Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Fair trade jelly tip ice cream slice

Since Martin and I moved to only buying fairly traded cocoa products, I've gradually been figuring out how to make chocolatey treats that aren't commercially available fair trade.  A year or two back I figured out how to make jelly tip ice creams.  Recently I thought - why stop there?  With jelly tip ice creams you encounter the jelly first, then the ice cream: wouldn't it be yummier if you could enjoy jelly and ice cream together all the way down? The jelly tip ice cream slice was born :-)


A layer of raspberry jelly, topped with vanilla ice cream, cut into bars and smothered with chocolate.

Me and my friend Anna enjoying jelly tip slices after our recent trip to the beach.

Recipe

Monday, March 27, 2017

Neighbours Day 2017

Our street had a really good Neighbours Day celebration yesterday.  We got some council funding to help with costs, conditional on us writing a report on how things went.  Below is my report, along with some photos of the event.

 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A sashiko sunhat for me :-)

I realised a while back that my sunhat, whilst fun and very me, doesn't actually shield my face from the sun very well.


What to do?  I thought it'd be a fun challenge to try and make myself a new one from things I already had lying around the house.  It felt like it'd be a great use of  resources, too :-)



A swim at Pt. Chev.

On Monday, we went for a swim at Pt. Chev. beach with our good friend Anna.

We had the absolute perfect day for it - sunny and warm and still.  It was lovely going down the path to the water, with native trees arching above us.  It was glorious being in the water.  As ever, the other people there were friendly and encouraging: one lady sunbathing on the beach even said it'd "made her day" seeing the three of us swimming together.  After our swim we had ice creams whilst Anna waited for her bus :-)

Heather and Anna enjoying ice creams.
Martin and Heather enjoying ice creams.

   

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Shopping for human rights

Whenever we shop, we're buying things made by people.  Some of those people are treated well in the course of making our things; others are treated very badly.  The more people who buy things made by people with good jobs, the more good jobs there'll be.

How we buy creates the world in which our global neighbours live.

How can we buy things in a way that helps the poorest people in the world flourish? For Martin and I, we've decided to:
  1. Preferentially buy things produced by poor people.  People in places like New Zealand have lots of job opportunities but people in places like Bangladesh have very few.  If something we need is available from both rich and poor countries, we will buy the one produced in a poor country in order to give the job to the person most likely to be left destitute otherwise.
  2. Buy things produced under the best labour conditions available - even if they're bad.  Many things produced in poor countries are produced in terrible conditions.  We try to look first for things that are produced under independently-verified good labour conditions.  But if no one is producing the thing we need under good labour conditions, we would rather buy items produced under terrible conditions than items produced here in New Zealand.  The workers subjecting themselves to those terrible conditions have freely chosen to be there: I trust their judgement that any alternatives available to them are worse and I will not force them into those worse conditions by boycotting the ones they have chosen.  I write more about this here.
  3. Do not buy things produced by slaves.  The exception to point 2 is where some form of forced labour or coercion is involved.  Then the workers involved haven't chosen freely and may well have had better options if they hadn't been trafficked or indentured into their situation.  We will not support people who enslave others and, when we become aware of that happening, will preferentially buy things produced in rich countries if necessary.
Below is a printable summary of our buying policies (click here to download as a pdf), followed by more detail on the human rights issues involved in various categories goods we buy frequently and how we respond to them.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Upcoming opportunities to build community where you live

Neighbours Day 2017 is coming up on the weekend of March 25/26. This is a great opportunity to get to know your neighbours and build community where you live.  You can sign up here to get emails with ideas of how to celebrate (the most recent newsletter for our region even told us how to apply for supermarket vouchers to help with associated costs!), or check out the official website here - it has a number of resources to help you get started.

Your celebration could be as simple as inviting your nearby neighbours over for a cuppa, or you could band together with other neighbours to organise a full-on street party!  You can see photos of Neighbours Day celebrations in our street from 2015 here.   We typically find people from about 1/3 of the houses in our street come along and we've made a number of friends through it.

Also, Tuesday week (the 28th) is Shrove Tuesday - the last day before Lent.  This is typically celebrated with the eating of pancakes 😅.  We had a couple of retired neighbours over for a pancake breakfast last year and hope to do the same this year.  It was good to spend time with them and also gave us an opportunity to talk about what Lent has come to mean to us.  You can get heaps of ideas for how to host a low-stress, community-building celebration on the Sacraparental blog here.

Friday, February 10, 2017

A week visiting my parents

Recently we spent a week at my parents' place.  It wasn't really a holiday, as Martin went to work every day as usual, but it was a great way to spend lots of good time with them.

Whilst we were there, I also spent a lot of time admiring their beautiful garden.

This hippeastrum had a beautiful scent that drifted metres beyond the plant!