Playing the game by Trevor Plumbly

     Due to bodily and financial shortcomings, I never really ‘did’ sport; it required robustness and uniforms, both of which were beyond me. To justify the inadequacy, I formed the theory that sport was bloody stupid and I reckon I’m finally being proved right. It might be unkind, but I believe the rot started with the Italians and it’s been festering ever since. Give a bloke a spear and stick him in the ring with a pissed-off lion was the early Roman idea of spectator sport. Up to that point it was… Read More

Thoughts on the America’s Cup by Susan Grimsdell

I thought it was about time I watched a race in the lead up to the America’s Cup, having contributed to it by being a ratepayer and a taxpayer, and considering that a lot of people seem to think it’s something special. Lookalike craft The setting is lovely – Auckland Harbour, so they got that right.  However, the first thing that took away from it being interesting is that the boats are clones of each other.  They are painted different colours and have different words plastered all over them, but otherwise they… 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

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