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

Aunt Sally or violence condoned by Susan Grimsdell

A crossword puzzle clue led me to discover a 17th century game still played in pubs in England.   A model of the head of an old woman is put on a metal spike and players throw battens or sticks at it.  The object is to knock the head off the spike.  In France the game is called jeu de massacre (game of carnage), in England it’s known as Aunt Sally. With the blessing of the PM In 2011 the inaugural Aunt Sally Singles World Championship took place in West Oxfordshire, with the… Read More

Gender definition by Susan Grimsdell

There could hardly be a more modern problem than the one facing Caster Semenya, the South African 800m Olympic champion. She is defined as an athlete with “Differences of Sex Development”. Her testosterone levels are apparently higher than the Olympic Committee accepts for a person to be categorised as female. If Caster wants to go on competing in the women’s races, she will have to take oral contraceptives to bring those pesky levels down. Gender dilemma Sports scientists estimate that if she does take the pill, it will cost her about 7… Read More

Good sports by Trevor Plumbly

My contribution to the world of sport is minimal to say the least. As a result of family circumstances, I was neither watched nor encouraged to play team sports. Painfully thin, I learned early in life that physical well-being was preferable to the risks posed by playing school sports. These days however, I live in a country where a sprained All-Black thumb can send a decent percentage of the population into stress mode. Even my grandsons have been peer-pressured into joining these educationally approved forms of ritual abuse. Most thinking adults struggle… Read More

Thanks a million! By Trevor Plumbly

Jolly jack tars It’s that time again folks; the Circus is coming to town! The world’s wealthiest sporting clique is gearing up to battle for the America’s Cup and already the posturers, promoters and blatant arse-kissers are moving into action along with near-sighted politicians. There’s money to be made here folks and the dollar dung-flies are already starting to swarm. It mystifies me that a few mega-wealthy playlords could succeed in foisting this vanity-driven con job onto a country constantly striving to maintain healthy social and educational services. Press gangs The politicians… Read More