Tuesday, October 23, 2018

A non-labouring day

Yesterday was the Labour Day holiday in New Zealand, a date set aside to commemorate the eight-hour workday. Or, as NZ History Online put it:
Labour Day commemorates the struggle for an eight-hour working day. New Zealand workers were among the first in the world to claim this right when, in 1840, the carpenter Samuel Parnell won an eight-hour day in Wellington. Labour Day was first celebrated in New Zealand on 28 October 1890, when several thousand trade union members and supporters attended parades in the main centres. Government employees were given the day off to attend the parades and many businesses closed for at least part of the day.”
The Labour Day public holiday now observed on the fourth Monday in October, which was yesterday. So, why didn’t I post about it then? I was resting from my labours!

Actually, we did a lot around the house over the weekend, including yesterday. On Sunday, we planted our tomato plants, which are doing well, thank you. We also cleared a lot of weeds. I also put a couple big numbers on our recycling bin so I can see the numbers from the footpath, which will make it easier when I go to collect the bin. I found out that each number was part of a pair—should I use them on the side of the bin on the side I’ll approach it from, or should I save them for the rubbish bin Auckland Council will give us in the next year? Decisions, decisions.

Yesterday was about removing the last of the weeds and finishing up some more on our household “to do” list (something we really do have). The gardens are (mostly) ready for summer, though I still want to increase the area we have for vegetable gardens. A work in progress.

All of that left me tired, but yesterday evening I felt kind of sick—sort of flu-like. It crossed my mind that I’d taken my garden trowel to loosen stuff in our tumbling compost bin—and I hadn’t worn a dust mask. Oops! I felt yucky enough that I decided against blogging yesterday, and I went to bed somewhat earlier than usual. So, I really did rest from my labours.

Another trip to a different home centre tomorrow for some more bits and pieces, and then I should be (mostly) done with the yards for awhile and can concentrate on the inside? Well, that’s y hope. I have plenty of projects for that, too.

The graphic above was posted on Facebook by Kiwibank (owned by New Zealanders through the government). They said:
Can you imagine working a 14 hour day? Samuel Parnell couldn’t, so in 1840 he took a stand and won New Zealand workers the right to an 8 hour day. Today commemorates that victory! So whatever you’re up to on your day off, remember it was this guy who made it happen. Cheers Sammy!
Indeed. We were able to enjoy the day thanks to “Sammy”. It’s good to know why we get to enjoy good times and holidays, I think.

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