13th February 2015

Thankfully today the temperature returned to ‘normal’.  A cool 35oC, which compared to the last few days of 40-something felt positively chilly.  At least I will be able to sleep this evening and in my own bed.

We went to visit Marion this afternoon.  They are keeping her in one more night for observation.  She’ll be able to go home in the morning.  When we got there she was sitting up in bed with a cup of tea chatting to her daughter, who had caught the first available plane.  She was going to stay for a week to take care of her mother.  Marion looked much better and her colour had returned.  Her daughter looked exhausted and relieved.

After I had taken Mum home, I arrived at my place to the very smelly contents of my fridge.  With the power being off nearly everything needed to be thrown away.  I seriously contemplated breaking into my Ebola isolation rations for dinner.  In the end I decided I couldn’t be bothered cooking and opted for Thai take away instead.

While I waited for my dinner to turn I watched the news.  BIG mistake.  It was full of reports of people dying of heatstroke and dehydration.  Most were elderly.  It seems many had been frightened from seeking shelter in the cooling centres by the false rumours that the centres were treating Ebola patients.

It was then that the events of the last few days over took me and I started to sob uncontrollably.  I cried with relief that everyone I loved was still alive and well.  I cried for the dead and dying.  I cried for all the victims of Ebola in West Africa who stories were curiously absent from the news.  I cried for the missed date with Richard.  I cried because I felt so infinitely small and that nothing I could do here would fix what was going on the the world.  I cried for me.

After dinner I went straight to bed and slept like the dead.

10th February 2015

The inevitable happened today.  We had power outages.  Unfortunately for me that meant I couldn’t do any work at home and my air conditioning stopped.  I went back into the office for the afternoon to get out of the heat.  I’m really glad that I went to Mum and Dads’ last night to make sure they had plenty of water and talked to them about what they could do to stay cool.

Mum wasn’t working today so took herself off to a movie in the heat of the day.  She had a lovely day to herself – said it felt like she was ‘wagging’ school.

The city are considering building cooling centres for the more vulnerable people to go to during the day.  If this heat continues for much longer they are definitely going to need to.

21st January 2015

My camp cooker arrived to  today.  It is so cute.  I had it sitting on my desk when Richard (from IT) stopped by to talk to me about how my research was going and how we were going to display the data.

He made a comment about my having the gas cooker and how he didn’t think that I would be into ‘that sort of thing’.

The cheek!

I go camping.  Admittedly with running water and flush toilets and slightly more glamorous accommodation than a tent, but I know how to rough it.

He was interested in why I had brought it, so I told him about the scenarios and potential isolation and the need for a camp cooker.  He casually mentions that there is a better one.  One that uses gas, kerosene and auto-unleaded fuel.

Nuts.  I wish I had spoken to him yesterday.

Oh well I guess I will be buying another one today.

After that we got to talking about camping and the outdoors it turns out he spent most of his childhood in the NZ bush with his dad so he’s a bit of a outdoor/camping nut.  And he’s very passionate about environmental issues.  I guess we both were a little surprised today that we had that in common.

Smart and kinda cute.

Stop it Sabine.  You work with him!

20th January 2015

I found the camp gas stove that I was after today online.  I paid a bit extra to have it delivered tomorrow.  I am quite excited about getting it.  I might even get some two minute noodles just to try it out.

I’ve spent all evening online again this evening trawling Jamie’s website for good vegetarian recipes that predominantly use tinned vegetables, tinned fruit or dried beans.

I have to say I have learnt quite a bit.  Between Jamie’s website, Wikipedia and a few other websites I have increased my knowledge of the protein content of beans, pulses and legumes.

I had no idea that the protein content of chickpeas was 19g (per 100g), or that black bean’s protein content is 22g and the good old broad bean (Fava bean) is a whopping 26g of protein.  And all the recipes that contain the beans look AMAZING!  I was quite nervous about the ‘quality’ (I know, I’m a food snob!) of my meals.  And true I might need to make some minor modifications on dried rather than fresh spices/herbs and the seared tuna may be tuna from a can, but I have to say I am rather impressed.

I’ve also discovered just how important spices are.  Not only do they have culinary value, some of my favourites have medicinal properties.  Turmeric is considered a top anticancer agent, helping to quell the inflammation that contributes to tumour growth; fungi and bacteria, and the occasional vampire are no match for garlic; coriander (anxiety) and ginger is fantastic for the stomach.

Another friend recommended I look into coconut oil and coconut water.  I know there is a lot of hype at the moment about coconut oil, though I’m impressed at the versatility of it.  A solid at room temperature it can be used in baking, used as an oil for cooking, as a body moisturiser.  There is even anecdotal evidence that coconut pulling can help with teeth.  I might just add a jar to my grocery list.

19th January 2015

Damn. Damn. Damn!

I’ve just had a realisation.  There was a power outage in NZ today, due to some fairly inclement weather, what if there is panic in Australia due to Ebola cases and people decide not to go to work.  I might not have electricity.  Which means no fridge and no cooking.

What the hell will I do with all the meat in my freezer?

I know what I will be doing with the ice-cream. hahaha

I need to completely rethink my food options and recipes.

I will have to find recipes that have tinned or dried meat options or some other high protein substitutes like beans and pulses.  I guess I can use cured meats like salamis or beef jerky.  Do I even have recipes that use jerky?

And if I can’t use my stove or the oven.  What on earth am I going to cook on?  I will have to go to the camping store and get one of those portable camping ones with the small gas canisters.  On second thoughts I will just order it on line tomorrow and get it delivered to work, that will save me some time.

So annoyed at myself for not thinking of that sooner.  Come on Sabine, this is what they pay you for at work.  Grrrr.