One of the most under-rated tourist sites in Auckland has to be Eden Garden in the heart of that politically troubled suburb, Epsom. Even in the drizzle this place wins hearts and you can hear people sighing with admiration and not only at the floral [...]
Recently I read a book by Bill Bryson titled ‘The Home’, subtitled ‘A short history of private life’. It’s not very short at 534 pages. In fact I found it a bit long but anyway he’s done his best I suppose and the private life bit [...]
Maria Farrer examines the power of the expected – and the unexpected
Everybody’s life is a unique story. This is something we intrinsically know – but not necessarily something we think about.
I was sitting next door to someone on the bus the other day – as [...]
At 15 months, my little grandson is as cute as a button, running about, laughing out loud, climbing everything he can haul himself up and saying “No!” with an emphatic shake of his brown curls.
He’s about to start visiting granny regularly on Wednesday afternoons [...]
Decided I should do something about my increasingly ancient body the other day, so I joined the local gym. Made good progress in the Mr Puniverse stakes until one day the euphoria stopped in the basement. There the Real Men worked out (or as an alternative, spent a lot of time adoring their abs and biceps).
Never knew weightlifting could be [...]
For the whole of our planned journey, the bureaucracy of the countries we were to visit demanded that we have all travel arrangements and accommodation pre booked and paid for.
Some also demanded a “letter of invitation” to their country. The first step to obtaining [...]
An old English music hall singalong trips cheerily: “I’m forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in the air. They fly so high, nearly reach the sky.” Next, reality: “Then like my dreams, they fade and die.” Central bankers know about that now.
In January eight years ago Ben Bernanke took the chair of the Federal Reserve, the United States’ central bank, to [...]
An overnighter at a beach sounded such a great way to celebrate the end of school – for ever.
No more school uniforms; no more teachers telling you to ‘pull up your socks’ or ‘get a haircut’; or worse still, giving you ‘six of the [...]
The powers that be have the power, and the white coats with their powers decided my waste disposal systems needed some TLC. So off to hospital I had to go, and away from home was examined by a group of nursing angels – though I [...]
“Don’t throw those away; your father brought them home from the war.” I’m holding two dented and pitted silver-grey aluminium plates that I’ve hauled out of the back of a kitchen cupboard. My mother and I are sorting through her household goods before she [...]
An A-Z of New Zealand traditions & Folklore by Gordon Ell
(Published by New Holland)
The Jet Boat
This piece of Kiwi ingenuity has been adopted world-wide. Designed by Sir William Hamilton (knighted for his invention), the boat is powered by a jet of water sucked up by the advancing boat and thrust astern as a high velocity jet. Hamilton (1879-1978), was a [...]
Extracts from Max Cryer’s new book ‘Every dog has its day’.
The Canary Islands
The Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa have had other names throughout history: [...]