That’s the Spirit by Trevor Plumbly

  Tis the season It’s that time again, according to our religious leaders, and of course shopkeepers, a time of celebration and giving. Due to family circumstances I’ve never really been a Christmas person. Children naturally parade their possessions like a thermometer of their parents regard especially at this time, and it’s equally natural for those at the bottom of the social scale to feel envy and resentful. Looking back I certainly did. I don’t dwell on those early years to any great effect but they do cause me to reflect on… Read More

Bread and Sausages by Angela Caldin

New Zealand has presented me with various wonderful new experiences that I’ve marvelled at since living here for part of each year: Anzac biscuits, chocolate fish, flat white coffee, the haka, the powhiri and many others besides. But there is one Kiwi speciality which is a source of much interest and amazement to immigrants like me and that is the institution of the Sausage Sizzle. Sizzle and squirt With a name containing both alliteration and onomatopoeia, Sausage Sizzle implies excitement and gastronomic delight in equal measure. The reality, however, is somewhat different…. Read More

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

Donors and Dodgers by Trevor Plumbly

After donning my plastic identity vest, salting my donation bucket to ensure a guilt-producing rattle, I took up my station for the street appeal day. That’s when I met most of you, not in person of course, more in personality. The rules governing street collectors are unwritten but quite basic: don’t obstruct the footpath, don’t accost pedestrians, smile lots and thank everybody.