What really matters

what really matters

I hardly ever watch the news.  In fact I hardly ever watch TV.  I don’t know of any TV shows worth watching and the news is always bad or sad and I don’t need that stress in my life!  I stay informed in other ways and today was pleased to discover an article on 99 good news stories that we probably didn’t know about this year.


Some conservation wins in 2018

China placed a ban on ivory last year and as such ivory demand has dropped by about half and poaching rates are falling in places like Kenya!

The United Nations said that the ozone hole would be fully healed over the Arctic and northern hemisphere by 2030s and the rest of the world by 2060s!

New Caledonia now has 28 000 square kilometres of its ocean waters under protection.  This includes pristine coral reefs!


Some health wins in 2018

Since 2010 global HIV/AIDS infection rates have fallen by 16% in adults and 35% in children!

In Kenya, over the last 5 years, annual worming at school has reduced worm related illnesses from 33.4% of the population to 3%.


Some human rights wins in 2018

In Germany more than 300 000 refugees now have jobs!

In Lebanon homosexuality is no longer a crime!


Some living standards wins in 2018

Global suicide rates have dropped by 38% since 1994.  4 000 000 lives saved!

60% of the world’s countries are democracies!


Clean energy wins in 2018

The United States set a new record for coal plant closures this year with 22 finishing up!

China committed to increasing its renewable energy target to 35% by 2030!


Wins against war, crime and violence in 2018

Ethiopia and Eritrea ended a 20 year war by signing a peace treaty.  Thousands of families have been reunited!

Malaysia abolished the death penalty for all crimes and stopped pending executions!

Youth crime in NSW has decreased over the last 20 years.  Vehicle and property thefts are down 59% and drink driving by 49%!


Plastic waste wins in 2018

The European Parliament passed a full ban on single use plastics that will come in to effect in 2021!

A 600 metre long boom in the Pacific Ocean is hopefully on track to clean up half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the next 7 years!

Slow down this Christmas season!

slow down at christmas

I’m feeling nostalgic and philosophical again this week!  It’s nearly Christmas again.  They really come around quickly.  This is likely also the last Christmas of a certain kind as my youngest child is growing up!  I’m going to enjoy it for all it’s worth.  My main aim this festive season is to SLOW DOWN!


Slow down

I am a Pharmacist working in retail.  The next two weeks are our busiest weeks of the year as the safety net ends for another year and lots of people want three months’ worth of medication on hand as the Pharmacy will be closed on Christmas day!  It is very busy and very stressful.  This is compounded by the fact that a lot of people seem to be on holidays and are in holiday mode and it is hard for us to find the time and energy to join in!

There were a lot of things I had on my to do list today.  There are a lot of things that are still on my to do list.  I did, however, attend my sons high school awards ceremony.  I have helped my daughter make some gorgeous Christmas cards for family members.  When I sat down earlier tonight to write a blog post I decided to put it off as my daughter and I went for a walk around some nearby streets and, arm in arm, we oohed and aahed at our neighbours Christmas lights and then came home to admire our own.

I will allow this feeling of happiness and Christmas spirit to stay with me at work tomorrow.  We have also decided to have a walk together as a family each evening then sit down together to watch a Christmas movie.

Being together and slowing down is what it most important to me.  I want to savour every moment of delight discovering what our Elf has done overnight.  I am very much looking forward to the Christmas Eve brownie making and decorating as Santa really seems to love those brownies!  I am going to go to bed early(!) on Christmas Eve so I can wake up early to what is surely one of our greatest joys as parents in watching our children’s faces on Christmas morning.

I am really looking forward to hosting Christmas at my house this year which means no rushing off after present opening.  We can hang out together eating waffles and icecream for breakfast and not be in a rush.  This Christmas I am slowing down and enjoying and being grateful for every moment.

“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you will look back and realise they were the big things”  

enjoy the little things in life

I have this quote on a canvas on my wall and I have looked at it at various times over the last few years.  With my eldest child starting high school this year it has really hit home just how quickly our children grow up!


I read an article recently about a man who went on a holiday with each of his children separately for the ultimate in one on one time!  Though this is out of reach for most people we can employ the principle in our own ways.


Today my 13 year old had a pupil free day and I decided I would not do any work or housework and that we would spend the day together.  He wasn’t overly enthused to start with and was not very helpful in getting ready for our morning of paddleboarding.  Once we got out on the water we made some small talk.  Then we saw some big fish.  Then we saw lots of stingrays.   Then we talked about how smooth the water was.


I have read that the best time to have “big” conversations is when travelling in the car and you are not required to look each other in the eye.  This was how it was for us paddleboarding today.  As we talked more and more conversation progressed from small things to bigger things.   I thought about the article about the man and his child going on holidays.  Today was our holiday together.


After we returned to shore we sat on our boards and talked some more.  We laughed.  We reminisced.  We enjoyed being with each other!  We had lunch together and did some Christmas shopping before our time just as the two of us ended.  I will be making a habit out of individual time with my children from now on.


Alcohol and medicines

alcohol and medicines

It’s the time of year for celebrating!  A lot of us have Christmas parties to attend and with Christmas day and New Year’s Eve to come it’s important to consider the effects of alcohol on the medicines we take.


Many medicines can be affected by alcohol

Prescription, non-prescription and natural/herbal medicines can be affected by alcohol.

Some medicines that your purchase from a Pharmacist without a prescription have warning labels that it may cause drowsiness or increase the effects of alcohol and should not be taken whilst operating heavy machinery or driving.  A lot of people joke about not operating heavy machinery but most of us drive and a lot of people will be drinking alcohol especially at this time of year so the warning should be heeded.


The most common types of medicines affected by alcohol

  • Paracetamol
  • Older style antihistamines
  • Travel sickness medicines
  • Strong pain relief medicines
  • Antidepressants and anxiety medicines
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • St John’s wort, valerian, lavender


Effects from taking medicines and alcohol together

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Difficulty moving
  • Difficulty concentrating


How does our body deal with alcohol and medicines?

It is usually our liver that processes medicines and it also processes alcohol.  If our liver has to deal with both at the same time it can slow the processing down for either alcohol or the medicine.  This can make the effects of one of them more pronounced.  Toxic levels of the medicine would be harmful to the body.  Alcohol may also make medicines less effective or not effective at all.

Paracetamol in excessive doses can cause liver damage.  The combination of paracetamol and alcohol is even more likely to cause liver damage and in some cases has lead to the need for a liver transplant.

It may be difficult to know just how much effect alcohol can have on a medicine.  It could even have an effect if they are taken hours apart as medicines effects can last for a long time.


Check how your medicines are affected by alcohol

If a medicine may cause drowsiness or can be affected by alcohol it will carry a warning label on the box.  If you are unsure of the effects of alcohol on your medicine ask your Pharmacist.