After retiring from audiology some years ago, Susan’s finding life’s pretty good with lots of time to do what she likes. That includes walking, reading, having coffee with friends, and a bit of activism thrown in. Also, day by day doing her best not to worry too much over the many threats to our gorgeous planet.
Read Susan’s Blog
Meet Trevor. He’s had quite a colourful career, from his early days as a pub manager in Tunbridge Wells he went on to become Dunedin’s leading auctioneer. Trevor is a published author and was something of a TV personality in the 1980s as a regular panellist on a show about antiques.
Read Trevor’s Blog
Emily is very loud, and has really bad taste in cheesy pop music. When not at work flogging goods to the public via advertising and marketing campaigns, she can be found hiding from her partner and children at the local pub. If you’re easily offended or don’t appreciate the constant use of profanities, then you probably shouldn’t read Emily’s posts. You have been warned!
Read Emily’s Blog
Angela has had many roles in her life including: schoolgirl, student, daughter, friend, civil servant, wife, lover, mother, manager, magistrate, landlady, teacher, grandmother, blogger, editor and proofreader.
Read Angela’s Blog
I’m up in Yorkshire enjoying a few days immersion in all that is wonderful about this county including its down-to-earth people, its direct talk, its breath-taking landscapes and its wry humour. Northern rivalry I should point out that I’m from Lancashire, a diamond of a county, but locked in a centuries old rivalry with its neighbour over the Pennines. Who remembers learning about the Wars of the Roses in the fifteenth century with the white rose for the House of York and the red rose for the house of Lancaster? As if… Read More
Schools in New Zealand are rated from 1 to 10, depending on the socio-economic zone in which they’re located. Decile 10 applies to wealthy areas and Decile 1 to deprived areas. The system was introduced in 1995 by the right-wing National Party. Donations required Primary and high school education are free here, but almost all schools ask for a donation from parents to fund facilities and amenities not normally supplied. In Decile 10 areas, parents donate heaps, as you can imagine. In poor areas, donations are a problem for parents who simply… Read More
A funny thing used to happen Listening to an interview with John Cleese the other day made me wonder whether the current plague of PC is strangling humour. Comedy has always carried an element of cruelty: from the Buster Keaton custard pie sketch to the murder of sensitivities from Billy Connolly, somebody has to ‘cop it’ to amuse those who weren’t on the receiving end. Listening to Cleese, I realised that nothing was spared: all manner of sacred cows, including his late mother and ex-wives were woven into a barrage of hilarious… Read More
Yesterday, I had two interesting conversations which I’ve been pondering on overnight. The food bank phenomenon I was on the tube when I met a colleague from my days in the magistrates’ courts. He’s a defence solicitor and therefore sees on a daily basis and at first hand the poverty and deprivation experienced by many of those who commit petty offences. He commented wearily that food banks are just about the only growth industry in this country nowadays. It’s true that food banks are springing up even in areas which are traditionally… Read More
I’ve come across two crowds of young people in the past couple of weeks. On 24 May hundreds and hundreds of students marched down Queen Street in Auckland blocking the entire street. They were angry at us – oldies – who have used and abused the planet: the damaged, degraded planet they will be obliged to cope with in the coming years. They carried handmade placards with messages from the heart. These were not mass-produced as is the case in some protests. “I’d be in School if the Planet were Cool”, “I’ll… Read More