Monday, September 28, 2009

setting a good example (for the little old ladies)

OK. I jay walk sometimes. I also cross against the lights. But only when it's safe.

See, there's this crazy thing happening at the traffic lights lately, with the lights staying green in one direction for seemingly ever, despite there being almost no traffic following the first three cars, while lines of vehicles wait in the other direction. Rather than stand waiting interminably for the lights to change, I cross on the red and head off on my merry way. Daring I know. I do, however, submit myself to one pedestrian crossing restriction: if children are anywhere in the vicinity I wait until the green man lights up for his little dance. Wouldn't want to teach them bad practices or unsafe habits.

So there I was today, the lights were doing there thing and no cars were coming. No children in sight so I stepped off the footpath and quickly crossed the road. Only on the other side of the intersection was a lovely old lady in a delicious red coat, and to my horror, upon seeing me sally forth, she too decided to risk it and cross against the lights.

As you know, little old ladies don't walk as fast as sprightly young ones, and in the end I became concerned she might be knocked down by an approaching car as she blithely called out 'Yes, I'm going to go too'. Thankfully the car slowed, she made it to the other side and we both continued safely on our way.

I've noticed this a number of times now - old people forgetting they are old and gingerly hobbling across the road in front of zippy cars and sturdy trucks. My issue is not that they forget they are old (goodness, wasn't it just yesterday I turned 23?) but that they forget they are slower now, that walking in front of cars is not advisable when you can't skip out of the way at a moment's notice.

It seems I have a no choice here but to change my ways. I could stop crossing on the red altogether - a sort of preparation for the time when I will forget I cross at a snail's pace. If I don't do it now, I won't do it then. Or I could add oldies to my restriction list: no crossing the road on the red when children and/or old people are in the vicinity.

Someone's got to look after them, because I suspect they are too busy thinking they need to look after me. So I commit to doing the right thing under certain circumstances... that's as good as I can do for now!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

taking things to another level

I have a sneaking suspicion one should not talk too loudly or often about these things in public. Certainly in times past it would have been disgraceful, but somehow I seem hardwired to blurt out scintillating developments to all and sundry. (Apparently many women struggle with this self same issue - we typically spill the beans within 47 hours and 15 minutes, if recent secret research is anything to go by) So here it is, another exciting update on my journey into life shampoo free.

I'm trying to remember how long it is since I ditched the shampoo bottles. I think it was just before we went to Melbourne on August 22nd, because when we stayed the night at my mother-in-law's we borrowed her shampoo rather than sport horrible lank hair in her presence*. One must look good for the mother-in-law. That's nearly five weeks almost completely shampoo free. Impressive huh?

So, as you know, I was using bicarb soda and apple cider vinegar to begin with, but we went away for a couple of weeks and I was tired of mixing up bicarb before every shower. So I just stopped using it.

Lest you think I have gone mad, it wasn't my idea and it wasn't a decision made in haste. I had previously stumbled across an article detailing a water-only-shampoo-free challenge staged by ABC radio presenter Richard Glover in 2007. Glover was soon joined by some 700 other willing experimenters and they set about testing the idea shampoo is completely unnecessary. Using only water, they vigorously washed their hair and tracked the results for six weeks. At the end of the challenge, 86 percent found their hair to be better or the same as when they had used shampoo. Impressive results, so in view of my bad attitude towards mixing up a bicarb solution, I decided to give it a go.

Admittedly the first few days were not so fantastic. My hair smelled and its texture was strange. As we walked along the foreshore at Warners Bay, a tail wind blew the odour right past my little nose. Not nice! Poor Frank was a little beside himself. Then on about the fourth day everything changed - the smell disappeared, my hair became lovely and soft and it seemed to hold its style better than ever before. I was hooked, and for two weeks now I've been using the 'water only' method of hair washing. I'm not sure I'll go back to shampoo and conditioner ever again!

Being a chronic list writer, here are nine good reasons to try shampoo free:
  • It's a lot, lot cheaper!
  • No exposure to nasty chemicals
  • Hair feels softer and more natural
  • A lot less dandruff (almost none in fact!)
  • Reduces carbon footprint - no more plastic bottles
  • Convenient travel - less to pack
  • No need to worry about leaving the bottles behind in the motel shower recess
  • The most interesting discussion starter ever (try it: 'I haven't shampooed my hair for x days/weeks/months/years')
  • Makes for shorter showers (unless, like me, you opt to enjoy the water in the extra time!)
  • Emancipation from consumer status
One final test to pass. I'm off to the hairdresser tomorrow, and, since she already thinks I'm loopy, I don't intend to whisper a breath of it. Unless of course she comments on how luscious my lovely locks have become... then I'll laugh out loud and crow with delight.

* Ah, is this the time to confess I occasionally used your toothpaste (but never brush), shampoo and cotton buds when I stayed? But it wasn't very often and I only used a little and most of the time I brought my own...

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Friday, September 04, 2009


I worked my last shift for two weeks. Yay!

I so need this holiday, which is really a holiday without being a holiday because I have a uni residential in the middle of it.

Ah well. The change will be nice and I can sleep in a bit and knit a lot and maybe do some study, tidy the house and just catch some down time.

I like holidays.


Thursday, September 03, 2009

beauty outside the bottle (aka "going 'poo free")

What would you say if I told you I hadn't washed my hair for three days? That no shampoo has touched my hair for two weeks? Would you imagine lank locks dripping with grease? Beauty forsaken? Mind lost?

A while back I probably would have been with you. Not washing your hair for three days??? Ewwww! Occasionally I washed my hair twice in a day, just so it sat right when I went out in the evening. Not anymore. I ditched the shampoo a couple of weeks ago for sodium bicarbonate, the conditioner for apple cider vinegar.

I can't claim any originality in this. A year or so ago I read a post on Consumption Rebellion, in which Eilleen discussed her plans to go shampoo free. It piqued my interest and I couldn't get the idea out of my head.

It wasn't really the chemicals that convinced me to give it a go in the end - we've been using natural shampoos for a couple of years, some of which were woeful and others absolutely delicious. I was more concerned about the plastic bottles I discard all the time. So much waste, so much clogging up the world with nasty petrochemical plastic.

So I did a bit more hunting and found a very helpful 'poo free guide and determined to give it a go. Frank agreed to join me, and when we finished the last shampoo bottle a couple of weeks ago we jumped into bicarb soda and acv.

'Jumped into' is perhaps too positive a way of stating things. In truth we were sceptical, dubious, cautious and at first we didn't like it... crunchy hair due to too much bicarb. Now we are total converts. I am liking my hair more and more. It's soft without being limp, has body without being crunchy and the dandruff is all but gone. And like I said, I haven't had to wash it for three days now. I might even try to stretch it to another day if it still looks OK in the morning.

How pleasantly surprising. And cheap. I've even sourced bulk apple cider vinegar, because what's the point of cutting out on plastic bottles only to throw out multiple glass bottles?

Pantene and every other money-grabbing brand eat your heart out! I don't need your hair prescriptions any more... I've found beauty outside the bottle.

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

a perfectly beautiful sense of timing

I'm not sure that parking meters and beautiful really go together, but I had what I considered a beautiful moment when I didn't get a parking ticket this evening.

Usually I'm a rule follower. I'll look askance at those who break the rules and tut tut under my breath over the most ridiculous things. I have been known to take a big breath before walking past someone smoking before bending double just the other side of them, letting the breath out and quickly sucking in fresh air. If someone is speeding, I'll play chicken when I cross the road, just to slow them down. And they always do. I've yet to meet the driver who wants to knock a pedestrian down.

It's all about toeing the line, doing the right thing, obeying the orders, no matter how meaningless, minuscule and puerile they might be.

Which is why I always used to pay for parking. Actually, that's not true. When I went to church there were a couple of parking spaces available for congregation members and I usually found space for my needs behind the old brick building. Then I left church and thought it might not be so good to keep using their free parking spot, so I started using the Coles car park. It just meant I had to go buy something in the supermarket after my other jobs in order to justify being there... and who doesn't need a bit of milk every few days? It works most of the time.

There are however, times when I would prefer to be closer and don't have time to traipse all over town. Then I duck into a parking spot, discover I have no change, and hope for the best. So far, so good. No tickets to date. I feel so rebellious.

Last week I went to Spotlight (I know. I hate that store too, but it's convenient for bulk supplies for school). I had a feeling, decided to err on the side of caution and bought a ticket... you get a refund anyway. It was quite a relief, shopping without worrying about getting caught out. All I had to worry about was remembering to get that refund token!

And bingo. As I came out of the store, there they were, checking we were all paid up! I paid when it mattered.

I'm sure I have faulty thinking on this one, but after managing to dodge the 'law' last week I figured I'd be safe this week. No parking meter men in sight, I parked and ran into a quick meeting. It turned into a bit of a longer meeting and I was fairly jigging in my chair, trying to politely get away before a ticket landed on my windscreen. At last I ran down the stairs and across the street... and there was my virgin windscreen. No ticket. No fine. No worries.

So there you have it. My brush with the law. I'm so not naughty, and I love it.

Beautiful no?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

the newest members of our (neighbour's) household

I know September is not really NaBloPoMo month, but every so often Eden Kennedy of Fussy fame sends out a monthly theme for all those mad enough to blog daily for more than just November. This month's theme is 'beautiful' and I like it. I also haven't been blogging much and need a bit of a kick start. No promises of daily blogging mind you, just an effort to be a little more regular in my posting.

So here's a few pics of the little lambies born to Blackie two weeks ago. There's a city-farm-yard story begging to be told but I've just written two major essays, spent the evening at the theatre seeing 'Taming of the Shrew' with an all female cast (quirky), and it's nearly midnight. The story will have to wait.

For now, enjoy the pictures of these little beauties!

If they aren't beautiful, I don't know what is!

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