Saturday, April 30, 2011

X is for (e)xcuse.

I almost missed out the letter X. Well, I think I can be excused because I was actually up in the air on the X day... somewhere over the Arab countries I think... on a long haul flight from New Zealand to England. Wherever it was I was, my head was not with me and has still not quite caught up.

The first half of the journey was already under the belt. We did that Business Class with the points collected from previous flights. Actually, I don't think I'd ever PAY for Business Class. Not in real money, although points are currency these days, I do realize that. And it annoys me a bit when people get free upgrades when they've not even been collecting points, just because they arrive late at the terminal... when I've been collectiong points for years and can only manage an upgrade for half the journey every second year. Anyway, the seats in Business Class are far too big for me and no matter how I try to change the configuration I always manage to slide off them because I can't reach the floor and my head doesn't reach the head-rest, so I end up curled in a blanket down by the footrest somewhere. And to be honest, I don't need all that food and I certainly don't want all the interruptions to my film viewing. They do fuss over you a lot. Evertime anyone gets up for the loo cabin staff nip in and plump up the cushion and fold up the blanket... so I have difficulty, in the dark, finding my own seat once again. But it's nice to get on and off before the rush... so you can get to the toilets first and avoid the queue.

The second half of the journey we were in economy and those seats are much more suited to my height. It's an altogether jollier place to be and you can have a chat while doing your exercises at the back of the cabin. In Business Class people don't do exercises. And they don't talk. They just sleep.

Anyway, we arrived on time but unfortunately so did three other Jumbos and the Customs Hall was as packed as I've ever seen it. So was the M25. What a culture shock THAT is. If there's anywhere in Britain to avoid at all cost, stick a huge X on the M25 on your map.

So, that's my excuse for almost missing out on letter X. But I did slip it in at the end.


Z is for ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Yes!!! I made it to the end of the A to Z Challenge for April. It certainly was a challenge to come up with something to blog about every day. I learnt a lot about writing under pressure and to a deadline... which was my reason for participating from the outset. And now I'm off for a snoooozzzze!

 Zzzzzzz z z z z z z z z   z z z    z z z ...



Y is for Yet to be...

'Grow old along with me,
The best is yet to be.
The end of life for which the first was made...'    [Rabbi Ben Ezra]

These are the first lines of a long poem and I dedicate them to Prince William and his bride, Catherine Middleton, as they embark upon their married life.

So many marriages are short lived for a multitude of reasons. There's something very special about a long relationship that remains intact: wherein the couple still enjoy each other's company, still find pleasure in being together, caring and sharing, after the heightened flush of youth and youthful pursuits is over. At any age there are new experiences and things to discover about each other and about the world around us. We don't have to cling stubbornly to the things of youth. There are benefits and pleasures to be had in each decade of life. There are struggles too. And when the storm hits us we must be flexible. We should remember that the creatures who survive the longest are those that have the ability to adapt. I believe this applies to people and to marriages.

I wish the Royal couple, and other couples embarking on this adventure, lots of luck. We all need a bit of that.

Friday, April 29, 2011

W is for Waiting and Watching

Life's busy. No doubt about it. But I'm setting myself a W challenge that I hope will allow me to step aside from the crowd and at the same time provide me with useful research material. I've come up with a mantra for myself....  WAIT AND WATCH.  I suppose this idea was spawned by the River of Stones project in which we were encouraged to find something each day to which we would pay proper attention for a short time, and then write a piece that attempted to capture the essence of whatever it was.  My new scheme will allow me to acknowledge when a situation is becoming heightened and to deliberately extract myself from it in order to wait and watch... the idea being that people-watching is a rich source of writing material.

I am prone to putting my two pennyworth into situations, and often the result is that I end up embroiled in something I could have done without. I don't have to be the first to put my hand up when volunteers are needed; or to speak at a meeting when no one else is choosing to participate; or to stick my neck out in an effort to sort out other people's problems.  I'm going to wait and watch instead. I can always jump in later if I can't resist the urge, but my new project requires me, primarily, to observe other people's reactions. Closely.

I'm also going to use my wait and watch mantra with my camera. Sometimes you have to sit for a long time (preferably in a good coffee shop) with a long lens, waiting for the right shot to materialize from the situation you've recognized as having storytelling or emotional impact. This is sounding good to me. I can do this. One of the perks of having given up the paid job is being able fill your time with new projects... and if coffee shops just happen to feature rather frequently, well, that's a bonus.

And in my garden I will take the time to wait and watch for the pheasant family to appear; for the baby rabbits to buck up the courage to emerge from the protection of their warren underneath my shed; for the muncjac deer to creep through the back hedge; for the baby blue-tits to emerge from the nesting box.


What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

[William Henry Davies 1871-1940]


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

V is for .... no 'V'


We take our alphabet a bit for granted. These are the symbols we use to make records of our language, our history, our government, our family, our lives.

But there is no letter V in the Maori alphabet because when their language first became written it was based on the sounds its spoken form created and the Maori language omits several sounds that we take for granted.

There is no B C D F J L Q S V X Y Z.

A 'WH' sounds as letter 'F'.

So when you see rugby players with a sir-name containing the letters F or L they are most likely not of Maori origin, despite being in the All Blacks and playing for New Zealand.  Even though, to a non New Zealander, they may look very like Maori, physically, they are probably from one of the other Pacific Islands.

Just saying....

Saturday, April 23, 2011

U is for Ukulele Lady

It's always fun learning something new.  You may have missed the boat for certain things, you have to accept that, but it's stimulating to take on a challenge at any age.... and we know a thing or two about challenges, don't we! (A to Z Challenge April)  Where there's a will, there really is a way.

As a complete non-musician, and a woman stubbornly hanging onto her very elasticated prime of life, I've started learning to play the ukulele. When I went to the shop to buy one I told the guy I was a complete beginner. 'There's no such thing as a beginner on the uke,' he said. 'Anyone can manage it.' I thought that was encouraging, and nice of him not to tell me my hands were too small or my fingernails too long. He didn't ask me was I nuts to contemplate annoying the neighbours at my time of life. He didn't forewarn me about the PAIN I'd suffer in my finger-tips.

He just sold me a very nice little blonde model that I fell in love with immediately. That's another thing he didn't tell me... that ukulele players are prone to suffer from UAS (Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome). There are so many styles and woods and many are just so PRETTY that it's easy to find yourself heading for the nearest music store in whichever town you find yourself. Anyway, back to me...  

A group of five like minded people gather at my house and we follow instructions from my husband, who plays well and spends hours on YouTube watching those who play better. He very patiently guides us through the tablature he's drawn up for us (and even transposed for one left-handed player) and we struggle through the pain barrier in an attempt to make the cheery, chirpy sounds we heard on stage when we went to see The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain perform. Of course, we're not
there yet. But I do have a few tunes under my belt.

I'm avoiding the George Formby sound. Not because I don't admire his skill, but because at my age I need to be taken more seriously if I'm ever going to convince the younger generation in the family that I might one day be able to join them in a jamming session.

I like some happy songs (oh, doesn't that sound sad) but I think the ukulele particularly lends itself to poignant and slightly mournful songs. Or maybe that's just because they're slower in tempo and therefore easier for me to keep up with everyone else.

So far I've mastered:     The Tennessee Waltz
                                       Yes Sir, That's My Baby
                                       Oh Won't You Stay... (from Dirty Dancing)
                                       The Peanut Vendor   (don't laugh!)
                                       Putting on the Style (Lonnie Donegan)
                                       Oh, Lonesome Me

And I'm working on:       A White Sports Coat and a Pink Carnation
                                       I'll See You in My Dreams
                                       Love Letters Straight from Your Heart
                                       Lover Come Back to Me
Plus, I have tickets to see The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain once again... so I have to work on Beethoven's Ode to Joy for the audience participation section. That's what started this whole thing in the first place.

I've only been strumming for a couple of months and I've never had so much fun in my own front room.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GLBI21X-aM    UOGB at the Proms

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02-gXysqDo8&feature=related  Jake Shimabukuro plays Michael Jackson's THRILLER

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqaYmQZgrB4     Jake Shimabukro's  Let's Dance

T is for Talking News

No, not the gossip kind of news, but sometimes there's some of that as well. I'm a reader for my local Talking News for the Blind. About once a month I go to a small local recording studio where four of us sit around a table facing individual microphones and read, aloud, articles from the local  newspaper. Sometimes we read articles from magazines and periodicals as well. We introduce ourselves to our listeners, and feedback has told us that they come to recognize individual voices. That's nice.

Volunteers are divided into Reading Groups, Copying Groups, Delivery and Collection Groups and we are rostered throughout the year. We also have volunteer editors and technicians and some people take on more than one role.

It's a fun thing to do and takes only a couple of hours at the most from a morning, once a month or as often as you like. Something will be being recorded every week.

As this is an activity usually undertaken by newly retired people who like to keep active and involved in the community, we are always losing members from the upper age group. This requires us to recruit. If you enjoy reading aloud, it's such a rewarding thing to do. Occasionally we have a social event where we meet some of our blind listeners who tell us that Talking News is a lifeline for them and keeps them involved in the local community.

Talking Books is another branch of the same type of work, but these are usually read by experienced actors....  I'm sure the authors appreciate their work being in professional hands.

If you're looking for voluntary work and enjoy the written word, why not find out the location of your local branch of Talking News? To be honest, it's the only time I get to read the local paper right through!

http://www.tnf.org.uk/              Talking News Federation

http://www.tnauk.org.uk/         Talking News Association of UK


S is for Steps to the Beach

       who can resist   
       the steps to the beach
       bringing into view
       what was previously hidden?

R is for Rambles in the Bush

One of the great pleasures of having given up the day job is that you have the time to do things that you previously only managed now and then. Our local Ramblers group, in the tiny town in NZ  in which I am fortunate enough to spend part of my year, is mainly made up of retired people, albeit some of them early retired. We're none of us spring chickens. But a steady walk on the flat is not for us. Once a fortnight we head for the hills. As you get older, it's important to keep the moving bits moving.

We have experienced trampers in our group and we follow the rules of bush trekking, taking plenty of food and water with us. Mobile phones don't work in this environment and if anyone had a fall there'd be no suitable place for the emergency helicopter to land.

The bush has a therapeutic effect on mind, body and spirit and it's one of the things I miss most when I leave New Zealand. It's not a quiet place. It's alive with the sounds of cicadas and the calls of native birds. Curious Fantails flit around you as you walk, hoping you'll disturb some flying insect life. The Tui's throaty call pierces the air. There's a scent of something half recognized; a herb or sorts. And wild flowers in abundance where the sun breaks through the canopy of tree ferns. Small streams trickle down steep hillsides making rocks precariously slippery. Exposed tree roots lay in wait, ready to trip the unwary. Tracks become ambiguous and overgrown. The bush can be a dangerous place -  a group of walkers insignificant in the face of thousands of acres of wilderness. The bush demands respect.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011


QUOTIDIAN... it's a word that looks and sounds more important than it is. It doesn't sound at all like its meaning. It doesn't deserve capital letters. But I want to start using it.

'My day was pretty quotidian. How was yours?' 
'This wine is fairly quotidian.' 
(Mmmm. Perhaps it's too poetic for everyday use.)

'Quotidian traffic halted her progress...'
(that's more like it but rather pretentious)

I hand you this word for my Q-day and challenge you to use it in a few sentences.
(No cheating!)

P is for PUPPIES

A photo montage of some of the Guide Dog puppies that have passed through my hands and my home. Because I'm a P-for-Puppy Walker  (but I've already blogged about puppy walking elsewhere... see D-for Dog)

Don't you just love them?
Being a puppy walker is the best volunteer role ever for anyone who loves dogs and has plenty of time.

Look up www.guidedogs.org.uk for further information.
They have over 11,000 volunteers filling a variety of roles from puppy walking to fund raising.

In the USA there are different organizations in each state.

O is for Open-cast Gold Mine

Ever stop to think where the gold on your finger came from? Well today I went to visit an open-cast gold mine in a small town called Waihi in the north island of New Zealand. Waihi has a long history of gold-mining. Yes, there was a gold rush in New Zealand. Yes, settlers came from Europe and Australia in search of the precious rock that contained their hopes and dreams... but that was a long time ago.

In Waihi, gold was discovered on Martha Hill in 1878 and this mine became one of the most important in the world for production of gold and silver. It was closed in 1952 and re-opened as an open-cast mine in 1987.

This modern gold mine is in a landscaped setting and billed as a tourist attraction.

What there is to see is a great big HOLE in the ground. A hole of ENORMOUS dimensions that would be a huge blot on the landscape except for the sympathetic plantings of native shrubs and trees around the perimeter which disguise the working environment.  So big is the hole that when you stand at the rim, the trucks and diggers working around the terraced sides look like worker ants.

Martha and Favona mines produce 100,000 ounces of gold and 750,000 ounces of silver annually. But it takes 9 million tonnes of waste and ore to recover 209,000 ounces of gold. You do the maths, then take a look at the gold rings on your fingers.

The surrounding countryside, in stark contrast to the mine, is beautiful. Farming and mining have co-existed in this region for over a hundred years. The old pump house to the original underground Martha Mine stands as a stark reminder to the hardships men endure in the search for precious metals.

As for the open-cast Martha Mine, this huge blot on the landscape will be erased and transformed into a vast park when the mine company move out and the landscapers move in. Work is already under way. Thousands of native shrubs and trees have been planted and pathways laid.  The hole will become a lake,  filled with water diverted from stormwater drains and the diversion of a river. It's estimated that it will take six years to fill.

That's all very commendable and will be a huge amenity for the small town of Waihi. The experts say there's still more gold in the area and mining continues, hopefully, with more sensitivity to the natural environment. But, as is the way with entrepreneurs, they have their sights set on other areas as well.

'There's gold in them thar hills' they say, as they cast more than a passing glance at the Coromandel Peninsula,  an area that already feels it's been done over... first to harvest its precious Kauri trees and then for gold, gum and minerals. With native forest already being replaced by pine, and other areas eaten away as developments encroach, the Coromandel Peninsula is a jewel itself and needs no gold to enhance its beauty. It needs protection.

(I use this photograph a lot because I love it so much. This is what I see on my drive to the nearest big supermarket. These hills are called The Pinnacles... and, as such,  could become my P day for the A to Z challenge. But I think I'll give it a rest and look for other inspiration.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

N is for New Zealand... of course

In New Zealand, the early morning TV presenter leaves you with... 'Enjoy another day in paradise.'  That is so uplifting. Much better than being told the M25 is blocked again, the trains are running late, we have the wrong kind of snow or that a survey has shown that Britons are becoming increasingly unhappy, as a nation. Who wants that with their breakfast?

Not everything is perfect in New Zealand. Don't get me wrong. There are a lot of spelling mistakes, for a start. Signs around towns are sometimes hilarious and then become annoying, because you feel such sloppiness reflects on the services these people are providing. It's okay to have a laid back attitude, but hey, don't fall down on the job.

A lot of cheese it eaten here. Maybe because all the best cuts of meat are too expensive for Kiwis. There's a commonly held belief that the best meat goes to England and is in the supermarkets there cheaper than it is here. The same applies to wine. That gets up a few noses. But cheese, hey, they put it in everything here.  You want a meat pie?  It will be meat and cheese. You want a piece of quiche?   It will have cheese in it. Consequently there's a weighty problem to be dealt with amongst some sectors of the community... but there's no need for it because everyone has space in which to be active, and it costs nothing to walk.

Everyone's on first name terms. It seems it's a policy. It creates a friendly atmosphere, no doubt about it, but you have to question it sometimes. From the doctor in the hospital, to the funeral director at the undertakers, the local policeman, the bank manager, the guy on the phone who's coming to fix your broadband, the dentist, your kid's teacher, the builder. The result is that, somehow,  it's much harder to complain about something. But there's no doubt it creates a sort of national village feel. We're all in this together.... whatever that is. Maybe that feeling is only possible in a country with a small population. There is a similarity of experience wherever you go and with whomever you speak. It's a caring sort of place. Strangers talk to you. Children on the way home from school say 'hi' to you and don't avert their gaze.

Not everything in the garden is rosy. There are racial tensions, economic tensions, health worries (all that cheese!), and, as everyone now knows,  you can have too much sun. But there's a real sense that New Zealanders  love the land in which they live. I'm not talking about its history or its buildings or its sporting achievements (although Kiwis have HUGE national pride), but the land itself.  In New Zealand it's easy to feel close to the natural environment because you are never very far from it, even if you live in the cities.


Historically and culturally, the land and the coastal waters have always been important. To the Maori people, the island explorers who arrived in canoes before the Europeans, the land, the trees, the sea which brought them here, has significant spiritual properties which later settlers are still learning to accept and respect.

To the early European settlers, who also made the journey by sea, the land was heaven or hell, depending on what kind of a life you'd left behind.

Settlement by Europeans is relatively recent history and evidence of their ancestors' early struggles with the land is often still visible in the faces of many contemporary Kiwis. Later immigrants arrived from other parts of the world, and came by air  -   a few hours in 'economy sector' is nothing compared with months or weeks at sea.

But early or late-comers, no one disputes the impact of the scenery on the national psyche. Regardless of problems, people say, often, 'aren't we lucky to be living here!'

Sunday, April 17, 2011

M is for Morning Mists

'Season of mist and mellow fruitfulness'... somebody wrote that. Not me. As you move into spring and summer up in the northern hemisphere, down here we're moving into autumn. Except that in New Zealand it's not always obvious.

Because the native bush and most native trees are evergreen, but not of the coniferous type, the countryside never looks bare. Only occasionally do you come across imported deciduous trees that turn an autumn colour and lose their leaves. Even Maples manage to hang onto their leaves in some areas, for some reason. Added to the native trees that manage to stay green, there are huge swathes of pine forests, pine being a crop here that matures in just 30 years. So, in the middle of winter, apart from it being colder, the countryside and forests areas still look very green. Only the morning mists and the cooling temperatures to remind you that winter is on the way.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

L is for Letters

Who writes them anymore? Going to your computer to see who's emailed you is not the same as nipping out in your dressing gown to find out who's written to you. Opening letters with a morning cup of tea is/was the most comforting of rituals. I used to answer mine straight away.

I was a compulsive letter writer. After the death of my mother (who kept 27 years worth of my letters in pillow cases) I didn't know what to do with this time and the thoughts that were in my head that needed conveying to someone.

A daily journal didn't work for me. And writing to people who don't reply is soul destroying. Emails are a bit trite and Facebook too frivolous. (I've been reprimanded for writing emails too long. 'I don't read long emails' one recipient  informed me.)

A handwritten letter contains much more than the message the words convey. The handwriting itself conveys information about the writer: mood, character, health, and even wealth. There's nothing nicer than reading something on luxury paper, written with an expensive pen and real ink. The choice of coloured inks and the thickness of pen nibs gave more information about the writer. (I went through a phase of using only green ink.) But often, the most telling of letters are those written on whatever was to hand at the time the urge to communicate took you. I have one written on a paper bag.

Important documents were always handwritten. Birth, death and marriage certificates, wills and job applications. 'Please apply in writing', a job advertisement would say. If you typed it they'd assume your handwriting was illegible. You must be a messy person. They'd definitely attempt to read your character from your style.

Handwriting a letter means you have to think clearly and boldly go where your thoughts take you, because there's no delete button. To have something in writing gave it official status.

And what about the stamps? My interest in travel and geography came about from collecting stamps and having pen-friends all around the world. I guess the equivalent is social networking via computer, but those miniature works of art that you lick and stick are missing.

The franking machine that denotes the time and place a letter was posted had to be across the stamp for me to be satisfied. My imagination worked overtime and pictured the writer walking to a post box to post this object directly to me...  not filtered through wires and networks and megabytes. A hand to hand procedure, like a relay race. Personal.

Despite the fact that most of what ends up in your letterbox is junk mail, the letterbox itself has remained stubbornly letter-sized. The postman can't fit an A4 envelope into it without having to bend and mangle it, leaving half sticking out in the rain, because it's designed for letters.

Every now and then I receive a card with a handwritten message inside. Precious.
But very, very rarely do I ever receive a handwritten letter. I wonder if people bother to read mine, or whether, because they're not written in short sound bytes, they're just skimmed and binned. How are historians of the future to find their primary sources?

Here's a letter from an American GI who was billeted with my mother's family during WW2. This is an historical document. A link with someone from the past. Personal. How will the computer age cope with personal primary sources? Oh, I know they'll come up with something exciting. But it will lack the touch, the scent, the stains and the physicality of a handwritten letter... from one person to another.

For anyone who enjoys a good quality piece of paper and a real pen, here is a website you might find interesting. http://www.apenchantforpaper.blogspot.com/

And if you just long to read a handwritten letter, look up http://www.lettersofnote.com/
for letters from famous and infamous characters. Poignant and illuminating.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

K is for Kina


Scrambling around rocks on the shores of New Zealand - be careful not to put your foot into a crevice inhabited by a colony of  KINA. The consequences could be very painful. Kina, also known as sea eggs or urchins, belongs to a group of invertebrates known as Echinoids. The New Zealand kina is endemic to New Zealand and its offshore islands and can grow as large as 190mm diameter. This sea urchin is a traditional food of the Maori people who particularly rate its internal organs and gonads.

Yummy mummies!   Sea urchins come as males or females and have an annual reproductive cycle. They spawn once a year in spring or summer. Ripe females can be 30% gonads (lovely word) by weight and release over a million eggs. The eggs are fertilized in the water by sperm released from an adjacent male. Eggs hatch into a larval stage in the flowing water and after 4 to 6 weeks they sink to the sandy bottom of the sea bed and metamorphose into tiny sea urchins.

Given the chance, sea urchins are probably long-lived, taking 7 years to reach 40 to 50mm diameter and they can reach up to 190mm.  Mainly herbivorous, they feed on attached and drifting algae. They are found at depths of 60 to 80m in most situations except estuaries and sand bars. Their grazing habits help to keep the natural kelp healthy and under control.

Maori people still harvest kina (although there is a daily quota regulation in place as there is for all fish and shellfish in NZ) by diving around offshore rocks with a heavily gloved hands, a knife and a shoulder bag.  Some say a screwdriver, tied to the wrist with a piece of string, is preferable to diving with a knife in the waistband of your shorts. That makes sense.                                                                          


When the interior has been scooped out of the hard outer casing, the empty shell washes ashore. It loses its spikes and becomes a very pretty shade of peppermint green with distinctive markings that are often represented in works of art.

But what does it taste like? I'm told that the kina is mainly liquid. That the Maori people just drink it from the outer casing. It's said to taste a bit like a very fishy milkshake with overtones of iodine... but hey, this is not a paid assignment... and gonads or no gonads I'm not going to test it out! I'd rather leave it where it is, doing its bit to clean up the ocean bed. I thought there must be more to it than just a mushy drink and sure enough, further investigation came up with more precise information.

Harvest moon?   Kina is best harvested in October, November, December, January & February at low tide on the 1st, 2nd & 3rd days after a full moon.

And now for a recipe... oh yes.

To prepare freshly harvested kina, crack open the shell by piercing the centre or navel of the kina with a butcher's knife. Press the knife down firmly and lever left to right. The shell is brittle and will break into two. Inside you will find a cone-shaped mass of fine teeth-like shell, a colourless salty fluid, 5 tongues, a purple membrane and a quantity of what looks like grit. (Nice, huh!)

Use a teaspoon to scoop out the tongues being careful not to include the membrane or grit. Place the tongues in a jar and discard the rest. (Whew!)  The tongues can be eaten raw on bread and are often served with kumara (sweet potato) or pumpkin.

Should you prefer your kina cooked (and who wouldn't?) you can BBQ it or put it into a pie. Simple as that. Alternate layers of kina tongue with slices of bacon in a pastry pie case. Bake for 30 min at 350 degrees.  Me, I think I'll stick to the artistic inspiration kina gives and forego the snack.


So the next time you accidentally step on a sea urchin, once you've recovered from the shock, give some thought to its complicated life cycle and the intricacy of its design.

Footnote: the locals say that if you step on an urchin and end up with spines protruding from your skin, the best we to deal with them is to take your flip flop or flipper and bash them really hard so that they break up. The minute particles left inside you will easily pass through your blood stream. This worked for a friend, but please don't take it as best medical advice!

(Ref & acknowledgement for Figs 1 & 2. http://www.mahingakai.org.nz/mahinga-kai-species/kina)