Hearts for Christchurch

Not just allies, not just friends, New Zealand is family to Australia. Our brothers and sisters whos’ lives were ripped apart by unspeakable evil during a weekly time of such peace and belonging were friends, classmates, family and neighbours. My grandmother attended church almost every Sunday for her entire life and did nothing but good in this world. She helped everyone and anyone. Babysitting, ironing, delivering a hot meal, mending clothes, sourcing support and resources from her position as an Anglican lay sister for anyone in need regardless of their faith or creed.

It was people like her who would have been in that building and that broke me.

In the helplessness and grief, I wasn’t sure how to help. Then this Hearts for Christchurch drive popped up on Facebook on the Love Knitting page.

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In Sydney, we have yarn bombing everywhere. Sunflowers, empowering messages, hearts, and trees covered in cosy, colourful sweaters. It is a sweet comfort to see these things around the neighbourhood. Someone made every stitch with love and they made it for strangers.

I have made five hearts to send across the Tasman. One for each of the pillars of Islam. Hate is loud, love is quiet and constant. I hope these hearts – quilted, knitted, crocheted hearts made with love – are a small comfort to anyone who sees them.

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If you would like to send a heart, for this particular collection, you have until the 5th May 2019.

Word on the textile artist street is that this was started by a quilter’s guild in Christchurch who opened it up when knitters, crocheters and sewists contacted them wanting to help, but I cannot find any further information or reference. I will keep looking.

To donate money to assist with immediate and ongoing costs to the families of those taken too soon, there are several official channels you can use. Our communities are very good at rallying together to cover the costs when something terrible happens so many of these campaigns are fully funded and will close soon, but every little bit helps.

Our People, Our City Fund – The Christchuch Foundation

https://christchurchfoundation.org.nz/giving/our-people-our-city-fund/donate

The New Zealand Islamic Information Centre (NZIIC) [Closes 29 March]

https://www.launchgood.com/project/support_for_the_families__victims_of_the_new_zealand_mosque_shootings?fbclid=IwAR1hZNulpJtqe85oAnwJ4KwJxQJCSQ6j7os-6PkrCh8eNp7DjbWKi2ru2_0#!/

The New Zealand Red Cross (link for those outside NZ)

https://givealittle.co.nz/org/redcross

New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups [No closing date yet]

https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/christchurch-shooting-victims-fund

Kia kaha Aotearoa. We are one, but we are many.

Liz x

 

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Babycinos at home

My latest ‘freegan scavenger’ addition to our home is 2 x black bar chairs that have somehow transformed the end of our kitchen bench into our very own coffee bar. A neighbour was moving and put them on the kerb and I’m so glad I got to them first. As I type this Lottie and I are sitting at our little coffee bar, nespresso latte & babycino in hand deciding whether to visit the library or the park today.

Going for coffee has always been somewhat sacred to me. The little luxury that I never took away from myself during the hardest years – from living alone while trying to finish school at 17, to struggling through my first year at uni and most importantly, the first exhaustingterrifying, magical year as a mother. I discovered my favourite barista and coffee place at 6.30am one morning after walking a screaming 5 month old up and down the local streets since 5am. We were just there yesterday. Lottie ordered her own babycino and paid with money I’d given her for her change purse while remembering her manners.

The $5 (a latte and banana bread or when Lottie got older; a latte, babycino and a biscuit) indulgence was a constant source of comfort and routine for me. And ‘coffee money’ will definitely be factored into the maternity leave budget next time around. The change of scenery, fresh air and people coming up to coo over your baby and make conversation is a big part of the experience. And something I will always be grateful for. But today, we are well into the toddler years and whipping up our daily coffees at our own little cafe at home is proving to be a highlight of our day.

Whether it’s a daily caramel latte, a monthly subscription to a magazine that has NOTHING to do with babies or a weekly class just for you – we all have a ‘me’ thing that helps us through the tough times and it should be factored into our lives.

Liz x