Monday, March 14, 2011
Of earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.

As you know I live in Australia, where we recently experienced heatwaves and floods, and our neighbour New Zealand experienced an earthquake. I prayed for a better year ahead for all of us, but it appears that Mother Earth is unhappy, and we have seen yet another natural disaster - this time, in Japan.

I was in a conference call with colleagues around Asia, including Japan, when the earthquake was first felt. We heard screaming and one colleague had time to tell us there was an earthquake before the line went dead. It was many minutes before we received an updated by way of instant messenger saying they had just experienced what most of them felt to be the worst earthquake of their lives but everyone in the office was safe and accounted for. Phone lines were down. Train lines were down and they could not go home that night. Those were scary moments, and obviously more so for them in Japan than for us over the phone line.

We watched it on the news. My four year old son was shocked by the footage of the tsunami. He does not understand why it happened. I don't understand why it happened. It just did.

What can we do, being so many miles away? There are various organisations collecting funds for the Japanese victims of the earthquake and tsunami. We can give. Give generously. We can pray. I am sure every little bit counts.

Looking for somewhere to donate? Try these: (Japan Society) (Save the Children) (Australian Red Cross)

I also want to say how ashamed I am that a Malaysian newspaper has chosen to publish a comic panel (is that what they are called??) making light of the tsunami. I don't see how that is funny. I assure you, I do have a sense of humour, but laughing at other people's misery is just not on. That crosses a line. I am sad that there are people who find it funny. It was not that long ago that the northern states of Malaysia were affected by a tsunami that caused great devastation there and in Thailand and surrounding areas. It wasn't funny then, and it is still not funny now.

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The Tines - a new shawl
I don't think I mentioned previously this shawl that I was knitting for mum. Mum wanted a shawl, but something a little more unusual in shape. Not a triangular one, and not a rectangular one. So I ended up with this:

I named it The Tines. Seemed appropriate at the time as the pointy bits poking out of the smooth body of theB a shawl looked like tines.

Then came the writing of the pattern and the testing of said pattern... About a month later and a few minor changes later.. we have a new pattern on Ravelry!

Click here to buy the pattern for USD5.00

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Sunday, March 06, 2011
Mary, Mary, quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

Well, I am not Mary, but my new "garden", if one may call it that, is growing quite well indeed. Aside from the plants that were killed by the heat wave we had a few weeks ago, almost everything else has been growing well.

This is what it looked like a few weeks ago, after I replaced teh poor scorched herbs. I now have another planter with rosemary, continental parley and lemon thyme and a pot with a chilli plant. Unfortunately the coriander in thsi picture is now on its last legs. Poor little thing. It's looking quite withered, and i cannot work out why as it is getting plenty of water and plenty of sun. The basil is now looking very lush, despite my constant raiding of its leaves.

What I am most proud of, though, is my tomato plant. Look at my latest harvest!

Yes, they ARE that red, and yes, they are that shiny. Not the world's sweetest tomatoes but they are full of tomato-ey flavour. Farewell bland shop tomatoes, hello homegrown flavour. Pow!


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