Charlie Hebdo revisited

Chris Charlie
(Above, a map of outrage, showing that # Je suis Charlie was one of the most  popular hashtags ever – 3.4 million tweets in 24 hours. Here, Chris Horan  explores some of the issues). 
When I first heard about Charlie Hebdo journalists murdered by religious extremists I was curious about the specific motive […]

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Dear Eleanor…what have you done?

if-logo-blue-white-featuredBooker prize winner Eleanor Catton upset Sir Humphrey Horswell and  others  recently by saying among other things, that ‘New Zealand, along with Australia and Canada were  dominated by neo-liberal, profit-obsessed, very shallow, very money-hungry politicians who do not care about culture’.
The Rt. Hon. Humphrey Horswell, QSM  subsequently wrote an open letter to her […]

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Encounters… in Auckland’s Babel

Womble womble through the Babel of Pak ‘n Save’s aisles stacked to the ceiling with every food imaginable. Familiar faces behind the counters and, as always in central Auckland, languages from Arabic to Cantonese.
We needed yoghurt; (natural) and choccies, (Whittakers of course) wine – and that indispensable lunch when imagination finally expires – baked beans. Not too many items because […]

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Being widowed is no picnic…

being widowedI was widowed over ten years ago and nowadays I can talk about  it more easily. At the time our dreams for the future were shattered.
If your husband (wife/partner) dies suddenly, that is quite different from someone dying  from the ghastly cancer.  I wouldn’t dare suggest how others might respond. They are all totally […]

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Chrissy crossword answers

Finally! The answers to our Christmas crossword.

CHRISTMAS Dragnet by Stan Freberg
HAPPY Christmas (the war is over) by John Lennon
SNOOPY’S Christmas by Snoopy and his friends
JINGLE Bells by The Singing Dogs
NUT Rocker by B Bumble and the Stingers
MARY’S Boy Child by Harry Belafonte
I Saw Mummy KISSING Santa Claus by Jimmy Boyd


All I Want for Christmas is my two front TEETH by […]

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The environment is changing – even for Greens

On Sunday the Greens will mull adjustments to their political clothing. They may need more than a nip or a tuck or slight change of shade. Technology is changing the Greens’ environment.
Greens used confidently to claim the future. Only by going green would humans escape an apocalypse of disease and poison as resources run out, ecosystems are decimated and food […]

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A door slamming contest

Brian VinerNot again – not bored again are we? And look, I am not the entertainments organiser in this whachamacallit it and I can’t keep thinking up things to do – you think of something.
Ok then, if you are going to be like that, what about a door slamming contest?
We […]

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

School cadets
Once being a school cadet was part of every high school boy’s experience, parading in ‘sandpaper suits’, the khaki uniforms of the school cadets corps. Usually the first week of a new school year involved endless parades in the hot sun, wielding rifles from the First […]

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This month in history – February

Trevor Chappell bowls underarm
‘The greatest middle distance race of all time’
Hawke’s Bay earthquake strikes
First woman to swim Cook Strait
The Treaty of Waitangi is signed
Liner Wanganella refloated after 18 days on Barrett Reef
First fatalities on a scheduled air service in NZ
Cook completes circumnavigation of North Island
End of free school milk
Charles Heaphy recommended for VC
Maori soldiers sail to war

1st February 1981
Trevor Chappell […]

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