Monday, August 25, 2008

What goes around comes around etc.

What goes around comes around. You help me, I help you and the next person does the same. Community is so important and I'm glad to see that I did make a few of you think along a slightly different road. I do have an advantage here...I very rarely see anyone I can't get on with. This doesn't mean love for all... it just means I try to find the common ground and talk to that ground. The rest doesn't concern me except where it harms others and there I do have issues.

I went to a lecture by David Stallman the other night and I must say I was very impressed. I'd also hate to be a dissenting voice in his presence. He's really good at annihilating the opposition. His form of freedom has constraints, just as mine has, and has to be worked at. His aim is the betterment of the many instead of the few and the free transmission of information to anyone who needs it. (At least that's how I see it.) It was fantastic to see someone like that who won't compromise his standards for anything short of better standards and is prepared not to make money, for example, into some sort of god to be idolised above all else.

As my brother says, it isn't all the fake money floating round out there that is the problem. It is all the fake money which is being used to buy real things that hurts because that lowers the value of real products. Maybe there should be a law which says that money should be tied to something real that does exist and can be quantified.

Any thoughts?

viv in nz

ps. They're promising yet more of the wet stuff....aaaaaaaaargh!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I shouldn't be watching so late but I do like seeing all the sports that aren't rugby (national obsession round here!). I've always been a bit divided about sustainability when it comes to sport or entertainment. I mean are we to go boringly into the future with nothing but sustainability on our minds. Even ants do that. Maybe we should look a little at what it is that makes us human rather than what bare survival is.

We compete for little gold medallions. Yes we do, and I, for one, would rather have this than competing for anything else with guns and armies. I think perhaps we should encourage it even more if it will take out that element of humanity a bit more. Its also entertaining as we vicariously live our dreams through the efforts of others. It may not add anything to sustainability but it is definitely cheaper and less harmful than other pursuits.

There is also one other factor which covers not only sport but all the other extraneous things we do as well - it employs us when we have become surplus to the so called 'real world'. This also is to be encouraged so that fewer of us become locked into factory farm life. Let's face it; if we used all surplus funds to employ scientists, artists, athletes etc. the world would be a very different place. I keep thinking of all the untapped talent out there, some of it starving, that could advance our humanity in so many ways. Surely this must be better than the present system which appears to value only those who successfully move money around for their own benefit whilst ripping everyone else off.

Freedom to me means no one goes hungry or lacks opportunity to advance in whatever they happen to be good at. (Olympic jam makers anyone?) Anything less cannot be called free especially if the bias is due to things beyond your control such as gender, race, religion, background (I always feel sorry for children of murderers.) etc.

Whatever... individuals will find their level if given a chance and some will be brilliant whilst others will be pedestrian but all should be by their own choice not out of necessity.

viv in nz

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Terms of imprisonment

I thought I might give you a little taste of something I wrote to exorcise the odd demon.. :)


Ten years plus. That's what you get for killing someone.

I'm innocent of that. Couldn't even kill myself. I tried to step off that cliff but there were too many loving faces holding me back. I suppose that means I'm worth something even to me.

Purgatory I am still here. What is on the menu today? A nice set of bruises carefully placed not to show? Perhaps just a light sprinkle of pinches and scratches. Well destroyed school work a la consomme of creek soup - a tasty treat in or out of class, or maybe just the usual dose of sneering contempt with a dash of humiliation.

Icing on the cake? Self blame. What did I do wrong? I must have done something....but what?

An invisibility cloak would be useful about now but all I seem to have is a large red beacon on my head saying, "Victim, victim, victim come and get me now."

There's always the library of course but you have to get there first. Past the 'carwash' and the toilets. I'd like to be made of solid steel. Then the carwash crowd would break their knuckles as I slowly walk by. I would be upright and dignified instead of being pushed, punched and kicked from side to side. I would be the boss then. They would have to be my gang. No. I don't want that. I don't want control through fear. Not even for revenge, which, if you ask me, is never that sweet. I'd much rather just be valued for being me. A human being, not a punching bag.

Repeat to yourself, "I will not hate." Say it several times and run for it. After all, you might get lucky. There may be a teacher around. That usually stops the physical stuff. Not the other though. That goes on regardless. In class, out of class, even at home (those dreadful phonecalls).

Isn't my ten year sentence up yet?

How much more do I have to take?

How much more can I take?

I don't know....

Hide girl, hide....

Today's installment (Part One) has come.

Cry inside
Don't let it show,

Just cry and hurt and run
where no one can find you.

viv in nz

As you can see, my school years were painful but going to University made up for that lots. Of course I had to relearn how to be social and a lot of other stuff too. (I'm not quite sure I got that right but at least I tried). I think the worst was dealing with shyness but I did think up a few strategies for that which seemed to work ok. I've always been very grateful to two of my Great Aunts who allowed me to visit from the boarding house every weekend and to the matron who allowed me the freedom to do so. Without them I think I might have gone completely over the edge. I certainly came close.

I think perhaps I should try for a happier subject next.....ummmm.....peak oil anyone? :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

winter daze

Things have got away from me this week and I haven't caught up on this blog as a result. I'm still hard at it with that piece of patchwork and it is starting to look like it may come to something.

Apart from that I've been trying to figure out how to lower my mileage somewhat without it costing a fortune in bus fares (which are very expensive comparatively). I think I can pick up a couple of secondhand bikes cheaper than a weeks bus fare x3 but will have to be on the look out until suitable ones turn up. Then there will only be one set of bus cards to get instead of two. I think it is still a bit far to ask my 10 year old to cycle 8 kilometers with very steep hills at each end. (one hill is Baldwin st aka world's steepest and the other is Jesse street which is in the world's top 10 steepest!) When they want to do the whole thing, they can. Its all bike path now too which doesn't go near the very unsafe highway down to the port. Even an expert would hesitate to use that road - its full of logging trucks and container trucks etc.

The garden is too frosty to dig yet but it shouldn't be long before its time to plant now. There are already a few blossom trees out and a few spring flowers as well. We hope to put in a glasshouse this year for tomatoes and cucumbers and possibly a bell pepper or two. We also need to put the berry fruit under netting - the birds got nearly all my red currants last year and I was miffed. I had been looking forward to those as they would have been the first real crop off the bushes (admittedly only about a bowl full but still...). I'm also hoping to get some fruit trees for the area along the fenceline. We are lucky enough to border a paper (unformed) road so there are no neighbours near for a few meters. And even then our nearest neighbour is my mother! (We didn't plan that, it just happened and it helps with the shop as she makes a lot of our stuff).

Well washing calls - it needs to be hung out.

viv in nz

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My fingers hurt tonight. I've been hand patching all day. It will be fun to see what I've created this time. I never quite know until it really is finished and this is an actual competition piece. It has a set size and one piece of set (horrible) fabric which I have stared at for several months - I pinned it to the wall. It reminded me of lollipops, those dreadful huge swirly ones in bright orange and red. Well that idea was never going to fly - I just imagine a room full of the same idea and think I should be able to come up with something better and I hope I have. I'll post a photo when its finished.

I know we are supposed to be sustainable in all ways but how sad if we never see anything made just for fun or art or love. I think life would turn into a very bland thing. I make lots of useful quilts with real scraps which I prefer anyhow because you have to be careful and come up with interesting patterns. I normally allow myself one bought piece per quilt and that will often add scraps to my collection as well.

I've got one pinned to the curtain in the living room/bedroom/workshop which needs a back and some quilting but I'm not convinced I'm finished with it yet. I do have to finish the other one in progress because its for eldest's 12th birthday and that is in September. However that is relatively straightforward (with lots of small turtles :).

My fabric collection now spans 4 generations which makes planning fun. As long as its sewable I'll use it eventually. I think perhaps I do handwork the way other people cook or garden. Well I suppose someone will have to make clothes etc when the factories don't.

viv in nz

Friday, August 1, 2008


What does sustainability mean to me.....that my kids will have a good place to inherit and pass on to future generations (even if they don't turn out to be mine.)

That I only use my own share of the things available and that those things be as near as possible to impact free (sometimes I'm not as good at this as I think I should be ;).

That I take the skills I have been taught and teach them in turn to others who will use them too. I do believe in pay it forward and also in good karma.

Balance is also important. If you give, you must be prepared to receive. People get resentful if they receive and cannot get the pleasure of giving in return. It makes them feel inferior and may also make you feel smugly superior. This applies not only to people but also to groups and political bodies.

Good ethical standards are what I try to aim for. (not morals - these are cultural or religious in basis and while I do respect what others believe as their own choice, I do not give them leave to run roughshod over mine.)

That's about it really. I could go on for pages but that would get tedious so feel free to comment about what I've left out.

viv in nz