Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Things we take for granted

One of my friends told me about the man on the following website. Have a look. As you read you will feel uncomfortable and want to turn away, but please persist.

This photo is from http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26260978.
There is so much that I take for granted. 
Reading about Arunachalam Muruganantham opened my eyes and my mind. 

India is a huge country. Many different ethnic groups with their traditional practices. Many religions. Many languages. A space program. Nuclear medicine. And people living in poverty and disadvantage. I assumed that in a country with such a long history the women would have traditional practices that were efficient and healthy.

Read about how these Indian women deal with something that is as natural as breathing but not always as easy. Read about the man who is doing his best to improve their lives. Arunachalam Muruganantham has no university qualifications in engineering, manufacturing, social work, or psychology. He just has lots of compassion and determination. His invention is now all in the public domain so that anybody can copy it.



Here is a video about his sanitary pad machine. It is a bit hard to follow, but there is a reason. This good person had to learn English so he could tell more people about his invention. Be patient and appreciate that his story comes from his heart. 

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Needles and threads

I am sewing again. Odd, very odd, threads are collecting on the mats.

It is raining, cloudy and shadowless for most of the time. Indoors looks great.

Officially I am making another baby quilt. Unofficially I am surfing the net, browsing recipes, reading a fascinating biography, and giving my mind a rest. Huh!

Have you seen this blog   Beedeebabee

It is written by Paulette who does a bit of needlework. Particularly, rather wonderful brooches. The photos here are directly from that blog.
Inspiring. I thought I might try my hand at making something like these one day soon. I could change the fabrics, change the sizes, adapt but not steal.

Blogging is so good for the spirit. Blogs are like the biggest picture book ever produced. There is such a mixture of people who write about their lives. From my own little flat I can see the ideas of people all over the world. No uncomfortable introductions necessary. One day I feel dull, and the next I find someone who fills me with determination. A Healthy attitude is restored and all is well in the world.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Facebook saving

Facebook can be a source of good and bad posts. Most can happily fade away. Some things though are fascinating. Did you know that you can keep the good bits handy?

I did not know until today that it is possible to save certain facebook posts. It is not difficult.
This explanation is the clearest I have found on Youtube. There are others.


I am not sure if this method works for absolutely every type of Facebook post, but it should help you save those links to great holiday deals or wonderful science experiments at least.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Sunshine!!

Today the sun was shining nearly all day. Blue sky. Lovely.
So this song from my younger days seems appropriate.



Yes, it did rain at the end of the afternoon. Now it is reading time again. The good times just keep coming.


Thursday, 15 January 2015

Wet days are made for reading

Better than most.
It's the Wet Season. The Monsoon. Love it. Lazy days.

At last, the days are not as hot as before Christmas. Occasional glimpses of blue sky. Big, heavy clouds.
Not good weather for drying the washing. Horrors! We used the clothes dryer! Hmmm.

There are a couple of other drawbacks, but the positives definitely outweigh them.

Time to make my own sunshine.

Great weather for reading. Just finished these two novels. One old and one new. Both relaxing. Thankfully the books are better than my photos of the covers.

I really enjoyed this.
I was given the Bones book and doubted I would enjoy it. Wrong! I think this is the best one yet - and I have read quite a few of Kathy Reichs's novels. Some do not appeal to me. The television series has barely a passing resemblance to the characters and scenes in the novels. The TV series degenerated into a foolish soap. Bah. I can not imagine Bones of the Lost on the screen.

The Patricia Cornwall book was bought in an emergency from one of the op shops. I was waiting and waiting and waiting for someone. Lucky me! The op shop has hundreds of books. They may be discarded but the words still work. Cruel and Unusual is the second in the Scarpetta series. Easy reading. No brainwork involved. The baddie was not the character I expected. I enjoyed that too.

The writing styles are very similar. So are the stories. But simple creature that I am, I appreciate that the goodies win and the baddies lose. Some violence of course. No bad language. No racism or anything like that - well, not that I have noticed.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Another quilt

I try to keep a record of the quilts I make.
On Christmas Eve we went to a Christmas luncheon at the NT Herbarium. My husband volunteers there two mornings each week. He chats to me about the staff and he knows them quite well. So at the lunch I met some of the volunteers, some staff that I did not know, and said g'day to others I had not seen for a while.
I met Nick, one of the botanists, and his wife Kylie. Kylie certainly looked as if she had swallowed an enormous pumpkin. In conversation she mentioned that their baby is due on 8th January.

For Christmas my husband gave me some quilting fabrics and a lovely book of designs. Oh, yes! I began planning a quilt for Nick and Kylie's baby.
I overestimated my skills and openly admit that the first few sets of plans did not actually work.
Finally I had a small quilt of many coloured strips, not all the same width. A very simple design. To me it looks a bit like Joseph's Coat of Many Colours. Not soft pastels, but colours that would suit a young child who is probably going to spend quite a lot of time outdoors. No pinks. No blues. Can you visualise it in a tent? Stargazing? At a concert? Around a campfire?
Yesterday it was presented to the future Dad.
I think it is important that new parents feel a connection to a supportive network. I still have the baby blanket crocheted by my sister more than thirty years ago for our first child. It still means such a lot to me, that someone would go to such an effort for my family. I hope that Nick and Kylie feel this too. Parenting is not easy.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Three Kings Day

Today is the Feast of the Epiphany or Three Kings Day. Yes, I know that for Orthodox Christians this is not the case. Their calendar is different. And there are many Orthodox Christians in this city.

Today marks the official end of my Christmas season. Decorations are packed away. Thank you letters are supposed to be completed. (Mine are not!)

Adoration of the Magi by El Greco, 1568, Museo SoumayaMexico City
Source: Wikipedia.
Three Kings Day is actually a commemoration of the arrival of the Magi and the presentation of their gifts to the baby Jesus. The three wise men are reportedly Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. They were probably scientists on an expedition as they were very interested in a bright star in the sky which was probably Halley's Comet. They presented significant gifts to the baby - gold, frankincense, and myrrh. I am sure you know the story and how the little family then fled Bethlehem and went to Egypt, narrowly missing the Massacre of the Holy Innocents when Herod had many little boys killed. A lot of the information is actually verifiable but a lot has been twisted to suit various purposes. The gifts and presents idea has certainly caught on!

There are some interesting customs associated with Three Kings Day. A few have very little to do with Christianity.
  • Homes may be blessed.
  • Many people have a special dinner.
  • Some people eat a special bread.
  • A special cake may be eaten - Three Kings Cake.
  • Children dress up as kings.
  • Gifts are given.
  • Some people have bonfires and burn the old Christmas trees.
  • Some people believe that there is a special moment during the night when your wish will be granted. 
  • Practical jokes are popular on this night.
  • Plays may be performed, particularly including a character called "The Green Man."
  • Some people believe that during this night animals can talk.
  • This may be the last opportunity some people have to party for a while and the celebration could be quite rowdy.
  • It is the last night for the yule log to continue to burn.
I was raised in a family with strong Christian beliefs. I do not follow any religion now but lots of the information and customs remain firmly in my mind. Why don't I have a religion? Have you seen how people bomb and shoot and do horrible things in the name of their religion? I do not want to be part of that.
I enjoy some of the Twelfth Night customs. I hope you have a special dinner tonight too. A few jokes perhaps?

Twelfth Night Parade in London
Source; http://www.contrarylife.com/2015/01/celebrate-twelfth-night-holly-man-london-29367/

Monday, 5 January 2015

Very grumpy and hideously bad tempered

I am feeling quite annoyed today and doing my best (?) to retain just a small amount of clear thinking. It is not working.

This is the computer table for the Stressless chair.
This photo is from the Stressless catalogue.
When we bought our lovely new chairs recently there was also a computer table that attached to one chair. There have been numerous problems with this table.

The furniture is Stressless. The chairs are wonderful. It is only the table that is causing a problem. This lounge furniture was a big purchase for us and I am angry that the table, or something associated with the table, is not up to standard.

Each one of these chairs cost almost double what I paid for my first new car. Yes, that was a long time ago! The little table cost as much as a weekend away at a nice hotel these days. When I think about how long I had to work and save just so we could have something really luxurious I get quite agitated. Quite annoyed. Screaming furious.

The little table bounces when I use my very light laptop. The table will not fold away like it is supposed to. The instructions are in pictures both on paper and on Youtube. I need more. I have tried over and over to fix the problems. Now the metal is burred and rough. There is one tiny little button in a groove on the arm. My fingers can not press it because it is too small.

Today we have made several phone calls to Melbourne and Sydney. Phone calls back again from those businesses. Numerous internet searches. Advice has been given over the phone and I have followed it. I am not sure yet if I will demand a replacement table.

The company we dealt with is Berkowitz Furniture in Melbourne. The salesman seemed very nice indeed at the time. No receipt was issued. No guarantee was supplied.

After several phone calls my husband attempted to register the warranty on the furniture. He was not able to do that successfully. I am not sure how to deal with that either. My husband has two Masters Degrees and a PhD. How could the registration be so hard?

Would I recommend the same product or the same business to anyone else? NO. NO. NO. NO.

Why whinge and whine on my blog? Because we all need to realise that somewhere out there, somewhere in the world is another person battling to solve silly problems. If it is your turn tomorrow then you can know I probably survived this. But I am still cranky!!

I am really hoping for a better day tomorrow.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

For the garden

It is overcast and wet. Dull.
So I took myself to one of the local the garden centres. Lovely, lovely. So relaxing.
Allora Gardens Nursery

While I was there I saw these rather large garden ornaments. They are all life size.
The gorilla would look marvellous among the palms and ferns.
The croc is particularly realistic. About 3 or 4 metres long and just as I would see in the wild here. Had to look twice! Actually the garden centre had four different crocodile ornaments and they were all excellent.
Yes, I could see myself with one of the dogs. Or both. Not this time though. Can you imagine the reaction of a visitor?

Of course transporting any of them home was out of the question, so I must be satisfied with photos.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy New Year

Greetings! It's 2015!


We went to the fireworks display as scheduled. Fabulous. Fantastic. Only light rain. Only a little bit boggy. Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Later I watched more fireworks at midnight, but just from home. Still good.
It was party, party, party around town last night. Lots of happy noisy people in the streets and spilling out of clubs and pubs.
Some parties seemed to be still going while we had breakfast this morning. 
This morning it is very wet indeed. No lightning or anything like that, but heavy rain and not a lot of light. Good weather to continue a party indoors!