Welcome to Kiwiboomers!


All through winter when chimney smoke curled from countless homes; when some of our elderly remembered their electricity bills and retreated to their beds for warmth, we could bet on one sure thing: Spring would come. And though blossoms assured us it had arrived, winter had other ideas. But now, perhaps, maybe, it's here. Deliverance…



Spark and data use per minute

Data is being created all the time without us even noticing it.

Much of what we do every day now happens in the digital realm, leaving an ever-increasing digital trail that can be measured and analysed.

Just how much data  do our  tweets, likes and photo-uploads really generate?

Continue reading

Something old, something…?

walletMy father in law passed away a couple of months ago. Well, it was his time and at 102, he knew it. Always more a good friend than a relative, he was a bundle of bones in his bed in his last weeks but to his delight, was  surrounded by the women he loved (the old flirt!).

Laurie had lived at his little Northland beach resort for nearly 50 years and from his deck had watched the rhythms of tides and currents, much as his loved ones watched life finally ebb from him.

Continue reading

Will you piggy-wig, swear never to tell a Porky…?

Trial_of_PigAuckland lawyer, veterinarian and author has published his new book, Animals, Welfare and the Law. It encompasses ethics, history and the law, so it’s a weighty read for those of us who routinely plough through fiction.   But   Mr Robertson   has not overlooked the dark – but often comical moments in the long history of animals and humans.  Some of these include the criminal trials of animals…

Continue reading

The Same Sad Story…

stand on the line“The outcome for children in the care of the state may be no better than if they had not been in care at all”. So says the Commissioner for Children’s report on the performance of Child, Youth & Family service.

Continue reading

Who’s Afraid of Jeremy Corbyn?

jeremy-corbyns-labour-leadership-bid-gathers-pace-as-supporters-flock-to-rally_1What is it about Jeremy Corbyn that sends shivers up the collective spine of his fellow MPs?  An alternative to  Maggie  Thatcher’s,  Tina (There is  No Alternative) embrace of the Market, that’s what.

Continue reading

Lourengo Marques, Mozambique, 1960s

Never go back?

They say you should never go back or try to recapture the wonder of places and experiences of your youth. But, while not replicating the original, sometimes the passage of time can make the outcome rewarding and interesting.

Continue reading

Avonside post-quake, picture courtesy of Avonsideblog.org '

Renewal – Christchurch in Spring

Much has changed between my occasional visits to Christchurch in the last four and a half years.

On my first post-earthquakes visit I was awed by wrecked buildings, broken roads, tell-tale see pages that told of cracked water-pipes, portable toilets in the streets, tangles of steel reinforcing on what looked like bomb-sites, barricades, soldiers, and silence in a city echoing sorrow.

Continue reading

Spokes in the wheel…

Cycle-path-photoIn Nelson, the City Council has appeared hell-bent on introducing shared pathways – where walkers vie with bikes.

Hell-bent? In February 2015 the editor of Nelson Mail in Don’t get carried away over cycle ways appealed for common sense.

Continue reading

When robber bees invade a hive

beesI should begin by saying I am but a beginner beekeeper, so these are just my observations. I don’t keep them for honey, but for pollination, though my kids would tell me the joy of sticking their heads under a giant honey tap in harvest season is a hard reason to beat.

Continue reading

Kiwiosities: The Raetihi Bushfire

Kiwiosities coverIn March 1918, a combination of cyclonic winds and bushfires devastated the district around Raetihi in the upper Whanganui region. The fires destroyed nine timber mills and the forest they depended on, burning from Horopito to Raetihi and from Ohakune westward to the Whanganui River. The people of Raetihi jumped into the river to save themselves from the flames that destroyed much of the town. The concurrent cyclone took its toll in the town centre too. Smoke spread so far, darkening the daylight, that the ferry entering Wellington had to take soundings to find its way in. In all, more than 120 homes were burned.

Max’s Dogs

Dog JacketFrom Max Cryer’s book  Every Dog has its Day

Dogs have not always been prized as friends or ‘family members’. Historically they have sometimes been seen as pariahs and scavengers of the streets. Other dogs were regarded as useful for hunting but may have been given the crudest of shelters, surviving on food scraps from the master’s table.

During the 1500s the term ‘dog’s life’ came into being in England, comparing anyone impoverished or living in drudgery with the life of a less than respected dog. Other classes of dogs did exist: companions to the wealthy; rural snow dogs whose work was respected. But the curs, the strays and the scavengers appeared to live an unwelcome and miserable existence and their life was a struggle. So in 1542, when Erasmus wrote: ‘The most parte of folks calleth it a miserable life, or a dogges life’, he was referring to those on the dog ladder’s lower rungs. Fortunately many dogs now lead lives filled with joyful and active contentment.