Find the rose amongst the second hand thorns

LogoSecond hand shop devotees have had slim pickings of late here in Christchurch, but there is a way of getting more interest out of what you already own. The Source has a tempting list of all sorts of goodies but I was particularly attracted to Arts, music and antiques, then to Price It!

Just how much was what was left of my collections worth? Not a lot as it turned out, but hours could be whiled away looking at stuff to replace what has been lost. Or on new stuff to collect.  Andy Warhol always said he was starting a new collection to excuse buying more random stuff, and if it was good enough for Andy …

Price It! is much more than its name suggests;  a highly entertaining recently-added article, How do I get rid of my collector plates?, answered the perennial question of who buys those things advertised in all the women’s magazines.  A Mr Harry Rinker provided a brutally frank answer, featuring lines like

From an investment point of view, the only thing worse your mother could have done with her money is invested in a fund managed by Bernie Madoff

He also said when he was a kid, “the local fireman’s carnival featured a skill game where you threw softballs at records attempting to break them. Who said you have to use records? Collector plates work. Further, they are harder to break than records. Hence, you will take in more money before your plate supply is exhausted.”

Who has a possession obsession confession?

To access all this fascinating information you’ll need your library card number and PIN.

Nigel’s advice for Christchurch parents

Cover image of "Quaky cat"Who else watched Nigel Latta on TV One last night?

Nigel Latta is a forensic psychologist best known for his parenting advice. He is also one of my New Zealand heroes. I really admire his humour and honesty – he’s the guy who’ll point out the elephant in the room and even climb on for a ride.

While “After the Quake” was obviously filmed before the quakes on Monday, Nigel’s suggestions couldn’t have come at a better time.  Like he says, no 30-minute television show can solve all the problems those living in Quakeville may be experiencing, but a brief overview of how to deal with ongoing trauma is a start.

It’s difficult to try to hold yourself together and keep going while also helping your children cope. Here’s a summary of Nigel’s advice:

Advice and reassurance from Nigel

  • Flashbacks, avoidance and increased adrenaline are all normal reactions to a traumatic event;
  • Sometimes the best therapy for children is family;
  • Reassure your children they are safe, surround them with family and friends, act calm so your children learn how to respond calmly too, get them involved to keep them busy and give them a sense of self-advocacy, and maintain hope – things will get better;
  • Continuing routines and rules where possible is important – the quake isn’t a “get-out-of-jail-free” card for bad behaviour;
  • Teach your kids relaxation exercises to use whenever they get worked up;
  • Introduce new vocabulary so they have more ways to label how they are feeling and a greater sense of control in the situation;
  • Break big problems that cause anxiety down into small, more manageable steps;
  • Reliving experiences through play and drawing is a really healthy coping mechanism, so don’t worry if your children set up a tent in the lounge, shake its walls, scream “Earthquake!”  then stand outside the wrecked tent with their toys and wait for EQC to show up;
  • Visit Safe and Sound for more helpful suggestions and support;
  • Christchurch City Libraries is here for you, too!

If you missed the progamme, watch it online.

Help for the enforcers

LogoMaybe you are a CSI devotee and want to learn more about  forensic science and investigating crime scenes. Maybe you’re studying to become a lawyer or police officer? The Criminal Justice Collection can help you in your research, and also covers social work and rehabilitation. With the Criminal Justice Collection you will have access to over 170 journals including:

  • Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology;
  • New Zealand Journal of Psychology;
  • Journal of Internet Law;
  • Criminal Justice and Behavior.

Tthe Criminal Justice Collectionand many other useful electronic resources can be found in  the Source. Access from home with your library card number and PIN, or at our community libraries.