When a comma means so much by Susan Grimsdell

My favourite news item of the year is the one about a comma.  It was all about overtime pay for truck drivers, pay dating back over four years.  Big money was at stake – as much as $10 million. Truck drivers and grammar I love it because I have to confess that I’m one of the “grammar police”: very picky about the way words are used and about things like syntax, apostrophes, and for sure – commas.  So when I heard that the humble comma, placement of, was the key to a… Read More

Saving Cities by Susan Grimsdell

“New York, New York, a wonderful town” goes the song and anyone who’s been there surely agrees completely. One of the best things about New York is that it’s made up of a lot of villages, each with its own character.  Chinatown, Little Italy, SoHo, Greenwich Village, all of them places where people walk, where the dwellings have their own style, where there’s density of living, lots of shops of every type, noise, people, trees, variety in every aspect.  Talk about wonderful!  I first went there for a weekend at the age… Read More

The wisdom of trees by Susan Grimsdell

Trees are smarter than we think; in fact, smarter than us.  Trees have survived through eons of time.  In contrast, our species is unlikely to survive for very much longer, considering what we are doing to the climate and considering the way we destroy one another in our millions. The need for water Trees, like every living thing, need water.  When you think of all the different conditions trees have to face in order to grow, it’s a bit like our society, where kids are born into different circumstances and have to… Read More

My name is Susan and I’m rich-ist by Susan Grimsdell

I really don’t think I’m racist. As a feminist, I’m definitely not sexist, and I’m not age-ist or ??? (what else is there?). But I have now come to realise that I suffer from a different kind of -ist. The other night just as I was getting ready to go to bed, fireworks started up outside my window, which looks out over Auckland Harbour. It wasn’t New Year’s Eve or Waitangi Day or any other special public day, but it was quite a spectacular display that went on for about ten minutes…. Read More

Anzac Day 25 April by Susan Grimsdell

The airwaves here in New Zealand are full of war.  Remembrance of war, that is. 25 April marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. When I listen, I always get an uneasy feeling.  I hear that it’s all about “honouring” those who were killed, but when I think of all those sad, sad white crosses in the European war cemeteries, I have to wonder if the young men and women there would find any comfort from knowing that people… Read More