from the picture it doesn't look like they're as chocolate-heavy as actual scorched almonds, plus they're cocoa-dusted rather than shiny).  I can't wait to try them :-)  They've also added chocolate-coated raisins to their range.

Buy online or find your local shop here.

Responding to Islamic State

Yesterday Martin wrote an email to our Prime Minister with the subject line "Thoughts on Resisting ISIL." I'd like to share it with you here:

Dear Mr Key, I am aware that you face some difficult questions regarding New Zealand's foreign policy and our reponse to ISIL, and would like to contribute to the flow of citizen's comments which I hope you are receiving. My high school choir teacher was (later) killed by separatists in the Philippines who bombed an airport he was travelling through.  His son pursues 'revenge' against them by helping others in the area build a strong civil society with no room or need for radicalism. In that vein, let me urge you to strenuously pursue non-military contributions in addition to the current military support you have proposed.  I was struck by this recent article in the WSJ, arguing how rule of law and legitimation of small businesses can push back radicalism, and imagine you would relish that agenda.  I am also…

The world is a big place

I try to expose myself to ideas from different places by listening to the BBC World Service, reading blogs and literature from other places and talking to foreigners I meet about how they see the world.  Yet I still frequently slip into tacitly assuming that everyone sees the world more or less the same way I do.

I was reminded of this today, while listening to a BBC documentary about gay refugees from Iran.  In New Zealand, people who think that gay relationships are wrong tend to advocate two options for gay people: heterosexual marriage (generally after some kind of curative treatment) or celibacy.

Apparently, in Iran, there are two options, too - but they're different.  Celibacy wasn't mentioned as an option (although maybe it is one) but the two main choices are heterosexual marriage (at least sometimes after some kind of curative treatment) or gender reassignment surgery.  I was so surprised!  I would never have thought that there were societies where people were against…

Home Improvement

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Martin (with various helpers) has been a busy beaver in recent weeks!

The structure at the corner of the wheelchair ramp on which we keep various plants had to get moved when our house was being painted at the beginning of the year.  It was in pretty bad condition so we decided to make a new one rather than reinstalling it.  And now, 8 months later, it's all done :-)


It's not nailed to the ramp: the green wooden struts sit a bit above the ramp and keep the slats in place and the slats rest on the edge of the ramp.


I think it looks very nice and tidy :-)


But that's not all.  Martin can't carry me at the moment because of his recent back surgery, so the commode wheelchair is currently in frequent use.  Getting it from the bedroom to the toilet has always been challenging as the space it needs to get through is pretty tight.

To free the area up a bit we decided to replace our linen-and-tools cupboard/shelving unit with a much smaller unit.  We found a lovely unit on Tra…