Family Covid by Susan Grimsdell

The media has been full of dire news about the devastating effects of Covid since it appeared on the planet a couple of years ago.  Millions of people have contracted the virus, causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands.  Businesses have collapsed, governments have incurred enormous debt, families have been separated for even the most important events, like funerals and weddings.  Inter-family feuds There has been deep division at the more individual, personal level too.  Family parties have been disrupted when one or two members are against being vaccinated, and the rest… Read More

NZ farmers’ protest by Susan Grimsdell

Taking to the streets Hundreds of farmers recently took to the streets in their expensive tractors.  The vehicles are big bullying things, and that makes me think the drivers are too.  Sitting way up high, big wheels, the whole rig shouting – “I’m big and powerful and rich so get out of my way.” As far as I could make out, that was the essence of their protest – “This government is telling me what to do.  I won’t have it.  It’s my land, and I’ll say what happens to it.”  Farmers… Read More

Tis the gift to be simple by Trevor Plumbly

The philosopher’s stoned Yesterday, I was relaxing in the armchair (the dreamspace), sipping rather a nice single malt, contemplating the vagaries of life and it occurred to me that there’s a degree of comfort about things when you’re approaching 80. Time was I used to think I knew it all, now I’m absolutely sure of it. Over the years I’ve read heaps of stuff by deep thinkers, academics, learned clergy and even educated drunks, but nothing tangible emerged from their musings and I’m now convinced I know a bloody sight more about… Read More

Reasons to be thankful by Angela Caldin

There’s an advert on the BBC World Service broadcast here in Auckland which encourages listeners to think of ten things they are grateful for first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Whether you can have the same ten things at both times is not clear, but even so, I don’t usually get beyond five or six before the demands of the day or the lure of sleep take over. Top of the list today for things I am thankful for would be the prospect of making shortbread with my… 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