Friday, September 11, 2009

Why I started this blog...

It is time I started talking about the "thing" that made me want to start this blog in the first place...

Okay, I'm a bit overweight. Or, more accuarately, morbidly obese in my doctor's vernacular. I'm 168cm (5'6"), and on my doctor's scales in February I weighed in at 135kg. That equates to a Body Mass Index (BMI) of almost 48. Quite reasonably, she has been gently trying to convince me to take some measures to reduce my weight for years.

In my favour, my weight has been steady for years. In the doctor's records, my weight hasn't changed for at least three years. And long ago, my weight was stable for years at 12 stone (that's 168 lb or 76kg). Before I broke my ankle and it went undetected for eight years, and I stopped moving because it hurt too much.

I've been to a dietician before. We worked together for three years and I lost over 30 kg (66 lb). But the focus on the food started to get very negative for me, and the three health professionals that I told this to ignored me. So I went into my own little tail-spin and stopped going - and of course put all that weight back on over time, plus more.

Fast-forward to this year, and my doctor tells me about a scheme being run by the local district health board where they pay for people like me to see a health psychologist, and would I be interested in that? I figured it wouldn't hurt to take a look, so in short order I was contacted by the guy and we made an appointment for me to see him.

More next time!..

Monday, April 20, 2009

It's raining!

Yes, you can hear me jumping up and down with joy at that statement - it has been unusually dry around here lately. The rain started last night, a very welcome sound on our roof.

In the latest edition of the local newspaper, the Kaiwaka Bugle, the rainfall figures say that we had a quarter less rain over January to March this year than last.

I grew up with my Auckland-bred father saying "if it's not raining, it's going to" - and he was generally right. Auckland and the north are sub-tropical and it rains frequently.

Last summer (2007-08) while large parts of New Zealand were in drought, here in the Kaipara District we didn't even have a fire ban. (Some local bodies automatically impose a ban each summer, KDC imposes one if the conditions dictate.)

This summer just past (2008-09) the droughts down south didn't seem to be as bad as the previous year, but we were drier and had a fire ban for a while.

The local farmers will be very pleased with this rain replenishing their paddocks, and everyone will be welcoming the water in their tanks. I hadn't checked mine lately, but I expect it was getting low.

We live off rain water here, collected from our roofs. An electric pump delivers it to the taps. It's some of the best water around, IMHO - much better than city water that tastes of chemicals. The major down-side to our water supply is that if there is a power cut we don't have any water. Here at our place we do not have any taps fed by the tank that are independent of the pump - something I want to rectify one day. But we do have clean buckets at the ready to dip in should the need arise (which it shouldn't, now that we have a small generator, but I'm not going to tempt fate). :-)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Speaking of time travelling...

Being completely new to blogging, one of my first observations about my first post is the time stamp on it.

I'd noted while composing the entry that the automatic time stamp was not my local time. Can't remember what it was, something in America I guessed, and then I tried to change it - big mistake! That meant that the entry would not be published until that time in its local timezone. So then I changed it again, taking a stab at the time that had been originally displayed

I sent that first entry only a few minutes ago, and as I type the time is 6:56pm Sunday, New Zealand time. I note now that the "post date and time" seems to be set at the time I start creating the entry.

Just so you know why I might seem to be writing at odd times!

Getting Started

I've been contemplating starting a blog for a while now, so here we go!

I just have to rave about the book I finished today - The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I've been wanting to read it since it was recommended to me by a friend a few years ago, and it hasn't disappointed.

Henry is a time traveller. He doesn't have any choice in the matter, it just happens. Without warning he will be transported in time and space, and after some undetermined time has passed (minutes, or days, or somewhere in-between) he is replaced back where he vanished from. Naked, as nothing that is not a part of him can travel through time.

In his travels he often meets Clare, and they fall in love. Henry is eight years older than Clare. But Clare meets Henry for the first time when she is six and he 36, and Henry meets Clare for the first time when he is 28 and she 20.

Confused? Don't be. The book is peppered with the day's date, and how old each of them are. It is written entirely from the viewpoints of Clare and Henry, narrating the events that are happening to them at that time.

It is a love story, of a love that begins in childhood and blooms in adulthood. But Clare must wait when Henry disappears, not knowing how long he will be away, and in what state he will return (since sometimes he must fight for his life when he arrives naked in another place and time). And both trying to lead a "normal" life regardless.

When I got up this morning (Sunday), my first task after breakfast was to write a report on behalf of the library (where I am the librarian) for the local newspaper. I talked about this book and said I'd rather be reading it than doing anything else. I also noted that I was about halfway through the book, and that it would be back on the library shelves by mid-week.

After finishing the report and sending it off to the editor, I sat down and continued reading - and didn't stop until it was after 4pm and I'd finished! Such was the pull of the writing that I just had to continue.

It was a beautiful, moving book, and I thoroughly recommend it.