Hunkering down, thought-trails, and Ntozake Shange.

It’s been a miserable ol’ week weather-wise here. I haven’t got out and about much, not only because we’re still in Covid-19 alert level two, but also because it’s been raining and freezing cold. It’s times like this when we realise just how close we are to the Antarctica here in New Zealand. A southerly blast has dropped in for a visit, and I’ve hunkered down. I work from home, so I can do the ‘hunker’ no problem, especially with a role model as good as Patrick, my cat, showing me the ropes, and even if my feet aren’t moving much I still travel down some interesting thought-trails.

This week it was announced that free sanitary products would be provided in schools for those girls who need them, due to there being a significant number who miss a week of school every month because they can’t afford sanitary products. Of course there was the usual outcry in protest from some. But moving on from them, I wondered what a world would look like that was made for women’s bodies. I’m so used to the world that has been built for male bodies, that I never comprehended how much it is built for male bodies until I was made aware of it a while ago from someone else’s remarks. I’m not talking about a world that makes concessions, adjustments and accommodations for women – but a world that is built around how women’s bodies are built and what women’s bodies do in the normal course of events. I found this really hard to envisage.

The protests in the USA, and elsewhere, over the killing of George Floyd, a black man in the USA, has occupied a lot of the media this week. (I’m not one to denigrate the police, but they must be accountable for the power they wield, especially armed police.) It led me to wondering if there have ever been protests over a black woman, or any woman, killed by police. A quick google search tells me nothing. Am I to take it that protests of the like we’ve seen this week, or even less volatile protests, only happen when men and boys get killed by police? Does anyone know of an occasion when a big protest occurred over a woman being killed?

Money-wise, I got both got burned and pleasantly surprised this week. Book Depository, whom I have considered to be okay to deal with in the past, charged me NZD$256.00 for a book which two weeks later was NZD$142.00! I politely wrote to them requesting a refund, not really expecting to get one, and wasn’t disappointed. This is the answer I got: “Hi Katrina, thank you for your message. Our prices will fluctuate from time to time as we are constantly working with our suppliers to reduce our prices, and offer our books for the lower price possible. On the other hand, there will also be occasions in which we have to increase some prices as our original suppliers will have run out of stock, and the alternative suppliers will be charging us an inflated price for the same title.” Memo to self: when something seems excessively expensive, it probably is.

However, the better news is that I got a pro rata refund from NZ Writers College (a subsidiary of The Writers College), when I told them that I was withdrawing from a course I had signed up for with them. They were courteous and quick to refund my money, so hats off to them.  The book I bought from Book Depository was for this course, and is completely unused because delivery got held up for so long due to Covid – and is now for re-sale at a fraction of what it cost me.  Sigh – some lessons get learnt the hard way.

We’ve gone fifteen days here in New Zealand with no new Covid-19 cases, and we’re expecting to reduce to alert level one in a few days’ time. Tbh, I think most people are already at alert level one in their heads and behaviours, and it’s only some businesses that are still feeling the few remaining restrictions. However, it will still feel like a cause for celebration when it’s actually announced. Even though more activity seems to go on in my head than down in my feet, I still do like to use them quite often, and will cheer like everyone else when alert level one is announced. It might even be cause for a two G&T (gin & tonic) night 🙂

To finish off, today my blog buddy Ruth gifted her readers with a wonderful quote from Ntozake Shange: “I found god in myself, and I loved her, I loved her fiercely.”

Indeed 🙂


Header pic taken in Tekapo, New Zealand, and filched from online news platform, Stuff.

6 thoughts on “Hunkering down, thought-trails, and Ntozake Shange.

  1. I’m not sure how I feel about free sanitary products. They’ve done the same in Scotland but for more than a decade now I’ve been using washables and I think we should be encouraging that rather than encouraging more unecessary waste to landfill. If the free sanitary products were just for washables then I’d be 100% supportive.

    And wow, NZD$256.00 for a book! That’s crazy. What book was it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Washables are definitely preferable. It can be hard to know what resources or knowledge people living in poverty have, though, so I’m guessing that when helping them out it has to be something they can easily cope with. What seems simple for the likes of us with enough money and knowledge can seem the opposite for poor people. How long has Scotland been providing free sanitary products to schoolgirls in need of them?

      The book is ‘Butcher’s Copy-editing. ‘.It’s considered to be the industry standard, and because I know that technical books can be pricey, I just accepted it. Duh!


  2. Yesterday, June 5, was the birthday of Breonna Taylor, an EMT who in March was shot to death in her own home by officers from the Louisville, Kentucky police department. There were a number of very moving protests held in her name that day, including in the city where I live. And they were peaceful! I don’t know if it was because community organizers were more adamant about keeping protests focused on the reason for being there, or the memory of Breonna herself, but I was impressed by the numbers of young women in the crowds. It should be pointed out here that black men are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police in the US, so their cases simply outnumber those of black women killed by those supposedly sworn to serve and protect their communities.

    I feel a bit bad about not going to a protest last night that was just blocks from where I live. My health still isn’t great however, and I don’t want to encumber my fellow protesters by falling down or having a dizzy spell. Also, we’re still in a pandemic, and lot of protesters aren’t wearing masks. I’m glad young people are showing up, but public health officials are having fits over the likelihood of another wave of infections within the next week or two, the more so since a lot of older people are convinced they must go shopping at the mall or eat in a restaurant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad that there were peaceful protests for Breonna Taylor. I did come across her name when I googled for women killed by police, but didn’t see much mention of protests in the style that have recently been reported for George Floyd, and other black men before him. That killing was a whole other level of police error!

      It’s good that you thought about your fellow protestors, and didn’t go. It shows you have a thoughtful nature, and that you’re not just a short-term thinker either.


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