Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Ups and Downs. And Side-to-Sides.

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  • Greg Dawson, in reply to Lilith __,

    Not sure if the Pope would agree, but I think this counts a a miracle.

    Hey, the Pope knows hardware and would definitely count that. He founded Mitre Ten.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 281 posts Report Reply

  • Gabor Toth,

    An alternative if you don't have any alcohol gel is methylated spirits. You can use it from a big bottle but it is easier to transfer it into a little squirty bottle with a cap (an empty tomato sauce bottle will do nicely). About a teaspoon in the palm and then rubbed all over does the trick. If you find it too harsh on your hands, you can dilute it so that it is about 70% - 80% meths and 30% - 20% clean water - or just use a hand moisturiser occasionally. I have heard some people using neat Vodka but I'd much rather drink the stuff.

    If your bathroom is still intact, an alternative to straddling a trench in the garden is to line your toilet bowl with a large rubbish bag / bin liner. This is particularly good if you have young children or elderly residents in your household and means everyone can do their business with a bit of dignity. Fold the edge of the bag over the rim and bring the toilet seat down to trap it into position. This can hold about two days waste for a small family (blokes can do number ones against the garden shed). It won’t actually won't smell too bad until you move it when the bag fills up (then it certainly can be a bit wiffy). Bury the bag in the garden noting the position (if the bag is tightly closed and tied, you can leave just the top sticking up). Once rubbish collection (or poo collection) services are restored you can retrieve the bag and dispose of it properly. A line of Vicks vapour-rub under the nose will mask most smells and prevent gagging when you move the bag from the toilet to the garden. Otherwise a peg with a slack spring on the nose will work and will leave both hands free. Vicks under the nose will also help if you have to work around sewage or if you are involved with (let's hope not but...) body recovery. The gagging reflex to odours can be so strong that it can result in incapacitating vomiting so this is a useful trick to keep up your sleeve if you ever need it. Tiger balm is OK at a pinch but not as effective as Vicks.

    I crunched some figures a year or so back were I worked out that 20 maximum-length 160 character txts involved sending roughly the same amount of data over the network as one second of talking on a cellphone voice-call. So yeah – send txts – don’t talk.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I seem to recall something about continually having to renegotiate 3G data connections – ie, situation normal on Vodafone in some places anyway – also being a major battery drain.

    May already have been said but if you disable data connections on your phone, wifi, bluetooth, data through your provider, Vodafone or Telecom and switch to 2g only, you can get a lot more battery life. Of course you can re-enable them as needed.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4947 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    BTW can I just say there are heaps of wonderful ordinary people doing great stuff. There's a guy in my street at the moment with a little digger, scooping up silt. He lives round the corner and went and hired the digger specially. And I went past a house yesterday where they'd rigged up a long extension cord out the window and set up a table and chairs on the street, with a sign inviting people without power to come and charge their phones.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3470 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Gabor Toth,

    Fold the edge of the bag over the rim and bring the toilet seat down to trap it into position. This can hold about two days waste for a small family (blokes can do number ones against the garden shed). It won’t actually won’t smell too bad until you move it when the bag fills up (then it certainly can be a bit wiffy).

    If you have sawdust you could cover your “waste” with that, just a sprinkle will do, cuts down the pong remarkably well. You can then just pop it in the compost bin, without the plastic bag of course. It breaks down quite nicely and you can then put it on your Rhubarb. Still, not as good as custard but…
    ;-)

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4947 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I still don’t fully understand how they do that so quickly

    They don’t have to fill in triplicate forms and do reports so they can actually do the work they are good at and ya know they are good at it!

    To be a little less cynical a lot of time is usually spent making sure they don't damage other underground services and at the moment they just wing it and figure the odd broken phone cable is fine. Some of the fixes may also be just temporary which can be a lot quicker.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3444 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    An alternative if you don't have any alcohol gel is methylated spirits.

    Waaay cheaper too - the local gas station has it for $8 a liter. Meths is handy stuff, it can be stored in ordinary plastic bottles. Good for cleaning and cooking (making a meths stove is really, really simple). But I'd rather be cooking on the BBQ, that's for sure.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8675 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to BenWilson,

    But I’d rather be cooking on the BBQ, that’s for sure.

    Would you be up to a frittata, though?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to recordari,

    It's not what I'm usually called upon for. I expect on day one I'd be cooking up whatever meat we had first because it won't keep. But frittata on day two sounds like an awesome way to use what you've got.

    On the fridge note, question for Emma. How long did it stay cold for? I was thinking it might be a good idea to move the perishables to the freezer at some point, which would probably stay cold longer.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8675 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to BenWilson,

    I’m thinking goat curry will have to be our Ranapia cult’s signature dish. Although I prefer not to have to drink the blood first.

    Whoops, wrong thread…

    ETA: Vaughn Davis has a goat farm? Who knew? Well, apart from his 2800 followers that is.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Vaughn even had a goat called Korma..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    How long did it stay cold for? I was thinking it might be a good idea to move the perishables to the freezer at some point, which would probably stay cold longer.

    That's what we did on the second day, by which time the fridge was basically a cupboard. So we got about a day of cool storage, but the weather on that first day was pretty cool too, I think that'd make a difference. And we have quite a small fridge. So we kept the milk etc for another day by putting it in the freezer, and then I biffed all the perishables and we went to the supermarket on day three.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4371 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    We're staying with relatives in Rolleston but going in to visit our house daily. Today we discovered a dribble of water coming from the tap and, even better, the missing cat hiding under furniture where she's probably been all along! We're planning to have a day or two of cleaning and then move back in. It may not be luxurious but I think I'll feel better on my own turf all the same.

    The loo flushes but drains a bit slower than usual so we may resort to dunny digging to be on the safe side.

    The paper has the kids' school on the "severely damaged" list which has caused the kids a large bit of distress. I have no idea what's going to happen but assume that some sort of arrangement will be made reasonably quickly - I can't see the ministry wanting kids going without schooling for too long.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Who needs the crowd mind when you've got common sense, eh?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8675 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    Thanks Jackie- we are all ok, together, and in fact having a few kids for a sleepover tomorrow. It seems like an act of normality. The kids have taken things fairly calmly, but we’re already thinking we need to organise some activities. Being idle is ok for a while, but doing things helps too.
    (And just started reading Guardians of the Dead. It's good! Feels so local, which also seems right just now.)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • JLM, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    I was going to comment on some of the ironies in the story, but realised I would be spoiling you. Enjoy!

    Judy Martin's southern sl… • Since Apr 2007 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Emma, trivial in the scheme of things, but I wondered whether you could give some detail of your broken heirloom china and those of us who are sometime china collectors could keep a look out for pieces. It wouldn't be the same as inheriting it from your mother of course, but a gesture.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2131 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    That's a lovely idea, Hilary.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Oh, you guys.

    These are the two that really upset me. This is a Devon cottage my grandmother brought with her from Devon when she emigrated in 1912. One of the chimneys has broken off, and I can't find it. Karl found the irony of 'my house has lost its chimney' hilarious. I did not.

    This is a pony I remember being in Nanna's china cabinet when I was little, but I don't know its provenance. I'd been going to photograph it and "sparkle" it for Lilith. Now I can't find its tail.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4371 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Now I can’t find its tail.

    Shall I find a glittery wool, and we'll fashion a tail?

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I'm wondering if that pony is Crown Lynn. Hmm.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Thanks Emma, I will keep a look out. And any others if you care to add photos (and a coin or something to show size).

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2131 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Ah, yeah, little house is about an inch high. Pony maybe four inches nose to non-existent tail. Here is pony in better days.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4371 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    That's very cute.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2131 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Emma Hart,

    This is a pony I remember being in Nanna’s china cabinet when I was little, but I don’t know its provenance. I’d been going to photograph it and “sparkle” it for Lilith. Now I can’t find its tail.

    Aw! :-) :-( I had some little china horses when I was a kid and I don't think any of them had fully intact tails or legs. Some of them had been glued back on, many, many times.

    And that cottage looks oddly familiar...I've a feeling there's one quite similar floating round in my family...I'll see who's got it and how attached they are to it.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3470 posts Report Reply

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