Saturday 17 September 2022

The Justice Conference and its aftermath

Two weeks ago today, we were at the Justice Conference with Just Kai.  It was a good day, but long and tiring - especially as I forgot to rest basically all afternoon and into the evening :-(

Lots of people seemed interested in what we had to say - quite a few didn't seem that aware of the issue of slavery in our food supply, and lots were encouraged to see brands they already bought on our table of 'good' options :-)

We definitely had a more 'professional' look this time, too, with uniform T-shirts and fancy signage.

I was particularly encouraged by two interactions.  One with a chap I already know a bit, who was interested that we'd had funding to do some research earlier this year; he's got a charitable trust, and has offered to fund some more :-)  The other with a chap who makes documentaries for a living, and who likes to do charitable projects from time to time.  He felt that we had a message that needed disseminating, and he's keen to talk some time soon about what that might look like.

I was also on a panel, on worker exploitation and what consumers can do about that.  It was the first time I've done something like that, and I was surprised how well it went.  My big concern was how to manage in a more fluid environment (compared to giving a talk), as I don't think well on my feet.  We got around this with several 'accommodations'.  Firstly, the people on the panel agreed on a set of pre-prepared questions for the initial part of the panel.  I was still nervous how I'd go at remembering what I wanted to say for those, but then Martin suggested I take index cards with notes on.  They made a huge difference!

Then, for the 'questions from the audience bit', I had Martin to help.  The audience were told I had health issues and that Martin was there in a support role, and he sat next to me.  When it came to the unknown questions, he just gave me a quiet one or two word hint of what sort of thing I should be talking about (e.g. "Countdown" or "IT").  It was incredibly helpful, but subtle enough that even the panel moderator hadn't realised he'd actually done anything other than provide moral support :-)

The session was videoed: if you're interested in watching that and all the other talks from the whole conference (programme here), you can pay $15 to access the lot (tickets here).


After that, as I say, I was really tired.  Last week I did very little all week.  This past week I did almost nothing Wednesday and Friday (as well as my usual Monday Sabbath).  But on Thursday Martin and I went off on an adventure :-)

Ages back, we'd had a fun day biking from Newmarket to Mission Bay and back into town.  Since then, I'd been keen to do something similar in Devonport.

We took the train into town, then the ferry to Devonport, stopping in town first to pick up a tasting platter from Miann (one of very few fancy chocolate places that Just Kai also considers slave free!).

It was so nice catching the ferry across the harbour :-)  Once there, we rode along the stunningly beautiful waterfront, past the Naval museum and out along Torpedo wharf.  It was so peaceful there - just a few people fishing and us.

After that we headed up North Head/Maungauika (Uika's hill).  We used to go there quite often when I was growing up, but it's likely 25 years since I was last there!

I was impressed by the painting on the asphalt.  First there were these triangles (which are made up of yellowy-green and green triangles themselves), which seemed to be marking narrow points on the road.

The entrance to the carpark featured this design: like the other, it felt Māori - this one perhaps reminiscent of the pātiki (flounder) tukutuku design?

And I loved this swirly set right at the top!

I was also pleasantly surprised I could bike all the way to the top without significant trouble :-)

It's just such a nice place for a wander - especially on such a gorgeous day.

Quite a few locals were out walking their dogs.

At the big gun emplacement we saw a small flock (maybe 3) of birds with red faces and irridescent heads.

I'm not sure what they were.  My best guess is male chaffinches in breeding plumage, but online descriptions of those speaks of them having 'slate grey' heads.  Whatever these were, their heads definitely reflected greeny bluey colours in the sun.  Quite stunning!  This unimpressive shot is the best we were able to get.

After a wander through some of the tunnels, we headed back to Devonport for lunch at a Turkish place on the wharf - Turkish 'street pizza' (beef mince on pizza!), some kind of dumplings with hummus, pinenuts and pomegranate molasses, and hot sweet pomegranate tea.

The pizza was a bit underwhelming, but both the dumplings and tea were delicious and full of flavour.

After lunch, we'd thought to maybe head out towards Stanley Point to look at the view, but I was pretty tired.  Instead, we rested by the beach then headed back home.


And now, Martin's off to Chicago!  He's recently got a new role at work, which means he's now part of the 7-person management team.  They meet weekly online, but try to meet quarterly in person, alternating between North America (where four of them are based) and Auckland.   We don't really know what to expect, in terms of how I'll cope (I usually don't do any cooking/shopping/laundry etc., and don't sleep the best on my own), how he'll cope (usually he works a 30 hour week, and this week very much won't be that!), or much of what his week will look like...  What we do know is that he'll be away from this evening until the morning of Sunday 25th, and that he'll spend his first three days back in isolation in case he's brought back a new and interesting Covid variant.  I'll be at home most of this week, but on Friday I'm heading off to spend the long weekend with a friend in Eastern Beach.  The fridge is full of bagged meals, and the freezer has a few frozen leftovers - yay for fridges, freezers and microwaves!

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