Surreal.  The word was on everyone's lips when the weather went feral, partly through climate change.  TV news showed towns and farmland awash with floodwaters. Surreal? Uh-uh. Because Scott Pruitt, the new head of the American Environmental Protection Agency, had just declared - against a scientific consensus - that 'carbon dioxide emissions were not a major contributor to global warming'. Hearing a Dry say that on our Wet weekend - now that was surreal.

 

Memory Road…

There’s dark green bush all around us; I can see it through the windscreen. I’m sitting between Mum and Dad in the Land Rover and I’m frightened. That’s my first memory and, for a long time, I didn’t know its origin. Was it a ‘false’ memory from the family’s stories of our baby days we loved to hear?

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Joining the hordes

I decided to visit my daughter in Christchurch via the Haast and Arthur’s Passes. Not the easiest route on a bike, even with my friend (electric motor) to help me up the hills.

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Responding to constructive feedback

Can you recall the last time you received some constructive feedback whether at work or in your personal life?   And how did you react to it?

Let’s face it – getting feedback, especially that which is developmental and in the ‘needing some work category’, isn’t always easy.

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Superstitions and why we have them

by Max Cryer

Aphrodisiacs

In the fantasy world of superstition, the range of available aphrodisiacs is prolific. Over the centuries a wide catalogue of suggestions has accumulated, recommended to ease road bumps in the path of love/sex.

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Come dancing – or not…

I like dancing – who doesn’t? So, one day after feeling as if I could become footloose on the dance floor again, I enrolled for a ballroom dancing class at the local grammar.A legacy of the Fifties and Sixties was that all of us could rock and roll – and even today if you listen to the original of Honky Tonk, your feel an irresistible urge to do it all over again.

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Beached whales – and bravery…

First, an early morning recollection from the day before: a friend describing a short story which captured the pitiful cries of whale calves separated from their beached mothers.

Then this: on a country road where the occasional car usually dawdled, most now zipped along at highway speeds.

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Charlotte Bronte said it long ago

With hope borne of nothing more than a fresh year, I dream on: That we all woke up to the inequity that has passed for national values for too many years. The reckless obsession with the glittering lights of our economy, dairying and tourism, illustrate how self-interest has overtaken public interest as a legitimate goal. I couldn’t resist showing, with minor deletions, Charlotte Bronte’s view of this clash of values in Shirley, published in 1849:

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Another year, another Waitangi

Waitangi weekend again – and a man was close to tears.  Nothing unusual there.  It’s what the place does to  some.   What was different this year was that the man was Pakeha – no let’s  pass over  that pejorative for another description: he was white.

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