Sunday, January 21, 2018

Finding a National Radio programme you heard

From time to time, people ask me to find a programme on the Radio New Zealand website - perhaps a programme that they caught part of live but would like to hear in its entirety, or something they heard advertised but didn't catch live.  I've just put together a guide to explain how I go about finding those programmes on the website, so people can do it themselves if they want.

If that sounds like something that may be of interest to you, you can download it here.  It's a pdf.  And if you have any feedback on it, I'd love to hear from you :-)

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Christmas is coming

There's not much energy to spare at the moment, but I did find some time to put up a few decorations in our room over the last few days.

When I lie in bed, I'm now looking straight at this:

The 'hope' bears are from Martin's Aunty Elspeth and the holly tablecloth was a wedding present from friends from my church in Switzerland.  The broom flowers are in honour of our wedding anniversary - when we got married, Mummy made bouquets of them for our flower girls :-)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Settling in at my parents' place

On Saturday we moved to my parents' place, where we expect to spend the rest of the year.  We're here to help them sort their belongings and downsize prior to moving to a smaller place in the New Year.

We've stayed here for a long period of time once before, but this is the first time we've arrived expecting to stay many weeks.  To help make that work for us, my parents kindly agreed to let Martin and some friends largely clear the room we're staying in before we arrived.  This means it's easier for me to navigate the room than usual, which I'm really enjoying.  We also brought a few pictures for the walls and even pot plants and have set ourselves up very nicely :-)

I'm really happy with the setup and have posted a number of photos below.

Looking in through the main door - spot my moth orchid and bleeding heart vine in the corner and a picture by the window :-)

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Wildness Chocolate

I recently heard about a really cool chocolate company - Wildness Chocolate.  I was really impressed by the founder, Marie Monmont, when she was interviewed on Nine to Noon on Radio NZ National.  Kathryn Ryan asked her what she looked for in her suppliers and she said:
  • number one: no child labour
  • number two: environmental sustainability
  • number three: quality
I pricked my ears up, as that's pretty much my priority order, too!

Some cool things I've been watching

I'm continuing to enjoy spending a lot of time watching the bear cam: it's such an amazing opportunity to be able to watch what's going on all the way over in Alaska in real time!

There aren't many salmon jumping any more and the bear numbers have definitely thinned out.  The bears that remain are super-fat: it's delightful to watch the way their bellies roll when they shake themselves!  However, I seem to be noticing more other species there now.   This morning I spent about half an hour watching this amazing bald eagle.

Just chilling.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Happy Birthday to me :-)

It was my birthday on Friday and both Martin's parents and my parents came over for dinner to celebrate.

sticky rice meal laid out ready to go
Sarah and Mummy

Daddy, Dad and Mum



Thursday, September 28, 2017

Abortion - some thoughts

Back in 2014 I wrote two posts trying to look into what the Bible has to say about abortion (here and here).  Since then it's something I've continued to think a lot about and I've come to believe this issue has some important facets that I don't often hear acknowledged.  I'm sharing them here as much to have my thoughts recorded for the future as anything else, but hopefully they will also be of interest to some of my readers :-)

The facets I'm thinking of are:
  1. The main thing people who are pro-life or pro-choice seem to disagree on is the status of the foetus. One group says it's a baby, the other says it's a piece of tissue. That difference is crucial, as it determines whether an abortion is murder or the removal of unwanted tissue.  Something I think is often missed in 'debates' about abortion is that no one actually thinks killing babies is OK or that removing unwanted tissue is evil.  People on different sides of this issue disagree about what is going on, not about ethics per se.
  2.  Very few people that I've encountered (either in person or online) actually think the foetus is either a baby or a piece of tissue. This comes out in the ways they speak and act.  Pro-choice people often talk about abortion being a difficult choice (like is being done here, for example) in a way that they would never talk about an appendectomy.  Pro-life people rarely obstruct abortions with the same dedication people have shown at school shootings.  Those aren't perfect comparators (your infected appendix is likely to kill you in a way that your foetus isn't; abortion is state-sanctioned and ongoing in a way that school shootings are not), but I still think they're revealing.  I think they show that, in reality, the abortion 'debate' is much less polarised than we think.  The majority of the population seem to think that the foetus is some kind of 'proto-human', even if some individuals tend more towards the 'proto' and others toward the 'human'.
  3.  Science doesn't have anything to say on the status of the foetus. It's just not the kind of question science can answer.  It is, of course, living human tissue, but so is your appendix. It can, of course, develop into a human given the right conditions, but so can an ovum or even a skin cell, depending on how broadly you wish to define 'the right conditions'.  It isn't, of course, able to survive on its own, but neither can a new-born baby or even a toddler.  Although people on both sides of the 'debate' claim that science is on their side, this question of the status of the foetus is something we need to figure out philosophically.  Science just doesn't deal with this kind of question.  (And, as my previous posts showed, I don't think the Bible is very helpful with this either: it's pretty clear on the importance of preserving life, but has little or nothing to say on where it starts.)
With all this in mind, perhaps the best thing to do is to seek to be good neighbours to the unborn babies in our community, so that the question of whether or not it's OK to destroy them loses its relevance!