Saturday, 25 February 2006

Husband for hire

Before anyone gets any funny ideas, this is a real business in New Zealand. It started from an allegedly off hand comment made by a woman envious of her friend's handy husband. "My hubby is hopeless around the house," she moaned, "I wish I could hire yours for a while!" The seed was planted and Hire a Hubby is a serious business catering to people without the time, tools, skill or inclination to tackle jobs around the home and garden.

When I was back in Malaysia, I was more handy than an average Malaysian with my "tools" that comprised at that time - an impact drill and several wrenches, screwdrivers, nuts and bolts, a high pressure water blaster and an electric grass cutter. Hardly anyone in Malaysia cuts their own grass! I remember when a friend of ours shifted to his new house, I helped him fix all his lights and hang his paintings. I wonder if his wife moaned "I wish I could hire him for a while!" Guess not!

When we moved to New Zealand, I proudly packed all my "tools" into 2 boxes. When the New Zealand Border Control checked our package, they let it pass without a fuss. Knowing they are particular about tools coming into the country with possible contamination, I wondered why they were not too concerned with mine. Then, when we started knowing people, I realised that the average handyman here has at his disposal, several varieties of power saws, welding guns and tools I can't even pronounce let alone spell! The work I undertook to rebuild the bathroom, made me realise that I am nowhere near the average New Zealand husband.

We had a leak on our roof and judging from the state of our "rebuilt" bathroom, Vera decided we should call for a real husband... oops I mean real handyman.

Sunday, 19 February 2006

Apples just harvested

We planted an apple tree 5 months ago in our yard and the first bunch of apples are ripe for harvest. The tree we planted have two variety of apples, braeburn and royal gala.

These are the first and we have no idea which variety these are but they are simply great! Not too sweet yet. We were told that it takes a lot longer than 5 months.

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There are a few more on the tree and we are hoping those will taste a lot sweeter.

Tuesday, 14 February 2006

Animal rights in New Zealand

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Crayfish is similar to lobsters we get in Asia. As it is in Asia, it is also a delicacy and expensive here in New Zealand. There are various ways to cook them and one of the most popular methods was to boil them while still alive. Most are sold alive anyway if one didn’t catch them. There was an article in the New Zealand Herald this morning about how one should legally kill a crayfish or crab for consumption. It seems that under the Animal Welfare Act, it is an offence and can be prosecuted if caught inhumanely killing a crayfish or crab, even for consumption.

The article said that it is inhumane to stab, drown or boil a crayfish, and that it is also against the law. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has issued a reminder on the kindest way to despatch seafood delicacies such as crayfish and crabs. The ministry says that it was also equally cruel to try and kill them with a blow to the head or other part of the body because they did not have a central nervous system but a spread out one. Drowning in fresh water was also inappropriate and caused "severe osmotic stress". The most humane way of killing a crayfish or crab was to chill it at between 2C and 4C until it was "insensible" and safely immobile. It could then be killed with a sharp instrument either by head spiking between the eyes, or chest spiking through the chest wall from the underside.

While there are still people being brutally killed in some parts of the world, activists here and internationally, are now debating on whether fish felt pain. I wonder where we humans are in the food chain.