Day 8: Getting Running

Not sure this counts as a ‘new thing’ as I have run before, but not for a while, and not since I’ve started this challenge malarky.

Here is visual evidence that I did, in fact, go for a short, rather slow run at the gym as it’s still raining here (I’ll do a lot of things for the sake of a challenge, but running in the wet and cold is not one of them)

Day 7: Watched a whole Nicholas Cage Film

This is a new thing for me as I usually avoid all things to do with Nicholas Cage. I just don’t like his face and I don’t trust how he moves.  I had to turn Face Off off half way through. Too weird. And that was even before he started taking his face off.

Anyway, my new friend Fede, who I met through the Couchsurfing Network challenged me to watch a whole film (his choice), and then reserve judgement on The Cage. It’s a challenge, and a new thing so accepted.

We watched Lord of War, where Nicholas Cage plays Nicholas Cage, playing an arms dealer with Nicholas Cage’s face, that gets greedy, has a crisis of morality, and ultimate ends up being a bit of a Nicholas Cage shit.

It was OK. I won’t be starting a fan club anytime soon.

Day 6: Making Soy Candles

Another rainy day in Hawke’s Bay, so today I learnt how to make Soy Candles.

Held by Calico Craft Supplies in Taradale, this class promised that participants would;

Learn how to make long lasting, scented candles for gifts or your home with this natural product, fragrances and colours and re-cycled containers. You will go away from this demonstration with knowledge, inspiration, instructions and your own individual candle and melt.

And it certainly delivered all of the above. There were only 6 other people in the lesson (all women – go figure), so we could easily ask questions of Diane, the class leader, who was clearly very passionate about making candles.

As it turns out, soy candle making is really rather easy, and so less messy than making candles with traditional wax. Any spillages can be wiped away with warm soapy water, and it’s simple to add your preferred colour and scent (I prefer the essential oils), although the candles do need to be made in a container rather than as a free standing pillar, as you can do with wax candles. Also they are envirnonmentally

Here’s what I leant / how to make a candle in a nutshell;

  • Heat the soy wax in a glass jug in a pan of water (very important to stop wax from burning and to create even heat distribution) to no more than 85 degrees.
  • When it’s melted, and temperature is between 80 and 85 degrees add your colour (from a colour block), to desired shade, and then add your essential oil
  • Stir and let it cool to 65 degrees
  • Poor into container
  • Add your wick
  • Allow to cool
  • Have a lovely candle!

Ok there is a little more too it than that, and for a more detailed explanation of how to make a soy candle I suggest reading this blog post or this blog post.

I am now armed with soy wax, oils, colours and wicks, and ready to make my own…


Day 4: Picked up a Crochet Hook

My new thing today was picking up and doing something constructive with a crochet hook – instead of looking at it blankly.

My friend Milla has taught me how to crochet, and today I made my very own line of single stitches using a frankly enormous crochet hook and thick acrylic wool that I picked up, 2 for the price of  1, at The Warehouse.

I’m not sure what this line of singles stitches will become, if anything, but I’m going to keep going to see what happens. Will report back.

Day 3: Learning about Climate Change

Today I took part in an ‘expand my mind’ new thing, and went to a lecture about Climate Change, and the affects it will have on New Zealand.

The talk which was delivered by Professors Tim Naish and James Renwick, was entitled ‘10 things you didn’t know about Climate Change‘, and was organised by the Royal Society of Hawke’s Bay.

As someone who knows very little about climate change apart from the fact that it’s bad (I feel an extraordinary sense of guilt if I put a tin can in the normal rubbish instead of the recycling), this was an excellent presentation – not only because I went away knowing about 10 things more than I knew before about climate change, but because the Professors made the information very accessible to non academics,i.e. me.

So what did I learn? Well basically, whatever happens, the earth WILL get hotter, which means sea level rises, ice caps melting, flooding in some areas, and that we can only slow down this process, not stop it. Oh and we are unlikely to meet the targets set out in the Paris Agreement. Stay happy people!

Full slides from the presentation are available online.

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