Reading, writing and reason by Trevor Plumbly

A codger’s lament I decided to let the brain off the leash this week and wallow in an old-fashioned moan. I’ve found that one of the gifts of age is the ability to use hindsight as a diagnostic tool for heaps of today’s ills. The popular conception is that age brings wisdom, but even in my case that’s not strictly true; however, for those keen to foster the myth, some subtlety of phrase dealing with younger folk is always a good option. For instance, I never use ‘in my day’ because kids… Read More

Losing the art of reading by Susan Grimsdell

Recent statistics indicate that reading books is a fast-disappearing pastime.  It seems that some young people leaving school can barely read at all, let alone read great works of literature.  Access to the classics They have trouble grasping the meaning of words and sentences, so to think of them picking a book like Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” or Dickens’ “Great Expectations” off the shelf is laughable.  It just doesn’t happen. I remember not long ago a young person won the prize for a critical essay on Harper Lee’s “To Kill a “Mockingbird” and… Read More

Flying again by Susan Grimsdell

Leadership When Covid first hit in NZ, our Prime Minister took a leadership role right away.  “Stay home,” she said, and explained why.  We believed the science and we believed her and it seems it’s a good thing we did because our death rate was miniscule.  The key to us all complying was her strong leadership.   She didn’t say “We’d appreciate it if you stayed home as much as possible.”  She said loud and clear, “Stay Home!” World wars bring out that kind of leadership – people all over Europe put up… Read More

Calling bluffs by Susan Grimsdell

No jab no job There are places where you can find true information, based on well-designed impartial research, rather than fake, so-called information, based on people’s opinions and gut reactions.  For example, we hear a lot of people yelling that they would quit their jobs if the “no jab no job” policy goes ahead.  When it comes to the crunch however, people seem to have second thoughts, most of them take a closer look at their household budgets alongside their pay packets, and lo – their carefully contrived objections to the vaccine… Read More

A sorry state by Trevor Plumbly

Confessionitis It’s getting more and more difficult to find a blog topic these days; there’s too much heavy stuff out there and lots of folk waiting to spread a bit of grief. Take out politics, religion, racism, sexual identity and there’s not much left to debate about with much hope of a result. We’ve become inundated with thin-ice sensitivities; down here in God’s little acre, the days of carrying stoicism to the point of walking rigour have all but disappeared in favour of orchestrated outpourings. As soon as Mea Culpa became an… Read More