Hard cash I wonder where the guy got his inspiration when he announced that ‘money was the root of all evil’? Maybe he’d been mugged or something. Lack of the stuff certainly clouded my childhood: having a few bob was the birth-right of the upper and middle classes, along with decent housing, education, clothing and food, whilst lack of it sentenced the rest of us poor sods to struggle. Growing up like that makes it hard not to be cynical about money; like religion and democracy it’s OK if it’s properly dealt… Read More
Smug I was watching Grand Designs the other night. It’s one of my ‘can’t resist’ programmes, along with Location x3. These shows remind me of Blighty, and I feel like the presenters, Kirstie, Phil and Kevin, are old mates. If they ever did come to New Zealand, I wouldn’t hesitate to invite them over for dinner and a few bottles of vino. Unlike Jimmy Carr. I happened to see him in a Japanese restaurant over the summer holidays. I looked at him, he looked at me; I smiled and he shot back… Read More
A Nation Obsessed by Sport International image is pretty important to most countries, especially small ones, and New Zealand is certainly no different in its anxiety to scrub up for foreign approval. Superficially, we shine up pretty well: ‘Godzone’ and all that, a clean, green land occupied by smiling, tattooed Maoris, All Black rugby players and all manner of sportspeople gung-ho to show the world what a tiny country can achieve on the world stage. Medals and titles won are usually accompanied by an ‘against all odds’ reference to our somewhat sparse… Read More
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.