Inorganic Collections in Auckland – Trash or Treasure by Angela Caldin

Biennial Inorganic Rubbish on the Kerbside It’s that time of year again: the householders of Auckland are disgorging vast quantities of unwanted items, and piles of cast-offs of varying descriptions are appearing on the kerbsides and grass verges around the city. Auckland is either blessed or cursed, depending on your point of view, with its latest two-yearly inorganic rubbish collection, when the council vans trundle round collecting the masses of rejected junk spewed out by households in varying degrees of magnitude. For a few days, before the council trucks arrive, the kerbside… Read More

The New Rainbow Warrior by Angela Caldin

When I heard that the New Rainbow Warrior was to sail into Auckland Harbour, my heart skipped a beat. I felt excited and exhilarated. That name was synonymous with Greenpeace and so evocative of many years of non-violent direct environmental protests on the high seas. My mind went back more than 25 years to the first Rainbow Warrior and her tragic sinking in the same year that my younger daughter was born – 1985. First Rainbow Warrior She was a trawler used in many Greenpeace protests against seal hunting, whaling and nuclear… Read More

A Special Offer by Trevor Plumbly

There they are! Real bargains and special offers, clogging up my mailbox to the extent I am forced to reflect on how many trees they kill to send me this crap. Not much point sticking a ‘No Junk Mail’ thingy on the box, they’ll just jam the stuff in your newspaper and get you that way. But nosey old bugger that I am, I can’t help but read it, and cogitate on how my life would improve if I availed myself of all this generosity. Or on how those that peddle and… Read More

The Walking School Bus by Angela Caldin

When a friend mentioned to me something called the walking school bus, I really didn’t know what she was on about. I tend to take things literally, so I wondered how on earth a bus could walk and why you would want it to. But then my granddaughter started school and I came to grips with the reality of this brilliant idea. I don’t know if they have them in the UK, but here in New Zealand they are a major feature of getting to school. The idea is very simple: the… Read More

Changing the World One Gift at a Time™* by Angela Caldin

What happens when you’ve lived in the same place for 38 years, 27 of them in the same house? You accumulate a whole lot of possessions, that’s what; and most of them remind you of someone or somewhere so that you’re sentimentally attached to them, even though they have little monetary value. Our garage was so full of chattels that the car was parked on the driveway whatever the weather. I stood in the midst of it all one day and decided that something had to be done; the clutter had to… Read More