Posts

Showing posts from 2020

Moving to Level 2

I have found the transition to Covid-19 alert level 2 surprisingly difficult.  At least, I think that's what it is!  Today and yesterday I seem to have been getting upset uncommonly easy.

I found the move to having an alert system and rapidly moving through levels 2, 3 and into 4 not too bad.  It took adjustment to have Martin and Sarah at home all the time.  I'm used to being on my own a lot and found that quite overwhelming initially.  But we have a large house where all three of us can easily be fairly separate, and after a week or so that became much less of an issue.

Survival strategies

Over the course of the last six months or so, I've put into place a number of survival strategies that have helped me cope with the big change in my life.  I wrote earlier about Sabbath-keeping and care-casting.  Since then I've added two other practises that have also been super-helpful.

Lockdown adventures

Image
Like everyone else, over the past 6 weeks or so that we've been in lockdown I've had very few face to face interactions with other people and none, other than with Martin and Sarah, at a close distance.  It's a very curious time.

I've been thinking about many things over this time - and have been coping more and less well at different points in time! - but here I want to write about  the non-work things we've been able to do even though many options have been taken away.

A lovely trip to the beach

Image
Martin and I are trying to stay within 2-3km of home (as the crow flies) at the moment due to the Covid-19 lockdown situation.  That rules out both my usual beaches - but Martin noticed there was another one!  At the base of the Pt. Chevalier peninsula is a tiny park called Eric Armishaw Park - and from there you can walk along the coast of the peninsula at low tide.

Today I biked there (3.3km) and walked 20 min along the beach, which took me as far the as the sailing club's boat ramp.

It was lovely!  Such a classic Kiwi beach :-)










The ground underfoot all the way was a bit muddy.  I'd been being super-careful, as we're supposed to be avoiding contact with emergency services right now if possible.  So I'd walked on the shells where possible and the soft mud where it wasn't (the hard muddy surfaces were by far the slippery-est).  But, after walking up the steps to the sailing club and having a wander around, I (foolishly) decided to walk down their boat ramp without …

Recent happenings

Image
A couple of weeks back, Martin and I spent a week in Whangarei. 

Kawakawa berries

Image
Ages ago, a foraging blog I used to read taught me that kawakawa plants, not only produce leaves that make yummy tea: the plants come in male and female variants, and the females produce delicious berries.

I haven't managed to find anyone who sells 'sexed' kawakawa seedlings, but a few years back I did find someone selling lots of 8 seedlings very affordably.  So I bought them, and planted four each on either side of the oak tree.  My hope was that there would end up being at least one male on one side and at least one female on the other: when they revealed themselves, I would kill the rest :-)

Unfortunately, it initially appeared they were all male.  For some years now we have had many male cones appearing on both sides of the tree.  The seedlings are also all now large plants that are thoroughly intertwined: uprooting unwanted ones (without disturbing the others) is no longer an option.

Then, maybe a month back, I noticed one 'zone' on one side of the tree was c…

What is good for 'the environment'?

Recently I've been pondering claims that various practises are good for 'the environment'.  I've come to the conclusion that such claims are often dicey - not because of 'greenwashing' (although that's real), but because there isn't, exactly, an 'environment'.  Instead, there's a whole bunch of systems, which often need quite different things to support them.  Sometimes the things different environmental systems would benefit from are even directly opposed to each other.

The place I see this most starkly is plastic packaging.

Old T-shirts for Christmas

Image
Martin and I are both fairly hard on our T-shirts (and wear T-shirts a lot), so I have a ready supply of old T-shirts for crafts.  Originally I was using them to make rag rugs (there's one about half-way down this blog post); but most people I think are likely to want one of those have one now, so before Christmas I was looking for new ideas.  Here's what I ended up with :-)

T-shirt pompoms.  Like regular pompoms, but bigger.  You cut the T-shirt into quite narrow strips, pull the strips to make them curl in on themselves, then make a pompom (something I don't think I've done since primary school!).  It takes about one T-shirt per pompom.




I also learned how to make these little storage bowls.  They're quite thick and I think the same technique would be great for hot mats.



Martin gets a cold head at night and has long slept in a balaclava.  As part of his Christmas present he got two new balaclavas (winter and summer weight), both made out of old T-shirts.  Here he i…

Recent happenings

Image
A few recent bits and pieces from me...  In general, physically I'm getting stronger and stronger, although mentally I seem to have crashed quite badly over Christmas.  I'm struggling to face any 'thinky' tasks.  I was working quite hard on Just Kai stuff in the lead-up to Christmas and am hoping I've just overdone it a bit.  I'm trying to leave the thinky things alone for a while and hoping things will come right soon; it does seem a bit better today and yesterday.

But here's some of what I've been up to before and after our Taupo holiday :-)

I had my first go at royal icing a Christmas cake - or, rather, three Christmas cakes.  Two small loaf ones (one for Martin's parents and one to take to Taupo) and a larger one for home.  They're a bit random, but I was fairly pleased with them :-)



Our Christmas tree is also rather random, although it's open structure does allow you to really see all the ornaments, most of which have a story behind the…

Christmas holiday in Taupo

Image
Our good friend Temi recently moved to Taupo for work; Martin and I decided to go and visit her for a week over Christmas.

To reduce the carbon footprint of our trip, we went by bus,* including catching the local bus into town to catch our bus.

* a long-distance bus in New Zealand has about a sixth the carbon footprint per person as the total footprint of an 'average' petrol car traveling the same distance.  That means your emissions are about equal if you have all five seats in the car full, but with just the two of us it reduced our emissions to a third.


I found it very satisfying to travel all the way to Taupo without using a car, although it did take a fair bit longer.  It should have been about 6.5 hours door to door, but was just over 7 due to both traffic delays and someone not getting back on the bus in time at the lunch stop.

We had five full days in Taupo and I swam in the lake on four of them :-)



It was cold, but not too bad late in the day when the water in the shal…