Random thoughts on a Sunday

If you had ever come across a spiral-shaped fossil like that...

Image from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palaeocastor

...what would you have thought of it?

Turns out, for a long time even palaeontologists were puzzled by this weird "corckscrew" of a fossil, but by now we have fortunately learned that this spiral used to be a burrow dug by a prehistoric beaver (!) which had filled with silt and sand, hardenening over time,  and when the lake that used to be there drained and the surrounding soil eroded, that's what was left behind. There's an article about it on BBC.

And it's pretty cool, eh?


Being ill whilst there's a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old in the house means laying down on the floor and almost immediately having one child stroking my head gently and the other one climbing on me vigorously and piling plastic toy animals on my chest. No such thing as quiet time unless they're asleep or out.


Today we will take off The Kid's leg cast (hopefully!) for the last time this year, and I am looking forward to that. (No more cast shoes! No more special pants! As much swimming and showers as we want! No more late night Paracetamol doses!)

After seven weeks of casting his ankle is at a much better position than it used to be and now we will slowly build up muscle strength which has diminished due to casting, which basically means... doing the things we've been doing anyway: going to parks, swimming, attending Tumbletimes sessions, and preschool.

And I am looking forward to that!

And it would be appropriate to acknowledge my friends who have helped (a lot!) to make hospital visits manageable - by taking care of my daughter whilst me and The Kid have been on weekly hospital visits. Treena and Molly, you have made it so, so, so much easier, guys! Thank you!


Recently some researchers discovered that Samoans have a high incidence of a certain gene that makes the body more efficient at storing fat. I cannot remember the exact percentages, but it was something like 45% of Samoans carrying the gene versus only 14% in other parts of the world? Something like that.

(And if you lived in a country where there is a sizable population of Samoans (in New Zealand, for example), you'd probably nod along and go, "A ha....")

It is arguable why exactly that is, but one idea is that back when Polynesians crossed long stretches of ocean, having that gene made them more likely to survive the journey without starving to death, and therefore populating the islands with people who, right from the beginning, were very likely to be carriers of that gene.

But now, in an age of plentiful food, it's a little different.


I have several workmates that are Samoan and I have been surprised by the apparent lack of fiber they have in their lunches - I'd like to say "diets", but I don't actually know what they have for breakfast and dinner, so I'll say "lunches" instead. And I do understand that it's a complex issue.

A former colleague of mine put it very well when she said that she hasn't got a problem with various health agencies promoting healthy eating and she's all for healthy food, especially when it comes to her children... but! Those health agencies need to acknowledge that feeding kids fruit and veggies is more expensive than feeding them a bucket of chicken nuggets from KFC.

And I laughed at the way she put it - but it's true.

That same colleague then said that she gets very pissed off when someone says to her that she could "save money" by eating healthy, because - if you compare the price of fruit and veggies to low-price, high-carb, low nutritional value food that someone who is truly strapped for cash may buy simply because they have not got the money to buy better, then - no, they could not "save money" buy doing so, and she takes offense to people who think that low socio-economic groups eat junk food because they're dumb.

Which is why I feel kind of sad when I see what my Samoan workmates eat for lunch. I tell myself to not feel sad - or worse, pity - but... it's hard not to. Because if someone is consistent at eating 2-minute noodles for lunch and white bread + Vegemite for morning tea - whilst I have a fairly good idea of how much, sorry, little! they earn - then no, it's hard not to feel sad, or pity.

And it was just the other day when The Man looked at the amount of fruit my kids demolished after lunch that he said, "Man, I'm glad we have enough money to keep buying them all this nice food."

And I could not agree more.

PS. To those of you that are yet to have children - you may (or may not) remember your own parents making similar comments when you were little, but... man!, children can eat a lot of food. And so be prepared to be buying it when you have children one day.

A lot of it.


As the sun moves around our house, so does The Dog. She seeks out the patches of sunlight that are the biggest and, once content that she has found "the one", she sprawls out across the floor to sleep the patch away.

Once she awakes and finds that the patch of sunlight has moved, so does she.


  1. OMG can kids eat! Youngest is constantly snitching food from the kitchen, usually bread or corn thins (I only buy wholegrain versions, luckily I can afford that). I'm just changing to gluten free eating, that would be impossible for someone on a low income, if you were celiac on a low income how on earth would you manage without destroying your health?

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