Crochet Workshop?

I have a leave pass next Saturday – Mark has offered to take the Squish away so I can play with yarn. Anyone want to sharpen up their crochet skills with me?

Lien asks, “Like a real workshop, or just a get together? I think I may be able to make it for a few hours!”.

Well, if we can get Andrea to come (and/or somebody else who can crochet and read patterns), then it will be like a real workshop, but if not then we can just muddle through by ourselves 🙂

Sarah – does a 9am start work for you? I have to go up to Pearl Beach afterwards, so we’ll finish around 3pm, but if you have to leave earlier, that is fine.

WWKIP Day, 2011

For the uninitiated, that’s World Wide Knit in Public Day. It’s been happening every year for a few years now, and it’s a fun way to spread the knitting obsession with the public.

I’m going again this year – without Mark and Inigo, who will both be at the zoo, cleverly arranged by Mark’s work.

If you’d like to come along, there is more info on Sally’s Blog. Thanks to Sally for being the driving force behind this for a few years, Kris for kicking it off, and Margot for taking the baton and running with it.

Another “click”

I finally chose my second unit for this semester – Environmental Peace, so I enrolled today and looked up the blackboard to see what I could see.

After having a quick look around, I had a look at the discussion forums, and the first post I read was written by a dear friend, who has just transferred to UNE to finish her Human Geography degree as an external student. And she is enrolled in the same course. I have a study buddy!!!

That is such a relief, as I was a little worried that some of the language will make me a little stabby. Things like –

Students engage in finding a personal connection to green living and environmental responsibility by constructing for themselves a ‘green practice path’ to sustainability in order to effect real change through a willingness to act appropriately in their own spheres of existence while influencing wider changes in the world. They learn about: reducing harm to themselves and ecological systems; empathizing with environmental suffering; gaining inspiration from green thinkers and workers; and linking the green path of environmental peacemaking to living in harmony with nature.

So, the whole unit description, basically. But with Dionne there, I know I can navigate the stabby feelings, and find the useful stuff in there.

Flood Relief

I volunteered to spend a shift at the Get Up! organised flood relief call centre, trying to match up families needing accommodation with families offering shelter. And it was honestly a relief to spend some time talking to people who had bigger problems than me. Bigger? Well, maybe that is a judgement call, but some of those conversations will stay with me for a long time.

And as well as the woman who wanted to know what religion a single mum with health issues was before she committed to offering to put a roof over her head. Really??? Really? FFS woman, is it Christian to only offer succour to people that agree with you? I think NOT.

And then there was a woman I will call Lovely. She had two bedrooms spare in Ipswich, a place where so many houses were devastated that accommodation offers there are few and far between. She had been in touch with a single mum with three kids, and expected her to spend last night at her house. Only to get a text message at 10:30pm, saying “found a place for tonight, call you tomorrow”. What followed was a number of phone calls where Lovely got progressively more worried about what sort of person she was opening her home to. We assured her that she was under no obligation to offer her home to a stranger that she didn’t trust, and she relied, “there is so much need in the world, how can you close your heart to anyone when you know you could be missing an opportunity to help someone who really needs it”.

Wow.

Lovely, I hope everything works out, that your guests don’t steal your silverware, and that many, many blessing are heaped upon you and your big heart.

Curry for flood relief

As a community devastated by tsunami and civil conflicts, the Australian Tamil community can relate to the pain and suffering endured by our fellow Australians. It is our duty to help these people in whatever way we are able to.

Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) NSW Chapter is hosting a lunch to raise funds for the Queensland Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal.

We would like to invite you and your friends to come down and enjoy the spicy taste of our traditional Tamil rice and curries.

All proceeds will be donated to Premier’s Disaster Relief.

Date: Saturday, 22nd January 2011
Venue: Church Street Mall, Parramatta
Time : 11am onwards

ATC is an authorised promoter of Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal

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All I know about the Tamil people is that the Tamil Tigers blew up busses when mum and dad were in Sri Lanka around 1994. I will endeavour to educate myself a bit more, but I am so moved by the efforts of recent migrants and minority communities who are making huge efforts to help fellow Aussies.

FFS…

I believe in freedom of information, and I believe that everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence.

That is the preface to a brief rant I am about to share about the whole wikileaks palaver.

I blame the new morning presenter on 702, who keeps alluding his opinion that Julian Assange is innocent of whatever he is being accused of in Sweden. Even though he hasn’t been accused of anything. So, yes, it isn’t fair to comment on a case until both sides have been revealed, and even then, it is possible for the truth to still be elusive – but still, you need both sides of a story to form an opinion. And the only people that have been talking publicly (that I have heard) in Australia, have been lawyers for Assange, who vociferously state that the sex was consensual, and therefore extrapolate that there can be no case to answer.

But think for a minute about consent. Just because you agree to have sex with someone with a condom, does that mean you also agree to have sex without a condom?

If you agree to sex at 1am while you are awake, does that imply consent at 5am while you are asleep?

I don’t presume to know the facts of this case, but I do think that the women making the complaint against Assange deserve the same presumption of innocence that he seems to be getting in the Australian media.

And every time you say that a rape charge “can’t be proven”, or it’s just “he said, she said”, you’re telling another victim of rape that it isn’t a good idea to report a rape. You’re telling women that the rights of a man to have sex are more important than the rights of a woman to say no.

Is that the message you want to give your daughter? Your sister? Your self?

It’s been said far more eloquently elsewhere, for example – here.