Random bits and bobs

My daughter has a new way of showing defiance.

When she doesn't like what we told her / asked her to do / told her off for, she goes in the kitchen and rolls herself into a kitchen rug.

Don't ask. I don't know, is the answer, anyway.


We have an old habit with grocery shopping that we only really buy things when they're on 'special', ie on sale.

If we can help it, anyway.

The shopping list on the fridge will at any given time look something like this:

ginger IOS
beetroot IOS
milk powder
tea IOS
coffee IOS

IOS means "if on special", ie we-don't-necessarily-need-it-now-but-buy-it-if-it's-on-sale. That way, it costs us less over time to buy things such as tin tomatoes, vinegar, coffee - long-lasting staple ingredients.

It means that, sometimes, if many things are on special at the same time, stock-up cupboard looks like this:

Uhm... yeah.


I have written before about Invercargill's "Nordic" approach to alcohol taxation; how very much like Sweden, Finland, Norway etc Invercargill council regulates and taxes alcohol consumption in a way that keeps channelling funds into community development.

As of this week, we have stepped into yet another role of being on the receiving end of that community funding.

ILT or in simple terms, "that alcohol trust", funds each Invercargill's school's swimming programme. At no cost to the parents each child gets a set of swimming lessons during school hours each year - as part of school sports curriculum.

For us it means that for the next month, three times each week a bus picks up The Kid's class from school, brings them to the swimming pool, teachers work with their swimming skills in different groups, and then bus takes them back to school.

Our family, we go swimming every week anyway. Next year we may even start The Kid in proper swimming lessons.

However, I know that our family is lucky. We have the financial means, and the time, and the health to do that.

Not everyone has that.

And I am so pleased, so pleased!, that this little council in the bottom of the world recognises that, and finds a way to support swimming skills throughout primary schools regardless of parents' social or employment or financial or whatever status.

One day, when New Zealand also realises that it makes sense to feed kids in school, I am going to be really, really proud.

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