Welcome to Kiwiboomers!

IMG_3639Sometimes the good old days are worth recalling because they were precious: We  could tramp in the ti-tree tang of our bush and not see another soul; we could  sit  undisturbed by anyone on a favourite beach; hike along chilled, calm lakes and   wonder not only at this land of ours but the blessing of solitude it gifted us.

How can we protect what possessed us then, from mass tourism which  threatens it now?


Learning to live in world of suspicion

Surveillance is back in the news again, now that the government has received the Independent Review of Intelligence and Security Services by Sir Michael Cullen and Dame Patsy Reddy. Later this year there may well be a new law in place with enhanced surveillance capacity for our intelligence agencies.

So, what is ‘surveillance’? Why should we be concerned about it?

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The gorilla in our living room…


There’s an 800 lb gorilla sitting in our living room. It’s called immigration and the scale of it influences almost every issue from education to housing and infrastructure. But only New Zealand First leader  Winston Peters is drawing attention to the limitations of an open door immigration policy.

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A day in the life of Nick Smith

7:34 am

Ah yes, the delights of Auckland. This city is a second home to me. Look how prosperous the inhabitants are, how well everyone appears to be doing.

Look at that family over there sleeping in their car. It’s a bit cramped with Mum, Dad and the four kids squeezed in, but I remember when I first got onto the property ladder. You don’t start out by buying the biggest and most expensive accommodation. You start small. Those people have the right idea.

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Sobbing in the shower – how stress damages

How do you cope with the stressful periods in your life? With a bit of time on the clock, I’ve had a couple of times in my life where I wrestled with stress and its unhappy consequences. And I don’t mean the normal everyday stresses that family, work and community life throw at us on a regular basis.

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Just not enough minutes in the day!

take it easy

Ever feel like there’s just not enough minutes in the day?  Who hasn’t?  It seems that busyness has become the new norm. For some even a badge of honour.

 “Just not enough minutes in the day!” –  declared with a proud smile, a shrug of the shoulders and shake of the head.  “I’ve just been so busy!”  The words slip off the tongue as easily as a mindless “How are you?” It’s expected.

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Water, water everywhere…

What happens if you’re in the middle of Auckland with its 60-plus ethnicities and  want just a sip, not a bottle of water?

Linguistic confusion. It’s born out of the locals taking their lingo for granted – and new arrivals interpreting what they say,  just a little too literally.

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Max’s Dogs

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

Record makers

An Australian cattle dog in the state of Victoria died in November 1939. This would not have been so remarkable – except that Bluey had been born on June 7, 1910.  After his death The Guinness Book of Records  acknowledged that Bluey’s lifespan of 29 years and 160 days gave him the longest recorded lifespan of any known dog.

Other Guinness records include:

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Kiwiosities: The Nit Nurse

Kiwiosities coverExcerpts from Kiwiosities, a book by Gordon Ell on the traditions and folklore of New Zealand.

The ‘Nit Nurse’

An unflattering reference by children to the public health nurses who visit schools as part of the preventive health system. Nurses regularly intervene in cases where  special health or emotional problems exist, recommending at-risk children for treatment at Health Camps. Public health nurses also provide support in the home environment, but most  pre-school care is carried out by Plunket  nurses.  Inspection for ‘nits’ – head lice – and the role nurses played in cleaning up an epidemic at school spawned the nickname.

The Unholy Triad

I’ve always struggled to understand economics, which means I have a bit of cheek embarking on   a view of the economics of the western world. Still, in my possibly naive view there are simple rules. Take Alzheimers for instance. By taking daily exercise, eating healthy food and maintaining mental and social stimulation, there is a good chance of avoiding Alzheimers. Similar rules apply for avoiding type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and probably many other diseases that swoop in when the rules are ignored.

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