Friday Five

Published on 26 April 2019

I’ve mentioned before that since we had our munchkin, we’ve been more aware of our waste footprint. You go through a lot of material stuff as a human being (and having babies) and we’re glad that we’re reducing our waste (not to mention our spend) by switching to reusable options and the secondhand market. Something that’s come in really handy for this is our local Buy Nothing group.

If you haven’t come across this before, Buy Nothing is a movement that started as a counter to Black Friday sales encouraging hyper-local gift economies. People are able to give (or lend) things that they no longer need that others may have a use for. Sure you could sell your stuff on Gumtree, but sometimes that’s not worth the effort or time, and this way also allows people to meet others in their local community. As recipients, we’ve found it pretty handy for things like clothes and toys for the little miss given how quickly she goes through them, and with the toys sometimes it’s not worth buying something unless you know it’s something they’ll be engaged with for longer than 5 minutes. We’ve also given away things that have been surplus to our requirements, which we would have otherwise ended up hoarding 'just in case'. Anything that has no takers we pass on to our local op shops.

You’ve also seen some of my posts about little repairs, and my interest in "make do and mend”. Another great initiative in this area is Repair Lab. I’m sure there should be others around the world, but in Perth, a small group of people organise periodic ‘labs’ where volunteers with various skillsets get together and help people repair, salvage and reuse perfectly good things. It’s such a great idea and I hope more of these pop up all over the place.

Moving on to other topics, another medical marvel. I love these. The human body is amazing. A 99-year-old woman donated her body to science, and as a result, was discovered to have a condition called situs inversus where major organs are mirrored from their normal positions. It’s incredibly rare, and due to the nature of the condition leading to defects or malformations, not many people with it live very long. The woman and her family were unaware of the condition, but they do recall one occasion when she had her appendix removed and the surgeon noted that the appendix wasn’t in the right place.

From matters of the body, to matters of the mind, we’ve been in the process of starting a business this year. Will talk more on that a some point, but it hasn’t been the best time, and we’ve encountered a number of obstacles we hadn’t anticipated. It isn’t as though we’re spinning up a Fortune 500 (lofty goals much), but this piece on the Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship really speaks to me about the challenges faced by new business owners.

When I was working in an open office environment, I used to work with music to drown out what was going on around me. Since I started working for myself at home, I generally work in silence, but once I get into my groove, I like background noise. Sometimes it’s jazz, sometimes it’s rock, or audiobooks. And sometimes something a little more ambient is in order like this collection of Harry Potter sounds where you can pretend you’re working in the Great Hall, or in front of the fire in the Gryffindor Common Room.