Halloween in Auckland

Halloween in my hometown, Auckland, New Zealand means groups of children in costume roaming the local streets, knocking on doors saying trick or treat. Really they’re looking for lollies.

Often they’re accompanied by a parent or older sibling. They come out about 4pm until dinner time, about 6.30pm. By then we’ve generally run out of mini chocolate bars to give the kids so we bring in the signs. It’s getting dark then too so it’s a perfect time to end. Also, our dog barks at every person who comes to the door so it’s a noisy evening.

I’ve always enjoyed this as a time to see the local kids out having fun. One of my neighbours (with kids the same age as mine) doesn’t like kids knocking on doors asking for lollies. So they put a sign on their gate saying no trick  or treaters please. And that’s all good. The festival is not for them.

Now one of my daughters is 14 she’s too old to go trick or treating. So she’s going to the movies tonight to see Happy death day with a friend. Probably a perfect movie for Halloween.

My Halloween tradition is to watch the movie Practical Magic. This movie has terrible critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes but I love this film. Sandra Bullock is one of my favourite actors.

Having a pyjamas day

Day three of a cold and the beginning of a long weekend, I spent most of the day in lovely clean pyjamas. I’d always thought Peter Alexander pyjamas looked pretty but were too expensive – until they had a huge sale. Now I understand – they are so cute and comfortable I could live in them. And when I’m sick with a cold – I do live in them, at least on the weekend when I don’t have to go anywhere. (I got back into jeans to drive the kids to the shops in the afternoon then jumped back into pjs).

This is a new thing for me. My family growing up would have been embarrassed to be caught in sleep clothes during the day. How slothful. But the pjs make me feel warm and comfortable. And taking care of myself, I’m sure helps the cold go away faster.

One piece of trash a day

Imagine if everyone picks up one piece of rubbish a day. Just one.
I heard about this idea a while ago and loved it. It’s such a small, easy thing to do.

I tend to pick up rubbish when I’m jogging or walking with my dog. I end up with a handful at a time. Luckily there are rubbish bins at bus stops and beaches on my jogging routes. Which makes it easier. I’m not sure how keen I’d be to carry rubbish on my whole run. Yuck.

For more information see:
The Guardian’s article Let’s get rid of litter, one piece at a time
Planet Varner’s The one piece of trash theory
Plastic Free Tuesday’s Save Our Planet: Pick up one piece of litter a day

Sometimes helping the planet is as simple as picking up one piece of rubbish.

Tawharanui regional park

There’s a beautiful park an hour north of Auckland. It’s a regional park called Tawharanui (Ta-far-a-nu-e). We camp there once a year as a family. There are almost no facilities for campers – just some toilets and taps for water. No kitchen, no showers. But the beaches are beautiful. One year we saw dolphins playing in the surf.

I am not a keen camper at all. I prefer hotels and luxury (if at all possible). But Tawharanui is magical.

The Department of Conservation has more information about this park.

Voting in New Zealand

I just voted in New Zealand’s general election (voting for the ruling party in New Zealand for the next three years).

It’s simple to vote in New Zealand. There are polling stations in every neighborhood and it’s easy to vote in the week leading up to the election. There’s no stress or worries at the polling booths. No one trying to intimidate locals to vote one way. We are fortunate. Every vote counts.
If you’re in NZ, please vote.