Trivial Hirsutes by Emily Smart  

Now, I know that looking at me you wouldn’t think that personal grooming would be at the top of my priority list, but I’m afraid you would be wrong. Whilst I seem to have missed out on the ‘female gene’ when it comes to having an interest in men, shopping, clothes, make-up and The Batchelor, I have always been somewhat preoccupied with hair, both growing and removing it. During my teenage years, I experimented with everything from Sun In – natural hair highlighter that was great if you like orange streaks in… Read More

Seriously though by Trevor Plumbly

The gift to be simple Having passed the allotted biblical span, I find my field of entertainment has narrowed quite dramatically. In the interest of good taste, I won’t itemise activities that gratified me in my younger days. Instead, I’d like to indulge myself in the time-honoured pastime of the elderly by having a bloody good moan. 2018 in New Zealand promised a great deal, but delivered little. We had a young, charismatic prime minister with a strong social conscience, a reasonable bank balance and a weak political opposition. It should have… Read More

Truth versus opinion by Susan Grimsdell

When did opinion take over from truth?  I’ll give you an illustration. Warrants of fitness Recently, it has been found that some garages in NZ who are authorised to issue warrants of fitness (WoFs), certifying the car is safe in all respects, have been doling them out to drivers without actually checking cars. NZ has an enforcement agency tasked with visiting garages to make sure regulations are being followed.  It seems that in some cases, these enforcers have very “kind” hearts, and have been turning a blind eye to breaches, merely reiterating… Read More

Systemic stupor by Trevor Plumbly

Manna from heaven A recent news report from Canberra announced that some lucky Aussies could now get their groceries delivered by drone. To add a bit of credence to the piece, they included an interview with a grateful mother, who seemed to regard this technological turd as a lifeline. I’d like to say my heart went out to the poor creature, but it didn’t; I find that she’s rather pathetic compared to the women who work at life, instead of sitting around and expecting it to arrive. Millions of women cope with… Read More

The other woman by Trevor Plumbly

The siren’s song Alexa is a ‘Smart Speaker’, an innocent looking cylinder about a foot tall and capable of making the fiddly bits of daily routine a breeze. We blindies are suckers for this sort of stuff; anything that does our fumbling round for us is always welcome. She allowed me to access books and music without the threat of a wrongly pressed button or incorrect spelling. But blindness breeds doubt, and a dependence on gadgets disturbs me. I’ve always had a distrust of devices that do my thinking for me, what… Read More