Newsletter Extract: Time management when time is running out.

I'm a big fan of the late Randy Pausch who was excellent at getting a balance in his life. If you haven't seen his talk on time management and you need more time to do the important stuff in your life you should check it out here on YouTube (although it takes an hour to watch, it is time you will save after watching it!). When I'm in need of a refresher, I listen to it when inking.

One of the things I think (I definitely need to listen again) he mentions  in his talk is Stephen Covey's Urgent vs Important Matrix:

time-management-matrix-stephen-covey.png

Stephen Covey wrote The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People . I haven't read his book, but I use his matrix all the time. Basically, you need to work on the things that are important first and let go of the things that are not important. With the constant barrage of information from the likes of social media, it is worth bearing in mind.

AC-cartoon-email-stress.png

Forget Kids– Get a Dog is something that's not urgent but it is important to me. Working on it this week is sad in a way because so much of it reminds me of Billie. And he was the reason for writing it in the first place, as he brought so much joy to our lives (hey, I  love my niece and nephews, but...). Also, when I showed fellow cartoonists some drawings from the book way backin 2011, it had a lot of resonance. So I want to put it out in the world before it's too late.

And that's where we get to the next thing that happened this week…

Head to the archive to read more here.


This is an extract of my Illustrated Epistle, which goes out in the middle of the month. It is a behind-the-scenes look at the life of a cartoonist (specifically, mine). I'd love it if you signed up at the bottom of this page, or here:

http://eepurl.com/cCOOeD

Living in New Zealand: It's Not 100% Pure Like the Advertisements Say

One of my favourite wild places to go near Christchurch is Birdlings Flat. It is very wild beach with a significant undertow and you can't swim there. But it is wonderfully scenic in a bleak way. A bit like Chesil Beach in Dorset.

Te Roto o Wairewa/Lake Forsyth is just beside the beach. It has been dangerous for years, but for a different reason. Nitrate run-off from agricultural land that feeds into the waterways that's ending the lake cause toxic algal blooms. It's too dangerous to even walk your dog your dog there.

Toxic algae in New Zealand waterway Click to see options for using the image

Toxic algae in New Zealand waterway Click to see options for using the image

The saddest thing is that this isn't the only lake or river that is in this condition. All over New Zealand the pressure of intensive agriculture is ruining the waterways, making rivers that kids played in a generation ago unswimmable now.. Some farmers are doing something to stop it (by fencing stock out of rivers, planting at the edges of waterways to soak up any run-off and reducing stock and chemical levels to prevent excess nitrates reaching the water). Unfortunately a lot of farmers are either ignorant of what they need to do or more concerned about profit.

We saw these irrigators everywhere driving through the Canterbury plains and the Mackenzie Country. Some of them are a kilometre long or more.

We saw these irrigators everywhere driving through the Canterbury plains and the Mackenzie Country. Some of them are a kilometre long or more.

Update: we walked up the Opuha river in Canterbury. A dry summer has been compounded by intensive agriculture and over-extraction of water. The river is very low and to add insult to injury we saw cows walking in and out of it and every feeder stream we crossed was full of cowshit.

irrigation2.jpg
Cattle having just crossed a stream that feeds into the Opuha River

Cattle having just crossed a stream that feeds into the Opuha River

And this is what you find in a Conservation Area

And this is what you find in a Conservation Area

Why New Zealand Rivers are in a bad way - a simple diagram

Why New Zealand Rivers are in a bad way - a simple diagram

Update: Shortly after I posted this, a report highlighted the trouble the NZ environment is in: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/18/decades-of-denial-major-report-finds-new-zealands-environment-is-in-serious-trouble