Friday, August 31, 2007

resisting a bargain

I find it hard to resist a bargain. Always have, always will. My dear old grandad used to say 'nothing's a bargain unless you need it', he was of course right - and he was also an avid bargain hunter. Maybe it's in the genes.

Anyway, I am proud to say that I did resist a bargain. Was sorely tempted to buy a watch that I have been admiring for some time - and there it was - 30% off. A bargain! The temptation ... the force of will required to walk away ...

But I did. And was inordinately proud of myself (there was some teetering on the brink involved).

This is of course despite the fact that I have three watches already ...

Friday, August 24, 2007

small things

I am rather proud that I have fixed something. Or, to be technically correct, the Object Of My Affections fixed something at my direction (and insistence). The knob on the microwave broke (yes folks, I own a microwave with a turning knob), which made it rather difficult to operate.

After a few weeks of dealing with a no-knob device, patience began to run out - not that we use it much - but now and again I heat something up in it.

My immediate reaction was to think it was time for a new one - after all, it must be nearly 10 years old - which as we all know is very old in appliance years. And then - a brainwave - glue the knob back together. This may seem obvious, but it took me a while to come to that conclusion. I did have to buy some super glue, but the knob is now back in one piece and usable.

So now the elderly microwave will hopefully last a few more years. I am proud. Made me realise we really don't live in a fix-it society.

Friday, August 10, 2007

a spending spree

This is a bit tragic, but I am excited - have been shopping today. Ok - it was op-shopping - and a very satisfying experience it was too. There are a couple of op shops round where I live, but it is not a particularly affluent area - so consequently most of the stuff ain't great. Does ok for books, but that's about all really.

Anyway, I dragged the reluctant Object of My Affection across a couple of suburbs and I got to shop. Bought a great pair of italian suede shoes for $15 - got to love that - a little handbag, a bunch of books and a few CDs (all of which are a complete mystery - will give them all away if I don't like them). Happy as a lark.

Ok - so now is the hard part - did I need any of those things? No. Am I glad I bought them? yes!

I haven't really shopped at Op shops (apart from a bit of idle looking around for books) since I was an impecunious student. Think perhaps it lost its charm because it made me feel poor, which was ok when I was 19, but not so much fun now. And it is a fairly time-consuming business as well - you do have to be dedicated.

I am also mindful that one of my aims in life is to have less stuff rather than more ... yes, I know it doesn't really stack up.

Anyway, it was fun. It got me over the shopping bug, and I am re-using a bunch of stuff that other people didn't want. Overall a happy outcome.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

food business

Thanks to Bryan at My Fair Share who very kindly donated me a copy of ‘The ethics of what we eat‘ by Peter Singer and Jim Mason. A thought-provoking book about what we eat, the methods of food production and their environmental and animal welfare impact.

And if you suspect that the truly ethical option is to be vegan who only eats organic food, then you are about right.

It is a well written, accessible book that will make you think differently about a lot of things. Not too preachy. In the spirit of the Compact I would like to share the joy. If you would like me to send it to you, leave a comment with your email address.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

weighing up the rice issue

I bought some rice the other day - Basmati - to go with a very fine sweet potato curry. Happy to report my cooking is improving...

So - the options in the supermarket were rice from Pakistan or rice from Australia. Once I started to think about it, I did not find this a very easy choice.

1. Australian rice - no doubt a fine product, but I don't think we should be growing such grossly water intensive crops in this parched land that is suffering from major water supply issues.

2. Pakistani rice - shipped a long way to get here. Food miles = v.high. But maybe (?) purchasing this rice would support people on lower incomes if the production involves a lot of manual labour.

Neither, I might add, were organic - so another set of issues there. In the end I bought the Pakistani rice, but I am still left scratching my head as to what is the best course of action.

Give up rice?