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Showing posts from May, 2016

How has CFS changed my identity?

Martin's niece recently interviewed me on how my identity has changed since developing CFS.  It was a good question, and one I've found interesting to reflect on.

Before I got CFS in 2003, I strongly identified (and was seen) as a successful person, although I wasn't very sure of myself.  I also thought of myself as a good critical/analytical thinker and as someone who was somewhat intrepid/bold.  I identified as a Christian, an environmentalist, a caring person and a good listener.

All of that was severely challenged when I suddenly became very sick and lost most of the abilities that identity was built on.  I felt like a 'thing', rather than a person.  A kind friend made me a badge with the words "I am a person": to remind me (and the world) that I was still human.  I wore it a lot.

Soft plastics recycling bag

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Since late last year, it's been possible to recycle soft plastics in Auckland.  As well as actual plastic bags, you can recycle all sorts of things - small things like muesli bar and sweet wrappers and bulky things like bubble wrap.

The recycling is collected at supermarkets*, rather than with the other kerbside recycling, so we needed a separate container to accumulate it in.  Initially we used a plastic bag sock, but that wasn't very suitable: small things fell out, and transferring the contents into a plastic bag to put into the recycling container was a pain.  I realised I wanted a way to accumulate the recycling in a container that could itself be recycled (to eliminate the double-handling we'd been doing), was quite capacious (to accommodate bulky things like bubble wrap) but that had a firm base and a tight top (so little things didn't fall out).

*find your local collection site here - they're in Auckland, the North Shore and Hamilton, with hopes to expand th…

On not paying the Living Wage

As I've mentioned here before, I'm generally a big fan of paying people a Living Wage: i.e. enough to provide for the basics of food and accommodation, alongside participation in the community.  However, two things have recently given me pause.

Firstly, this documentary on RNZ National, about a company in Southland who hire staff with intellectual disabilities to sort rubbish for recycling.  The company has a minimum wage exemption, enabling them to hire about 30 people to do work that could just as well be done by three people and a fancy machine.  If they had to pay them the minimum wage, the business wouldn't be economic, and they'd buy the machine instead.  But, by getting a minimum wage exemption, they've been able to greatly improve the quality of life of 30 people (all of whom waxed lyrical about the joys of having a job), whilst still getting the job done.  So, by allowing this employer not to pay the minimum wage (which is significantly less than the Livin…

Feijoa paste

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Having seen feijoa paste for sale in a fancy deli last year,  I decided to have a go at making my own.  This recipe was all over the internet, but it looked awfully fiddly, so I decided (encouraged by this site) to simply use the guava paste recipe I invented a few years back.  It worked well!  It was pretty easy to do, and has a great feijoa flavour :-)