New Zealand on the map by Angela Caldin

There was a time when quite a lot of people were vague about where exactly New Zealand was. Somewhere down at the bottom of the world was a good guess; fairly near Australia perhaps. Sometimes maps of the world left New Zealand off altogether, as though its two islands just a bit bigger than the UK were too insignificant to bother about. Containing the virus But in the last few months New Zealand’s stock has risen dramatically, because under the leadership of prime minister Jacinda Ardern, Covid-19 has to all intents and… Read More

Staying alert by Angela Caldin

I’m living in New Zealand at the moment, but I’ve been following developments in the UK as well. On TV here, there’s an adaption of Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker prizewinning novel The Luminaries. I read this book when it first came out and couldn’t put it down. The only problem was that when I arrived breathless at the end, I had no idea what was going on among the huge cast of characters. It was good therefore to understand from the first episode on TV that two of the main protagonists, Anna… Read More

Angela’s ABCs flout and flaunt words sometimes confused

It seemed to me that flout and flaunt were sufficiently different for it to be difficult to confuse them. I thought their meanings were clear. If you don’t comply with a rule, you are flouting it. If you make a big display of your success, you are flaunting it It seems that I was wrong. I was tut-tutting to myself the other day because I noticed that one of The Guardian’s coronavirus update writers had used flaunt to mean flout. Nobody seemed particularly bothered. When I did some research, I realised this… Read More

Life under lockdown by Angela Caldin

We have a small deck at the back of our house in NZ with a fruiting lemon tree, some delicate palms and a high Lilly Pilly hedge that the sun pops over just about coffee time. I was sitting out there yesterday thinking about the words ‘We’re all in this together,’ which we hear so often. It struck me that perhaps those words were not entirely true since I was in a very fortunate position and some people were in this much deeper than others. Suffering increases There are stories of hardship… Read More

Self-isolation or a part of the main by Angela Caldin

We went to see our younger daughter in Australia and arrived back in NZ on Tuesday at 2am, just 26 hours too late to avoid self-isolation. So now we are self-isolating for two weeks from 17 to 30 March inclusive. You may very well say it serves us right for being irresponsible enough to risk the journey when it was clear that the coronavirus was spreading fast. And I can’t argue with that, though I am glad to have seen my daughter before the world-wide hatches batten down completely and we are… Read More