Saturday, January 12, 2019

Small steps

Like many I am fascinated by Planet Earth style programs. Watching a pod of dolphins frolick or snow leopards in the wild, they have me in awe. Wildlife safaris for real, shows about once in a lifetime sightings of snow leopards, things we wouldn’t naturally see in our everyday life, these things are my things. 

Last year the environmental news was either rhetoric that global warning is fake news or the many ways in which global warming was manifesting on our fragile planet. I’m a firm seat owner on the ‘it’s real and we should be very afraid’ bandwagon and big on how small changes can have large impacts. The buzz on how we should use less plastic straws and toothbrushes and plastic bags - my take is that every little helps. While there is lots of ‘plastic island in the ocean’ or ‘our fish are made of plastic’ type of scaremongering there is one view that it’s all a crapshoot at this point. 

Who knows how much of a crapshoot it is? No one does, is my firm answer. Figures can be manipulated and pictures are the same - they only tell one side of any story. However, for a few years now, my philosophy has been to minimise my own effects as far as possible. Who knows if every drop makes the ocean etc? And so I do a few very small things very consistently and which may have only a negligible effect:
  1. I only ever use my own take away cup for coffee/ tea if I’m getting a takeaway. If I don’t have my own cup I will not buy a coffee outside but skip it. Helps to not drink as much coffee/ tea as I normally would. Same for water. Always carry my own bottle and never buy plastic bottles. 
  2. I will only use my own reusable bag(s) to shop. Again, if I don’t have it with me I won’t buy anything. This greatly helps the ‘reduce’ in purchasing impulsively.
  3. Try and use local producers and buy package free produce when I can - this is harder said than done especially here but I’ve managed to find milk, greens, fruit all with low carbon footprints, recyclable or compostable packaging, minimal transportation required. 
  4. Stopped the use of cling film to cover anything/ store stuff. Reshaped my kitchen habits quite a bit. 

There are still many many areas where our household can improve. We are trying - lots of discussion about ‘waste not, want not’, ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ - all to influence our own wastefulness and our Kid to grow into a more conscientious individual. We are better at some things than others but aiming for greater consistency this year. I try and read and keep informed of what the various environmental impact areas are in our daily lives and see what could work for us. It’s often quite hard and I fail miserably in many areas but it is not for lack of trying. In the face of unending marketing  and consumerism it’s very hard to make good choices and it’s definitely an uphill and often unpopular battle. No idea what the effect might be and if ever anyone alive today will actually see the benefits but I can safely see it calms me to know that I didn’t give up trying. All advice welcome.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Tea light, anyone?

If I ever ask my friend M to join me for lunch because I’m headed ‘into town’ she laughs and asks what I need at IKEA. For as long as we have both lived in HK this is a running joke between us. According to her I’m always dashing to IKEA for something or the other or to accompany a friend looking for something in its expanse. I’ll admit that I’m in IKEA every few months - I’m partial to ironing board covers (which both I and my helper are guilty of burning holes in), teaspoons (which ‘magically’ get eaten by the bin) and random stationary that I do not need. I particularly like their food hall for smoked salmon and lately their fresh bakery goods. I’m such a domestic goddess 🙄

Looks like my first IKEA trip of 2019 is imminent. In irony of ironies I actually ran out IKEA tea lights. I always feel like I need them and usually I come home with a pack of 100 only to find a box stuffed to the gills with tea lights. I groan and stuff the new 100 pack in, shut the box and forget all about them. 

Last night we hosted 8 friends for a post dinner, post New Year holiday catch-up drinks and snacks. In an effort to create ‘ambience’ I pulled out our bigger box of glass tea light holders and told Kid to get this organised. He decided 20 would be plenty so 20 assorted glass and ceramic minis. I then pointed him in the direction of the tea light box while I continued to prep mango salsa and guacamole. Next I hear we only have 6 white tea lights. Of course this cannot be true. We should, in theory, have at least 250 tea lights if not more. I abandon all chopping and mixing and join him to check the box. What do you know? 6 white and 8 assorted green and yellow tea  lights is all that is left. 

So we began the year with 14 tea lights, 8 friends, 4 snacks and peals of laughter. The evening ended with 3 of us making plans to go to IKEA next week. Turns out this is how middle-aged homebodies celebrate New Years. 

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Pillow fluffer

I was achey and nauseous before the flight and so V, who was given an impromptu upgrade at the check-in counter, offered to swap seats with me. Normally I would have protested as he is the one heading into work after the horrid red eye but I felt unwell enough to need the rest and so I gratefully took it.

I waited just off the ramp this morning and as Kid walked off the flight he told me all about how he ate a portion of chicken and pasta (so he could stay awake and look at the screen) and didn’t sleep very well. Why? ‘Because normally you are there to adjust my pillow while I sleep.’ I asked him if he had missed me and he stated categorically ‘NO, NOT AT ALL’. I think an admission of dereliction of pillow fluffling duties is as much of an ‘I missed you’ as I’m going to get. 

Sleeping the first day away

What a first day! Sat at the airport now waiting for our flight back. 

Last night we hung out at V’s brothers home in Mumbai eating Indian Chinese food, chatting nineteen to the dozen and sipping drinks - and shortly after midnight we all repaired to bed. I woke up at 5am and let’s just say the tummy was not happy. A fair few hours of digestive issues followed - with accompanying puking 🤮 interspersed with mini naps to stave off the dizziness. Spent the day laying on my sis in law’s bed - both she and I had the bad food apparently - lots of napping, eating probiotics and starving the bug away. Better this evening - enough to catch this flight. Hopefully the worst day of the year is behind me. 

2019, you better be good.