The Australian people have voted YES for marriage equality! ❤️❤️ 🙂
The Australian people have voted YES for marriage equality! ❤️❤️ 🙂
I attended my first ever baby shower recently. Our daughter, the mum-to-be, was showered with information and gifts from other women in the family. We had a delightful afternoon tea, with chat about pregnancy, birth and babies.Loose leaf tea, tea pot, china cups and saucers, delicate sandwiches, home made cakes, scones with jam and cream, were partnered with conversations about wee, poo, nappies and ensuring you point a baby boy’s penis downwards. Enlightening information for those of us who have only raised daughters!
When the guys joined our get together, the parents-to-be practiced dressing dolls in newborn size nappies and baby clothes. They will have fun with a real, squirming baby.
Baby showers come in various formats, the more traditional women only, or including the dad-to-be and male family and friends. Ours was quite sedate.
My daughters and their friends have attended showers with various games or ideas:
~ pin the dummy on the baby – while blindfolded
~ cutting a length of wool to guess the size of the mum-to-be’s stomach
~ identify guests from their baby photos
~ guess the ingredients of baby food
~ decorate a baby suit
~ drinks in baby bottles
~ jelly babies inside ice cubes
~ guys putting a huge balloon up their shirt and trying to tie their show laces
~ guess the chocolate – melted chocolate bars smeared on nappies / diapers
(mars bars / snickers / bounty / milky way / etc)
Our daughter and son-in-law received practical and thoughtful gifts to set them off on their parenthood journey.
Tasmania has beautiful, unspoilt landscape and countryside. Tasmania also has delicious local produce, including farmed salmon.
On Sunday, there was a protest against additional fish farming on our East Coast. It was all very peaceful and friendly, a few speakers, music, media coverage.
There were people on the waterfront, some with placards, some with their dogs.
There were people on the water, also with banners and signs, also with dogs. Fishing trawlers, recreational fishing boats, pleasure boats, yachts, kayaks, jet skis, paddle boards, surfers.
Although this was a local protest on a small island at the bottom of the world, this one placard seems appropriate on a global level.
Whilst walking around Trafalgar Square yesterday we heard music, drumming and chanting.
A huge anti racism march was heading down Whitehall for a rally outside Parliament. It was fun to be a bystander, to people watch. This morning’s newspaper states that up to thirty thousand people took part. It was peaceful, organised, people of all ages and creeds, police were present but not obvious until they marked the end of the march and opened the roads again.
Two years ago our life changed. We packed “our UK life” into a five foot square storage unit, and travelled to Tasmania for an “adult gap year”. We’ve had a great time and for the foreseeable future, Hobart is now home.
When we packed up, we didn’t know where our next home would be, what size, what we’d need, so the packing up process was interesting. In reality, there are very few things that we have actually missed in the two years.
We are now back in London to catch up with family and friends and for the task of clearing the storage unit, reviewing our “stuff”.
We’ve had three days of sorting.
~ Furniture, tools, TV, DVD, kitchen equipment, hand bags, clothes, all donated.
~ Books, LP’s, 45’s and CD’s sold.
A few surprises, lots of memories.
So we are down to a dozen boxes in my Mum’s loft. A small pile of things to take back to Tassie. We can now relax and enjoy the rest of our holiday.
I’ve had the song from “Frozen” going through my head as a mantra …”Let It Go”. It’s just stuff.
I haven’t dared open the box of photos yet! I need to see if I have a day to spare to get lost in that task.
How far do you walk in your average day?
I’m a recent convert to a “fitness tracker”. My Fitbit bracelet records steps, as well as heart rate, distance walked, stairs climbed, calories burned, and sleep patterns. It talks to my iPhone and encourages me with messages and badges. It’s a winning formula.
Fitbit has a target of 10,000 steps per day. That is approximately 8km or 5 miles.
According to various reports and surveys, Australian adults walk an average of 7,400 steps per day. Swiss over 9,000, American’s just under 5,000 while Brits average only 3,000 to 4,000 steps.
One of my 52 challenges at the beginning of January was to complete 10,000 on six days a week. After four weeks, I achieved that with only 3 days below my target, but still above 5,000 per day.
I know I feel better. I can see that my resting heart rate has dropped. My mid life sleep patterns are still erratic but hey ho.
So in February I will continue the step challenge but add a target of 10 floor on 6 days per week. If I eat less, perhaps I will lose some weight too.
There have been days when I am walking around at ten pm, to get to the magic 10,000.
Don’t tell the neighbours, but I might have to do late night runs up and down the communal stairs of our building to achieve the floor target. My pj’s are quite respectable.
First you crawled then you learned to walk and the world grew bigger.
Then you rode a bike, drove a car, bought a plane ticket.
Suddenly the horizons were limitless.
Then doubts crept in…
“I can’t do that” and your world shrinks a little.
“I shouldn’t take that trip.”
“I won’t find my way around.”
“I have too many responsibilities. “
And it shrinks a little more, until you’re sitting in a little box with the lid tightly fixed.
No experience, no lessons, no life.
Boxes can be comfortable, but no matter how cosy you make it, it’s still a box.
They come in all shapes and sizes.
When we let unrealistic fears hold us back, we can be fairly certain we’re climbing inside another box.
Find one small “ I can’t ….” and take the lid off the box.
Stick your head out and look around.
See what you can achieve in 2016.
(I copied this from somewhere, a year or two ago but can’t remember where.
So apologies that I can’t acknowledge the author.)
On the eve of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, hundreds of thousands of people around the globe are making their voices heard under the banner of #Peoples Climate.
In Hobart, the Peoples Climate event was a rally rather than a march. Speakers were eloquent and ranged from an environmentalist, animal conservationist, faith leader, to fire service leader and a seventh generation farmer. All had the same message from different vantage points. The science can’t be ignored and we are already beginning to experience the effects of climate change. Australia has a poor record on carbon emissions and needs to step up.
“The answers are not easy but they are possible”.
“We must pass on a better world to our children and grandchildren”.
It is hoped that at this conference the 147 global leaders will agree to ambitious targets with short time frames in order to make a real and lasting difference.
There were an estimated 2,400 people gathered in Hobart, with much bigger events in other cities across Australia. Globally, it is anticipated that a million people will attend over 2,000 events in 150 countries. That is a lot of people wanting their politicians to take notice.
It was a family event, all generations, a mixed representation of the community. People had taken picnics, dogs were on leads, kids played on the outskirts. It was friendly and colourful.
A wonderful and unexpected element of the event has surfaced on social media in the past few days…. #march4me.
Following the tragic attacks in Paris two weeks ago, the planned climate march in that city has been banned by French authorities. People attending events all over the world are linking with someone who can’t attend a march but wants their voice to be heard. I signed up and represented Mathieu from France. I saw others in Hobart with signs representing others from France and Tunisia. As I write this, over twenty six thousand people have been paired up.
Here are some of the banners from Hobart. Everyone was happy to share in photos, many were home made, often with help from the kids.
Six months ago today, we left London to begin a new life phase in Tasmania.
Here are a few random facts that I have learned about our new home.
Hobart’s place in the world, latitude and longitude is …..
….. 42.88 degrees South and 147.33 degrees East.
I soon learned about the attitude. 42° south is a local winery.
The motel that we stayed in when we arrived in Hobart is 429 Sandy Bay Road but with an interesting sign that signifies the latitude.
I know that Greenwich, London latitude is 51.48 degrees North and 0.00 degrees, neither east or west, the home of the Greenwich Meridian.
I wondered what other countries had latitude of 42°.
In the northern hemisphere, the 42nd parallel passes through 23 countries :
Portugal, Spain, Italy (to the north of Rome), France (on the island of Corsica), Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Russia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyztan, China, Mongolia, North Korea, Japan, USA and Canada.
Only four places are crossed by 42nd parallel in the southern hemisphere :
~ Tasmania, Australia
~ South Island, New Zealand
Here in the south there is so much ocean, so little land, which influences the weather and climate.
Tasmania has the cleanest air record in any populated place according to WHO monitors.
Hobart is the second driest capital city in Australia with annual average of 626 mm of rainfall whilst on Tasmania’s west coast, the rainforests have average of 2,500 mm.
Do you know about “Humans of New York”?
If you are not familiar with this, I’ll let Brandon explain in his own words
“I began Humans of New York in the summer of 2010. I thought it would be really cool to create an exhaustive catalogue of New York City’s inhabitants, so I set out to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers and plot their photos on a map. I worked for several months with this goal in mind, but somewhere along the way, HONY began to take on a much different character. I started collecting quotes and short stories from the people I met, and began including these snippets alongside the photographs. Taken together, these portraits and captions became the subject of a vibrant blog. With over eight million followers on social media, HONY now provides a worldwide audience with daily glimpses into the lives of strangers in New York City. It has also become a #1 NYT bestselling book. It’s been quite a ride so far.”
I have been following HONY for a while and enjoy the range of NY people that he includes, all ages, all backgrounds, happy and sad lives. The kids are great. Here is the snippet of one little boy who has the biggest smile … “Two days ago at school we learned how to play a game called chest. You have horses and pawns and bishops and castles, and you’re supposed to steal other peoples’ places by squirting your pawn diagonal and eating their pieces. If anyone else wants to learn chest, I’ll teach them.”
The reason I am writing about HONY now, is more serious.
Brandon occasionally ventures beyond New York. He is currently in Europe, photographing and talking to refugees. Their stories are heroic and heartbreaking.
As the human face of the refugee crisis seems to have faded from daily news, I wanted to share HONY and the snippets of these ordinary people in extraordinary situations.
You can follow HONY on Facebook and Twitter but also on his blog at
Please take a little time to read some of the HONY posts. Thank you.