Sunday 28 September 2014

100 things in 30 days

Recently, I threw out 100 things in 30 days.

Photo by martin via Flickr.

The clear out wasn't prompted by anything in particular. I was pottering around, doing my weekly tidy-up, and found three things I didn't need and set aside for the charity bins. Then I found some more.

Sunday 21 September 2014

Two Streets

This is a turn of the century villa.
When I left last night's election party, I walked down a nice street. It's a wide street, with mature trees, roundabouts to slow traffic, and million-dollar renovated villas set back on green lawns. There's a primary school round one corner and your pick of organic cafes round the other. It's not even the nicest street in Epsom.

The last time I'd walked the three blocks from my friend's house to my partner's house, I passed two people sleeping in their cars. 

This is a 1997 Toyota Camry
I didn't peek through their windows, any more than I'd peek through the window of one of the villas they were parked in front of. But the windows were steamed up with someone's breath, and one of the cars had a carefully placed sun visor thing across the windshield. 

There are very few people that live in a car out of choice. It's a last resort, when all other options have been exhausted. It's a choice people make when they cannot find affordable accommodation, or a job which allows them to pay rent. When they can't access money to pay for a motel, even for a few nights. When their friends get tired of them sleeping on the couch, or maybe the friends don't have a couch, or maybe they don't have friends. Anyway. Few sleep in a car from choice. They do it because their only other option is sleeping rough(er), on the street. 

So that was two streets: the one with the upper-middle-class folks in their tastefully renovated villas, and the people with no other option. The same street, worlds apart. This is inequality. 

I'm middle class, and last night's election results won't unduly affect me. It's not me I'm worried about. It's my country. I thought we were better than this. I don't want to see people sleeping rough: not because I'm scared or offended by their presence, but because all New Zealanders have a right to a basic standard of living. A right which is currently not being met for a lot of people. 

Today I've signed up to sponsor a New Zealand child through KidsCan. Because 260,000 New Zealand children - 1 in 4 - live in poverty, and today they need our help.

Further reading: 

I would encourage you all - no matter how you voted yesterday - to check out KidsCan. This issue is important, and it's not going away. 

Sunday 7 September 2014

Fun with crochet!

My friend said, "Rachel! You made this? Your skills are being wasted."
I said, "This is the perfect use of my crochet skills, actually."

On election night, we’re having a party. We’re going to drink themed cocktails (Muldooned Wine and Champagne Socialism), and watch the votes come in. And we’ll play a game or two while we argue about Epsom. I’ve* made a new deck of Cards Against Humanity, and you can play it too.