Posts

Showing posts from February, 2015

Neighbour's Day 2015

Image
Neighbour's Day is coming up in just over 4 weeks: Saturday March 28th - Sunday March 29th.  If you want to get to know your neighbours, this is your chance!
Read about Neighbour's Day here;Get resources (ideas, posters, editable invitations etc.) here;Register your Neighbour's Day event here! We've really enjoyed Neighbour's Day in the past, so I encourage you to give it a go!  It can be as simple as inviting some near neighbours over for a cuppa or as full-on as throwing a party for your whole street: whatever works for you :-)


Silvereyes in the Elderberry

Image
When we moved here, we planted an elderberry just to one side of my bedroom window.  We wanted it mostly to make cordial from the flowers, but this year we got more flowers than we needed so we have had a lot of berries, too.

I've eaten some, but the best way to enjoy them is to watch the silvereyes eating them.  Here's two that visited today :-)




Social support for the elderly vs. social support for the infirm

In recent days I've had cause to spend some time on the WINZ website.  Whilst there, I was confronted with something I've been shocked by before:
A married couple who both have health conditions that render them permanently unable to work, but who happen to be under the age of 65, will be given $558.26 to live on by the government;A married couple who are fit and healthy but happen to be aged 65 or older, will be given $638.46 per week to live on. Around $80 a week is a big difference.

If the older couple have health problems of their own, the discrepancy becomes greater:
A married couple who both have health conditions that render them permanently unable to work, but who happen to be under the age of 65, will be given $558.26 to live on;A married couple who both have health conditions that render them permanently incapacitated, but who happen to be aged 65 or over, will be given up to $761.22 to live on. Around $200 a week is a huge difference!

Similarly, if the two co…

Fair trade knickers!!

The other day, I was delighted to receive my first ever fair trade knickers!  They come from PACT, one of only two companies I've found that do fair trade underwear (the other is Pants to Poverty, sold in Australia by Etiko).
Why was this so exciting?  It means that I'm able to buy more of my clothing from higher in our buying hierarchy.

In general, Martin and I try to buy clothes (and other textiles) in the following order of preference:
Second-hand.  Second-hand goods don't require the use of any new resources, so they're a gift to people whose lives are endangered by resource extraction/forest clearance for farming etc.  Practically all my outer clothes are second hand, as is much of our linen.  Much fewer of Martins' clothes are, though - it seems that guys are more likely to keep wearing their stuff till it's worn out :-)Fair Trade (ideally certified fair trade, but also goods from companies that make a plausible claim to be 'under fair trade conditions…

Bleeding heart vine

Image
I'd like to share something that's making me smile.

For Christmas, my 'almost family' gave me a bleeding heart vine.  I'd never seen one before - turns out it's native to West Africa but can grow here as a house plant.

When it arrived, it was covered with red and white flowers, like this:

Dramatic and lovely.

When we returned from holiday, all the flowers had died.  I trimmed most of them off (hoping to encourage more), but left a few by mistake.

I noticed the other day that this had happened:


As I was trimming off the dead flowers, I'd noticed a green 'knob' in the base of some of them.  In the flowers I'd left on the plant these had burst open, revealing a shiny black seed coated with orangey-red powder.  Two of the remaining flowers have these and I think they're stunning!

It also has deeply veined leaves that look beautiful with the light behind them.


All round a delightful plant :-)