Halswell Domain

Halswell Domain
View from the Model Engineers' site in the Halswell Domain

Saturday, June 16, 2018


We’re chuffed to see hard working local lad Celyn Edwards (17) doing so well in the world of swimming.  Celyn lives locally in Halswell and attends Hillmorton High School.  He swims with the Selwyn Swim School out at Rolleston and is coached by Ben Close.  Over the last year or two, he has been smashing national swimming records and regularly recording personal best times.
Celyn is a para athlete as a result of losing an arm at the age of 5 in a car accident.  Inspired meeting Sophie Pascoe and Mary Fisher, he  has been steadily training and wants to get as far as he can as a para athlete.  Right now, that looks like it will be a significant set of achievements.    He began swimming out at Rolleston with the Selwyn Swim School in 2013.  By 2015, he began swimming at national level and now holds 23 national records (wow!). 
Celyn swam internationally for the first time in July 2017 in Berlin – at a world Para Swimming event where he set an Oceania record for 50m breaststroke.  He then competed earlier this year at the Commonwealth Games held on the Gold Coast in Australia.  He swam in the final of both of the Commonwealth Games events he entered, coming 6th in the final of the 100m breaststroke and 4th in the 400m individuals medley in times that most of the rest of us can’t imagine getting anywhere near.

Celyn Edwards (photo courtesy of Selwyn Swim Club)

It is clear that Celyn is still regularly achieving personal bests.  Recently, for example, he swam a massive  10 seconds  under the current 200m butterfly WORLD record in a swim meet in Ashburton.  While this time won’t count as the record, because it was not an internationally recognised event, it certainly bodes well for future international events. 
These achievements and the dedication of this young man will also be a big part of the reason why he holds the 2018 Graham Condon Scholarship.  This scholarship is awarded each year to an athlete who has not yet reached the highest level in their sport, but through outstanding commitment, attitude and ability, demonstrates the potential to achieve this in the future. 
If all this is not enough, Celyn is also a keen road cyclist, mountain biker, skier and rugby player.

10 Reasons Why You Should Consider Buying Second Hand Furniture.

Huge quantities of furniture are being imported into New Zealand and consumers are buying it up, but there are many things that the buyer should be aware of.

1. Imported furniture often breaks quickly.
It has been designed to be light so that shipping costs are low and therefore is usually not strong.

2.  It is often poorly constructed
Take a closer look before you buy furniture from overseas. Do the  cupboards and drawers shut smoothly?  Have they  been squarely cut?  Are the joints tight?

3.  Overseas timbers  live in a different climate.
The timbers are used to more humid environments than the New Zealand one and as such moisture seeks to make its way out. This may cause buckling and loosening of the joints and can be rather difficult and time consuming to rectify.

 4. Second hand furniture stores are not located in expensive areas.  High overheads in any business are passed onto the consumer. 

 5. Quality second hand furniture is strong and has been built with solid construction techniques making it built to last. There may be wear and tear, but with  some tender loving care by yourself or a furniture restorer,  a piece of furniture can be  brought back to its former glory, or creatively upcycled.

6.   Fashion is fickle.
  Today's latest trends   disappear very quickly and your home becomes dated by your purchases.  Some consumers are embarrassed when they don't have the latest styles and feel compelled to update. Updating your furniture several times is much more expensive than keeping  a more unique piece for longer. Furthermore, if you follow fashion,  in the back of your mind, you always know that you have been tricked and seduced by clever marketing.

 7. Second hand furniture was made when things were made slowly. 
The work and craftsmanship and attention to detail can be  remarkable.  It feels good to have something that has been made with pride, and if you restore it, it feels good to have treated it with the respect it deserves.

8. Your creativity can run wild.
Second hand furniture  has more character  and you do not have to be locked in to buying something from one time period.  You can mix it all up, and more importantly, find pieces that you genuinely  love  and will generate  interesting discussion when you have company over.

9.  Buying local furniture,  puts money into the pockets of everyday New Zealanders.
Local buying means investing in your local area.  Healthy local businesses spend locally, whether it is in the form of  sponsorship or personal spending. If local businesses do well, it has a spiralling upward effect, on the community around it.  Everybody wins.

10.  Environmental benefits.
Upcycling, recycling, restoration, zero waste,  whatever you call it, means a better planet and future for the generations to come.  You can sleep better at night, knowing that you are not contributing to the enormous piles of furniture being thrown into the landfills every day.

Deb Harding Browne
No Boundaries Furniture

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

About the Halswell Website

I’ve recently read some comments on the website and realise that many people don’t know how it developed and where it came from, so here is a little run down of its beginnings and how it runs now.
The photo is Hugh Donald. Hugh is the current webmaster for our website (www.halswellcommunity.net.nz), and he does all that work completely voluntarily.

The Halswell website was initially launched in March 2012 and was built to supplement the newsletter. This newsletter got started in mid 2010 and back then, Halswell had a tiny presence on Facebook (unlike now!), so it was much harder to get the word out to Halswell people. 
Building the website was a mission for someone who had no background in Web Development (me) but without the considerable money it takes to get professional developers to do it, there wasn’t much choice.  
The website was built using Joomla which is free software, and we installed free templates and other free components etc.  
 The Halswell Residents Association paid for the first two years of webhosting and our domain name and these costs were taken over by the Halswell Community Project which was set up in 2013.  These expenses are now covered by some of the business advertising that appears on the site.
Hugh came on board in December 2015.  He noticed that much of the information on the website was out of date and emailed, offering to assist. Since that time he has been the main man on our website and he has been incredibly generous with his time.  On a completely voluntary basis, he has learned his way through the programme that the website uses and then took on rebuilding the site in 2017.  He has continued to update and manage the site with a little help from a few of us at the Halswell Community Project.  If that is not enough, he has branched out to help other community groups with their websites, and does a number of other community focused activities.
Development of the website is ongoing and we're keen to get other people involved in maintaining and possibly even developing it.   We've recently changed the template that we use to try and make the site more cell phone friendly.  The upgrade has helped, but it looks like some more work is needed to make it work better

We would love to have one or two other people help out with the website.  Hugh has developed a great set of instructions and “how-to”s, and most of the work updating the site is quite simple.
Please check any information that is up there for your community group or business and make sure it is up to date.  If it is not, then let us know what has changed so we can update it.
The best way to get in touch is via the contact form on the website at www.halswellcommunity.net.nz

Chrys Horn (HCP)

What Is "Hygee" and How might we benefit from it?

Hygee (pronounced Hoo-gah) is a Danish word and lifestyle concept that has taken the world by storm in the last 2-3 years. It is influencing current d├ęcor and fashion trends and book best-seller lists. How did this happen? Really, it all began because international surveys frequently named Denmark to be  the happiest country on the planet  and people HAD to know why. Researchers believe   that Danish social customs collectively  called Hygee  are the reason for their overall contentment and happiness.

Graphic Source: The Little Book Of Hygee by Meik Wiking (2016)


1. Better Coping Skills. This lifestyle is really a  form of dedicated self care. With an emphasis on rest, relaxation, walking, bowls of hot soup, cups of coffee, stronger social connections, and general well being, people are able  develop an inner strength and resilience with which to face life's challenges.

2.  A Happier Soul. The Danish people are less focused on outward goals, and more on what makes the soul feel good.  Think open fires, hot chocolates, warm blankets, snugly socks, blankets, cushions, coffee and cake with your family and friends, twinkle-lights, long walks,  and time for creativity.  It is all those things that make you feel happier, create atmosphere  and build deeper connections with the people near you.

3.  Less Stress. Hygee is about living  in the moment, and far less about having   stress-filled jobs that lead employees to dream about collapsing on a beach in foreign country at the end of the year to recover from it all and then to get back and return to same treadmill. The Danish culture is more about being happy everyday, and creating a life that you perhaps do not even need a holiday from. A slower lifestyle also allows  great sensitivity to our consciences and to inner nudges or prompting and discernment of what is really a good idea or a bad idea.  This leads to better decision making which in turn eliminates the consequences of poor decisions in our lives. When we are too busy, we can find wisdom harder to find.

4.  Stronger Relationships
. Hygee is the  deliberate intention of creating special moments with your loved ones. Sharing hot drinks board game nights, movie nights, going biking or walking together, camping or just hanging out are all considered Hygee activities  and are quite achievable because they are inexpensive.

5. More Contentment and Gratitude. Always striving for goals can lead to unhappiness for two reasons: disappointment arises if targets aren't reached and happiness is postponed  as you overlook the here and now. While  having a direction and goals are arguably important for success, Hygee argues  that this needs to  in balance with  with living and being.

6. A Less Selfish Attitude.  Hygee is "we over me." It is the group over the individual.  A leading cause of unhappiness can  be focusing on  self-interest too much and failing to contribute to those around us. Thinking about and serving others makes us happier.  It has been said that the most selfish thing you can do is give to others simply because it feels so good.

7. Better Health. The Danish love affair with  being in nature,  a slower pace of life,  walking, biking  and quality  relationships are all   well documented as  being beneficial for physical and mental health.

8. More Joy.  A slower pace of life allows us to discern the natural rhythms that create balance in our bodies and and to find the happy place of having not too little and not too much. Furthermore, we can discern what makes our heart beat faster which  is what we love to do.  It may be gardening, cooking, crafting, journalling, drawing, or painting or something completely different.  Having time to think and create is one of the loveliest gifts of simple living.

9. A Deeper Sense of Connection. One important aim of Hygee is to cultivate opportunities where great conversation, laughter and connection can occur. It might over a cup of tea, at the dinner table, around a board game, at a picnic, or around a bonfire on the beach.  Chatting on social media does not qualify.

10. More Money. Adopting  a simpler lifestyle  means that purchases you  deemed as necessary in the past may now begin to seem unnecessary and perhaps even wasteful or worse still, greedy. Outwardly,  a slower  lifestyle  has sometimes been mistaken for deprivation, but the Danes argue it is in fact the opposite.   It's  about filling your life with what  is most important in life. Over-scheduling and over-consumption actually prevents our souls, minds and bodies from getting what they need. And what is wonderful about all this, is that what we actually need for happiness, fulfilment and contentment  doesn't cost the earth.
Deb Harding Browne
No Boundaries Furniture

Friday, September 29, 2017

Interview with a member of the Oaklands Toastmasters Club

Tell us a bit about yourself?
I am husband of over 12 years and a father of a four year girl. I was born in Aranui, Christchurch and have lived in South Africa and Sydney, Australia. I have done the whole tri-nations tour. I work in IT doing computer security for Datacom and their customers.

Josh giving a speech at Oaklands Toastmasters
Josh giving a speech at the Oaklands Toastmasters Club
Why did you join Toastmasters?
I noticed that when I was job hunting, even in IT, being able to speak smoothly is more important than the technical skills and experience in computers that I have. I appreciate how Toastmasters has encouraged me to grow and has taught me many things about speaking both in theory and in practise. When I was recently asked to speak at a school expo to parents and students, I could call upon my Toastmaster skills to explain and present topics and idea competently.

What would you say to someone who is interested in Toastmasters?
Everyone should consider it. “No man is an island “. Good communication is the foundation to good relationships. Toastmasters gives you a safe playground to test and learn communication skills and you will be better for it.

What surprised you about Toastmasters?
Toastmasters is extremely supportive and there is a strong give-it-a-go attitude. Every meeting is highly respectful and no one laughs at mistakes and everyone encourages each other to grow in their skills. Even after I froze when speaking, I was commended for getting up and I was given constructive tips how to improve for the next time.

What do you think Toastmasters brings to Halswell community?
Toastmasters are an established and proven learning ground for communication.
With every meeting, Oaklands Toastmasters builds confidence, social connections and skills, which is, what every community needs.

What is the Funniest / best speech you have done or heard?
There are many funny speeches and everyone gets an opportunity to speak each week. One of the stand out speeches for me was about global warming delivered by Darryl Gibson, it was backed up with a projector and slides. It was a very thought provoking and moving topic and was delivered with skill and intention.