The joys of grandparenting

Angela picNew Year’s Day and the Stoke streets are gleaming, washed by a morning of solid rain and blown dry by an energetic northerly. The tall sky is Nelson-summer-blue and the breeze-riffled trees turn sunlight into lace on the Railway Reserve path. It’s mid-morning and Emma and I are out walking.
Nearly […]

Continue Reading 0

End-of-life decisions

Paul SmithSummer cosseted us with its warmth this Saturday afternoon, though inside the conference room we were hearing about something much chillier.
It was so warm the doors were left open and if you listened, you could hear an unfamiliar rustle outside: the eddies of dry leaves gathering pace in the carpark. […]

Continue Reading 0

Whingeing Aussies and their beer belly

Once we put up with whingeing Poms. Now it’s whingeing Aussies. They are far richer than us, so what’s the beef? And why should we bother?
The problem is China — or, rather, China plus Australians’ punchy self-importance. In security matters that self-belief took it into Iraq in 2003 and is taking it there now (with a John Key coda, about […]

Continue Reading 0

Real love over 50 shades…

CashDunedin’s ‘The Evening Star’ newspaper has long gone and I’m now old and cynical. But, there’s one moment I’ll never forget from my halcyon days as a cub reporter there – seeing Johnny Cash declare his love for his wife, June Carter Cash, on the stage at the Town Hall.
When I got the […]

Continue Reading 0

A protest – in Wanaka…

Depression is too strong a word to describe what drove me to start marching around Wanaka with a sign. It was more a sense of futility that after more than two decades of Labour saying this and National saying that, the low-paid, the poor, have been abandoned and nothing is changing.
So I wondered what I could do besides writing about […]

Continue Reading 0


An A-Z of New Zealand traditions & Folklore by Gordon Ell
(Published by New Holland)

Opo the Dolphin
 (It was the kind of summer we’re having now when Opo swam into our lives and here’s a record from Kiwiosities, of those happy days.)
During the summer of 1955-56, a bottle-nosed dolphin made friends with the people of Opononi on the southern shores of […]

Continue Reading 10

The Games People Play

poolFunny how the games we are most fond of, are the hardest for us to be any good at. And to be honest, in  the ones we want to be really good at we seem to end up admiring our friends who always seem a little better than us at everything […]

Continue Reading 0

February miscellany

Sunny sunflowers
The bets are on: John Key versus the New Zealander of the Century…
No doubt about it the polls show that our PM is indeed beloved. He shares the same interest in state housing with the late Mickey Savage, Labour’s first PM. Savage’s Government built state houses for the people during […]

Continue Reading 0