Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ireland should change abortion law now

The above are members of the Dublin Symposium on abortion who in the light of  Savita Hallappanavar's medically unnecessary death ought to be ashamed of themselves.
"Dublin – A major medical symposium in Ireland in September of this year concluded that abortion is not medically necessary to save the life of a pregnant mother.
About 140 Irish medical professionals participated in the International Symposium on Excellence in Maternal Healthcare. The symposium featured a panel of world-renowned experts in the fields of mental health, obstetrics and gynecology, and molecular epidemiology who presented their cutting-edge research and data gathered over years of clinical experience.The symposium expert committee released its conclusions in the Dublin Declaration on Maternal Healthcare, which states

  • “As experienced practitioners and researchers in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.
  • We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child.
  • We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.” Live Action News.
Being the wife of a GP one sometimes gets to hear about life in its ugliest form. My late husband only ever discussed two of his patients with me one of which was an illegal abortion he visited in Hammersmith late one night years before he married me. He never forgot it and neither have I.

Miles arrived at a squalid flat to find a young girl bleeding to death. She had been aborted with a piece of wire, Miles said it looked like a coat hanger. The place was covered in blood. There was nothing he could do and the child, Miles said she was little more than a child, bled to death in front of his eyes.

He said cleaning up illegal abortions was the worst part of the job. Miles found medicine  in all its guises unpleasant but this was the worst as it was so unnecessary.

What happened this week in Ireland in the name of God is a disgrace. The priests and the Irish public who are so scared of the clergy that they allow this to happen in the name of their cruel God ought to have to clean up after an illegal abortion like the Germans were made to clean up concentration camps.

For any young woman living in a Catholic, an Islamic or  Hindu country is in danger of her life.

Savita Hallappanavar did not need to die. The cruel system of which the Pope is so proud failed her. She is too pretty and intelligent to be killed in such a barbaric manner. She was not even a Catholic! Belief systems have a lot to answer for.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Watercare NZ Hint to gardeners

This blog will really only be of interest to Auckland gardeners. This year Auckland carved off water from our rates and put us all in the hands of Watercare to deal with all users of water in Auckland and that means all of us.

From two bills per year we now have one a month and the cost of water seems to have escalated. One of my six month bills was for $72 now it seems I have to pay $30 per month! A big increase. My summer watering bill used to be $200 now I dread to think what it will be in future if my winter bill doubled at the same rate. It seems now we all have to pay for waste water as well.

I wrote to Watercare and complained. I complained about the huge waste water charges, the monthly fee and the fact that most of the water I use goes on my garden and as the water goes into the ground I objected to having to pay again to have it treated.

I had to wait but they wrote back a very sensible email which explained the changes better than all the PR had done up until now. It seems the monthly charges and the waste water were included in the rates and cost approximately $600 per year. Householders are allowed a 20% allowance for things like washing the car an gentle watering,

They were sorry that I was going to have to pay more for water that did not go down the sewer but had I considered an irrigation meter!!!! The irrigation meter was a revelation. This is a special meter that is wait for it, used for irrigation and you do not pay waste water charges!!! It has a catch that the 20% discount has to be forsaken and it is initially expensive to install. You can say that again!

I was shocked at the cost $1,500 because an irrigation meter needs a back flow valve. I had not heard of a back flow valve and neither had anyone at Watercare. Even though I am mature, well old, and at the end of my life I thought it was worth it. In about one year it will have paid for itself so I ordered one complaining bitterly about the cost.

However when I saw what and how many men were involved and the size of the valve I am amazed the installation was so cheap. It took five men about three hours and included a huge truck, a gas man, a box about the size of half a coffin plus council permission as the thing takes up half the pavement and a half road close plus a man to repair the pavement the following day. The valve is necessary to avoid accidental flow back into drinking water. Very sensible.

The work men were a delight and one plumber later to connect it up my side my garden can look forward to a drink which will not break the bank and I can hose the paths, car and house without having a fit.

This meter is a well kept secret even the plumber had not heard of it so many thanks Watercare for letting me in on it. If you have a garden go for it!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sculpture on Shore for Women's Refuges

One thing New Zealand does well is fine art and this Sunday I had another uplifting experience when I visited the NZ Sculpture on Shore held at the Fort Takapuna Historic Reserve at Devonport. It was organized by the Auckland Council and was held in aid of The Women's Refuge. I loved it.

I heard about it on Facebook from my friend William Dart who had attended the opening. Dart is the editor of Art New Zealand and I trust his judgment as although I love fine art I am no expert. In this field I need to be led.

I made up my mind to go and I was not disappointed. The weather was perfect, NZ at its best and so was my viewing.

The slide show below gives a taste of what I saw. The exhibits were imaginative and thought provoking. One especially actually moved me and this I shall share with you.

Down in a corner was a pohutukawa tree. For non NZ er's this is known as the NZ Xmas tree because  it is covered with red flowers but this time it was covered and I mean covered with tiny tin kiwis, thousands of them that made a tinkly sound in the wind. At the bottom were again thousands of bright red tin kiwis that one could walk through.

It was so childishly pretty and a host of onlookers admired and enjoyed the pretty sight until somebody got out the catalogue! Each tiny tin kiwi represented a child killed through violence and abuse over the last century. The tree took on a somewhat different personna.

It was sad and so moving. We all stood in horror. I can say honestly that this was the first time a sculpture actually moved me almost to tears.

You can see the tree at the end of the slide show. It does not photograph well. It looks better when you can see it moving and tinkling. I have a video and will put it up later as it needs editing to do the works justice.

I thought the most appropriate music was Mahler - The Songs of Dead Children.

The exhibition runs for another week. Well worth the $15. For once it seems I can congratulate the Auckland Council. This is the way rates should be spent.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Persistant Secret Garden

I have to say it! My garden is magnificient. Even in the middle of winter,  as above when the magnolia Iolanthe takes over. My garden is Magnificent even if I have to say so myself.  I didn't set out to have a garden worthy of Chelsea but I have one, much to my surprise!

How did this happen? The garden did it itself. It has taken over my life. I never wanted to garden but now I just have to as my garden insists. My garden loves me being ill. This is when my garden sees it's chance and takes over, does its 's own thing and amazes me. How does it do this? Let me try to explain.

The secret is to have the same garden for a least 40 years and be a little interested in having a bit more than a lawn. This way you have the opportunity, 40 years opportunity, of finding out what grows and what doesn't.

People who do lawns  never get a garden. A lot of people do lawns in Auckland. The sound of mowers is heard every weekend. 40 years on their gardens look just the same namely a dull boring lawn that either has to be cut or watered or left parched and dry,

In some areas of my garden it and I are still working on which plant will grow. 40 years gives you the chance to plant everything you can think of and try and nurse the less prosperous plants into submission. My failures have been petunias, geraniums, thyme and parsley and Tea roses. I really have to try with those. Complete failure1

The answer it seems is to be dangerously ill, so ill that you have to leave your garden alone and I mean alone for at least six months, preferably a year with just minor care of say cutting the small lawn and the hedges.

My garden adores me being ill because it takes over. The weak plants vanish and the strong take over and grow and grow and plants can grow in Auckland. When I came I was horrified to find my plot was less than half a tennis court but now I am so grateful. Small gardens are best because you can get somewhere in an afternoon. It looks as if you have done something.

The first time I was dangerously ill was ten years ago. The garden thrived (see video below) and for 6 months this year my garden has again thrived without me. Other than a very hard prune and removal of the larger weeds I have done nothing and it is, wait for it .......Magnificent!

Now it has taken me over! I have to look after it! I have to water it. It demands my attention. It just says 'Look I got you through this and now you just have to enjoy me!' and I do! The garden goes on repaying me week after week. It always looks beautiful.

My garden gardens for me! Few of my friends are interested and for years it has only had me. The neighbor who loved it too and watered it for me while I was in hospital, Elizabeth Daniels, has just died but I have a new next door neighbor who is equally enthusiastic and I can share it with her and help her to avoid the mistakes I made with my garden.

This year I hope you all can enjoy it too. I'll let you know how it is perhaps once a fortnight but watch out you to may find your garden has taken over your life too!

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Brilliant Benjamin Luxon Baritone

I would just like to pay tribute to Benjamin Luxon baritone. I really only discovered him as an artist recently and I think he has become one of my favorite singers ever. As an artist he is magnificent. He is a wonderful singer and has a sensitivity and empathy for the works he sings that I find exciting and pleasurable. So many singers just rely on a beautiful voice and don't sing. To sing you need to use your entire body and mind and Luxon does. Luxon is intelligent.

Ben Luxon was a student colleague of mine when we were both at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in the 1960s. He was the boyfriend of my best friend Lilian Newman and I am afraid to say to me just another student. He was mildly good looking but as I was barely 18 and he was much older and I mean much older! He was 24! I never gave him a thought. Perhaps I was mistaken there!

He came from Cornwall and I came from Devon and I recognized immediately the bond that binds all those who hail from the West Country. He had that earthy attractiveness that exudes from men from that part of the world and which is so attractive. Ross Adkins of BBC World Have Your Say has the same attractive earthiness.

That being said I did not find him at that time attractive at all and I don't think I ever heard him sing. When I left college I never thought about him again even though he joined Britten and The English Opera Group. I too had worked for Benjamin Britten but became disillusioned by his strange behavior and I gladly left Britten behind although he gave me the major kick start to my career for which I shall be forever grateful. Britten did the same for Ben.

Britten went on to star Luxon in Billy Budd and write Owen Wyngrave for him. Britten too was attracted by Luxon's rough ancestry. I often wondered at the time what Ben Luxon must have thought of Britten as the whole set up was very strange! 

I then married and left for New Zealand which was very isolated in 1970s and 1980s and Ben was lost completely so it was with tremendous pleasure that I rediscovered my long lost acquaintance a couple of months ago and have been catching up on YouTube ever since.

Bravo Ben! You are a true star. Thanks for some lovely singing. I was very stupid not to have taken more notice of you at the time! 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bravo Obama and USA

It is with some relief that I congratulate the USA for voting Obama and the Democrats back in the driving seat for the next four years. It was a close run job. Let us all hope that the bickering and filibustering will be a thing of the past and the USA can get back to being the country it could be.

Perhaps now is the time to point out the the Republicans picked the wrong man. Romney is so steeped in his belief system that anyone with any sense would be scared stiff of giving him any power at all. Even a quick glance at the Mormon agenda on Wikipedia foretells that the Mormons would if they could take over the world. All through their short history they have been welcomed and then turned away because the Mormons are not inclined to have it any other way than their way.

I did not really understand Mormonism until I watched the Sky History Channel documentary a couple of days ago. I was both shocked and horrified.  Reading up on Wikipedia confirmed my disgust.

Any modern woman would instantly be alienated against such a candidate. The repeal of abortion laws is enough to put any young women against them. Homosexuals too would have a ghastly time under Romney. The Temple Underwear is enough to put the rest of us off. I can't help looking at Romney  and imagine him wearing it.

Mormons will do anything that is required to achieve their goals.  The end justifies the means for them. They do not mind being persecuted and in turn see no difficulty in persecuting and if necessary killing others. The Mountain Meadows incident is a horrible example of a cult out of control. Romney made his 250 million by exporting jobs to China. It made him a fortune. To him being poor is your fault. You should look after yourself. He has!

When it comes to science the Mormons believe in Creationism and even have a Conservapedia  as an answer to Wikipedia and encourage their children to use this when researching biology. I thought this site was a joke. It wasn't! Conservapedia is 100% for real. Romney is 100% Mormon. How can you have a USA President who shuns The Modern Scientific Theory of Evolution? It seems anyone who votes for Romney can.

Lastly Mormons believe in Plural Marriage. It is revealed dogma. They refrain from polygamy at present because it is forbidden by USA law but with a Mormon President  who knows!

I wish Obama luck. He is not the strongest President the USA has had but at least hopefully he will do no harm

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Romney's Secret Weapon The Magic Underpants

USA Election day has dawned. Neither of the two candidates are terrible exciting. Living in New Zealand I am glad that I do not have to vote for either of them but the President of the United States is at the moment the most powerful man in the world so how to pick between them?

The opinion poles indicate that both men are neck and neck so what is the difference? Both leaders believe in fairies but Mitt Romney may well have the advantage because he has the Magic Underpants. This is special underwear that all Mormons have to wear every day to remind them of their faith and of their commitment to convert the world to this belief system. I kid you not!

The Mormons are as dedicated as Islam and it is their duty to convert the world. Romney will be no less committed. The Mormons believe the end justifies the means, see Mountain Meadows incident. To be kind I shall not call it by its real name but it gives you the idea of just what the Mormons are capable of when pushed.

So if Romney wins we can all look forward to going back about one century and look forward to Plural Marriage and all wearing this attractive and comfortable underwear amongst other goodies.