Stephen, one of the biggest fans of the whinger series of posts, sent me this interesting link the other day. Tell you what, it’s hard putting up provocative posts. Every day it’s “Che, when’s the next whinger post?”. “I don’t see the next whinger post?”. “And now, the whinger post”.

Unfortunately, I don’t see the linked article as an example of whinging. Which is a pity, because I was looking for an opportunity to vent my spleens this weekend as well.

Oh, did I mention that?

I have polysplenia! After my own ongoing whinging about the exceptionally poor medical treatment at Wellington hospital (the time I spent 10 hours on gurney in emergency was a low point…), I insisted that I was given an MRI to get the heart physiology properly sorted out. The idea being that if I’m informed I can make lifestyle adjustments to mitigate risks. Like not taking on any high-stress jobs, or dealing with high-stress people.

I’m still waiting for the full results, but apparently I have situs ambiguus and polysplenia. This means some organs are out of their ‘traditional’ positions, and I have multiple spleens.

Multiple spleens… Jason said, ‘that explains your blogging style’.

Anyhow, the MacAllister-Sims. What the NZ Herald story reports is a family who live in Massey, Auckland, and who commute to central Auckland Hospital for work. Now, this is a big 50 minute drive. As petrol prices have climbed the family has found it increasingly difficult to afford the fuel costs. This, combined with rising food prices, means that they’ve had to adjust their way of doing things to accommodate costs.

And the MacAllister-Sims are my kind of people.

Instead of stating in the paper how unhappy they are at having to change their lifestyles, they’ve just gotten on with it, and adjusted by making good choices about things. The stuff listed in the story is interesting:

  1. They dropped from two to one car, the smaller one, and Geoff cycles home some nights (which is admirable, it’s a loong way out to Massey)
  2. They’ve cut out some spending, with Davina for example mentioning that she doesn’t purchase magazines, instead purchasing a bottle of milk
  3. They’ve put plans to purchase closer to the city on hold, until they can afford it
  4. They just stopped buying cheese…
  5. They buy some foods from other outlets instead of just relying on the supermarket, and “consciously thinking we’ll get this here and that there”
  6. They’ve cut back on coffee at work, and have started making their own lunches
  7. They joined the Zoo and the Museum, and take the kids there instead of long trips out of the city

These are all bloody good and sensible things to do to save money. Most of them are a trade-off in time for savings, which they doubtless find difficult (three kids under 6), but it’s the one thing they have. And even better, they’ve rationalised their spending and not just been interviewed waving their arms in the air and whinging about how “someone needs to do something”.

Pretty damn admirable in my view, and I say more power to them. I actually see this as a “good news” story, and one I’d like to see more of.