The autumn of discontent by Trevor Plumbly

Fatigue, vertigo and water torture Despite practically hibernating and trying hard not to inhale outdoors, I’ve somehow managed to catch the bloody thing and I’m scribbling this between bouts of horizontal stupor. In Britain, when the monarch was ill, they used to post daily health reports by the palace gates but they don’t advertise infirmity down here and I’m trying to adopt the ‘suck it up’ culture. However, this one’s a toughie for me, with total exhaustion and brain fade, interrupted by occasional bursts of mental flatulence. As with most infectious ailments,… Read More

The Bigger Picture by Susan Grimsdell

We’re in the midst of one of the Biblical afflictions we were warned about in Revelations – floods, locusts, fires, pestilence, darkness, and in our case here and now – plague.  Covid can’t be described any other way. A plague on the Earth Governments everywhere were caught unprepared. Most dealt inadequately in the early days of the virus, resulting in literally hundreds of thousands of people dying.  New Zealand was one of the countries that did pretty well, through a combination of good luck and good management, and for a while we… Read More

New Zealand on the map by Angela Caldin

There was a time when quite a lot of people were vague about where exactly New Zealand was. Somewhere down at the bottom of the world was a good guess; fairly near Australia perhaps. Sometimes maps of the world left New Zealand off altogether, as though its two islands just a bit bigger than the UK were too insignificant to bother about. Containing the virus But in the last few months New Zealand’s stock has risen dramatically, because under the leadership of prime minister Jacinda Ardern, Covid-19 has to all intents and… Read More